Organize Laundry

Organize laundry you ask?

A Resounding YES I say!

Rare is the person who enjoys doing laundry. If you don't mind it, that's great! Actually I don't MIND doing Laundry but that is partly because I use an efficient method that minimizes my TIME spent on it.

Let's take a look at the basic components of doing laundry for the average household.

  • Layout of Laundry Room/Area
  • Wash Machine
  • Dryer
  • Shelves,Cabinets
  • Detergent,Supplies
  • Ironing Board
  • Folding Table

Not to mention:

  • Containing
  • Collecting
  • Sorting
  • Washing
  • Drying
  • Folding/Hanging
  • Matching Socks
  • Putting Away

The "Organize Laundry" Tips offered here make the assumption that you have an existing Laundry Room/Area. If you use a Laundromat, most of these will still apply when you Organize Laundry.

Ready?





Take a look at your Laundry Room/Area

Is it layed out as efficiently as possible? Do you have shelves, a folding table, storage? Do you have a sorter or multiple baskets to help keep clothes off the floor?

What will be the best way for you and your family to Organize Laundry?

A shelf or cabinet directly above the appliances, is ideal for storing detergent, bleach, softener, fabric treatment and other laundry supplies.

Of course the more shelves or cabinets you have room for, the better. If you are hanging shelves, remember it's okay to to put two or three layers of shelves all the way up to 18 inches from the ceiling especially if your Laundry Room door can be closed. This can provide extra storage for off season items or things you aren't sure where to store.

If there is no space above your Washer/Dryer units, check to see if there is room either between them or on either side for a floor storage unit.

Ideally, you want to sort, fold and hang clothes in the Laundry Room/Area. This keeps laundry from piling around your home. If there is not room, decide where to tackle these chores and stick to that space every time.

If you do not have room for a folding table, use the tops of your units, or the ironing board.

Speaking of ironing boards, an over the door one is perfect to pull down for folding purposes too. If you have a door that is :) If you don't, there are wall-mounted iron and board hangers for free standing boards.

Can you mount a bar for hanging clothes? Even an elongated hook will be helpful for a place to put hung items.

Okay, we have scrutinized the Laundry Room/Area. Have you gotten the basics layed out to your liking? Great, now lets continue on with how to Organize Laundry.

It may seem a little silly to spend time to organize laundry, but that's just it. This is yet another area where you can free up some much needed time to do those fun things you enjoy!

In fact, laundry is one of the biggest time wasters in the average home! Many of us wash on demand, let it pile for a week and then do a marathon or do small loads rather than collecting all the laundry and doing full loads.

Soooo...Here we go.


Start To Organize Laundry By Containing

Where do you want everyone to put clothes to be washed? Do you prefer a hamper in each bedroom or bathroom? Would you like family members to bring all laundry to the Laundry Room?

If you go the hamper route, less is best. Less time for you to travel from room to room collecting. Position hampers close to bedrooms and bathrooms so that they can be shared.

Make it a rule that if the laundry does not get into the hamper or designated place then it will not be washed!

Simple. The first time they have to wear socks two days in a row usually cures the put-it-in-the-hamper blues :)


Collecting Laundry

Collect (or better yet, delegate someone to) on the same day every week, same two days if needed or preferred. Making this a habit is essential when you want to organize laundry.

Let everyone know what day laundry will be collected and then collect from every hamper and bring to Laundry Room/Area to sort.


Sorting Laundry

Sort into some or all of the following categories depending on your personal needs and preferences.

  • Darks
  • Lights
  • Whites
  • Towels
  • Bedding
  • Delicate Whites
  • Delicate Darks
  • Delicate Lights

Use a separate basket for each load and choose a full basket for your first load.


Washing Laundry

You can wash certain loads of laundry on the same day every week. For example, whites on Mondays, lights on Tuesdays, etc. but I find this difficult to stick with. Each season brings a different load of loads. (Sorry, but we are organizing laundry here). More darks in winter, towels in summer...

Okay, put a load into wash. When this first load is in the dryer, start the next load. I know this sounds ridiculous, but the next point is important!

Never start the next load before the one prior to it is in the dryer. Why? Because you get behind and this causes the Laundry Blues!

First load ready to fold/hang? At this point there is a load in the washer, the dryer and in the basket that you are folding from. The "assembly line" technique in action!

Efficient and Organized!


Matching Socks

There are numerous ways to take control of socks. The main thing is to not let them accumulate clean but unmatched!

You can have family members match socks before putting in the hamper by using plastic sock rings or pins. However, this seldom works out well because the rings or pins get lost or it's too much trouble.

Another approach is to sort all socks by light and dark and wash them with a load of just towels. Then when they are dry, they are easy to find among the towels, and you can match them right away.

Or if you prefer, wash socks with their color appropriate load but MAKE SURE YOU MATCH THEM AS SOON AS THEY COME OUT OF THE DRYER.

As soon as you start a "clean sock basket", forget it. At some point you will have to take the time to match 50 pair of socks and there goes all that time you saved.


Putting Laundry Away

You can assign each family member a specific color basket and place clothes into the right basket while folding. You don't really have to use colors because everyone will be able to tell which is theirs, but it is helpful for children.

I find it easier to fold and place right into the correct basket first and then when a basket is full, I pull out all the clothes and further sort into shirts, pants, shorts, etc. Then I put all back. When a basket is ready, each person can put away their own clothes unless they are too young or you prefer to do it.

A few minutes spent teaching young children how to organize laundry by sorting and putting away their own clean clothes will save you lots of time over the years. It is worth it!

Although it is okay if you want to put away a clean and folded load as soon as it is complete, it is more efficient to put away several loads all at one time.

The same is true for hung clothes. Sort them in groups by person and put away several clean/hung loads at one time.


Time To Recap

  • Laundry Room/Area layed out with efficiency in mind?
  • Shelves, baskets, folding area, hanging rod installed?

Great!

  • Put hampers in easy to find location.
  • Collect on same day every week, and inform family members which day.
  • Sort into whites, lights, darks, towels, bedding, delicates.
  • Wash then dry, while starting next load in washer. Hang or fold, pre-sort into (color-coded) baskets, sort again and put away several loads at one time.
  • Match those socks right away!


Organize Laundry...And Make More Time For What You Enjoy!


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