Lots of clothing (copy)

Stop sorting and make life simpler.

Yes, you read that correctly — today I am going to share with you my no sorting laundry routine.

Over the years as a professional organizer, I have met many clients whose worse disorganization is caused by laundry. Missing socks, piles to fold, leaving laundry in the dryer — it does not have to be so stressful.

Twenty-nine years ago, I was expecting my first child and as many of you mother’s recall, there was a wonderful book that outlined what to expect when you were expecting. I read it thoroughly and some parts multiple times.

One thing that was pretty mandatory was to make sure we washed our new babies’ clothes, back then in Dreft, a detergent that would not bother our baby’s sensitive skin. So, because I intended to be the perfect mother, I indeed stocked up on Dreft and washed my babies clothing separately and in Dreft.

My husband and I would wash our laundry and then the new baby’s laundry separately. As baby number two and then number three came along we continued to wash baby one’s laundry separately, and then baby two and baby three.

We never combined anyone’s laundry. Each child had their own laundry basket and we would wash one laundry basket at a time. We never sorted or separated any clothing. Everything was washed together or if it was a super full basket we would make it into two loads, but never combine laundry among people.

Now those of you who are gasping at the thought of not sorting laundry can settle down. Even though our mothers insisted that whites had to be washed with whites, that was no longer the case. The reds that used to run aren’t running anymore, and if they did, you could always rewash with a color catcher.

I had the routine to always do the laundry one day a week and never use the washer any other day. I would start early and end by 10 p.m., in between getting kids off to school and possibly working with a client, preparing and serving supper, helping with homework and getting kids to practice or games, I would still manage to finish the laundry chore.

I will give credit to my wonderful husband who, after working a long day, would step in and pick up wherever I left off with the laundry chore — to this day he says folding all that little tiny laundry was so much easier!

One laundry basket at a time I would haul to the washer and dryer in the basement. I would wash, dry, fold and return it to the room of the person who owned that clothing, times five for each person in the family. Yes, I would have one load in the washer while the previous load was drying. At the end of wash day, everything but the clothes on their backs was clean and, in their drawers — what a wonderful feeling that was.

We never lost a sock. OK, maybe once in a while but that was only because the kids were a bad shot at the laundry basket and some socks might have ended up on a shelf in the closet or under a bed. But we were always able to find any missing socks pretty easily.

I know it is not possible for everyone to be able to dedicate one day to doing all the laundry for the entire household. I would suggest then that you have a designated day to do each person’s laundry.

Twenty-nine years later and we are still doing laundry one person at a time, but now the kids that are at home do their own laundry – another wonderful feeling.

Give my no sorting laundry a try — you might like it!

Beth Randall, of Illinois, is a professional speaker and professional organizer. She can be reached through the Daily Journal at editors@daily-journal.com.