Organizing Your Home and Life

The Dreaded Laundry

Posted on: July 30, 2009

Do you hate laundry with a passion?  Do you get overwhelmed by it and feel like it is a never ending chore?  Well, it doesn’t need to be and I will explain how I have created my own system of conquering laundry with very little pain.

I have to preface this post by saying that I work full time and have 4 kids so if your situation is very different than mine you may have to find your own system that works for you.  I also have a laundry room that is able to fit both my washer and dryer with a small wire shelf to hang some clothes.  In between my washer and dryer is a rolling caddy that holds all of the laundry soap and other laundry essentials.  Everything is very handy and within arms reach.  Also, each bedroom in my home has a hamper that each of my kids and myself use.  When it is time to do laundry I collect the laundry baskets fairly easily or more likely I have the kids collect their hampers and bring them to the laundry room.  Additionally my washer and dryer both have alarms that beep when the cycles are finished.  This alerts me that it is time to return back to the laundry room to finish the rest of my steps.

In my mind one of the nice things about laundry is that it is one of those chores that you can multitask while doing.  In other words, you can start the washing machine and then leave to do other things and then can come back to the washing machine at a later time.  

Here are some other tips that I suggest in order to help gain control of the laundry:

1.  First decide how often you are going to do laundry.  In other words, depending on size of your family your number of laundry days will be longer or shorter.   This is just a gauge to keep you on track.  If you truly hate laundry, you should designate certain days as the laundry days.  This will also help to keep you on track with your goals.

2.  If this is your laundry day and you work outside the home, grab the hampers as soon as you get home from work.  If you work inside the house obviously you will start at any time of the day that is convenient for you.

3.  When you collect the hampers, also collect some hangers inside the closets for your hanging clothes when they come out of the dryer.  I hang my hangers on the wire shelf in the laundry room but if you don’t have one you can just put them on top of the dryer.

4.  Separate the clothes accordingly and start your first load.    When the first load is finished, put it in the dryer and then start your second load in the washer.

5.  When your first load is finished drying, you can start folding and putting the clothes away.  This is where my system really kicks into place and enables me to quickly sort, fold, hang and put away.

6.  I sort the clothes into piles on the floor for each person as I take them out of the dryer.  As soon as my dryer is empty after doing this and if the load in the washer is now done I immediately move the washer load into the dryer.  I then move a new load into the washer for washing.

7.  With respect to the piles on the floor, I then take one pile at a time and bring it up to the top of the washer to fold.  Any hanging clothes in this pile gets hung on a hanger and either hung on the shelf or put into the pile.  I continue to do this for each pile until the piles are done.  I then take the piles to each person’s bedroom and it is each person’s responsibility to put their piles of clothes in their closets.

7.  The first load is now done and I can go on to do other tasks while I wait for the next load to finish drying.  Repeat step 6 and 7.

8.  Notice how I don’t put the laundry from the dryer into a laundry basket for sorting.  The first reason is because if I do that I will have a greater chance of putting the sorting and putting away stage off for a later time.  The second reason is because I can eliminate a step by sorting as I am taking the clothes out of the dryer.  The third reason is that I find that clothes get wrinkled when they are sitting in a laundry basket for any given amount of time and even though I like laundry, I really despise ironing and try to avoid it at all costs.

Try changing up the way you approach the laundry and think of how you can eliminate the steps or streamline them to make the process smoother and that may help you to keep on top of this chore so that it is no longer dreaded.

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