If there’s one thing that can fall by the wayside when life gets busy, it’s the state of your laundry. We all have days when we just want to dump our dirty clothes into the hamper and forget about them until laundry day comes around. Of course, we tend to pay the price on the weekend, when we find everything in a disarray and the process of sorting, washing and folding takes way more time than it needs too.
Fortunately, there is a solution to this! If you organise your laundry in a certain way, you can make your workflow ten times more efficient (and get your Saturdays back too). Follow these simple tips and tricks to get your laundry room in order.
Pre-sort your laundry into separate hampers
Separating your clothes into whites, darks, delicates and woollens can be one of the most time-consuming parts of doing laundry. Instead, why not throw your clothes into separately labelled hampers as soon as they get dirty? You can buy dual hampers from places like Bunnings and Kmart, though nice woven baskets will work just as well. Not only do they keep everyone’s laundry organised before laundry day, but they also make the room look stylish.
Order your products by use
There’s nothing worse than starting laundry and then realising you don’t have any stain remover left to get that nasty coffee spill out of your favourite shirt. But if you organise your products in the order that you use them, you’ll immediately notice a gap on the shelf. Arrange them by stain remover, bleach, detergent, wool wash, fabric softener and ironing spray (read our blog on making laundry simple for more detailed product recommendations). If you think you’re still likely to forget come shopping day, hang a dry erase board above your washing machine so that you can make a note whenever you’re low on product.
A small laundry doesn’t have to be a crowded laundry, with a bit of smart manoeuvring. Installing open shelving can provide extra space for your laundry products and cleaning products, while well placed hooks on the back of the door or inside cupboards will allow you to hang up bulky items like your ironing board, collapsible drying racks and mop.
Divide the room into dedicated zones
If you dedicate certain sections of the room to different functions, you’ll work much more efficiently when washing and folding, and you’ll be less likely to leave items where you can’t find them later.
Think of your laundry as four zones: a sorting zone, a washing zone, an ironing zone and a folding zone.
The sorting zone: This is where your dirty clothes hampers sit. You might also like to have a ‘clean me now’ basket for clothes that urgently need to be washed, like a footy guernsey or a work shirt, so that they don’t get mixed in with other items and forgotten about.
The washing zone: The washing zone encompasses the washing machine and sink where you do your hand washing. If you have a small laundry or no outside space, you could install a rail over the sink for drip-drying purposes. It’s also worth remembering that shelving containing any washing or cleaning products should be positioned up high in case you have children in the house.
The ironing zone: Since most of us have small laundries, you might not have the space to tackle the ironing inside your laundry, but there are still things you can do to organise your ironing within that room. For example, you could store baskets labelled with each family members’ name inside your linen cupboard (or hang them along one wall) where people can sort and find their own clean clothes. It’s a nice way to encourage kids to manage ironing and folding.
The folding zone: If you have room for counter space, make this the folding zone, though you might also prefer to do this in another place with a large flat surface, like the kitchen table. Regardless, folding items straight out of the dryer is the fastest way to do it because you won’t end up with a daunting pile later on (and you’ll prevent wrinkles from settling in). If you wear a lot of cotton or linen work shirts, hang them on coat hangers before putting them on the line – this way they’ll retain their shape as they dry and you won’t have to iron or fold them at all.
Choose the best time to do your laundry
Some people will find it more efficient to do a load of laundry every day throughout the week rather than on a single day. If that works for you, keep it up! It can be a good time to wash big items like towels and sheets that don’t need ironing. On the other hand, if you prefer to spend a few hours dedicated to laundry on one set day, there are ways you can make the process feel less like a chore. For example, only let yourself listen to a particular podcast while you’re ironing and folding laundry so that you look forward to it. The routine will go by much faster!