Carina has been typing on the internets before there was a www in front of everything. This is why she’s cranky and wants to know when you’ll get off her lawn. She resides in a hopelessly outdated home in the Mountain West with a mathematician and three children hell-bent on destruction. Her laundry is not done, but her Twitter is totally up to date. Carina does not have a Tumblr, because get serious.

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Laundry Tips and Organization

Yesterday I came out of the laundry closet and exposed my private shame: an out of control laundry situation that ranges from piles of dirty, to piles of clean clothes. But I am determined to do something about it. You shared your best laundry tips and ideas that have helped you cope with the task that never ends.

Your Best Laundry Tips:

  1. Do a load every day
  2. Stay on top of it
  3. Small loads are better than waiting until your situation is out of control
  4. Fold your clothes as you take them out of the dryer
  5. Dedicated baskets for each family member
  6. Fold and start a load when your baby is down for a nap
  7. A stain basket – one basket for clothes that will need to be treated prior to washing
  8. Pre-Sort: teach kids that dirty clothes go immediately into sorted hampers (darks/lights/colors)
  9. Wash just shirts, or just pants, and then remaining items for easy folding
  10. Keep a “Worn Clothes” drawer – Kids can stash items they’ve worn once but aren’t dirty enough to launder
  11. Don’t bother sorting colors for baby clothes
  12. Change your laundry room into the dressing room! If you have the space that Sarah does, turn your laundry into the closet and dressing room for your kids. All the clothes stay in one place, reducing the time to sort and containing the mess.
  13. Pay an older child to do it all (love this one)
  14. Have fewer clothes! 

I went on the hunt for new laundry baskets: one for each person plus an extra for household linens. I’m convinced that purchasing new, matching baskets will be the start of an incredibly effective system (because I am an American.) After trolling many a store and finding their selection of laundry baskets boring, expensive, or not enough for a matched set, my friend Courtney recommended Big Lots. To my surprise, I found the perfect baskets and at totally reasonable prices.

I blogged about this laundry basket organizer a few weeks ago, and I think it’s a great idea that I can modify for my space.

OK! I’m off on this journey to transform our laundry!

Any last minute encouragement?


Other Posts You Might Enjoy:

Best Ways to Get Organized

Can Getting Organized Be Easy?

Spring Cleaning Tough Love

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Comments (10)

  1. Rachael Herrscher 01/26/2012 at 4:03 pm

    Here’s my laundry room board on Pinterest for a little inspiration!

  2. Flo 01/26/2012 at 12:45 pm

    We keep two baskets in a nook outside the bathroom, one for lights and one for darks. The stain remover sits on the shelf right above the baskets. If anyone has a stain they treat it before putting clothes in the basket–their stain, their problem. (Back when we had littles, it was my stain, my problem. 😉
    The towels are gathered from the bathroom once a week and washed with a dab of bleach; I handled the bleach (toxic) until someone was tall enough and responsible enough to do it.
    The kids learned to do the laundry while in elementary school–wash everything on cold/cold and put anything you don’t want shrunk on the basement clothesline to air dry. (There are hangers on the line, too.) I still don’t buy clothes that required special treatment or are prone to bleed color. (Jeans are washed alone before wearing.)
    We also had a family rule that any money $5 or under belonged to the laundry-doer that found it! I would occasionally ‘seed’ the laundry with quarters or a dollar bill or so to encourage participation. It also helped them learn to check pockets! Everyone did their own laundry by the time they were in junior high. (I wonder if the fact that once in a while I would shrink T shirts had an effect on that?)
    I make our own laundry soap now and use white vinegar for softener, as I have begun to reduce our exposure to pthalates (artificial fragrances) and other unnecessary chemicals. No dryer sheets; they goo up the dryer and the lungs!
    Note: as a firefighter, I strongly encourage people to clean the lint out of their dryer at LEAST once a year and always clean the lint filter after drying a load. Do not run the dryer with no one home to watch it. Do not overload your equipment; you burn out the motor (and sometimes more than the motor) and still don’t get the clothes clean/dry.

  3. Tara 01/25/2012 at 6:55 pm

    I do 1-3 loads of laundry every day. I must have stopped for a while (without really realizing it) because I am suddenly overrun with dirty clothes. They’re everywhere, even backing up the laundry chute and into the bathroom.

    My best laundry tip is to fold it during tv time. I let my kids watch a little tv in the morning, and I usually sit with them and fold laundry during that half hour. It keeps the monster at bay.

  4. Zina 01/24/2012 at 9:16 pm

    I would definitely do the laundry-room-as-dressing-room thing if I had the space–I’ve always loved that idea. It makes so much sense.

    I like your new baskets. Mine are the same white ones as in the lower photo; they were what I settled on after looking for prettier ones for ages. But after all that, I like my white ones just fine.

    Good luck!

  5. Erin 01/24/2012 at 7:12 pm

    I too struggle with the laundry monster and got cer tired of feeling like my weekends were dedicated to laundry. I set up a schedule that has worked very well for our family. Mon I wash the master bedroom bedding, Tues the kids bedding, Wed Mom and Dad’s clothes, Thurs the kids clothes and Fri towels. I rarely have to do more than 2 loads per day- kids bedding and clothes seem to have the most. I don’t get stuck doing laundry all weekend, but I have that time to catch up if something comes up during the week.

  6. Jeifner 01/24/2012 at 6:14 pm

    Yay! You can do eeeet! I happen to think folding clothes is totally unnecessary. Clothes are either non-foldables or hang-ables. Non are underwear, exercise clothes, and pj’s. Things like that go in a pile/basket and straight in a drawer. Hanging are shirts, skirts, dresses and sometimes pants. I put them on hangers straight out of the washer or dryer. Then when I take them to my room they just get hung up. Done. Folding… no gracias.

  7. Shannon Nelson 01/24/2012 at 5:57 pm

    I like Erica’s sock idea! We have a little sock basket/box that has a lid. So when I close it, the laundry room has an opportunity to look pretty and organized. Well, it would if it wasn’t for all the other piles of junk around my one box of organization.

  8. dalene 01/24/2012 at 4:01 pm

    I’m generally never victorious when it comes to laundry, but here are two things that save me:

    1. Two words: Fels Naptha

    2. Shower curtain rod running from the wall to the cupboards above my washer and dryer. I hang stuff right as it comes out of the dryer and it keeps me from having to iron (not that I would, anyway).

  9. BreAnne 01/24/2012 at 11:15 am

    Ask Rachael, she’s getting a new laundry room as we speak and I think I see some domestic genius shining through. If that fails, ask her husband Mark he’s already a domestic genius.

  10. Erica Fehrman 01/24/2012 at 8:52 am

    Bravo! I forgot this one: Somewhere, someone suggested pinning a short laundry line to your laundry room wall. Then clothespin single socks to the line so they’re within eyesight when the next load of single socks appears. Ta-da, matching pairs!