If you’re anything like me-laundry is a battle-I can never quite seem to keep up with the ever-growing mound of dirty clothes and towels. I know, I know, a lot of you are probably shaking your head right now thinking “but she’s just one person, and has been living alone, what kind of laundry situation does she have?” Well, to be quite honest, one of my own making. It’s one I’ve pushed aside, and not paid a lot of attention to as it’s tucked away in another room I avoid, but due to the recent horrified looks from the new boyfriend-it’s one I need to get under control and quick.
You see, when I lived in my apartment we had to pay to use a single washer and dryer that were down in the gross basement. I say gross because there literally were cockroaches down there so I did my best to not have to make that trip. I’d take a few loads to a friend’s house instead when I could, and thus aquired quite the collection of dirty laundry that just happened to move with me into the new house. Once in the new house, I bought myself a washer and dryer, but I’m having some electrical problems and my dryer takes about four hours to run a single load through it, so all that backlog still hasn’t gotten taken care of. It’s time.
In an effort to set out a plan for myself, I’ve done some research and would like to share my ideas for tackling that monster of backed up laundry, and also tips and tricks on how to make laundry easier for yourselves going forward. I 100% plan to implement these practices in my life in order to get a handle on things. It has to happen.
How to Handle Backed Up Laundry
So it’s time to handle that big pile of backed up laundry you have waiting for you… Maybe it’s been sitting for a week, or maybe it’s been months (ugh, I can’t judge), either way the real truth is that it needs to get handled. Here are a few important things to start with tackling that pile of despair we’re calling dirty laundry.
To Start, Don’t Get Discouraged
The first thing you’re going to have to do when dealing with a massive pile of waiting laundry is to not get discouraged. If you’re anything like me, you look at it and instantly are so overwhelmed you just walk away from it. It’s a character flaw of mine (largely thanks to the anxiety) that I procrastinate or down-right abandon a project that stresses me out too much even though it has to get done.
Sort Into Appropriate Piles
If your laundry is just sitting in a one big pile, heap, or bin-the first thing you’ll want to do is sort it out. You’ll need to at least make piles according to what can be washed together, but you may also need to make piles based on how it needs to be washed. For example, these are the piles I make:
- Darks: Black clothing, jeans, dark colors, etc.
- Cool Colors: Lighter cool tones such as blues, greens, violets, etc.
- Warm Colors: Lighter warm tones like Reds, pinks, oranges, etc.
- Delicates: Things that need to be run on the delicate cycle-for example, I run all underthings through as Delicates.
- Hand Wash: Anthing that says “Hand Wash Only” on the tag or that I’m afraid to run through the machine.
- Dry-Clean: Anthing that reads “Dry Clean Only” on the tag or that I otherwise know I need to dry-clean.
Not sure what should be dry-cleaned or what you can wash yourself? Check out this post.
DeJunk-Donate or Dump
Pay attention to what you’re sorting out, do you even like that anymore? Why are you washing or storing clothing that you probably wont wear even after it’s washed? I have TONS of clothes in my dirty laundry that just never get washed because I skip over them to wash the things I do wear often. So why on earth am I still hanging on to these? It’s dumb. Ditch it, and you don’t even have to wash it. Decide if the item you are getting rid of is worth donating or if you just want to trash it. If the trash is it’s fate, just throw it in there, if you want to donate the item you can wash it if it’s really dirty, but otherwise they typically wash them anyway at the donation facility. In either case, you can skip the washing and save yourself a lot of time.
Where to Donate Your Old Clothing
I’m kind of picky on where I donate money and resources, because I want to make sure the organizations go along with my beliefs and help people without discrimination. You’d be surprised how many “charity” organizations actually don’t do what they say, or discriminate when it comes to passing on your donations.
- Local Homeless Shelters
- Big Brothers Big Sisters (my city even has donation bins that are easy to find)
You can also keep an eye out for local charity drives around you. A lot of the time your local LGBT center will have a collection bin for the homeless lgbt youth, and a lot of the time you’ll find bins set up all over the place. You can also check out this list from Huff Post. While I can’t honestly recommend everyone in their list, there are a lot of good ones, and also ones thatare looking for specifics (like glasses, shoes, prom dresses, business attire, etc.) that you may have hanging around.
Take it to a Laundromat
Yes, this sounds downright awful, but if you have a ton to do you can haul it over to a laundromat and run it in multiple washers at once just to get it done and out of the way. Otherwise, you can always hire a laundry service too (many laundromats have these available at them) and have someone else do it for you.
Get Started and Follow Through
However you decide to tackle all that backlog, the only real way to get it done is to get started and keep up with your follow through. Set a timer on your phone or make sure you can hear the buzzer, and whatever you’re doing-drop it for a moment and go switch the laundry. The more you procrastinate changing it, the worse the issue becomes and the longer it takes.
Fold it and Put it Away Immediately
When the loads come out of the dryer, immediately fold and put it away. If you don’t, it’ll build up and you’ll get it all mixed up with your dirty laundry again and you’ll end up washing things you wouldn’t have had to. It’s work, but it’s a bigger pain to let it spiral out of control again.
Stick with it, because once you get it out of the way you’ll be sooooo much happier.
Do you love or hate laundry?
Free Dry Cleaning in SLC, UT This Weekend
To celebrate the grand opening of their new store in South Jordan Utah, Tide Dry Cleaners of Salt Lake City is having a celebration this Saturday, April 16th! They’ll have a live radio show and other fun stuff happening, but the real news is that they’re offering anyone who comes out to celebrate free dry cleaning on two items. That’s quite the deal. Make sure you swing by Saturday for free dry cleaning!
Enter to Win Free Dry Cleaning for a Month
You know how else you can tackle that pile of dirty clothes? Free. Dry. Cleaning. For. A. Month. That’s right, Tide Dry Cleaners have offered one lucky local reader of My So-Called Chaos a free month of dry cleaning at either of their Salt Lake locations. Giveaway ends at 12AM MST on 4/25/16 and is open to residents in Utah or with access to either Utah dry-cleaning location. Entering below agrees to all terms and conditions within the Raffelcopter Widget.