Day 21: Laundry Room
Laundry Rooms can become catchall rooms for everything that walks in the door. But these “work rooms” don’t have to be the forgotten room, they can be as clean and organized as the rest of our house. Making them a pleasure to “work” in.
But as in all areas of the home, there are a lot of pieces that add to messy clutter if not organized and streamlined.
Let’s walk through some steps to help streamline laundry room functionality. Tomorrow we’ll compile of list of recommended supplies every laundry room should have.
Before you even begin to organize your laundry room, be sure that every bedroom has a laundry hamper or basket. When it’s time for laundry, the process is much easier than crawling around on hands and knees picking up dirty socks.
2. Determine Use
Of course, laundry rooms are for laundering and cleaning clothes. But depending on its size, it can be used for more. For instance, I’ve had laundry rooms that had areas for a sewing machine as well as a dry-goods larder. I’ve also had laundry rooms that were merely a hall closet. Maximize and utilize every square inch of what you have.
By adding space-saving elements to laundry rooms, you can increase their efficiency. All laundry rooms need some kind of shelving, either cabinets, simple wire racks above the washer and dryer or freestanding wire units. It’s also nice to include an ironing board, a drying rack (free-standing, an inexpensive retractable line or a drying bar) and storage containers, a must.
Basic Needs for a Laundry Room
3-Bin Laundry Sorter for Dirty Clothes (lights, darks, and towels)
Catchall Bin for loose change, buttons or anything else found in pockets
Laundry Basket for Clean Clothes/Towels Transport
4. Create Beauty
Put something of beauty in this room, or closet. Something that brightens your day and make this room feel like its part of your larger home. Whether that be a print hung on a wall, beautiful basket storage containers or printed containers with a pleasing design. Buy something new for your room that will make it seem fresh.
Setting up the Laundry Room
Whether your laundry room is a tiny closet or a spacious basement, organization is key. These 10 tips will help you make the most of the space you have.
1. Arrange products and supplies according to how you use them. Anything you regularly need should be within easy reach; place extras and incidentals on a high shelf or another out-of-the-way spot.
2. Decant detergents from large boxes and jugs into smaller containers or soap boxes; refill as needed.
3. Store small supplies in boxes or bins: Place stain-removal products in one, sewing materials in another, and sponges in a third. Have rags on hand for spills.
4. Sort whites, colors, delicates, and heavily soiled items in bins or rolling carts.
5. If you don’t have room for a folding table, affix a fold-down shelf to the wall.
6. Keep a drying rack handy for drip-dry items.
7. Attach an ironing-board hanger to the wall so the board and iron are secure and out of the way but easily accessible.
8. Install a rod in the laundry room on which to hang clothes as you iron, or install a hook over the top of a door to serve the same purpose.
9. Keep clothes hangers and mesh bags for delicates with your cleaning supplies or in a nearby cabinet.
10. Use free space in the laundry room to store gift wrap, ribbon, basic tools, and pet supplies.
• When tumble-dried clothes are dry―preferably when they are still warm―hang them up or smooth them out and fold them right away. Avoid having them sit and cool in a crumpled state.
• Clothes that should be folded include T-shirts, sweaters, jeans, sweats―basically anything knit or stretchy.
• Folded clothes are easier to transport.
• Hanging certain garments as they emerge from the dryer can save on ironing time.
• Clothes that should be hung include: creased or pleated items, button-down shirts, khakis―anything that wrinkles easily.
• Wooden hangers with a rod work for most hangable items. Choose padded hangers for fragile items, and hangers with rubber clips for skirts (metal clips might dent the fabric).
Objective: To increase efficiency by organizing and utilizing every square foot of the laundry room.
• Clear the room of all products and sort, discarding any expired items.
• Create a Put Away Box and immediately return items that don’t belong in the laundry room to their home.
• Sort products in the laundry room by use and contain them in baskets, bins or containers.
• Install functional storage; shelves, racks, ironing board, dirty laundry bins and so on.
• Clean and sanitize all surfaces in the room, including the washing machine and dryer.
• Hide supplies as much as possible to rid the room of messy clutter. Keep out only the products you need for laundry.
• Create small bins and stock necessary supplies for the following kits: minor sewing repair and stain removal.
• Put something pretty in the room that motivates and inspires.
GET THE BOOK:
Easy Steps to an Organized Life in 31 Days or Less (Amazon.com)
Laundry Room Inspirations
Clean and Bright
Camouflage the laundry behind doors in shared spaces
Effective organizing in small spaces
If space allows, add a storage island
Or a folding counter
Create a laundry room Lost & Found Basket
Presort Dirty Clothes
Small Space Inspiration
Space Saving Drying Racks