Having an organized laundry is critical when trying to keep the laundry flowing through, and getting done.
There are 7 steps to doing laundry!! And each step can cause a bottle-neck if you don’t have a space for it, or make the time.
Step 1. Dirty Laundry – you will need a hamper in each room or each bathroom and/or the laundry room.
There are many sizes and shapes.
If you don’t have a lot of floor space, throw everything into one tall thin hamper (like the one seen here) instead of short, wide baskets.
Some people may prefer a divided hamper – or stacking hampers like the Stack’n Sort rom Rubbermaid – to sort colors from whites or wash from dry clean.
Step 2. Sort Dirty Laundry – Keep 3-4 small baskets for separating whites, colors, and delicates.
Seen Here: Flex n Carry
Step 3 – Wash & Dry clothes.
No products needed. But you may want to put a magnetic note pad, post-it pad, or dry erase board on your washer with a list of items that don’t get dried so you can remember to pull them out and air dry them.
Step 4 – Hanging/Folding – If you hang your stuff up while it’s still warm, you can skip most of the next step (ironing). Get good hangers that don’t pull your clothes out of shape and don’t allow clothes to slide off. A favorite of many organizers is the new style of “flocked” hangers. They are thin, have rounded ends and they are fuzzy so clothes stay on.
Step 5 – Ironing. If you need to iron clothes, now’s a good time. Ironing boards can be stored standing up between a washer/dryer and the w
all, or use an ironing board + Iron hanger like this one:
Step 6 – Sort – Sort out the clothes by person as you are emptying the dryer or later as you fold and hang. You can also sort by item so all the shirts are together, all the undies are together, etc.
Step 7 – Put Away – In many homes , this is where things get bottle-necked (but the bottle neck can happen at any stage). Children often don’t like to put their clothes away. If thaqt is the case in your house, create a system of storing clean clothes in the laundry room. Then pick a punishment or reward for emptying their basket quickly. My children don’t go out on weekends until the basket is empty.
In many homes, I design a system where we store the clothes in The Container Store’s elfa system drawers. Each person gets one drawer and the laundry baskets and recycling bin sit on top. The top can also be used for folding in a bigger laundry room. (See photo)
Photo courtesy of The Container Store
Other products we recommend for laundry areas:
A pocket shoe bag on the door to put things in that you find in the laundry like coins, orphaned socks, and other items I don’t want to just throw away. I also keep stain remover, a bleach pen and some utility items in it.
A laundry schedule
Creating a laundry schedule is the best way to arrange it so that you get some days off of laundry. Without it, you could do it every day and it would never be “finished”. Assign a laundry day for each person’s laundry. Begin in the morning and finish by bed time. (Wash in at breakfast; move it to dryer at lunch or after work. Put 2nd load in. After dinner fold 1st load, put 2nd load in dryer. Before bed fold 2nd load.)
Then on the days with no-one assigned, do towels, sheets, and emergency loads.
If you have children learning to do laundry (or a spouse who can use reminders), put up step-by-step instructions so they don’t put in too much detergent for forget dryer sheets.
DO paint your laundry area a fun, bright color so that you don’t dread being there. I have met many many people who hate doing laundry because the room is dark and grim to be in, often in an unfinished basement. DO paint if you can. If you cannot, then hang attractive sheets on the wall to brighten the place up. If they get dusty or dirty, you can just toss them in the next wash!
Do you have a room or area in your home that needs organization help?
No worries – the Rubbermaid Professional Organizer Squad is here with expert advice! This group of professional organizers has seen and tackled it all. Simply enter your question, screen name and email to submit your question to them (any organizing question is welcome, no matter how simple or complicated!). We’ll answer and feature questions the squad can provide the best answers on. Don’t worry – we’ll email you if your question is selected!