My Favorite Laundry Hack: Delay Start

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Many people have a hard time staying on top of their laundry. It’s easy to fall behind since there’s more every time you turn around. Having a laundry routine helps, as does having an organized and tidy space to work in. Today, I’m sharing my favorite, simple hack for helping you stay on top of laundry: Using the Delay Start or Delay Wash feature.

What is Delay Start?

If you have a newer washing machine with an electronic component (ie buttons instead of knobs), odds are you have a “delay wash” button. I have an LG, but many brands have them. I didn’t even know I had one for YEARS and even when I found it, I didn’t use it right away. I didn’t realize how amazing it would be.

At that time, my laundry routine was just developing. I was doing a load a day (a load a day keeps the pile away) but I’d throw it in whenever I remembered. Or, whenever I forgot, and the baskets overflowed, whichever… came first.

The delay start feature on my washing machine went unappreciated for years, but not anymore.
The unsung hero of my laundry routine…

Then I realized… I could use the delay wash feature on my machine and get a start on the day’s laundry while I was still in bed. So I did.

Do Laundry in your Sleep

Every evening, after my kids were in bed but before I sat down on the couch, I’d take a full laundry basket and dump it in the washer. It didn’t matter whose laundry; I don’t have a set laundry schedule, I just look for a full basket and wash it.

How Delay Start Works

  1. Turn the machine on.
  2. Change the settings to your load preference.
  3. Hit the “delay start” button as many times as hours you’d like your laundry to start. For example, if you want the load to start in 4 hours, you hit the button 4 times.
  4. Hit Start.

So, if I was starting a load at 8 pm, I’d do the math and set the delayed wash to go off in about 10 hours, or at 6 am. We’d get up as usual and make our way downstairs around 7 am, just as the load was finishing up. I’d get my kids started on breakfast and then transfer the load from the washer into the dryer. We’d go on with our morning and I’d hear the dryer sing me a little song around 8. If I had a few minutes and I was feeling motivated, I’d fold a load before school. If not, I’d get to it later. Either way, my laundry was done quickly and easily.

Do Laundry Anytime

My favorite laundry hack: Using the delay start feature and doing laundry in my sleep.

You don’t have to set the wash to start in the morning. Prep a load in the morning, set it to start an hour before you come home from work, and then toss the clothes in the dryer when you walk in the door. Or any other timing that works for you.

This routine might sound restrictive, but it was actually quite freeing. It provided me with more time to relax on my terms—which every mom needs.

As my kids got older and I returned to work, this routine became even more helpful. I still started a load in the evening and transferred it during breakfast. I’d fold it if I got a chance during the day, or before or after dinner — whenever I had a 10 minute window. A chore that could have added stress to my life, just blended in without causing an issue because I had an effective routine in place.  

Try to Delay Start Your Laundry

Don’t let laundry overwhelm you. Find a routine that works for you. Create a habit. Set yourself up for success. Put your kids to work. Let technology work for you. Try the delay start and do laundry in your sleep.

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