7 Tips for organizing your laundry routine

No matter how beautiful and organized your laundry area looks, if you don’t have a routine for getting laundry to the washer, into the dry and back to bedrooms you will still have a problem.  These tips will help you establish a routine that will work in your household.

Collect the laundry

1. Keep a central collection area for your laundry close to where people change.  The main bathroom, near the bedrooms, is often a good choice. Keep three hampers – one each for light, medium and dark-coloured clothing. Make sure everyone knows to empty pockets, because no one else is going to check. You may prefer to have each person have their own bin in their room.

Have everyone in the family sort their laundry and put it in the hamper.

2. Keep a stain remover nearby so that everyone can treat the stains on their own clothing.  Children may need help with the most difficult, like blood.  Use shampoo without conditioner on grease stains. Once stains are treated, fold the clothing to prevent stain remover from touching the hamper. Remember to place clothing in the correct laundry hamper.

Schedule time

3. Establish a day when the laundry will be washed.  Clothing will need to be in the hamper and someone will bring it to the laundry room. You may need to establish a day or time for each member  to do their own laundry.

Set timers

4.  As you’re placing clothing into the washer or dryer set a time on your phone, stove, clock so you remember to switch the clothing to the dryer or take it out of the dryer.  It is easy to forget that the washer or dryer has completed the cycle if it isn’t near where you are working.  Then time passes and you didn’t get much laundry done that day, the clothing in the dryer is very wrinkled  or the damp clothing has an unpleasant oder.Setting up routines makes it easier to accomplish tasks taking less energy and time to complete them Share on X

Organize an area 

5.   Have a table or space available so you can fold and pile items as they are removed from the dryer. Making piles of clothing allows people to come and pick up their clothes and put them away.  If you have small children in the home place their piles of clothing on their bed, pants, tops, underware, socks etc and help them to learn to put it away in the correct spot.  It is a skill that will last them a life time.

6. Have a place to hang up clothes – a line, door hooks or a free-standing wire rack.  Don’t spend your time folding clothes that get unfolded once they reach the bedroom.  Hang them up straight out of the dryer.

7. Establish a laundry supply shelf or cupboard.  Be sure to have a variety of supplies available so you can easily handle any stain – detergent, bleach, shampoo, stain remover, a bar of laundry soap – and quick hand-washing items.  Include a basin so you can conveniently soak or hand wash items.

For tips and articles to help you organize your mind and space  join Julie’s Facebook group Organizing Mind and Space 

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 enjoys working with her clients to provide customized organizing solutions to suit their individual needs and situation. She reduces clutter, streamlines processes and manages time to help her clients be more effective in reaching their goals. Julie can coach you to break-free of the physical or emotional clutter constraining you from living life on your terms. 

Contact her at julie@mindoverclutter.ca

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  1. Seana Turner on March 23, 2020 at 9:38 am

    I have that same laundry sorter:) Another trick for me is to drape anything requiring “special treatment” over the end of the sorter, such as “shouldn’t go in the dryer” or “has a stain that needs extra attention.” By hanging it out separately, I remember to address that garment individually. We’ve all got a lot of laundry right now, right?

    • Julie Stobbe on March 23, 2020 at 1:04 pm

      That is a great trick. I sometimes lose track of the items to keep out of the dryer.

  2. Linda Samuels on March 23, 2020 at 10:43 am

    Laundry can be one of the biggest challenges that families face. There are so many steps and ways the process can breakdown. One of the most useful ideas is considering the laundry process very much like the actual wash cycle…just that. There are phases that the wash goes through and until it goes through all them, it’s not done. That’s true for the laundry process too. It’s not just about collecting the dirty laundry in an area, but the process isn’t completed until the clean laundry is folded and put away. Full circle thinking. I like how you clearly broke down the process into to smaller, doable parts.

    • Julie Stobbe on March 23, 2020 at 1:03 pm

      Thanks for adding the analogy of a wash cycle. That picture will help people visualize setting up a routine.

  3. Stacey Agin Murray on March 23, 2020 at 11:15 am

    A lack of laundry systems can wreck havoc on a family! My kids each have their own hamper and I have found that works for us. No mingling of socks or other items that may accidentally find their way into their sibling’s drawer.

    Your advice to ‘set a timer’ is a great time management tip. It reminds me that I don’t always do that and really must try not to forget! There have been times I don’t remember that the wash hasn’t made it to the dryer and it’s 10:00 at night!

    I didn’t know you could use shampoo on grease stains! I’m going to have to try that next time we order in a pizza…

    • Julie Stobbe on March 23, 2020 at 1:00 pm

      Shampoo works well on gravy and salad dressing stains too! Keeping family members’ clothing separate does make the sorting phase easier. Thanks for the comment

  4. Sabrina Quairoli on March 23, 2020 at 1:13 pm

    My kids have been doing their laundry since they have been in college. Each of them told me they set a timer to know when to go back to do the next load. But when they came home, they didn’t do that. The laundry just stayed in the washer and they forgot about it. I brought it to their attention and now they set the timer when they are home as well. Thank goodness.

    • Julie Stobbe on March 24, 2020 at 8:18 pm

      When children go to college it is very important to set guidelines about who does the laundry when they come home. Many of my friends would spend the entire weekend doing their children’s laundry so it was ready to go back with them. The children took advantage of the parent’s kindness and would bring home a month of dirty clothing. Some people love doing laundry others don’t. Make an agreement with your children and avoid misunderstandings. You can probably guess, my children were welcome to bring it home but they were responsible for doing it.

  5. Janet Barclay on March 24, 2020 at 11:55 am

    I didn’t know that about shampoo either! You are such a domestic diva. 🙂

    • Julie Stobbe on March 24, 2020 at 8:12 pm

      Not many people would agree with that title for me. Thank you for the encouragement

  6. Janet Schiesl on March 24, 2020 at 5:15 pm

    I hang a spot spray from the side of my laundry basket. Right where I need to use it. My laundry schedule has changed over time.
    When my kids were young I had a laundry day, when we stayed home so I could get all the laundry done. When my kids were older, we each had a laundry day.

    • Julie Stobbe on March 24, 2020 at 8:11 pm

      I really dislike doing laundry so I do it all in one day. I agree laundry schedules need to evolve and change as the family changes, responsibilities change and as schedules change. When my children went to university I made it very clear that they can bring laundry home with them to wash but they would be responsible for doing it.

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