Let's say you have been primarily responsible for doing the laundry in your home and you haven't been doing it in an organized manner, wash, dry, fold, put-away. So while there may be a clean pile somewhere (probably on the couch or in a big chair) and perhaps a load that's been washed but is still in the washer and needs to be dried, you can count on inevitable chaos at dressing time for you and members of your family.
It's far more important to get laundry organized than it is to make your bed or dust. So maybe it's time to nail this once and for all.
Since dressing time is usually in the morning, backed up laundry is a perfect way for everyone to start his/her day scrambling to find something suitable to wear. The only way that won't happen is if the laundry is done daily including all four steps: wash, dry, fold, put-away or you could all become nudists (probably one of the reasons those colonies exist). Laundry is one of the important features of an organized home and if you have a washer and a dryer you are part of the elite group of 28.4% of the people in the world who don't wash their clothes by hand. That's right, 71.6% of the world population washes clothes by hand!
For the most part laundry needs to be a priority every day. It's one of the "daily" chores especially when you have a big family. Because I was extremely disorganized with three children ages 4, 9 and 12 and married to a highly volatile husband, laundry was a great source of friction for all of us, especially me. If you are a disorganized person by nature, it's only natural that you'll be disorganized with the laundry because it's easy to put it off for the moment. If our washers and dryers could talk or yell, it'd be a different story. You might hear your washer yell out the way a toddler will yell from the bathroom, "Come and wipe me." Manufacturers do put alarms on to tell you when a load is finished, which just tells you it has been a need to know for people like us.
So, let's say your husband screams, "Kristi, do I have any clean underwear?" First you know that the probability that he does is zero right along with the chance that he'll go commando to work and be in peace, so you kick into CM (Creative Mode). CM usually requires quick thinking and a stretch of the truth. For example you might peel a clean pair of his briefs off the side of the washing machine tub and say, "Here, Honey, these aren't quite dry. I think there's something wrong with our dryer. I'll call a repair man today." Of course that excuse can only be used once, so to continue this behavior you're going to have to keep coming up with new excuses or something's gotta change, because clean laundry is one of the important features of your life.
The best solution is to make a rule that each member of the family is to be responsible for his or her laundry, but that's going to include you too. This video of Kaytee, our granddaughter (age nine), demonstrating how to do laundry could actually be shown to your family when you open the door to the new rule.
What if you decided right now that your new goal is to get control of your laundry? In all my years coaching SHEs (Sidetracked Home Executives) I've found that there are always three parts to really being able to change something. DECISION ~ COMMITMENT ~ PLAN.
First, make the decision and put it in writing for all to see. Second, commiting to a decision is the most important step. The only way you'll stay committed is if you have the right reason to do it in the first place. So decide for the right reason. It might a lofty reason like, "I'm organizing laundry to decrease tension in the home," or it might be, "I'm organizing laundry so my family can always be free to go anywhere, anytime and look great." You have to come up with the reason.
And last, you need a plan. Get the family together to discuss the problem (as I wrote earlier, show the video) and together come up with a plan of action. If it's hard for for you to give up control (even when you've not done that great a job yourself) just weigh the consequences of how it is now to how it could be!
Having an organized laundry room=organized laundry, but don't forget the last step in the four-part process: Put-Away. The Put-Away part involves having a place to put things. That means organized closets, cupboards and drawers.
I was recently in the home of a BO (Born Organized) and seeing her walk-in closet was a real jaw-dropping experience! It was like walking into a mini-Nordstrom. (I'll be doing some live Face Book videos soon and we'll go to her house so I can show you! She's very proud of it as well she should be!
I'd love to hear from you! If you have any questions post them here. I read every comment and I"m happy to help in any way I can.
PS There has never been a better time to get on the 3x5 get organized card file system my sister and I developed. You can either download it and print out your own cards or you can get the CD and print them from that. Just click on the cover of the package to order.