Organization Hack: Laundry

I want to start by telling you that we are snowed in AGAIN today, and it is still coming down in a steady stream of big white fluffy snow! It sure has been a snowy year for us back up in the northern part of the country.  My husband says that he is over it, but I love it and so do the girls.  I think they love it mostly because they are out of school, but they do love playing in it too.  I love it from afar. I love watching it come down and the beautiful blanket that covers the ground and trees.  

Is there anyone out there that actually loves doing laundry? I know I sure don’t. I have developed a system over the years that makes it easier to manage and get done efficiently. The first step comes with laundry hampers.  Each of my girls has their own hamper (Target and Walmart) in their rooms to collect their dirty clothes. Don’t get me wrong, many of their dirty clothes end up on the floor and not the hamper, but when I call for their dirty clothes, they can easily put them in the hamper and carry it down for me. One great purchase I made years ago was for a sorting hamper (similar-Target) in the master bathroom.  It has 3 separate bags so that my husband and I can sort the clothes as we take them off.  One bag is for towels, one is for whites, and one is for colors.  This is how we sort them, but you can sort them in whatever way makes sense to you. When it is time to do laundry, I have my girls bring their hampers to the laundry room and I roll ours down.  Next, I combine all of the clothes by sorting them into piles on the floor in the laundry room and everything is ready to be washed.

Before I tell you what I do once the clothes have been washed and dried, let me tell you about some of the organization things I have in the actual laundry room.  Now, I do not have the kind of laundry room you see on Pinterst or HGTV! It’s not pretty, but it is functional.  Maybe one day I will have a Pinterest worthy room, but it is just not on the top of the priority list for me. First, I have a small rolling cart that typically fits between the washer and drier. It doesn’t fit in the set up in the rental house so it’s next to the dryer. On this cart is where I store all of the cleaning supplies including the detergent, spot cleaner, gentle cleanser for leotards, washing machine tub cleaner, bleach, etc. It is easy to access and can be rolled out so that I can easily get to all shelves.  I also store my brooms and mops in the laundry room in this house.  Right now they are stuck behind the rolling cart because of the lack of space in the rental.  However, I typically keep these things in the pantry in the kitchen.  I just don’t have the room for that in this house. Next, I have a clothes drying rack that pretty much stays up all the time because of all of my daughter’s leotards and gym shorts and other things that can’t go in the dryer. Then, on top of my washing machine, I have two important things. One is a cute small metal container that collects all of the change and other little trinkets that I find in the bottom of the washing machine, and the other is a plastic storage container (similar-Target) that collects all of the socks that have lost their mate until the mate can be located. Finally, I store several things on the shelf above the washer and dryer. One large plastic tote contains extra paper towels and toilet paper.  A second tote contains our old towels and rags used for cleaning or for the dog.  This is also where I store a bucket containing the bathroom cleaning supplies so that it is easy to grab and carry to each bathroom for cleaning, and I also have a basket of cleaning supplies for the floors.  The last thing I keep on this shelf is a basket that contains all of the dog’s stuff. It has extra treats and all of her bathing supplies since she gets her baths in the deep sink in the laundry room. Keeping things together in totes, bins, or baskets keeps things organized and easy to access. You can certainly get matching or cute wooden baskets to store all of these things in to make it look nicer if you want.

Now, back to laundry. Each one of our family members has their own laundry basket.  A couple of them need to be replaced, as they are old and broken.  I would like to replace them all with 4 of the same size baskets, but I just haven’t gotten around to it. Right now, my husband and I each have a large basket and the girls each have a small basket. This was fine when they were small and their clothes were small, but now everyone really needs a large basket. Each family member has their own color (purple, yellow, blue, white) and everyone knows which basket belongs to them. These are stored typically on top of the dryer. When I am in the middle of doing laundry, they are spread out on the floor and wherever there is room, which is tight in our current laundry room.  As soon as clothes come out of the dryer, they are immediately sorted into the appropriate basket.  Then when I am done washing and drying everything, I fold the clothes one basket at a time. When I am done folding, I place the clothes back into the basket for each person to carry upstairs to put away.  I will be honest in telling you that I am not perfect. There are many times that the clothes don’t get folded the same day that they are washed.  There just aren’t enough hours in the day.  It may be a day or two before it all gets folded and then another day or two before everyone gets their stuff put away. It is what it is!  We do our best, but life is crazy! The good thing about having it all sorted though, is that it is easier to find something that you need if it hasn’t been put away yet. 

As far as my pre-move purge is going, I did do a little purging in the laundry room by getting rid of cleaning supplies that we don’t use, pairing down the number of old towels and rags, and emptying out the sock bucket of socks whose matches have been long gone and there is no hope for a return.  For the most part, the laundry room was already in good shape.  Now, the question becomes what area to hit next.  I am thinking about the playroom area of the basement for next week.  I have to work up a lot of strength to make myself tackle that mess! Until then, let me know what areas you are working on.

Anchored and Organized,

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