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Never Accidentally Shrink Your Laundry Again + Free Printable

I don’t know about you, but I’ve been known to shrink laundry once in a while. I would put the clothing in the washer, get busy doing something else, and when the washer would beep I would automatically put all the clothes in the drying, forgetting about my clothes that needed to be line dried or laid flat to dry. I knew I had to do something when my favorite cardigan met its shrunken demise. May it rest in peace.

Never accidentally shrink your laundry again! Genius simple tip!

laundry drying organizer

The first thing I did involved making a drying printable organizer to keep in my laundry binder. I created two sections– line dry and lay flat. Then, I listed my clothing items in the appropriate columns. That way I’m not fumbling to find the tag every time I wash one of the items.

laundry organization binder

The printable has helped me organize how each piece of clothing should be dried. But I needed something else to remind me when I would wash the line dry and lay flat items so I wouldn’t put these items in the dryer.

Enter the lingerie bag.

Whenever I wash a piece of clothing that requires special drying, I put it in a lingerie bag (less than $1 at most big box stores). That way, when I take the clothes from the washer and put them in the dryer, I know the clothes in the lingerie bags need to be line dried or laid flat to dry.

This method also helps when I happen to throw some of my clothes in with Brad’s laundry (we’re weird and do our own laundry) and he takes the clothes from the washer and puts them in the dryer. When I have clothes in the lingerie bags, he knows those get hung up to dry or to ask me if they need to be laid flat.

lingerie bag

I have about ten lingerie bags, which are needed when I’m doing multiple loads of laundry on the same day. I hang them on a hook in our laundry room. This method keeps them organized and allows them to air dry.

I cannot tell you how much this system has helped me. Yeah, I had to spend a little money on the lingerie bags, but I’ve had a full return on my invest because I haven’t shrunk a piece of clothing since implementing this system.

I hope you find these tips helpful in my attempt to eliminate clothing shrinkage one cardigan at a time. You can download the drying organizer here to help in your crusade. Just click on the image to go to the download/print page.

laundry drying document

If you don’t have a laundry binder and don’t intend on making one, you can frame the laundry drying organizer, and write on the glass of the frame with a dry erase marker.

What do you think of this system? Do you think it would help you in the prevention of clothing shrinkage? Do you have a different system for organizing your clothing that requires special drying?

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  1. Amber MacNeil says:

    My problem happens when my husband decides to be nice… He moves all the laundry from the washer to the dryer, including my bras have a foam lining. Then they get all deformed and funky looking. The best I can do is to re-wet the cups, reshape them, and hang them to dry. :-/

    1. OMG – the ‘nice’ husband is the destroyer of my clothes. We keep our laundry separate and he’s under strict instructions to never, ever touch mine!

  2. I feel like the drying organizer sheet is a little too organized for me, but the tip about the lingerie bags is GENIUS! I’m definitely going to start doing that! Thanks for sharing

  3. I have done this so many times. Especially with my daughter’s clothes.

  4. I do the the same with the lingerie/sweater bags. Those will also come in handy with itty bitty socks! I wash baby socks in those because otherwise you are always missing one because it gets eaten somewhere along the way. I would just hang one on the kids’ hamper and when I took their socks off right in the bag they go. I would still do this if I could remember to pick up another lingerie bag :-/

  5. Lingerie bags are a life saver! I do this same thing with my dress clothes, since I wash Jesse and I’s clothes together. This actually reminds me that I need more lingerie bags.

  6. We do our own laundry, too!

  7. The net bag a must win doing laundry properly while saving time. Great suggestion. This tip will greatly save people money and save clothes.

  8. I haven’t used a dryer in about 10 years now. Everything gets hung to dry (even in winter – when we redesigned our bedroom we made a little drying cupboard by the chimney flue). Not only does it save clothes, it also makes whites much whiter; the sun acts as a natural disinfectant; and hanging the laundry to dry forces me to go outside for 10-15 minutes and get some fresh air. Plus it saves electricity – dryers are energy sucks. We still have a dryer; but we only use it when we have house guests who think hanging things up to dry is too weird.

  9. Virginia B says:

    great ideas with the mesh bags! I use a magnetic dry erase board on top of my washer. I will write which items need to be line or hung dry. I’ll start using the bags to help and continue using the dry erase.

  10. Great idea! When my kids were little, I also used the laundry bags to wash socks. They each had their own bag, and would put their dirty socks in the bag. When it was time to wash, the bags went in the washer, then the dryer, then to their rooms for them to match up. No more lost socks! (Unless they didn’t make it into the bag in the first place!)

  11. I hang up all of my clothes wet.. shirts hang folded over the hanger so the arms don’t stretch.. pants on pant hangers and socks undies and bras get hung to dry as well.. Towels and blankets do get dried though! I have clothes in perfect condition that are 10 years old.

  12. Genevieve says:

    Hey, I just came across your blog on Facebook and read this article about lingerie bags. I also use them, mainly because I have found that my nice shirts don’t get so beaten up when I do. I wanted to share this tip with you that I have found to be very useful. I wash and dry all of my socks in a mesh bag. I haven’t lost a single sock since I started doing this. I actually have a pair that I bought 4 years ago! now, this tip doesn’t help if both socks don’t end up in the laundry, but at least the washer and dryer won’t eat them!

    Ps, I’m enjoying reading through your blog!

    1. Oh yeah, I love lingerie bags for socks– especially baby socks! Those suckers are very elusive. I’m glad you found me and that you’re enjoying the blog!

  13. I just use the line that Rizzo used in Grease. “Keep you filthy paws off my silky drawers!” Seriously,That Cute Guy I Married 52 years ago would never put the clean laundry into the dryer although the laundry room is right next to our bonus room which is lovingly named The Pit. But on the other hand, he knows to get the clean laundry out of the dryer, sort and fold it up and put it into two baskets – his and mine to take upstairs. If you asked him why he does this lovely chore, his answers would be: “If Momma isn’t happy, nobody is happy!” or “She who must be obeyed will be pleased and if she is pleased so am I.”

  14. I have decided the most effective way for me to stop shrinking clothing accidentally is to put a permanent mark inside the garment neck or waist. I also sort them into a separate, different colored, laundry container. Mine are a white and a black stand up, foldable, mesh hampers. One is for anything that has special care issues, like hang to dry or lay flat or wash alone because of potential fading. A simple mark like HD or LF for drying and an H for hand wash, just in case I forget.

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