How to do laundry and deal with clothes so that it doesn't become an overwhelming task is something I got asked quite a bit lately, so here is my system.
As I write this we are in the middle of a 5-Day Clutter Clearing Challenge in the bedroom in my Facebook Community.
Before I started the challenge I did a quick poll to see what people struggle the most keeping their bedroom clutter free and the majority responded with clothes and laundry.
If you would like to be part of an upcoming FREE 5-Day Clutter Clearing Challenge sign up for my weekly tips here and you will be the first one to be notified.
The first two days of the challenge we focused on visual clutter in the bedroom because that usually makes the biggest impact in the shortest time period. But as of today (Wednesday), we are dealing with clothes and laundry.
I totally get it why a lot of people struggle with laundry, it's definitely not my favorite chore either! But because I don't like doing it, I make sure it never takes over and piles up so much that I have to spend hours on end to catch up.
That's the opposite of what most people do. Most people procrastinate on the things they don't like to do and then have to do it all at once for a long time and often longer than if they would have done something on a consistent basis.
I rather do a little bit at a time, like 5 minutes here and there, than 3 hours on the weekend because (as you might know by now), my motto is:
A few minutes a day keep chaos away 🙂
This is why every morning or evening I do a 5-minute whirl around our bedroom and deal with all the clothes that are laying around --> I put them in the hamper, hang them up for airing out and wearing again and put those away that are aired out or washed.
This is quick and we all can find 5 minutes somewhere in our day.
You could even put on some upbeat music on and have a quick dance party with yourself while you are at it
Of course, the laundry isn't done by doing a 5-minute whirl in the bedroom, this is why I am sharing here with you
My simple laundry system with a twist
My laundry system is part of a bigger system on how I organize all my household chores. I use the concept of an ideal week as learned from Michael Hyatt and have a theme per day - a.k.a. I focus on one room per day. That's the twist! This is how my ideal week of household chores looks:
- Monday: Bedrooms
- Tuesday: Bathroom
- Wednesday: Kitchen
- Thursday: Living Room
- Friday: Hallway, catch-up day
- Saturday: Entrance, stairs to the basement
- Sunday: Laundry room, basement
So while I constantly make sure clutter and dirt don't take over the house (which is sometimes hard living on acreage and having animals) on those theme-days I pay a little more attention to that specific room.
For example, on Mondays I wash the bed sheets, dust in the bedroom and vacuum the floor. On Tuesdays I wash the towels, clean the shower, sink and toilet, and the floor. Wednesday I wash the kitchen towels (if they didn't fit with the towels on Tuesday), I wash the kitchen floor, wash down the cabinet doors and possibly give the sink a good scrub, and so on... you get the idea right?
All in all I probably only spend about 15 minutes on each room and because I do a 5-minute whirl in every room every day it never gets overwhelming.
Ok now more specifically to laundry, I have a few more tips for you:
1) Collecting & Sorting
Don't keep a hamper in your bedroom! This creates bad air and stale energy. That stale energy will affect the quality of your sleep as Karen Kingston explains in this article.
I have also seen people keeping their dirty clothes hamper in their closet. Why would you mix dirty and clean clothes? Not a good idea in my eyes.
I suggest having your hampers (or at least one) in the bathroom. We have no room for a hamper in the bathroom that's why we built a laundry shoot. I love to toss my dirty clothes down the shoot 🙂
If you absolutely need to have the hamper in the bedroom, then please put it as far away from your bed as possible and empty it on a regular basis just as Karen Kingston suggests in her article I mentioned above.
Sort the laundry into at whites & colored from the beginning. To do that the easy way, keep at least two hampers next to each other, one for whites and one for colored clothes. We actually have 4 hampers in the laundry room: whites, colored clothes, barn and work-clothes, and towels.
2) Washing & Drying
As I mentioned above, I have 'theme days' for laundry, almost every day I do a load:
- Monday: bed sheets
- Tuesday: towels
- Wednesday: Kitchen towels (if they had no room on Tuesday)
- Thursdays: regular Clothes
- Friday: put away clothes
- Saturday: barn and work clothes
- Sunday dog beds, horse blankets, and cleaning rags
3) Folding/Ironing & Putting it away
Where do you fold your clothes? We have a small house and my place to fold clothes is in the bedroom on our bed. This is another reason why it's a good idea to have your bed made every day - you can use it to fold your clothes. I don't iron anything, haven't ironed in 25 years
Putting clothes away is so much easier if everything has a home, and if there is enough room in the closet and the drawers to put everything away.
If you don't have enough room, then you either need to create more room or go through your clothes and let go of some of it (I will write another post soon about this process).
I suggest you use drawer dividers and drawer organizers in your dresser, we have some inexpensive ones from Ikea. You can find a variety of dividers and drawer organizers in all price ranges online, in Walmart, or in other department stores. If you don't want to spend money you can even use small cardboard boxes.
I also suggest you use for all your clothes the same style hangers. Trust me, it makes a big difference. I love these kinds of slim hangers best (I bought mine in Winners) and the advantage is, your closet looks nicer, these hangers are better for your clothes than the wire hangers, and slim hangers use less room than wooden ones.
Now, lets shift from doing laundry to how full your closet and your dressers are. Did you know that...
Most people only wear 20% of their wardrobe?
Since that is the case, all you would have to do is figure out your 80% that’s just taking up space in your closet and dresser and let some of it go, and you’ll have plenty of room for the rest 🙂
If it were that easy right?
Clothing is a huge source of clutter in a bedroom, and emotional attachments to certain pieces can derail and hinder the most devoted 'declutterer'.
That's why I have put together 5 questions to ask yourself when you are deciding what to keep and what to let go.
You can get those questions with some extra tips here, just put in your name and email and I'll send them to you.
Ok now the bonus tip!
This is the best part! No matter if you iron and fold or just fold and put away, this is one of the times where multi-tasking really works.
Listen to an interesting podcast or an inspiring audiobook. Trust me, all of a sudden you love to iron and/or fold clothes, because it's almost like a little vacation.
There you have it. Please let me know if those tips were helpful to you by leaving a comment below.