Goals for getting organized in August – Laundry
Laundry… we all have it, we all need to do it. Or have someone do it for us! This is for those of us who do the laundry for ourselves and our family.
Purge the excess clothing
If you have piles of laundry to do, or that has been done waiting to be folded and put away, and yet you still have clean clothes to wear every day, you probably have too many clothes in the first place!
What better way to par down your laundry duties than by getting rid of some of your clothes! Start with just getting rid of items that you no longer wear, that don’t fit properly, don’t flatter you, etc. You will clear up some space (maybe a lot) and you’ll be left with what makes you feel good when you wear it.
My kids hardly wear all the clothes they own, and they each have their clothes in two to three drawers of a dresser. That’s it. They have their favorites, as do I, and we all seem to wear our favorites if they’re clean. And since laundry is done most everyday, clothes don’t stay dirty for more than a couple days or so at most.
They say we wear 20% of our clothes 80% of the time.
Start a laundry routine
You need to give laundry a general routine, whether it be the once a week or the once a day plan. If you have a routine, you know when it’s going to get done, and how it’s going to fit into your day.
For my laundry routine, I typically check the hampers in the morning while I’m making my bed and see what needs to be done. I load up a basket and get it started in the morning right after breakfast. I can have it dried and folded before lunch if I want to, but no later than the afternoon. I fold it with the kids, and they help put it away and it’s done. If you work full-time, you can gather your laundry in the morning and have it ready to pop into the washer when you get home from work.
Use a timer
If you can’t hear you washing machine or dryer when it’s done, then set a timer in the house where you CAN hear it. That way you’ll know for sure when it’s time to switch over the laundry or take it out to fold it. It’s easy to forget about it if you get busy doing other things and you don’t hear that little reminder to finish your laundry.
One load a day
I am a true believer in the load a day routine. I’d rather spend about 20 minutes a day spread out throughout the day than to be stuck at home doing seven (or more) loads of laundry on a single day. I also don’t like looking at overflowing hampers! If you dread putting away your laundry, even one basket, then avoiding it until it’s a HUGE pile of laundry to be done in a single day isn’t going to make it any easier.
Who wants to spend hours folding and putting things away. Not me! Putting things off only makes them worse. The piles just keep growing, you can’t find what you want to wear because it’s dirty, you feel bad about that pile sitting there. And then when you finally get to tackling that huge pile of laundry on a single day, most of it might not even get folded or put away because you get tired or bored before you fully complete the task and quit, leaving piles of clean clothes in a basket or in a pile on the floor getting wrinkled. And then you either need to iron (not!) or wash them again. More work for yourself. A relatively simple chore has grown into a magnanimous one. It’s no wonder some people hate doing laundry!
Don’t let it happen. Get that routine going and give the load a day method a good fair try.
Gathering the laundry (which should already be sorted) and putting it into the washer and then into the dryer should only take a few short minutes. The longest part, the folding and putting away really doesn’t take more than about 15-20 minutes, depending on what you’re folding. Time yourself, you’ll see. I bet you can squeeze that amount of time in per day to help keep on top of your laundry. And be sure to get help from the family!
Getting caught up with the current pile
Getting caught up depends on how much laundry your family generates and how eager you are to get caught up and started on an easier routine.
If you currently have piles of laundry to whittle down, you might need to do two or three loads a day until you get caught up. And then once you get things under control, you can continue the load a day routine.
If you have piles of clean clothes, you can fold and/or purge the clothing and do it in 15 minute sessions until you get it all done.
You can schedule an entire day to do all that laundry and get caught up. But you MUST be able to guarantee that you’ll get it all put away, or you’ll end up right back where you were.
Try to make it fun and get the family to help. Put on some fun music and have a little laundry party.
Don’t forget to purge what you don’t need anymore to help reduce that laundry pile.
Even if your family is a two loads a day family, and you keep up with it, sometimes you look and see that there is not enough laundry to do and you get a bonus day off. Woohoo!
Or, sometimes if I’m in the mood, I’ll do two loads just so that I won’t have any to do the next day. When you’re caught up, you have that flexibility, instead of the mounds of laundry making you feel guilty every time you pass by them.
I already mentioned this… if you have a family, get help from them. Have everyone, including children, put their dirty clothes into a hamper in a designated area. Have them help fold if they’re big enough. (When my son was 5 yo. I found out he could fold shirts, shorts, and small towels, and I didn’t even teach him. Who knew!) Kids learn from observing. My kids also fight over who gets to fold Daddy’s shirts on the flip-n-fold. Simple piece of plastic, but works great! Then get help putting the laundry away. The clothes and linens should have designated places to be put away. Children can put their clothes away into their drawers, and so can older kids and grown ups! If everyone pitches in just a little, laundry gets done fast, and easy.
Give your new routine a good fair chance to settle in. You can’t try it for one day and decide that it doesn’t work. And you can’t say something doesn’t work if you don’t try it. So try it and be fair.
People don’t like change, even positive change. But in time, you’ll be glad you made this change. Cut yourself some slack while changing your laundry routine for a better one.
Put your things away!
How important this truly is when it comes to laundry. You can wash and dry and even fold, but if you don’t put it away, it’s not truly DONE! Put your clean laundry away. And continue trying to make a habit of putting all your belongings away when you’re done with them, in their designated home.
For additional tips on making enough room in your closets and drawers for your clothes,
August’s summary for getting organized
So let’s review… for August, we’ll