As a residential professional organizer, I visit lots of homes. One household system that is quick to fall apart and overwhelm a person is LAUNDRY. I see on a weekly basis how the “putting away” is where the system breaks down.
Most of us are pretty good starting the laundry process.
• There is an obvious and inevitable external motivation to wash clothes when one runs out of clean socks or underwear.
• Many people are also decent at shifting the wet clothes over to the dryer. The widespread access to timers on our phones has made this step particularly easy for even the “follow-through-challenged.
- clean but not yet folded clothes that get mixed with dirty clothes or buried under other stuff
- folded clothes in baskets — if not returned to drawers or closets they clog rooms
— this also holds laundry baskets “hostage” leaving dirty clothes “homeless”
and employ task batching*, the process goes smoother.
Task Batched Laundry steps would look like this:
• SORT laundry into categories: if you mix loads from a whole household, your first SORT job will be by person, then by category of clothing (socks, underwear, shirt that fold, shirts that hang, bottoms, work out clothing, pajamas…etc)
- This example is table linens – out of the dryer and placed directly onto a folding surface.
• DECIDE the categories to be folded
- This load broke down into hand towels, dish towels and cloth napkins.
• FOLD each category separately — preferably on a clean and flat surface
- FOLD each mini pile as its own category which is also sorted by location.
• DO all of your folding at once and PUT IT AWAY — when you sort by category you are essentially also sorting by location so your folded piles are easy to put where they belong.