It boggles my mind how adding one person to a household exponentially increases the amount of laundry generated. When I married my husband, the laundry did not double, it tripled (and he's not one of those guys who have more clothes than me, so I'm baffled) and somehow little itsy-bitsy baby and little-kid clothes turn into giant laundry piles.
Luckily, laundry is my favorite household task, probably because you can really enjoy the fruits of your labor right away, and you can be off doing other things while still knocking out a load or two. But it's still massively time-consuming. Here's a few tips I have come across that make it easier, faster and even cheaper:
Simplify sorting: Either get one of those standing laundry bags with compartments for each member of the household and have them throw whites in one and colors in the other, or just use two laundry baskets, one for lights and one for darks. Or you can even ...gasp!...skip sorting altogether. If you're washing things in cold water, you can throw pretty much everything in there together (although I wouldn't do this with jeans or brand-new red items that could bleed).
Turn down the heat: You can wash most loads in cold water and dry them on low heat. The only loads I do on hot are sheets and towels. Not only does this keep your clothes in better shape longer, but it saves energy (and thus money!).
Use shorter wash cycles: Unless clothes are very dirty (think workout clothes, sports uniforms, and pretty much anything little kids wear) you can probably get away with the shortest cycle on your washer.
Go light to heavy: Once you get your dryer going, keep doing loads continuously, and start with lighter items that might be damaged by high heat and end with things that can stand up to it, like towels. It will even take less time to dry those towels since the dryer is already heated up.
Defeat the Sock Monster: Use binder clips, a mesh lingerie bag, or safety pins to keep socks together and keep the sock-eating thing that lives in the dryer from getting all your socks.
Make folding fun: Okay, "fun" might be pushing it, but I do all my folding when I am watching TV. I am not a big TV person, so it's a huge treat to enjoy a few episodes of old favorites from Netflix while I get through a big pile of clothes. And only fold what needs it: you can throw bras and such into bins, and as for workout clothes, do you really care if your yoga pants are a little wrinkly?
What are your favorite tips to make laundry faster?