6 Organizing tips for laundry and your student- Bring it home or do it at school?

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Success in doing laundry starts with packing the right clothes. When packing for college or university stay away from white clothes, they will turn grey and red clothes that will turn everything pink.  Leave them at home. Pick clothes that can survive a washer and dryer.  There won’t be much hand washing of clothes.Discuss who is responsible for doing laundry before your student leaves for university. Click To Tweet

1. Practice

 If your student has not done laundry at home use the last week or two before they leave to teach them how to use a washer, sort laundry, empty pockets and use a stain remover. If they bring their laundry home from school it is a good time to team them how to do it

2. Money

Find out if the washers and dryers need coins or if money is put on a plastic swipe card.  Put some money on the card or send coins to get them started and into the habit of doing laundry.  It is a good investment for both parents and students.

3. Laundry ” Basket”

Provide a central collection area for their laundry in their room.  It might be on the back of a door or chair, a bin or bag in the closet. It needs to be portable so they can move it easily to the Laundromat which may be on another floor.

Collapsible Laundry Basket

Mesh laundry baskets let damp things dry until they are washed

cloth laundry bag

Put a laundry bag on the back of a door.


Backpack laundry bags make it easy to get everything to the laudromat.

Backpack laundry bags make it easy to get everything to the laundromat.

Plastic ventilated laundry basket.

A basket can be put in any convenient location and is sitting open easily to throw clothes in.

4. Supplies

Buy liquid laundry detergent because it dissolves quickly and comes in small bottles. It is better to have a supply of small bottles than a large one which is heavy and hard to take to the Laundromat.  Buy fabric sheets for the dryer as the student will probably never be there for the rinse cycle.

5. A place to hang damp clothes

Have a place to hang up clothes – a line, door hooks or a free-standing wire rack in their room for things that are damp or that they don’t want to put in the dryer.

wooden folding clothes drying rack

Use a rack to dry clothes and save money

Folding Clothes Drying Rack

Folding wooden or wire racks can be hidden away when they are not in use under the bed or in the closet.

Plastic over the door hooks

Over the door hooks come in many styles to fit the door and space.


over the door hooks are great for hanging up damp clothes

over the door hooks are great for hanging up damp clothes

6. Who does the laundry, parent, student, home or at school?

Decide if you will do their laundry when they come home on weekends. Set the policy early so there are no surprises.

Share your experience about laundry successes and failures.


Julie Stobbe is a Trained Professional Organizer and Lifestyle Organizing Coach who brings happiness to homes and organization to offices, in person and virtually. She has been working with clients since 2006 to provide customized organizing solutions to suit their individual needs and situation. She uses her love of physical activity to reduce clutter, in your home and office. She guides and supports you to manage your time. If you’re in a difficult transition Julie can coach you to break-free of emotional clutter constraining you from living life on your terms. Online courses are available to help instruct, coach and support your organizing projects. Get started by downloading Tips for Reorganizing 9 Rooms.

Contact her at julie@mindoverclutter.ca

Click here to learn more about her online course Create an Organized Home.

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  1. Wow, does this bring back memories! I’ve never minded doing laundry, but there was a guy across the hall from me who was, shall we say, a spoiled rich kid. He had a ton of clothes so he didn’t need to do laundry and he just let it pile up. He ended up paying me something like $5 a load to do it for him – which was a lot of money for a student in the 1970s!

    • I can see how your career has gone from an onsite organizer in the 70’s to now a Virtual Assistant. Although the work can pile up as a Virtual Assistant it probably doesn’t have a distinct odour about it. It is an interesting point you make. If you own a lot of clothes laundry can pile up and become a clutter issue. I do suggest to my clients to cut down on the amount of clothes they own because then you have to keep up with the laundry and you will be spending less money.

  2. Laundry is the bane of everyone, including college students (and their parents)! I like your ideas for keeping it all organized. Young adults need these systems now so they can implement them in their own homes later!

    • Great point. Helping young adults to develop systems is teaching them skills for the future. Systems, habit, routines help to get things done without spending a lot of mental energy thinking about how and when to do every little task that helps to keep life moving smoothly.

  3. Really enjoyed your post! Laundry is not fun to do, I know I hate doing it haha. I have a son in university and he has had to learn how to do laundry himself. Definitely a good skill to learn.

    • Finding a way to overcome hating doing laundry helps to prevent it from building up into a big job. I like to get it done in one day and then not think about it for 6 days. Other people like doing it a little a day so it never takes very long. Other people like to drop it at a wash and fold service. Find what works best for you.

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