The One Laundry Task This Organizing Expert Refuses to Do

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Close up of laundry pile on double bed
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“Choose your battles.” You’ve probably heard this phrase time and time again — especially when it comes to raising kids and cleaning your home. But even for something as simple as your laundry routine, it can be difficult to distinguish between due diligence and overdoing it.

I spoke with Rebecca Enberg, the home organizing expert behind the Substack “Your House Machine,” about her organizing wills and won’ts and learned about an interesting hard boundary she has set: She doesn’t fold her kids’ clothing.

“The key to organizing success is to choose your battles — folding your clothes is worth it; folding babies’ and kids’ clothes is a waste of time,” Enberg opines. “When they’re old enough, you can teach them to fold their clothes. Until then, you can store unfolded kids’ clothes in drawers, baskets, or bins.”

To me, this is a revolutionary concept and a great example of confidently deciding between what is and isn’t worth your time — aesthetics be damned.

Enberg says that if you get pleasure from putting babies’ and kids’ clothes on tiny hangers and lining them up neatly in drawers, then you should go for it. But if you find it stressful and annoying, give it up and focus your efforts elsewhere. 

Credit: Abigail J. Fallon

She shares that the pressures of social media can add to people’s feelings of obligation or inadequacy in the home. But, she offers, “Just because you see other people doing it doesn’t mean you have to.”

If you’re like me, you may be wondering: How do you keep kids’ clothes organized without folding them? 

In Enberg’s case, she started by editing the amount of clothing her kids have. “Part of the key is not having too many clothes,” she explains. Then, she inserted drawer dividers into her kids’ dresser drawers and created a label for each section. She designated categories for long-sleeved shirts and dresses, short-sleeved shirts and dresses, and bottoms (plus, she included a small box for socks).

Now, all she has to do when putting away her kids’ laundry is sort the items. Think it sounds too easy? Well, that’s kind of the point. Some battles simply aren’t worth fighting.