Do overflowing laundry baskets make you want to escape? Well, if you like piña coladas and getting caught in the rain… And if you’re not much into laundry, but are into champagne… Have we got a plan for you! Watch this video for some laundry strategies that will make laundry less stressful and more productive. And you just may find the time for that piña colada, too.
(Click here to watch on YouTube if you can’t see the embedded player. Or watch the video at http://bit.ly/tcdlaundrybliss.)
Hi. I’m Lorie Marrero, creator of the Clutter Diet book and on-line program, and today we’re going to talk about how much I hate laundry. And I know you do too. I don’t know anybody who really loves doing laundry. So we’re going to go through the whole process of getting laundry done in your home and look at where those bottlenecks are occurring and how to fix them. Because staying organized has a lot to do with maintenance, and that means having good systems and routines in your household. So laundry obviously is one of the ,biggest systems that you need to have in place that needs to be attended to almost daily. So we’re going to look at all of those bottlenecks right after I come back, because what I’m looking at here is a basketful of folded clothes. I always dread putting the clothes away when these baskets get full. And I don’t know why, because what I have learned and what I teach people to do is to time themselves doing dreaded tasks, and you really find out that they don’t take as long as you think. You just don’t like doing them. But I always get over my dread by thinking, “Oh, it only takes a few minutes to put these away.” So I’m going to come right back, and I‘m going to tell you exactly how many minutes it took me to put away this entire basketful of folded laundry, and I’ll be right back.
Wow, it only took me one minute and 53 seconds, no kidding, to put every piece of clothing away. That is the beauty of timing yourself when you dread a task. So, next time I stare at this full basket, I’m going to think two minutes, and it’s going to be so much easier for me to get it done. I have to remind myself of this all the time, even though I teach this to people. But do it, time yourself, it really makes a difference.
Let’s go through all the steps of the process of doing laundry and think as I go through these, number one, where are the bottlenecks? Where are the failures in your system where things are, you know, not working and things are not moving to the next step efficiently? And then also, as I go through this, think about the place where that step is occurring in your house and think about whether you do have a designated place and if it’s working for you. So the first step obviously is wearing the clothes. We’re wearing something all the time, we get it dirty, and then we need to put the dirty clothes in a hamper. Is there where your system’s breaking down? Are they not getting in the hamper? Then somebody has to gather up all the dirty clothing from the hampers and then somebody has to sort all that has been gathered into different loads. And then somebody needs to pre-treat the stains, if that’s a step that you like doing. And then someone has to put it in the washer, and wash the clothes. And someone has to dry the clothes, and then…or hang them up to dry. And then you’ve got to fold the clothes and maybe hang up some of the dry clothes on a hanger. And then sometimes, you have ironing, and you may even need to do some repairs, like a button might be missing. Then the step that I just did, putting the clothes away in the rooms. And then, of course, we come full circle to wearing the clothes again, and we start all over.
So as I walked through those, did you think about where things are going wrong for you? Is it about your kids? Is it about your spouse? Is it about you dreading the task, like me? Well, there are three reasons that you’re going to be having a bottleneck or a breakdown in your system. The first reason is ownership. Whose responsibility is it? If nobody owns that particular task, it’s probably not going to get done, at least not efficiently. So make sure somebody has ownership of every single one of those steps of our laundry cycle as you see here.
The second is execution. Somebody may have ownership of that task, but they’re not doing it. Why aren’t they doing it? Is there an issue with their timing? They’ve got more job responsibilities, or maybe they’re a child and they need a lot more reminding? There are a lot of reasons why it might not be getting done for execution, but think about those and solve that problem.
And then the third reason you might have a bottleneck is infrastructure. Meaning that you don’t have a good place, and you don’t have the right equipment set up for you to get this done efficiently. A lot of people fold clothes on their sofa. Is that the best place? I don’t know, maybe it’s not. So think through where it’s going to be, and you may need to do a little bit of revision in your main laundry space.
So I want to show you a really clever solution. This one is from ClosetMaid. It’s using their laminate shelving and cabinetry. You can find this on closetmaid.com. You can go in there with your measurements and figure it out, and this is such an elegant solution. It’s just a stackable washer and dryer in a little nook of a room, put a curtain across the whole thing to close it off when they want to, and they’ve got a whole laundry room where there wasn’t one before. So you can create a system like that really simply. Again, go to closetmaid.com, and you can see how all the different configurations work and they have lots of ideas and examples there for you. But if infrastructure is your issue, that is easy to solve. So figure those things out.
I’d love to hear about your solutions in the comments. And if you want some more information we have a lot of videos for you here at http://www.clutterdiet.tv. We even have organized our videos into playlists for you. So check that out, and we’ll see you next time. May you always be happy and grateful for having more than enough.
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