Organising the Laundry

I have a very poor laundry system at the moment.  I have a pile of clothes collecting on the floor which has become the “dirty” clothes pile and 3 laundry baskets full of clean clothes, plus a plastic tub and my drawers are about half full.  And, did I mention I don’t have children?  Also, my partner has a very minimalist wardrobe.  I really need to do a bit of a cull in regards to the wardrobe, and since we may be moving in the next few months I can see no better time than now.  Plus I have a storage unit to sort through, so I need to get a start somewhere.

So my new plan is to sort through my clothes and re-home those I don’t use or those I don’t want anymore, since losing weight I have a lot of clothes that don’t really fit my anymore, but I have held onto them for wearing around the house.  For instance, I’m now two sizes smaller but I can get away with singlets and tracksuit pants that are bigger for cozy, rainy days at home.  I don’t know why but I have a system whereby I like to wear socially acceptable clothes out in public and  “comfy” clothes at home, like trackies, tights and singlets or loose fitting shirts.  I think I started this when I was bigger and my clothes were tighter, and I liked coming home and being comfortable.

Culling the Wardrobe Collection:

  • Sort everything into categories (winter and summer, then shirts, pants, shorts, skirts etc)
  • Use a box/basket etc and make a pile of anything that currently doesn’t fit, has holes or that you would surely never wear
  • Make a “hopeful” pile
    • This is a pile of the clothes you hope you will one day fit into
  • Make a “maybe” pile
    • This is a pile of all the items you aren’t sure about, that you have worn but always seem to put aside and use as a last resort
  • Hang all coat hangers back to front and as you use an item turn the coat hanger around so you know this is a keeper, and in 6 months time anything that didn’t get turned should be re-homed

Throw everything you put in the “maybe” pile into the box/basket, and make a reminder on your phone or in your diary to revisit this box in 6 months, anything that hasn’t been taken from that box should be given away.  If you do use something from this box prior to the deadline, return it to the rotation.


Organising a Laundry Routine:

This process will be different for everyone, it should be designed around your individual lifestyle.  For example I have a rotating roster, so my days off are never the same.  I usually work 5 or 6 consecutive days, so that means I need to arrange my washing schedule to accommodate having a clean uniform for that duration.  I can’t tell you what is the best routine for this but what works for me.  Keep in mind I have different shifts also, I work mornings and afternoons.

I don’t like to have a huge pile that the whole task seem too daunting.  I look at it this way, if you wash once a week you need to have enough clothes to cater for 7 days, I can manage but not in the uniform department.

  • Have a “dirty” washing hamper/basket that holds no more than 2 full machine loads – as I don’t like to do anymore than two loads at a time this works well for me
  • If necessary consider having a system for towels separately, maybe a small basket – depends on how often you wash towels, we have a one use system so we wash a lot of towels, probably one load every 2-3 days.
  • If you have a system where you sort colours and whites try having multiple baskets so you minimise the task of sorting when it comes to loading the machine – if everything’s already sorted it will save you a lot of time
  • If you have children try placing a coloured bucket/basket in each of their rooms – it will help deter them from throwing everything on the floor

If you work a lot and don’t want to spend your weekend/days-off doing laundry try getting up a few minutes earlier, put on a load of washing before getting ready for work, then quickly hang them out before leaving and bring them in when you get home.  Or the way I like to do it when I’m time restricted or it’s raining and there’s no hurry, (plus I don’t like getting up too early) put a load on before you go to bed, and hang them when you get up.

TIP: If you’re in a hurry and don’t like to use the dryer because of the cost try putting the dryer on a delay or set an alarm and put it on during off peak times.  And, if you only want to dry a few items quickly throw a dry towel in there, in will absorb the moisture from the wet clothes and help dry them faster.

Personally, when it comes to sorting and folding I prefer to fold as I take them off the line.  If you use lots of baskets take them down with you and sort as you fold, then you just take the allocated basket to the right room and most of the work is done.


About myhousewifelifeblog

I am a nurse by trade, and a traditional "de facto" housewife by nature. Constantly seeking a more organised existence. I like to cook, sew and play my keyboard. I try to keep my house organised but I've not yet mastered this, and I am endeavouring to reach my image of ultimate organisation at home. I'm not sure if it's possible, but I'll give it a go.
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