Q: Any suggestions for dealing with when the “put it away” part of doing the clothes washing gets too tiring? I struggle with loss of momentum if I take a break, but washing and drying THEN sorting and folding and putting away gets too tiring and it always just ends up piled up in the drawer in a way that’s impossible to find anything. Is there a simpler or more low maintenance way to sort stuff so I can find my clean shirts for once?
A: Well, I’m glad you asked! Over at UfYH, this week’s challenge is to follow through on the elusive third step of laundry and dishes (put it away, goddammit!). This is a really common problem, so let’s take a look at some ways to make putting your laundry away a little easier:
- Wash like items together. If you have a lot of laundry to do, wash it by where it goes once it’s clean: all T-shirts in one load, one load of socks and underwear, one load of hanging stuff, etc. This will cut down on your putting away time, since everything’s going to the same place.
- Bring your empty hangers to the dryer. Hang things up as you take them out. No sense in handling the same piece of clothing a bunch of times. Save yourself a step.
- Don’t “stack” loads. If you have one load in the washer, one in the dryer, and one on deck to wash, the odds of that third (and even second) load getting put away decreases. It may not save time, but doing one load beginning to end before you start the next one helps ensure you have the energy to put it away.
- Fold right at the dryer. As soon as that clean laundry goes into the basket, the likelihood that you’ll fold it and put it away drops. Try folding as soon as you take it out of the dryer. If standing isn’t feasible for you, try setting up a seat at a low table.
- Don’t wait. As soon as the buzzer goes off, get the stuff out of the dryer and get it put away, even if it’s the last thing you feel like doing, because then it’ll be done and it won’t be haunting and taunting you.
So, putting it away. Indisputably the worst step of laundry, but definitely the most critical. Look around at your bedroom mess. How much of it is clothes? How easy is it to avoid that with just a few minutes’ work? This week, challenge yourself to put it away, goddammit.
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