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The Floor is Lava: My Favorite Laundry Hacks

When I was a teenager, my floor was where I stored my clean and dirty clothes. I knew which pile was which and my mother decided her best course of action was to close the bedroom door. Now that I’m mostly grown up, I’ve had three separate attempts at instructing teenagers on how to maintain their own laundry conundrums. No one does it my way.


Now, of course, I’m a professional organizer and people pay me to help them figure out their personal laundry hell. So, if you’re interested in my favorite laundry hacks, here they are:


  • If you don’t want to sort laundry, just don’t do it. Use your laundry basket to determine how much makes a load of clothes. Wash on cold or warm so you don’t turn your underwear pink. Add your favorite laundry soap and turn on whichever cycle appeals to you. I choose the quick cycle if there’s no poop involved.

  • If you like sorting laundry, try this . . . instead of sorting by color, sort by what types of clothes you have. Jeans and towels make a load, shirts make a load, pants and shorts make a load, dressy clothes, pajamas, and underwear make a load, sheets are their own load.

  • You’ve got 24 hours to dry a load of clothes before you have to rewash it.

  • Once you put it in the dryer, you have to prioritize how important it is to catch it before it wrinkles. Some stuff will do fine if you do the touch up cycle.

  • The only type of load you HAVE TO GET WHEN THE BUZZER BUZZES is the dressy stuff (and underwear), hang it up right then (not the underwear).

  • It’s perfectly legal to put sheets back on the bed after they are dry so you don’t have to fold them. If you miss this opportunity by letting the sheets sit in the washer, then “fold” them by stuffing the bottom and top sheet into a pillowcase with the other pillowcase(s).

  • I hang up everything but underwear. However, if you don’t have the closet space or the physical stamina, it’s easy-peasy to fold all the shirts when they finally come out of the dryer, or the pants, or the shorts, or the towels. Everything is pre-divided in the sorting process, so sorting again by person is your final folding step. (Don’t make a million stacks of clean, folded laundry or the auto shuffle feature of kids and pets will be activated.)

  • While you are folding clothes, pull out stained, worn, or torn items. You can try pretreating stains for a rewash, but worn out and torn stuff needs to go away no matter how comfortable it is. If it’s something that qualifies as memorabilia, it’s already clean and dry and ready to store away from the normal wearables.

  • Everyone should do their own laundry if they can


  • . The laundry Lord has the prerogative to assign laundry to other members of the household. Kitchen linens, little kid sheets, and little kids’ clothes can be assigned to any other responsible person in the household.


Once again, no one has the absolute RIGHT WAY to do laundry. You do what works for you and your household and your circumstances. If you can process laundry with a system that actually works for you, you’ll soon be able to reduce the amount of clothing you need – but that’s another blog.

laundry in the floor
The Floor is Lava!

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