Laundry

Aaahhh, the laundry, do you love it, hate it or is it simply a chore for you? The fact that you are reading this page, probably indicates that your sentiment falls in the later two categories. And this is understandable as for most of us, the washing never stops. 

If you have kids the job is even harder as the amount of washing more than multiplies, seeing these beautiful little people have a happy knack of dirtying clothes at an incredible pace.

As an organizer, it is not uncommon to find people absolutely overwhelmed by the laundry and all it entails. Therefor let’s have a look at several issues and solutions, which might help in you conquering your pile of washing.

Wardrobe

If your clothes are scattered throughout the house and they are clean but not put away, the problem might be your wardrobe (rather than the washing). If your wardrobe is too full or not organized it means that clothes cannot be put away and that clothes are there for “homeless”. Each piece of clothing needs a “home” aka a place to live and this space is normally created in a wardrobe or some other shelving in your bedroom.

The magic circle of laundry

Our clothes go through a circle; clothes are worn, get dirty, are put in the washing basket, are washed, dried, folded (ironed) and put away. In the visual below you see this displayed in a mind map. 

Clothes are:

If some of these steps are not done, there is a break in the cycle and things bottle neck, all the while more dirty clothes are added because we keep on wearing clothes and need them to be washed. If you have a lot of clothes this bottle neck can become very large.

The magic circle when taking short cuts:

If you take the shortcut from dried to wearing your clothes again, your wardrobe is essentially the basket or pile were your clean clothes are placed last.

Using good tools

Are you using good sturdy laundry baskets? Are they in good condition? I sometimes find old, dirty and broken baskets in a variety of shapes and sizes and would advise against this. Instead only use similar baskets, one type for dirty clothes and one type for clean clothes? In my mind, it shows a level of respect to your clothes if you use clean, easily stack-able and workable baskets for your clothes during the different stages of the laundry process. 

Are you making it too hard on yourself?

Some clothes need special care when washing, this is a given. I would however be mindful not to create too many rules around laundry (and not to buy too many clothes with special care requirements). All I do is separate the lights, darks and cleaning clothes for different washes. Delicate items go in a specific washing bag, a higher level of complexity for my washing is not required. 

Keep the chore simple and just get it done.

Location and size

The locations and size of your laundry does have a large impact on how easy it is to either throw a quick load of washing on or how tempting it is to procrastinate on even starting. If your washing machine is placed outside of your house, it is going to be even trickier to get yourself to do a load of washing (especially in winter). Just being aware of this might help. 

The size of the actual room also has an impact on whether you can dry things there or if there is no space to dry anything inside the house. Nowadays there are some great storage solutions for the washing machine, but this sometimes means you miss out on a dryer or that you don’t have any space for an indoor drying rack. 

Creating a routine

Setting up a laundry routine is highly recommended. A routine will help you with making clothes flow through the cleaning process back into your wardrobe again, it will make it feel more effortlessly and can prevent procrastination from setting in.

Think a bit different

  • If you are the only one in your household doing the washing – start a discussion on equity with your partner and your kids. Maybe the different stages of the laundry can be broken up in a job for each family member. 

  • Maybe kids need to start learning how to put clothes away, how to fold or even iron things. One of the traps of parenthood is that we keep on doing things for them whilst they have well and truly outgrown the baby phase. I would argue that although challenging initially, even primary aged children can and should contribute to this chore. They are a big part of creating the dirty clothes and should therefore be an active part in the steps that follow.

  • As mentioned on some other pages, you can link the washing and cleaning with exercise. You could for example run through the house putting things back. Do squads, plies and other stretches while folding your clothes, you might look like a goose but this could be some of the very few instances were multitasking is desirable. 

  • Another thing you can do is link it to an established routine you already have and

see how your living place transforms once you in charge of your clothes again.

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