Over the past few weeks, I’ve had a few revelations regarding the way I do laundry. I realize everyone’s laundry room layout and family size varies greatly, as does their routine. Here are a few tips of mine to add to your organizing tool belt!
1.) Return empty hangers from your closet to the laundry room, so they are ready for hanging clean clothes.
Note: This tip only makes sense if you have a hanging rod in your laundry room.
I used to fold every single item right out of the dryer. One pile for me, one pile for David. Not too complicated. I would take the folded stacks and lay them on our bed to be sorted and either put away in drawers or hung in the closet. Now, I save one step by immediately hanging the clothes as soon as I pull them out of the dryer. Why fold a shirt that will be hung in the closet anyway? Bam! Two steps turned into one. It’s certainly not rocket science, just an idea for those of you looking to streamline your laundry routine.
2.) Recycle used dryer sheets as “dusters” for your washing machine and dryer.
For a room that functions as a place to get things clean, it’s amazing how dirty and dusty it becomes!
3.) Simplify to just 1 laundry basket.
I read an article several weeks ago and the gist of the message was: finish one task before you start another. It’s a pretty simple idea but once I started to think on it, I realized how many tasks around the house I perform only halfway. Sometimes I fool myself into thinking that I’m “doing more” by having a bunch of tasks or projects going at once…except these tasks are never quite finished. One area I manage well is my laundry routine, and I believe the reason for my ongoing success is limiting myself to just one laundry basket. Try limiting yourself to one basket and see if it helps nudge you into the routine of finishing one load before you start three more.
4. Be consistent with WHEN you do laundry.
Traveling, house guests, and special events aside, I have a pretty consistent schedule for my laundry routine. Every night, as a part of my “house reset” routine (more on that later), I put a load of dirty laundry in the washing machine. (I’ve read a few articles like this one that say you can save money on your utility bill by running your appliances at night.) The next morning, I transfer the laundry to the dryer. I fold and put away the laundry as soon as I can, but truth be told, sometimes the clothes end up sitting in the dryer for a bit. I know this might drive some people crazy. They might exclaim, “BUT WHAT ABOUT WRINKLES?!” Meh. Wrinkles don’t bother me that much. Bottom line is, find a routine that works for you!
5. Fold your laundry in the laundry room on top of the dryer.
I find that keeping laundry in the laundry room, until I’m ready to hang it up or put it in drawers, helps me stay on track. Sometimes I daydream about having a ginormous laundry room, with a long hanging rod, lots of cabinets and hooks, and a big island for folding clothes. But I also wonder if having all that space would bring with it the temptation to fill it up, resulting in laundry clutter. I’ve organized houses with super fancy laundry rooms, and I’ve noticed that more space does not always equal less clutter.
6. Once you’re ready to put your clothes away, look here to see how to store them the “KonMari way!
7. Equip yourself with the right tools.
Please, everyone, go buy a laundry hamper to collect your dirty clothes. (This is similar to the one we use in our master bathroom- great for sorting!) Dirty clothes don’t belong on the floor. They don’t belong on your bed or under your bed. They belong in a laundry hamper. And yet I see SO many households that fail to have this one simple tool in place. Keep the hamper in your bathroom or closet, wherever you like to disrobe. Buy one for your children as well, teaching them the same habit. I keep an additional “multi-purpose” hamper in our laundry room that catches kitchen towels, rags, and miscellaneous linens from around the house.
Another one of my favorite laundry tools is this pop-open sweater dryer. I LOVE it. I bought three 🙂
What are some of your favorite laundry hacks?