Dresses, cloth diapers and socks belonging to 1-year-old Sabrina are scattered throughout Heather Bishop’s home.
“I have little time for myself due to constantly figuring out laundry issues and I could use some professional advice,” says Bishop, who sells handmade jewelry from home.
Bishop’s apartment laundry facility closed due to the pandemic, and she’s uncomfortable going to a public laundromat with Sabrina. She also can’t do laundry at the homes of her family and friends due to the pandemic, which eliminates a previous option. Outsourcing laundry to a local dry cleaner isn’t a solution for Bishop either, due to the cost, so she turned to a portable washer she found online. These washers handle small loads of laundry. Electric units plug into a standard wall socket. Nonelectric versions are hand powered by a handle or lever.
Laundry dilemmas like Bishop’s are common during the pandemic. Master My Space, a professional organizer service located in Cleveland Heights, has advice for struggling parents looking to declutter laundry.
Master My Space owner Adina Forouzan founded the business six years ago to help others develop effective organizational systems and declutter homes. The service uses a holistic approach to organizing based on an individual’s personality.
“I don’t believe in a one-size-fits-all suggestion when it comes to doing laundry because for long-term laundry organization, success is really based on your organizing personality,” Forouzan says.
Forouzan, who assesses clients by providing an organizing personality quiz, says organizing personality types include creatives, functionalists and perfectionists.
Creatives have difficulty keeping up with laundry, she says. A common problem is forgetting to switch the loads and accidentally leaving clothes in the washer overnight, which results in the need to rerun the load. Excessive rewashing clothes is time consuming and wastes resources. An effective way for creatives to overcome this challenge is to do smaller loads and use timers as reminders when loads are finished.
Functionalists may have an easier time decluttering because they make decisions quickly without emotional attachments, Forouzan says. Their goal is to complete laundry only when necessary. For them, it’s better to complete large single loads rather than constantly doing small half loads.
Perfectionist personality types struggle with the decision-making aspects of doing laundry, she says. They spend too much time debating the best cleaning techniques for the best results. The goal for perfectionists should be to do laundry frequently, even when the hamper is half full. Allowing laundry to pile up can cause unnecessary stress for perfectionists.
Other laundry tips for parents include storing socks and small items in mesh laundry bags to prevent losing them.
Also, parents should consider presorted laundry hampers for lights, darks and colors. Add a fourth hamper for tossing items that don’t go into the dryer. Keep baby clothes separated from the rest of the laundry for at least a one year, so you can use gentle detergent for their sensitive skin.