Summer, winter, spring, and fall, we have to deal with laundry. It piles up on chairdrobes and floordrobes and many other convenient flat surfaces. And from my experience, it is not because of laziness or the desire to provoke and annoy other people in the household that laundry ends up in piles around homes. These are roadblocks I see:
- Closets stuffed with non-clothing items: Closet floors and shelves becoming dumping grounds for items that are not clothing because most closets have doors that can shut and contain items. This leaves little closet space for clothes. SOLUTION: Remove and relocate non-clothing items. Make space for clothing.
- Too many clothes for the closet space: If you fill a glass with water, any added water overflows. Closets are no different. You can’t add more clothes to a filled closet and expect the clothes to be absorbed into the system. SOLUTION: Gather all your clothes that have to go into the closet in one space. And no cheating. This is might be your gentle nudge for catching up on your laundry. Now group all your “like” items together. Jeans in one space, T-shirts in another, etc. Take stock… 15 black T-shirts? Now is the time to create a Donate Box.
- Broken drawers/handles: Broken furniture is an obstacle to putting away clothes. Who wants to wrestle with furniture? SOLUTION: Schedule a “fix it” day and fix all broken furniture items or have them fixed by a handy professional.
- Non-specific locations: It is difficult to put things away where they belong if they don’t have a designated space. SOLUTION: Decide where each group of “like” items is going to go and then put them away. (See point 2 above if you have too many clothes.)
- Inconvenient laundry hamper location: Who wants to trek down a hall to put laundry into a hamper. SOLUTION: Keep your laundry hamper as close as possible where you undress. At the very least, your dirty laundry will be contained and kept off the floor until you put it in the washer.
- Half-worn clothes: The pair of jeans you can wear again before it needs to be washed. The sweater you wore for 3 hours, but which you don’t want to put back into your closet with the “clean clean” clothes. SOLUTION: Designate a place for items that you plan to wear again before they need to be washed.
- Idealized perfection: We don’t live on the pages of home decorating magazines. A client was surprised to hear my solution for her socks was to toss them all into a single drawer. In her case, there was no need to be “over organized.” She had obviously been managing to find matching socks when they were on her floor, so keeping them as a collection in a drawer worked for her. The socks were now off her floor, in one place, and she knew where to put clean socks when they came out of the dryer. SOLUTION: Banish thoughts of “If I don’t have a fantastic walk-in closet, why bother?” Make the most of the space you have. Ask a friend whose opinion and organizational skills you trust to help out with the space. If a friend of mine hadn’t suggested I add shelving behind the wing walls in a closet, I would have lost out on three shelves and two drawers!
Overcome your roadblocks by finding solutions to your organizing dilemmas.