Tuesday, June 02, 2009

Laundry Organization

Laundry is one of my least favorite chores. Probably because it is simply never ending. And because it seems to pile up so quickly. And because it's so easy to become distracted and leave piles of clean folded laundry on the couch or bed or wherever. When we moved here I decided that I was going to conquer my laundry system. I started out with this type of laundry sorter. It didn't work for me because it held so much laundry that I would just keep ignoring the chore until the bags were too full to even pull out of the sorter. And then I would be overwhelmed with the 8 million loads of laundry I had to do.
So then I bought two laundry hampers. One for the parents and one for the kids. That worked okay...until towels and washcloths got dirty. Which hamper did they go in? Did it even matter? And most of the time we didn't stick to the parents and kids hampers--everything just got tossed wherever. Suddenly all my time was spent just sorting laundry into piles on the floor. And then kicking them back into one pile when I needed them out of my way. And then re-sorting. What a waste of time!

I realized that if I was going to keep up on laundry I need to simplify. Just one hamper and when it was full I would just have to do laundry, right? Ha. More laundry ended up on the floor than anywhere else. And it was just lather, rinse, repeat of the same scenario I had with two hampers.
So I thought long and hard about they way I do laundry. What my system was. What would keep motivated? What would make it easier and more efficient for me? Instead of trying to change myself to match an organizing system I changed my organizing system to match my laundry style. And this is what I've come up with:

The individual baskets are big enough to hold two loads each, but not so big that I can let laundry go for weeks on end and get overwhelmed. I also like that I can take the baskets from room to room for folding and putting away. And the vertical system means I can fit up to five baskets in that space (one on the very top that I don't have yet), instead of only three hampers.

I decided to sort my clothes based on which room they go in (for the most part). Parents' clothes get washed all together (we don't really own delicate things that must be washed separately. It just all gets washed on cold) and then taken to the parents room to get folded or hung up and put away. Same with kids' clothes. And towels. Whites have their own bin so that I can wash them with hot water and sometimes use a little bleach to keep them bright. This system works for me.

My mom saw the system and liked the concept but decided she would sort her bins by color. Lights, Darks, Reds, etc. Cool. I say, when it comes to organizing for your chores do what makes sense to you.

If you're interested in making something like this for your laundry space I bought the pine shelves at Fred Meyer for $30. The basket labels were made by my friend Kristal at {grateful tulip}. She makes the cutest things and they were only $1.50 each with free shipping.

I'm curious, what works for you on keeping up with laundry? How do you stay organized? Do you wash a load per day? Do you have a specific laundry day or days? Where do you do your folding? Do you iron?


  1. Well, I detest laundry. Before I was a stay at home mom, Brandon always did the laundry. Truth be told, he still does it more often than he should.

    A few months ago, we started doing a laundry day. We wash and dry everything and throw it in a pile on the couch. Once it's all done (usually 4 loads - 2 dark, 1 light, 1 red), I fold it while watching something on tv. And as much as I hate laundry, this is the system that I hate the least. It will be interesting this summer though as we use our laundry line to dry everything and it takes a bit longer.

  2. the thing i love the most about this post is all the steps it took to get to the system that's working for you. i go through the same torment and don't want to try something new because i just invested in the current system....BUT if it's not working it's not worth it! SO glad you got it down to something that works for you. way to be tenacious:)

  3. I did get into the habit of washing/drying everything at once and then separating the clean clothes into each family members basket - I could fold and put away one persons clothes at a time - when I had the time. This worked for awhile but it seemed to get away from me. Recently I've just been trying to wash, dry, fold, put away every one to two days. It's getting more difficult to keep a handle on this method now b/c I'm trying to hang the laundry outside and starting summertime activities. I don't think that I'll ever reach the top of MT. Washmore!


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