The Laundry Nightmare
The laundry room and the process of “doing the laundry” are recurrent household nightmares among people who feel their homes are messy. It might seem a mistake, but no clothes should be in your laundry room. Keep reading to understand how to make peace with your laundry process.
Laundry never ends, and that room is constantly in chaos. Many homes have this area as the entrance to the house from the garage, and this complicates matters. The space becomes the dumping ground for bags, sports equipment, briefcases, papers, lunch boxes, shoes, shopping bags, and everything else we bring into the house from our day out. When we get home, we are tired, and whatever we dump at this entry point usually stays there indefinitely. But add to the mix of piled-up shoes, coats, clean and dirty clothes from everyone, plus the cat litter box, the dogs’ supplies, and the Costco bulk purchases. Not pretty.
Where The Clothes Are
Things would be more straightforward if we could remove the clothes from the scene. But isn’t the laundry room the place to gather dirty clothes to wash and clean pieces of clothing to hang dry? Not necessarily! Here is why.
Clothes should be:
- on the person wearing them
- in the hamper
- inside the washer or dryer (in the process of washing or drying)
- hung in the closet or folded in the drawer where they belong
There are two exceptions: clothes air-drying and pieces waiting for ironing (only if the ironing happens in the laundry room, which is not typically the case).
In any instance, these clothes should remain in this space only for a short time. We should manage the whole laundry process on the same day, meaning that clothes should end up where they belong by the end of that day.
To Be Clear
There are two concepts that people often confuse: hamper and laundry basket. These are different.
The hamper holds dirty clothes and lives where we change clothes. Laundry baskets transport clean clothes from the laundry room to the clothes’ storage (as in the closet or drawers). It lives (empty) in the laundry room.
Also, know that the washing machine, the dryer, and the laundry basket are NOT approved permanent storage for clothing! (And you know who you are!) It might be the easy way to use them as such, but eventually, this creates the chaos you loathe.
The Process That Helps You
Crush the laundry room mess by assigning each person in the home their hamper. Place this hamper where they change clothes. It also helps to wash each person’s load individually. This eliminates the need to sort the clothes for each household member.
Here is the process you should follow to keep the order in your home.
- Designate a laundry day per household member.
- On laundry day, bring the hamper to the laundry room (this should be only one load).
- Wash that load of clothes. Then dry it. Pay attention to that end-of-cycle chime to avoid wasting time.
- Return the empty hamper to where it belongs (it does not stay in the laundry room)
- Once the load is dry, place it in a laundry basket (empty baskets live in the laundry room)
- Take the basket full of clean clothes to put these clothes away. Do it immediately.
- Return the empty basket to the laundry room (where it lives).
Plan For It To Happen
Try these steps and place the laundry process in the calendar. Leaving the laundry halfway done signifies that it interferes with your schedule. When you include this chore in your calendar, plan for it, and make it part of your household life, it stops intruding upon your time.