How We Stay On Top Of Laundry
One of the most important household chores is doing laundry. It is also one that can quickly get overwhelming and chaotic if there is no system in place. Although every routine will look different, it’s important to have one in place.
Here are some tips from the Basic Organization team:
Janet likes to make doing wash a family affair. She puts hampers in each bedroom and makes it each person’s responsibility to put dirty clothes in their hamper. Even toddlers can drop clothes in a bin. Then she does the wash by room. That way there is less sorting when everything is complete. A great system that keeps everyone involved!
Sue has two baskets in the laundry room which her family adds clothes to daily. One is for dark clothes and the other for light clothes. Her laundry room is small, so she does her folding on the kitchen table. When her children were home, she had a pile for each child. She was responsible for getting the dirty clothes in the washer and folding them, then the rest of the family was responsible for taking the finished laundry to their rooms and putting it away. Where do you like to do your folding?
Patti likes to be environmentally conscious with her laundry process. She washes all her clothing together in one batch once a week on cold. She tries to wait for a full load and only washes when items need it. Many items are ok with a few wears. She uses an earth-friendly laundry detergent like Seventh Generation.
Candy doesn’t allow anyone in her laundry space. She enjoys doing laundry! She brings the clothes to the laundry room, then washes, folds, and organizes them. Everyone comes to pick up their basket and put away their things.
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Denene has a set day every week to wash bedding, sheets, throw rugs, and other large items. Everyone in the house knows that on Monday the laundry room is reserved for the big items. A regular schedule can help keep this process going throughout the week!
Lori has three tall bins that she sorts her laundry in…whites, colors, and darks/jeans. She also has a cart between her washer and dryer with
detergent and all that she needs. Lori likes to add scented beads to her wash. She layers two different color beads in a decorative glass container. It is pretty to look at and she can put the beads in the washer with each load. How creative!
Sandy is lucky to have a husband that does her laundry! However, she prefers to fold her own clothes. She is very precise with her folding and likes things done a certain way.
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Michelle likes to fold clothes right out of the dryer, that way she doesn’t have to worry about that heaping pile of clothes to fold later on. Better yet, partially dry shirts and pants in the dryer, then hang them up to air dry, and put them back in the closet — no folding necessary!
Rouba spends a lot of time in the laundry room and prefers to hang most of her laundry to dry. She recently got an upgrade with new
paint, wallpaper, and décor. This made her space enjoyable to be in and that is a great motivator for getting things done!
Jennifer keeps her supplies minimal in order to simplify the laundry process. There are only 4 items in her laundry room: detergent, a versatile stain remover, wool dryer balls, and baskets to carry folded laundry. Having fewer items help keep things organized and easier for young children to learn the laundry process and complete it on their own.
Stephanie is obsessive about doing laundry once her hamper gets full. However, one thing she and her partner do before any trip is that they give themselves the luxury of using a wash and fold service and do ALL their laundry – towels, bedsheets, clothes, everything so that when they come back from a trip, everything is all clean and wonderful. We all need help from time to time in order to stay on top of things!
These are the ways we organize and maintain organization by doing wash in our homes.
I loved reading about everyone’s laundry preferences! This reminds me of one of my clients, now deceased, who LOVED doing laundry. Maybe it was genetic because, as it turned out, her granddaughter who I also worked with, loved doing laundry too.
For me, the laundry process is calming and satisfying. It’s an opportunity to practice mindfulness and focus on exactly what I’m doing. I do laundry once a week and appreciate each stage, from washing to drying to folding and putting away. We have a single bin to collect the dirty laundry. We “deposit” our clothes there daily. After everything is done and put away, I feel like I’m in “fresh start” territory. Completing the cycle feels affirming and hopeful.
Maybe it is generational! I agree that laundry can be a time of reflection and focusing on the present task. I love your outlook on the fresh cycle and feeling hopeful at its completion.
How fun to get tips from your team!
I actually find laundry to be a decently positive process. However, I mostly started liking it when we renovated our home and the laundry room was moved out of the basement and into an upstairs room. What a huge difference this made to me! Turns out it was the hauling of clothing down to flights into a dingy space that I disliked, not the actually doing of laundry.
Now my space is bright, with a few pieces of cheap but positive art. I also set up a wrapping station in this space because I have a large/clear surface. I wish I could give everyone a space like this. It’s worthy investing what you can to make the space happy I think.
Wonderful to hear that reworking your space was able to make laundry less of a chore. It’s incredible to realize how much our environment impacts how we interact with our surroundings.
We have always had a laundry basket for each family member. Over the years, my husband and I have done the laundry together because our offices are near the laundry room, making it easy o get it done. We only do laundry during the week, on Fridays, so we are free of the laundry chores on the weekend.
Love the baskets for each family member. And how great to go into the weekend with no chores!
I like doing laundry. I always did the laundry when my boys lived at home mostly because (as I said) I like doing it. I find it very satisfying to complete the entire process – even putting it away.
It’s a great task that can be accomplished from beginning to end which can be very satisfying.
I love seeing everyone’s different style. I never did laundry until I went to college, and I despised it until I was in my mid-thirties and finally had a washer-dryer in my own home. Before that, having to schlep laundry, wait for the wash cycle to finish to transfer it to the dryer (and guard the machines), and having to always have enough quarters — it all made the process miserable. Now, I can wash a full load or one thing, I can fold anywhere in my nice clean home (though usually on the bed or table), and not have to deal with other people hogging the laundry machines or creeping around. Now, laundry is lovely, but I can see why people develop a hatred for doing laundry that carries over into the experience when it IS actually easier.
I never start the laundry unless I have time to do one full load, and I do it late at night, usually after midnight, when I’m writing so that I can enjoy the swishswish noises as white noise. Doing laundry at night, after most people are asleep, is also better for the electricity grid, rather than using power when it’s at high demand. I usually do a small or medium load or two, maybe twice a week, and always finish the load, fold, and put things away as part of the process. (And folding warm towels on a cold night is the best!)
I bought my first house with my boyfriend at the time. Most people would probably want to start, furnishings-wise, with a bed, but we’d already been doing the laundromat thing and I was like, nope — washer and dryer first!
It’s so true that changing the process can really change our outlook towards a task. I’m happy that yours has gone from dreadful to lovely!
Well, that was fun! Kind of like a mini blog carnival!
Yes, it did turn out like that, didn’t it!