Martha Stewart I’m not. In fact, I typically think adding alcohol to my shelves and fridge is the best way to make my house more perfect. But a long time ago I worked for Trader Joes. And one of the guiding principals of the Trader Joes empire is Kaizen–working 1% more effectively every single day. It’s corporate speak, for sure, but it actually works.

So in my house, laundry is the biggest, most soul-crushing, boringest, chore. I have a 5 year old who comes home covered in grass and clay stains (as he should) and a 3 year old who pees through 3-5 pairs of pants a day. There is *ALWAYS* a load in the wash, one in the dryer, and approximately 1,698 baskets to be folded. Sometimes the clothes are folded in the basket, but not put away because the kids are sleeping, or I’m too busy arranging my alcohol collection or whatever.

SO! (Getting to the point here, a bit slower than I should for a post about freakin’ laundry) I decided to fix the process. I Kaizened the shit out of my kids’ dirty clothes! I’m a little embarrassed to be so excited about a domestic task, but there you have it. I even documented it with pictures.

First you grab some square baskets. I have six, in two different colors. Each kid gets a color and each kid gets a basket for bottoms, one for tops, and a third for PJs.


Get some of those ubiquitous square baskets

When your clothes come out of the dryer, set up all your baskets in the living room and fold the clothes directly into their home.

Once you are done, bring baskets back to their home. Use a cute hooded helper if it suits you.


Baskets are labeled with icons that indicate their purpose.

Organize baskets in their home. In our case, it’s the kids’ bedroom closet. There’s room for more baskets– for shoes, the next season’s clothes, outgrown clothes or whatever your need is.


The thing on the door is designed for holding bottles and such in pantries. In our case, it holds undies and socks.

I see no reason why this couldn’t be adapted to adult clothes, at least those that don’t need to be hung like underwear and workout clothes.

You can go ahead and send my Nobel Prize now.

p.s. Inspiration laundry folding music is NOT optional: