Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Guest Post from a Professional Organizer: Conquering the Laundry

Note:  I've had this excellent article from Professional Organizer, Kim Pittman, in my Inbox for several weeks now.  I decided to go ahead and post it today and get everyone thinking about the beloved subject of laundry!  Tomorrow, the All in a Day bloggers will be tackling this monumental topic, so go ahead and start thinking about what helps you scale the laundry mountain, so you'll be ready to link up with us tomorrow! 

As I work with clients I realize what a challenge laundry can be. Many of us have entirely too many clothes and our laundry will always be out of whack until we purge. People often ask how many clothes they should have. Although there is no “law” that says how many clothes are enough, I think it is a given that you only have as many as would fit in your closets and drawers. Most of us do not need more space, just fewer clothes. It’s not uncommon that I see piles of clean laundry on a couch or in a chair waiting to be folded and put away. Many times there is nowhere to put those clothes when they are folded. Remember that clean clothes are clutter just like dirty clothes. Washing them without putting them away does not de-clutter a room.

For others, laundry can be a challenge for other reasons. I have a husband and two sons and it has been challenging to remember whose socks and underwear belong to whom because they are all basically the same style and almost the same size. I learned a long time ago that I had to find a way to better organize my guys. I learned to buy different brands for each one of them. For instance, my husband wears Fruit of the Loom undershirts (Large), my oldest wears Fruit of the Loom (small and medium) and my youngest wears Hanes (small). They all like the black ankle socks. Because my husband and one son picked out the Nike brand I sewed a small white thread on the inside of my son’s socks so I would be able to tell them apart. Thankfully my other son has a different brand of socks. Sorting underwear can be a challenge as well. Once again I have a different brand for each of them so folding and sorting laundry can be done easily and effectively.

Look for opportunities to organize your family members so that doing laundry doesn’t become so frustrating. Remember that more is not better when it comes to clothes. Oftentimes more just means MORE, which translates into CLUTTER! I believe that the reason people have a box of mis-matched socks is because they have entirely too many socks and can’t keep up with them so they purchase more.

What are the challenges you face with laundry? What are some ways you could organize yourself so that doing laundry wasn’t so frustrating?

This article was written by Kim Wadkins Pittman, Professional Organizer and owner of Organize 4U in Albany, Georgia.


Mrs. Stam said...

What a great post! I love doing laundry, it's my favorite chore! But we have limit amount of clothes and limited amount of storing space, so for every new article of clothing that come in, the same amount goes out! that's my rule!

tlmalcolm said...

The worst part of laundry is putting it away!! I just hate that chore and I do need to purge the extra clothing for sure!!

Rebecca's Refining said...

I have done a lot of "purging" this winter! I have been sorting through closets and drawers and getting rid of anything not utilized! (Why keep wasting space for clothing not even worn!) I have been able to donate several bags of clothing thus far, and I will be sorting through more as the seasons change here soon. It is amazing how much we accumulate, whether through purchases, gifts, or "hand me downs"!

Laundry is always a challenge. One area of struggle I have is my family using something once and throwing it down to be washed! I have tried to conquer this area, but have not been too successful yet! However, I have noticed that now that my oldest is in college, she has overcome this tendency! (Maybe I should charge per load of wash??) :)

It is helpful if I keep up with the laundry on a daily basis instead of letting it pile up. Because my children have to wear school uniforms, I am needing to wash a couple loads each day anyway. I have two washers and dryers in my basement, so it doesn't take long to have everything caught up. It is when I ignore the calling that the clutter backs up, and I am racing to get uniforms washed for school, or to find that favorite dress for church!

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