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Organize + Energize: Simplify Your Laundry Routine

Tuesday, November 22, 2016


Do you constantly struggle with the chore of tackling your laundry? Do you feel like you can never seem to get ahead? Clothes spill onto the floor of the laundry room. Hampers are overflowing, and laundry is taking over your dining room table. Dirty and clean unfolded laundry seems to be taking over your home. I work with many moms who are overwhelmed by laundry.  You can add more overwhelm and stress to this if you are disorganized.

Here are 10 helpful tips to help reduce the overwhelming effect that laundry causes: 

Plan ahead. Take a look at your schedule on a Friday for the following week and see where there are any holes in your schedule that you can dedicate to tackling your laundry. You can also pick one day during the week and choose this as your laundry day.  

Pre-sort. If you get overwhelmed with sorting all of the clothes, keep sectioned laundry baskets in everybody’s rooms. Get everybody on board with the system and follow up with everybody on a regular basis to make sure the system is being followed.

Separate by person. How many mismatched socks do you have? Eliminate the lost sock issue by keeping every family member’s laundry separate.  Have a basket for each family member.  Wash each family member’s clothes separately. You’ll never lose clothes again.  

Complete the task. Wash your laundry, take it out of the dryer and fold it right away. Break down this process. Don’t continue throwing washes in and neglect to fold them. This is how you end up with missing or mismatched socks.  Do a wash, put another wash in and fold the load that just came out of the dryer. If you’re tackling a few loads, you can fold it all at once, but be sure it gets done by the time all of the laundry is done. It won’t take you as long as you think it will. You’ll spend more time stressing about it when you could’ve just tackled it and been done with it. 

Folding station. If you’re washing loads by person, fold in or near the room where everything is stored. If you have a washer/dryer in the basement, don’t bring the clothes up to the dining room or den to fold. Bring the laundry to the room that it belongs in and fold there and save time. 

Delegate. If your kids are old enough, enlist them to do their own laundry. If you don’t trust them with the washing machine; dry their clothes, put them in their designated basket and leave them on their bed for them to fold and put away. They will have to eventually do this at some point in their life. Why not start them early?  It will make it even easier for them to put them away if they have an organized and systemized bedroom.

Is it really dirty? Are the clothes you wore for a few hours really dirty? How many clothes are you washing that are actually clean? Your clothes will last longer if you don’t wash them as much. 

Re-use. How many times do you use the towel you shower with? Can you go a few days or so with that one towel?  You are clean when you get out of the shower; think about getting a few more days out of that towel. 

Organize your laundry room. Nothing is worse than working in an inefficient space. Keep everything you need on hand in this room. Create systems just as you would in any other room in your home. Regardless of how little space you may have, you can create systems and function efficiently in this room. 

Make it easy. Create a simple system that will eliminate stress and overwhelm. Be sure everybody’s rooms are organized. Putting away laundry into an organized space is sometimes half the battle. If closets and drawers are organized, with a little maintenance, items will stay folded and hung nicely.

While you’re getting laundry done, think of other things you can get done at the same time while your loads are in the wash. You could plan and prepare lunches for the week. You could plan outfits for the week or you can get other work done. Think of the buzzer on the dryer as a timer for managing your time and try to get tasks done between loads. Get into a routine with tackling your laundry. Plan ahead. Fold laundry right away. Follow some or all of the tips above and tweak them to work for you. Sit for a minute and map out how you want to function with your laundry routine and put a plan into motion.

Kristin Carcieri-MacRae, is an organizing & efficiency expert and owner of Organizing in RI. Kristin teaches her clients that living an organized lifestyle will save them time and money, decrease their stress levels and help them become more efficient and productive. Her articles have been published in local and national magazines. Kristin's CD, Organizing Basics, is a 1-hour guide for the person who wants to get organized but doesn't know where to begin. She is also available for organizing workshops.


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