There is nothing too terribly exciting about doing laundry, but I actually enjoy doing it. My goal is always to do it as simply, efficiently and inexpensively as possible. I even tried making my own laundry detergent at one time but found our clothing wasn't getting as clean as I liked and they had begun to develop an odor. Not cool.
A few years ago when our mismatched washer and dryer gave up the ghost I splurged and purchased a front loading high efficiency matched set from Home Depot. I had saved up for them in anticipation of ours getting older but when I was offered 12 months no interest I went that route and just incorporated the payments into our monthly budget and kept our savings intact.
I find with these units I am able to get our laundry done much easier and faster. We use less water doing our laundry and the dryer works faster as well because the washer does a fabulous job extracting water in the final spin cycle. I also use less laundry soap which has made continuing to purchase our detergent more affordable.
As a family of three we can usually get by quite well washing two loads on Sunday and a midweek load on Wednesday evening. The washer holds a lot of clothes and the dryer as well. The girls help with the folding and I am quick to get the clothes out of the dryer right away to avoid wrinkles. I hate to iron.
I've lately been toying with the idea of tinkering with my homemade laundry detergent recipe to see if I can make it better. I've also thought about using both homemade and store bought and alternating them to see if I have better results. Lately, with sales prices and coupons, I've managed to buy detergent so inexpensively that I don't know if it would be cost effective or not and therefore worth the effort.
I currently use liquid detergent, liquid fabric softener as well as dryer sheets, occasionally bleach and Spray & Wash when needed. I always buy my supplies on sale and with coupons whenever I can. I buy the dryer sheets at the dollar store. When the weather is nice we like to hang our things outside as often as possible so I use the liquid fabric softener the most. I also reuse my dryer sheets and find I can get two to three loads dry per sheet which is great because in the winter I use both liquid fabric softener and the dryer sheets to control static.
One huge thing that has helped us tremendously in simplifying our laundry process is that we own so much less stuff that needs to be laundered. Fewer clothes, less bedding, less to wash. It really is that simple. Love it!