When the 6:00 pm news anchor talks about a “pile-up” it’s typically not a good situation. What piles up in your life? Paper? Mail? Bills? Projects? How about laundry? If you’re not careful, repetitive “life maintenance” tasks can pile up quick! Keep your home (or office!) organized by thinking through a simple process to stay on top of your piles.
Let’s talk laundry piles, for example. Many people struggle stay caught up on their laundry. It piles up so high they NEVER want to do it, and really, can you blame them? I wouldn't want to either. Mount Laundry can feel like Mount Everest at times. At our house, we have a simple system that works for us. My husband and I do separate laundry! He has his hamper, I have mine, and never the twain shall meet. We like it that way because we have different laundry philosophies.
I believe smaller is better. He doesn’t. (He is a man, after all. Ha!)
I pre-sort my clothing into two bins (one for whites and one for colors) as it comes off my body. I also prefer to do my laundry in small frequent loads, rather than wait until I have a ton of it. He, on the other hand, throws all his dirty clothing into one bin and waits until he has a ton of it before doing laundry. Whatever your preference, here are nine tips to help you stay on top of Mount Laundry and keep your family in clean clothes every day.
1. Pre-sorting. Sort your clothing as you remove it from your body,
rather than putting it all into one hamper. This means you never have to sort a
big pile of clothes before washing. Provide each family member with two small
laundry hampers to sort into lights and darks. Pre-sorting saves a ton of time
on laundry day.
2. Keep a stash of hangers near the dryer so you can pull wrinkle-prone items
out when they’re still damp and hang them immediately. This will save you time
because they won't need ironing later. If you don't have anywhere to install a
closet rod in the laundry area, just mount a few sturdy hooks on the wall or a valet rod on the back of a door for
3. Don't run out of supplies. Always be sure to have a back-up of laundry
detergent and any other supplies you regularly use. Getting into the habit of
replenishing supplies early will ensure your laundry stays on schedule.
4. Teach young children laundry basics. You can enlist the help of
kids as young as four years old, and approach laundry as a teaching
opportunity. You can explain the difference between whites, colors and darks,
let kids help put the clothing into the washer, show them how to measure
detergent and also how to fold different pieces of clothing.
5. Designate days. If you have several kids, you may need to give the older ones their own
day each week to use the washer and dryer. Putting them in charge of doing
their own laundry gives them a sense of responsibility and also means you'll
never be blamed for ruining their favorite sweater or turning their underwear
6. Keep a stain stick or spray near the hamper. Pre-treat stains before
clothing hits the hamper, so the product has days to work instead of just a few
seconds before it hits the water.
7. Keep socks together by washing them in a mesh lingerie bag. They're ridiculously
inexpensive. Give your kids and spouse each their own mesh bag and have them
load their socks into it before they go into the wash. The bag keeps socks
together in the washer and if the bag isn't too full, you can even dry them in the
8. Fold as you pull. I find myself highly unmotivated by a big basket full of laundry to fold, so I just stand in front of the dryer with the door open and pull one piece at a time and fold it as I go. In a matter of just a few minutes, I'm done and the clothing never sits for hours in a laundry basket getting wrinkled.
9. Put clothing away quickly. It's easier to stay organized when your clean clothing makes it back into your drawers and closets. But it's tough to put it all away if your dressers and closets are packed with stuff you never wear. Make it easy to put clothing away by culling your wardrobe frequently and donating anything you rarely wear.
What are your favorite tried and true tips for staying on top of your laundry?