The Clothes Monster Keeps Growing

Dear FlyLady,

I have so much clutter I don’t know what to do. My daughter and her three kids live with my husband and I. While we love their company, they bring added clutter to our already cluttered place. What can I do to get control over the clothes? I feel I am washing clothes every day and getting nowhere. I need a flight plan! I am not an organized person and have spent my life wishing I was. Your swish and swipe plan was great for me and my bathroom smells wonderful at last. Thanks for the tip! Please enlighten me on how to get control of this problems. Note: she has lots of shoes and clothes; short of throwing them away what other options do I have.

Surround by Clothes in Alabama

Dear Surrounded by Clothes,

Laundry and clothing are a big part of our clutter. Our August Habit is laundry, but we don’t have to stop now. We practice doing a load a day!

I want you to sit down with your daughter and babies and have a family meeting. Keep in mind that this is your home and you all have to figure out how live together in peace and harmony in a clutter free environment. It is your home and your grandchildren, but doing their laundry should not be your responsibility. You are welcome to help her, but she needs you set some rules.

Three children have lots of clothes that do not fit. This is why there is so much laundry. Clothing that doesn’t fit gets tossed into the dirty clothes basket. The first thing you and your daughter need to do is clear out one drawer for each member of the family. This will make putting things away much easier.

Then, you are going to have to figure out what fits each child. Children don’t need tons of clothing. A fun way to decide what to keep and what to give away is to have a fashion show. Since I don’t know how old each child is, this could be easier with older children. Put on some model runway music and show them how to prance around the floor showing off their cute clothes. This is also a good idea to put together outfits for school!

Next is establishing a routine for laundry. Once you declutter the clothing, laundry will be more efficient because unwanted clothing will be out of the pile. Laundry has five parts: Sort, wash, dry, fold, and PUT AWAY! The Sort step and the Put Away Step are responsible for making your home look messy!

When clothing is piled on chairs, dressers and thrown in the floor, our rooms look like clothes basket blew up. Eventually, the clean clothes and dirty clothes get all mixed up and your laundry has doubled.

Here is a quick solution! Gather up all the clothes and sort them into wash piles. Bag them up in trash bags or pillow cases. Then, take them to a Laundromat and get them all done at once. Stagger them in the washers and dryers so they don’t all get done at once. Take plenty of baskets and hangers so you can fold and put them in each person’s basket. Have one bag for give-away clothes. Place them in the bag as you are folding! Then, drop them off as you head home. As soon as you get in the door, put all the clothes away.

Once you have decluttered, the clothes that are too small or too large and you only have clothes that you wear, you can establish that routine of one load a day. That is start to finish. Some members put a in load as part of their before bed routine and then as part of their morning routine, they place it in the dryer.

I hope this helps. Just remember to take BabySteps! A load a day keeps the Laundry Monster away.


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