If you wear clothes, you have laundry and most of us don’t want to spend any more time than necessary on the chore. Whether you have a spacious, sunlit laundry room, tucked-away closet, or basement corner, one way to make laundry easier to handle is to have an organized laundry room. Follow these four steps to organize your laundry room and make it more functional.
Considerations Before You Get Started
When you decide to organize your laundry room, don’t rush out to buy lots of storage bins, baskets, or gadgets. It’s much better to wait until you know what, if anything, is needed. You may have everything you need already on hand.
How Often to Organize Your Laundry Room
After the initial cleaning out and organizing, Samantha Lund of Simply Sam Organization and Design says, “Refreshing that system should only have to be done once every one to three months. But, when we say refresh we mean 20 to 30 minutes tops.”
What You’ll Need
Equipment / Tools
- Broom and dustpan or vacuum
- Laundry baskets
- Storage bins
- Microfiber cloths
- All-purpose cleaner
How to Organize a Laundry Room
STEP 1: Empty and Clean the Space
- Take everything except the washer and dryer out of the laundry room.
- Empty the storage shelves or cabinets.
- Use a microfiber duster to dust the walls.
- Mix a solution of all-purpose cleaner and water following label directions.
- Dip a microfiber cloth in the solution, wring, and wipe down cabinets, storage shelves, and the outside of the washer and dryer.
- Sweep or vacuum the floor. If possible, move the appliances so you can clean under and behind them.
- Mop the floor.
STEP 2: Sort by Categories
Use storage bins to sort your items. Try these different categories:
- Products used in the washing process (stain removers, detergent, bleach, sanitizer, fabric softener)Drying products (dryer sheets, dryer balls, clothespins)Ironing products (starch, sizing, pressing cloths)Everything else (group cleaning supplies and tools, batteries, light bulbs, and miscellaneous junk)
STEP 3: Assess Your Space
- Laundry products should be stored out of the reach of children, pets, or vulnerable adults. Determine the best location for those items in a closed upper cabinet or shelf.
- If you have no built-in storage, consider adding over-the-door shelving, a shelf or ledge over the back of side-by-side appliances, or a rolling cart placed between the washer and dryer.
- Think vertically to hang a wall-mounted drying rack or ironing board. “We like to hang ironing boards up behind the door on a hook,” says Lund.
- Take advantage of the ceiling by adding a rod to hang up clothes directly from the dryer and to store extra clothes hangers. Adjust the height so it is comfortable to use and out of the way.
- Create a flat workspace for folding clothes. Lund recommends adding an inexpensive table to the room or a countertop from a home improvement store over front-loading appliances. Whatever works best in your space, the work surface should be free of clutter and laundry products.
STEP 4: Create a Storage System
- Choose plastic bins or baskets to hold each category of laundry products.
- Add labels so you can easily find anything you need.
- Streamline products. Dispose of expired products and those you don’t use. Combine half-empty containers of the same product.
- Place products used in the washer within reach of the appliance and do the same with dryer products.
- If you have the space, add labeled laundry baskets for each member of the household so they can take clean clothes to their room to put away.
- If you’re keeping other types of cleaning products and tools in the laundry room, move them away from the laundry products. Add a hanging system for mops and brooms to keep them off the floor.
Tips to Keep Your Laundry Room Organized
- Be sure to include a trash can in the space for dryer lint.
- Add a bin for mismatched socks. Empty the bin after three months.
- If you like to decant laundry products into more attractive containers, be sure to label them clearly and add usage instructions.
- Add magnetic clips or small bins to the sides of the appliances to hold contents from pockets or small laundry products.
Article Written by: Mary Marlowe Leverette; Published in Real Simple 8/25/23
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