By Diane Albright CPO, Organizing and Productivity Expert
October 7th, 2015
Does laundry seem like a never-ending chore? Wish it was done and off your checklist? There is a simple way to quickly and efficiently get laundry done.
If you follow the system below, it will work! The first week or two will be the most difficult as you will be catching up on laundry from ages past. Don’t dismiss using the system until you have used it fully for 3 weeks – it will take that long until you see how wonderfully it works.
You’ll be following a very easy system of doing all your laundry on the same day each week or as close to one day as possible. Yes, it can be done! Once you start doing all your laundry on the same day you’ll be amazed at the amount it decreases. This happens because you’re getting it all done at once and it is then off your checklist!
Begin the process by removing laundry hampers from the different areas of your home, such as bedrooms, bathrooms, etc. Then designate three laundry baskets, hampers or laundry bags – one each for whites, lights, and darks. Next, place these baskets or bags in a common area to the bedrooms of your home such as a linen closet or if you have to, in the hallway to get the process started. You can decide later on a permanent location. For towels, consider placing a hamper in the bathroom or nearby.
Announce to your family the new laundry system which will require each family member to place their soiled clothing in the appropriate basket according to color. It must be done daily, and should be done as soon as the clothing is taking off the body.
There are no exceptions to who does or doesn’t follow the system unless 3 years of age or under. If you have little ones (or big ones) that struggle with differentiating between what is white, light, or dark, consider placing solid colored stickers or ribbons to designate which colors go in each basket or hamper.
Next, determine a designated day that you will do laundry. Yes, just one day, not days! Monday is ideal and it cannot be stressed enough that Monday is the perfect day, whether your work or not. This way all the clothing is clean for the week.
Guess who else did all their laundry on Mondays? The pilgrims did! By completing all your laundry on Monday it will be done and off your checklist for an entire week, no more thinking about it all week long.
Skeptical on how you are going to do all your laundry in one day? Keep in mind that your laundry will already be sorted allowing you to “grab n’ go” with it. As soon as you rise on Monday, grab the basket or bag, put a load in the washer before you take a shower. Once out of the shower, put a load in the dryer and a new load in the washer. Working all day Monday? No problem! Put a load in the washer before work and then a load in the dryer as soon as you come home. Continue until done. To help with dinner, make a large enough meal on Sunday so there are leftovers for Monday!
If you have a frontloading or non-agitating washer you’ll find you can complete your laundry quicker. Clothing will come out of the washer with less moisture if washed in a non-agitating washer. Therefore it significantly reduces the drying time, in most case to 30 minutes.
You’ll find that you’ll have twice as many dark items in the winter and twice as many light items in the summer.
Your child plays a sport that requires a uniform.
Wondering what to do when your child is playing a sport with one uniform and two games a week? Do laundry as usual on Monday, but in the middle of the week do one load (of the color needed) to launder the soiled uniform.
Not sure your family will comply?
It is up to you to enforce it. A simple way to enforce it – if the clothing isn’t in the sorting hampers or baskets, it doesn’t get washed.
Nowhere to put 3 baskets or hampers for sorting?
Be creative. You can use 3 shelves in your linen closet or, if floor space is limited in your house, buy tall kitchen plastic garbage cans to use as hampers – tall ones take up less floor space. Don’t let finding space be an excuse to avoid getting started. Just put 3 hampers or baskets in the hallway or your room to get the system started.
Nowhere to put clean laundry?
It is not uncommon for laundry not to get put away because there is no available space in drawers or in the closet. Don’t let this stop you from doing your laundry all on one day. With managing your time better from completing all your laundry in one day, you’ll have time to purge your dresser drawers and closet of unused items to provide the room to fit the clothing you actually wear.
Now sit back, relax, and enjoy doing laundry just one day per week!
Happy laundering! View TV Segment: How to Simplify Laundry