7 Ways To Organize Washing Piles
The one thing we shed on a daily basis, as well as skin, is clothing. That means washing, which in turn eventually means piles of washing, wet or dry. The question is, how best to deal with all these emerging piles, especially if you live in a busy household with housemates or family? Here are a few tips to help you strategize and plan ahead.
1. Less is more
One tip is to wash less. Pajamas don’t need to be washed on a weekly basis, towels can go a good few weeks without being washed. As for jeans, they can be washed rarely; some brands even recommend never washing them! If you have children, educate them in this regard, so they are not taking the easy option and tossing clothes in the laundry basket rather than hanging them up.
2. Buy smart
Smart fabrics, that is. If you can prioritize the purchasing of easy-to-wash fabrics, be they kids’ clothes or adult dresses, suits, and casual clothing, you are making life easier for yourself and for your washer and dryers. Even cotton, nowadays, can be purchased in an easy-to-wash format, while fabrics like hemp and rayon do not wrinkle and require very little special laundering treatment. Yes, linen is a lovely fabric but in the hurly-burly of everyday life, do you really want to be fiddling around with it rather than getting on with other things?
3. Sort it
You can educate household or family members to put their clothes into designated slots in a special laundry sorter, or any arrangement of plastic boxes; as long as everyone knows which is for which kind. Designate one for whites, another for lights, another for darks. You can also have a fourth area for frilly or delicate underwear. Each variety will need to be washed at different temperatures, and it makes sorting them that much easier when your washing machine has finished its cycle.
4. Arrange it
Make sure your laundry room or laundry area has a place for everything so that everything can be in its place, once you’ve taken your pre-sorted basket of clothes down for washing. Detergent(s) can be kept in a separate compartment, as well as dryer sheets, anti-stain gels, fabric softener, paper towels, laundry detergent, ironing board, steam iron, all into carefully designated cubby-holes or set areas. It just helps to be as proactive as possible, so that that endless flow of laundry can be passed through your self-created system as smoothly as possible. It’s also good to have a special drying area, such as an airing cupboard or somewhere with slatted shelving, to aid that final part of the process.
5. Remove it
Never leave wet laundry in your washer for a moment longer than you have to. The possibility of odors, mildew, mold, etc. make this a huge no-no. The best policy is to get it on the clothesline or dryer as soon as humanly possible. If you do it soon enough you will minimize the time needed to iron out wrinkles from various items; in some cases, you may not even have to iron certain items at all. Immediately shake all items, checking collars sleeves and seams, allowing gravity and/or sunshine to do the rest.
6. Organize it
So you’ve done the hard part, but the easy part can so often let us down. Keep your closet as organized and systematized as possible. You’ll ideally want to have access to all your clothes, so that nothing is left buried at the bottom of a cavernous drawer, never to see the light of day. Make as much use of hangers as possible, so that t-shirts, trousers, sweaters are hung up, as well as suits and dresses. It will help preserve their shape and avoid back strain as you constantly bend down to try and retrieve things that aren’t at eye level.
7. Tackle it
Certain items such as dresses, coats, and suits must be dry-cleaned, a not inexpensive necessity; however, by purchasing a home dry-cleaning kit you yourself can be proactive in tackling stains as you go along. It’s not a replacement for dry-cleaning per se but can make your visits to the dry-cleaner’s as spaced out as possible. When you think how much dry-cleaning costs, a $20 kit which is used even a dozen times, is worth its weight in gold.
Overall, by careful planning, proactive sorting, hanging, stain removal, and helpful household habits, you can make those washing piles a little more manageable over time. Washing clothes is a part of life but doesn’t have to become the bane of your existence. It’s certainly a whole lot easier than it used to be, in the old days before washing machines were invented, and whole chunks of time would have to be devoted to doing the laundry. By getting more hands on deck, you are also training future families and passing those good habits on to future generations.
- Laundry: Time Management – A Virtuous Woman
- Laundry Room Organization: 9 Tips to Create a Space in Which You Want to Work! – NAPO