One thing that all my clients (and I) have in common, whether they live alone or with a large family, is LAUNDRY. It’s a necessary part of life, but with an organized routine and laundry room, it doesn’t have to be a major undertaking.
Organizing Your Laundry Routine
Some people let their laundry accumulate all week and blitz it all in one day. If that works for you, great! But if you’re finding you can’t get through it all or if you’re tired of giving up a whole day to laundry, there are other approaches that might work better for you. One option is to toss a load in the washer before you head out in the morning, transfer it to the dryer when you get home, and put it away after dinner. This will allow you to stay on top of the laundry without eating into time you’d rather be spending on something else.
Save time sorting by having separate hampers for whites and darks, whether they’re in a central location or you have a set in each bedroom. Even young children can learn to put their dirty clothes in the right hamper. Keep a separate basket for items that need to be hand-washed, and designate a spot to place dry cleaning so it doesn’t get forgotten.
Instead of placing all the clean laundry in one container, keep a set of stackable baskets on hand. Use one for each room and sort the items accordingly. This will save you handling everything more than once.
You can sort, fold, and even iron clean clothes in front of the TV so you don’t feel like you’re giving up your evenings to laundry.
Teaching teenagers to do their own laundry will cut down on your workload and eliminate complaints that their favourite outfit isn’t clean when they want to wear it. At the same time, you’re preparing them for adulthood!
Make it easy for children of all ages to keep their clean clothes off the floor so they don’t end up in the laundry needlessly. Regularly removing clothing they’ve outgrown from closets and dresser drawers will keep those spots from becoming overcrowded and hard to access. You might also consider placing a coat tree in your child’s room or attaching hooks to the wall, making sure they are at an appropriate height.
Even if you have your own laundry equipment, laundromats are a great option for those times when you have an overwhelming amount of washing to do, such as after returning from a family camping trip, so you can do several loads at one time.
If you need to go to a laundromat or the laundry room in your condo or apartment complex, try to go at off-peak hours if your schedule allows it.
Organizing Your Laundry Room
Like any other job, laundry will be much more enjoyable if you have a pleasant environment to do it in.
Natural lighting is ideal, but isn’t always an option. Just make sure that your laundry room is well lit so you can identify and properly treat spots and stains before they go through the wash cycle.
Use your laundry room to store anything related to maintaining your clothing, such as mending supplies and spare hangers.
Housing detergent, fabric softener, spot removers and other products behind closed doors will keep them away from small children, keep your laundry room tidy, and allow you to keep tabs on when you need to buy more.
As shown in the above photo, it’s not necessary to have a large laundry room to be organized, but if you have the space for one, a table or countertop will provide you with a great flat surface for sorting and folding clean laundry.
Create a spot for hanging articles that can’t go in the dryer, whether it’s a rod with hangers, a collapsible rack, or a retractable clothesline.
A foldaway ironing board will also save space and keep your laundry area neat, while making it easily accessible when needed.
Keep a couple of small baskets in the laundry room – one to hold stray socks until their mates reappear (unless you’ve taken my advice about buying all socks the same) and one to hold small objects that you remove from pockets. Of course, you don’t want to leave these things in the baskets indefinitely, but it’s better to give them a temporary home than to let them clutter up your laundry room where they’ll get forgotten. Labelling your baskets will make it even easier for you and other family members to keep track of things.
Assign each family member a specific sock colour. Not only does this speed up the sorting process, but you can usually save money by buying multipacks. When all socks are the same, if one goes missing or gets holes it in, it can still be matched up with others from that pack.
What’s your secret to keeping laundry under control?