05 January 2012

Set up a Laundry Centre

Caring for clothes and linens is the second biggest chore in a household (meal prep and clean-up is the first).  It is also the second biggest chore to get out of hand easily and quickly without a routine. 

Make your laundry room and the actual chore as pleasant, easy and routine as possible. Start with cleaning and tidying the laundry. My laundry isn't even a room - it's a tub and washing machine at the end of a corridor - but it's clean and tidy.

Have at least one basket or bag for dirty laundry. If you have the space having one for whites, one for darks and one for coloureds makes sorting easier. The containers don't have to cost anything, they can be recycled boxes if you don't have anything else. Next you need a shelf or basket or cupboard to hold laundry supplies. 

I have a $2 shower caddy on the wall above the sink to hold the plug, stain removing soap, a couple of scrubbing brushes, the soaker and a bottle of Miracle Spray. These are the things I use just about everyday so keeping them handy saves time and the caddy keeps them tidy.  The washing powder box fits neatly on the windowsill, right next to the washing machine.

Next to the washing powder is a little dish. This is where I put the things I find in pockets - pens, screwdrivers, memory sticks, etc.  The rule in our house is any money found in the laundry in Mums and it goes into the money box for saving. Needless to say I don't very often find money in the washing machine or pockets.

There is a rack over the door for hanging things. This is where I hang the drip dry items - straight from the machine onto coathangers and then to the rack.

On the wall above the sink I hang the clotheshorses when they are not in use. They are up out of the way, neat and tidy and still easy to get to when I want them. Next to them is the dryer. It gets used as extra grocery storage and saves a bundle, simply because if I'm tempted to use it I have to empty it first.

If you have the room, a table or bench to fold on makes life easy.  I use the top of the chest freezer, which means the piles need to be put away so I can get into the food, a definite plus for efficiency. 

Once you have your laundry centre set up, keep it looking good and the washing under control by doing a load every day. Just choose the basket with the most in it and wash it.  Doing one load a day takes only a few minutes, about 30 all up by the time you load the machine, hang it out, bring it in and put it away. And it's not all at once, that 30 minutes is broken down into smaller segments, so no "I don't have time" excuses. You can do anything for 10 minutes, even laundry.

Keeping things simple saves you money, time, energy and space.  And it makes doing the laundry a whole lot easier.

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