Updated: Feb 28
Laundry, we all have it, unless you have the luxury of a laundry service, maid or the ability to buy more clothing every time you need it. Wouldn't that be a way to live. But for the rest of us laundry is something that has to be tackled. The good news is it doesn't have to be a major chore! I'm Lindsay a professional organizer and I am here to share my personal laundry system with you, plus a few tips from other organizers I've been inspired by.
Hopefully this will give you the insight you need and inspire you to try out your own laundry system!
Step One - Determine Categories
Wash by colors right? Nope, not in our house anyway,
in our house we sort by category. Socks and Underwear, Delicates, Pants and Heavy, Shirts and Whites. Ok, I know I said no colors.. but we do separate out the whites. Aside from that though we separate the item by how it gets washed.
Step Two - Establish The Space
Where your laundry space will go will determine how many of the categories each get their own basket. Ours is on the floor of a closet in our bedroom and we have space for 3 baskets. The delicates go in there own basket in the back and the socks and underwear go in a smaller basket in the front (we have two dogs that leave lots of fur for our socks to acquire and I prefer it not get too mixed in with everything else) . Next pants and heavy weight clothing goes in a basket and the last is for shirts and whites. You may have space for more or less categories, pick what fits and feels best! Now lay it all out with your baskets and don't forget to label. You may want to skip this step but don't. Labels are the easy way for your brain to remember where you decided to put things. Trust me and do it.
"Having an empty laundry basket is the best 5 seconds of the week."
Step 3-- Know Your Audience
Some folks are naturally sorters and will put their clothes into these bins diligently each night. Some just need a big basket to toss it all into, and some of us need both. I'm in the both category and my husband is in the big basket category. So we also have a regular sized hamper right next to the other baskets. This helps a few ways. One, it catches all of the items my husband doesn't sort. Two, on days when I'm feeling lazy it catches all the items I don't want to sort either. Three, I know it's time to sort when it's getting full. Finding good ways to incorporate both peoples organizing style really helps keep things moving instead trying to make the other person fit yours.
Step 4 - Final Sort
Don't be discouraged if this sounds like a lot of steps, it should go pretty quickly since you have your categories (and your labels). Depending on how many baskets you were able to fit and how many categories you needed you may need to split up your baskets. For example, we wash our colored shirts and our white shirts in two loads even though they are in one basket. Normally I have more close from the big basket to add so I'll just pull out another small basket and sort out the colored and the whites.
Step 5 - Wash
Now that it's all sorted just grab your sorted baskets and take them to the laundry room (unless it's already in there). The great things about this method is that all your items are now together and you can chose the right washer setting just for them. Delicates through the delicates cycle and so on.
Step 6 - Dry, Fold, Hang, Put Away
This is another area the system really shines because putting things away is so much easier! All your socks and underwear are in one place to be paired up and put in a drawer from one load. Shirts can be folded or hung and usually all go to the same spot in each room. You get the idea, no more bouncing from place to place putting away one or 2 items at a time. A tip here for some items is to fold or hang as it comes out of the dryer. This way your items will be less wrinkly and you will have less steps to do later that might keep you from finishing the laundry task and putting them away.
Tweak this system to fit your personal needs and hopefully this will make laundry something you don't dread. If you're still struggling and are in the Orange County area go to TwiceAsNeat.com to schedule your in home organizing session now.
Virtual sessions are also available if it's more convenient or if you live out of range.
Have you ever thought about not folding your laundry? If you don't enjoy it some times there are ways around it. If you can clear some space in your closet from items you don't wear it could give you space to hang things you may have been folding that you do wear.
Have clothes that don't show wrinkles? You can store them in a bin sorted by items, tops bottoms, socks, underwear. No folding necessary. This is especially helpful for kids clothing which can be difficult to fold anyway
When you take your baskets to the laundry room make it a habit of taking a handful of hangers with you to hang up garments as they come out of the dryer