There were several steps mentioned as to where considering where to place laundry baskets; and then sorting and putting the clothes back where they belong.
Each bedroom has a laundry basket here, and each family member is responsible for putting items that need washing into their respective baskets.
When the baskets are full, it's time for laundry. Everyone brings their baskets to the kitchen (where the stacked washer and dryer are located); and I sort it into whites, mediums, and darks. Sometimes, if there is a large enough load of one color that could dye other clothes (e.g., red, pink), I'll do an entire load of that particular color.
Once the laundry is washed, I sort it in my bedroom and divide it by room: master bedroom; girls' room; and downstairs where there's laundry (e.g., kitchen, living room). Everyone is responsible for putting away their laundry; and I also put away the general household's laundry (e.g., towels, blankets).
The system works well for us, so there was no need to change it.
What did need addressing was the tiny area around the washer and dryer; and the one drawer where laundry supplies are kept. The 52 Weeks to an Organized Home suggested these decluttering missions and tasks for laundry supplies and duties (as they relate to our home and set-up):
- Around washer/dryer
- Old or unused laundry supplies
- Ironing supplies (including ironing board)
- Create laundry schedule for your family
- Create mending area for clothing plus small sewing kit
- Create space to collect unmated socks
The washer and dryer has boxes of cereal on it since our cupboard space is limited. Normally this works well. However, every once in a while a box of cereal will fall off if the washer or dryer moves a lot because of heavy loads.
Washer and dryer with cereal boxes on top.
Also found a burr-covered horse fly mask that I tossed and lots of dust piles that were near the back. Got rid of those too.
Washer and dryer with stacked cereal boxes on top; and
clean sides and floors between the machines and wall.
There's a drawer that I keep some laundry supplies (e.g., softener sheets, stain remover) which was crowded with other items.
Disorganized laundry supply drawer.
Put the items elsewhere so only the laundry supplies and small brooms are in the drawer. The laundry soap is next to the drawer since it doesn't fit in it.
Laundry drawer with only the items needed it in for laundry...
plus the three brooms.
Additional Areas for Laundry
The 52 Weeks to an Organized Home mentions five additional areas related to laundry:
- Area for pretreating and soaking items, and for stain removal: I rarely do this. However, the washer and dryer are in the kitchen, so I would use the kitchen sink to do this step, if needed.
- Drying area (for those clothes or other items that don't go in the dryer): Some clothes are hung over the shower rod in the bathroom and others (if they aren't soaking wet), Olivia will hang up in her closets or Sophia will put over the side of her iron bedframe. During the warmer months, I hang up clothes on the fence line. Would prefer a clothesline, though. Maybe it will be in 2017.
- Ironing: The ironing supplies were in two different closets. Now they are in one so everything is together.
- Mending: In terms of a mending area, there are some items that need to be mended. I put these in a section in my closet so when I have some extra time I can repair the clothing. My sewing supplies are in my home office.
- Unmatched Socks: For unmatched socks, I have another space in my closet where I keep the socks. During the upcoming month, we will thoroughly go through our rooms and wash all laundry that we find. Whatever doesn't have a match after we do all the laundry will be tossed in an effort to create some more space.