1. Invest in the right machines. When shopping around, look for smart pre-wash settings along with sensitive ‘hand-washing’ cycles and automatic stain-removal cycles. This sensor technology has been adopted by many of the major brands to scan and ‘read’ how the washing is going and adjust rinses and actions accordingly. New dryers equipped with 3D sensors and heat pumps now mean you can get the job done faster, using far less energy than before. Hunt for dryers that scan the load to judge the amount of water present, and then work out drying time accordingly. The big brands are attacking our dislike for ironing on two fronts, by revamping the iron and introducing garment steamers – a mainstay of stylists for years – for home use. The new steamers, which use steam to freshen up clothes and remove wrinkles (no ironing board required), are terrific. Meanwhile, new irons are also making the process faster. The latest ones have improved glide and cut down on water refills.
2. Make your laundry time a fuss-free experience by zoning storage around your activities, including plenty of bench space for folding clean clothes, dumping dirty clothes or to place baskets of washing. If you can, include separate pull-out hampers for ‘whites’ and ‘colours’.
3. Include space for fold-away drying racks or a ceiling-mounted hanging rod. For compact drying, consider Ikea’s ‘Grundtal’ wall-fixable drying rack – perfect for hanging after ironing or to dry delicates – or look for a standalone foldable version that you can store away when not in use.
4. If possible, design an area inside cabinets to store your ironing board neatly, so it's not using valuable floor space, but plot out where you’ll use it and position powerpoints accordingly. Check out Hafele’s innovative ironing board storage solutions: fold and pull directly from behind a drawer front, have it wall-mounted, or fold out and use as a lateral board. There are also cabinets available at hardware stores with mirror fronts that hide a fold-out ironing board inside. The interior of large cupboard doors can also be fitted with hooks to hang ironing boards and cleaning accessories.
5. Be energy wise. Energy labels – those yellow and red stickers you see on many appliances – provide consumers with information on the energy efficiency of a product. Available in six-star and 10-star versions, the labels display two key figures: energy consumption (kilowatts per year) and energy efficiency (in stars). The more stars, the more savings. Visit energyrating.gov.au.
Love this laundry? Check out the whole makeover here.