Controlling Laundry Clutter
Nothing can clutter up a home faster than piles of laundry in various stages of the laundry cycle. There are the piles of dirty laundry lurking around laundry baskets and on the floor in and near the laundry room. There are the piles of clean laundry waiting to be folded. And then there is the laundry that has been folded but has not yet found its way to the dressers and closets.
Keeping up with the laundry becomes less of a chore with a well-organized space and a plan for keeping on top of the never-ending cycle of dirty to clean clothes. The idea is to keep the laundry moving.
Only bring to the laundry zone the items you intend to wash right away. Leave everything else in the designated dirty clothes hampers. The purpose of the hamper is to store dirty laundry. If you find piles of dirty clothes accumulating around the hampers instead of in the hampers, look at what type of hamper you have. Is it large enough? Does it have a lid? I have found that almost everyone will toss laundry at the hamper instead of lifting a lid and putting the laundry in the hamper. Ditch the lid.
Bring the dirty items to the laundry room one or two loads at a time. Have a container handy for tossing in items you find in pockets or loose buttons. Put the laundry in to wash and set a timer. Once the load is complete, remove the items and put them in the dryer or on a drying rack.
As soon as the clothes are dry, get them back to their “home”. Having a stack of colored laundry baskets is a handy way to sort clean clothes for each member of the family and for bath/bed linens. A bar or bracket to hang hangers for shirts taken out of the dryer is useful. It does not have to be large but just enough to hold what would come out of one load (because, of course, you are going to immediately put them away). When laundry is taken out of the dryer and folded, immediately put it in the correct basket. Delegate putting items away to the family member who owns the items. Even young children can sort and put clothes away. Bonus points if they get that empty basket back to the laundry zone.
If an item needs repair or ironing, have a designated place to store those items and then schedule a time to do that task. You don’t want your holiday tablecloth in the ironing bin in August.
Whether you do laundry daily or once a week, have a planned time schedule to handle it. That keeps the dirty laundry to clean laundry cycle moving. It also sets expectations for the rest of the household if they know when they are supposed to get their items and put them away.
The visible piles of laundry are a constant reminder that you are not on top of the situation. What a relief it is to walk through your home and not see those piles.
Enjoy your reclaimed space!