Let's face it, doing laundry is a necessary chore. A laundry room area without clutter can make this task easier. It doesn't matter if your laundry room is a spacious showplace with tons of storage, a multifunctional space, or simply a corner tucked away in the basement, it is important to keep the space organized. These organizational tips will help you get the actual area used for laundry under control and keep it manageable.
Laundry Room Organization
Built-in Shelving or Cabinets
If you don't have cabinets near the washer, it is worth your time to install some type of storage shelves or unit above the washer for laundry products. This is particularly important to store products out of reach if you have children, pets, or vulnerable adults in the home that could accidentally be poisoned by cleaning products.
Storage can also be added with over-the-door shelving, wall baskets, an added shelf or ledge over the back of the appliances, or a rolling cart placed between the washer and dryer. Find inexpensive containers like boxes or baskets for small items like clothespins, scissors, and scrub brushes.
Make an investment in a separate dirty laundry hamper for each person in your family and one for each linen closet or bathroom. As laundry is removed from the dryer or the clothesline, the items can be hung or folded and placed in each basket. Every family member can be responsible for taking their clean laundry back to be put away.
Hanging Dryer Rack
Not everything should be tossed in a hot clothes dryer. Rather than having clothes spread everywhere waiting to dry, find a spot in your laundry area to place a freestanding drying rack or install a wall-mounted drying rack. A wall-mounted retractable clothesline may also be the answer because it can be completely out of the way when not in use.
If it's not being used to dry clothes, the hanging dryer rack is also a great place to hang up clothing as they come out of the dryer. This helps keep wrinkles out, and saves time when putting them away.
The Errant Sock Holder
We all deal with those socks that just seem to be mysteriously missing their mate. It is helpful to designate a basket for those single socks or mittens until the errant one appears. Empty the baskets on a regular schedule and never look back!
Collecting Change and Other Items
Use a basket or glass jar for items that surface as you empty pockets before tossing clothes in the washer. Your family will know where to look if they are missing something.
Streamline Laundry Products
Just how many laundry products do you really need? You could select one detergent that works well for all fabrics rather than multiple specialty products. It can be a bit overwhelming as detergents come in many forms, including liquid, powdered, and single-use pods. There are even combination detergents that combine laundry soap and fabric softener. Choosing the right laundry detergent for you and your family is a personal choice but using only one can help alleviate space issues.
As a way to eliminate fabric softeners and dryer sheets, you can consider using baking soda in the washing machine or distilled white vinegar to boost detergent cleaning performance and soften clothes.
If you decide to transfer detergents and stain removers to decorative containers, be sure to label each one correctly.
How to Clear Folding Surfaces
Look for a way to create a designated folding space. It could be a table or a counter. If you have a front loading washer and matching dryer with no storage pedestals, consider adding a counter over the top to create a spacious folding space. But...this area has to be cleared off and decluttered.
When taking the step to get your laundry room in order, start by looking around your washer, dryer, and workspace at what should be thrown away. Those little items that just never made it into the trash can are easy to spot and first to go. And, if for some reason, you don't have a trash can in the laundry room, now is a good time to add one. Having one handy to throw dryer lint, pocket trash, and empty containers can keep garbage in its place rather than cluttering up surfaces.
Scour around the room and throw away or recycle any broken hangers, empty detergent containers, expired and out-of-date laundry products, and damaged laundry hampers.
It's always amazing how things find their way into places they shouldn't be, and the laundry room seems to be one of those catch-all areas. The top of the dryer is famous for holding everything from library books, shoes, garden tools, and even basketballs. Make it a point to move these unnecessary items out of the laundry room, and don't hesitate to have the family collect and move what ones are theirs.
Even in a multifunctional room, the actual laundry work area should be kept clear of other items. This prevents clean clothes from being soiled, cross-contamination of food items and cleaning products, and leaves a workspace for specific laundry tasks like sorting soiled clothes and folding clean ones.
Now that you've figured out where you're going to fold the clothes, the folding space can also be used for ironing, eliminating the need for an ironing board. Or, consider a wall-mounted compact ironing board as a perfect space saver.
Tips to Keep Your Laundry Room Tidy
Now that you've gotten the laundry room decluttered and you're done admiring how great it looks, the task to keep it this way can be a challenge. We've provided some tips to help you on this journey.
- Throw trash in the trash can and empty it every week.
- Label the baskets and hampers so there's no question as to what goes where, or whose it is.
- Dryer lint filters should be cleaned and emptied after every load to prevent fires and help clothes dry more quickly.
- Enlist the family's help in keeping items out of the laundry room that doesn't belong by putting them in their proper place. (This will also help keep other rooms better organized, too!)