Laundry is one of those chores that can seem never-ending, whether you’re doing it just for yourself, for a spouse, or for a houseful of family members. There’s always a pile that needs to go into the washer and another that needs to be folded and put away. However, you can simplify these tasks by learning how to organize your laundry room.
Use all of the space available
In many homes, the laundry room is big enough to hold more than just a washing machine and a dryer. Make use of any extra space you have so that what you use most often is ready to grab and what you don’t is safely stored without looking cluttered. Walls, ceilings, and floors all can offer places for more storage.
The best way to maximize your laundry room is to add extra shelves and hanging racks wherever you can. Look for a dryer rack that mounts on the wall for an attractive spot to hang delicates and other clothing items that can’t be put in the dryer. There are many different styles out there, so find one that matches your home’s décor—or just pick one that suits your personal taste. Some racks even double as a shelf or have hooks for hanging items like coats and jackets, making them more versatile.
If you have a larger area, attach shelves to the walls from floor to ceiling, or bring in small freestanding shelving units that can hold decorative baskets. Use them to store extras like garbage bags, paper goods, or cleaning products for other parts of the house. This technique works particularly well if your laundry room has a door that closes to keep out curious children or pets and keep them away from anything that might be toxic or dangerous.
Organize your cleaning supplies
The most important organization needs to happen with the items you use on a regular basis in your laundry routine: bottles of laundry detergent, fabric softener, stain removers, bleach, and so on. Store them out in the open, at eye level if possible, with labels facing forward, so you don’t have to reach very far while doing your laundry. Keep extra bottles or laundry-related products you don’t use as often on a separate shelf.
Make use of hampers and baskets
Next, add a hamper or two, either freestanding or hanging on the wall, so that dirty clothes can be placed right next to the washer and dryer. Use multiple hampers to separate clothes—darks and lights or delicates and cottons, for example—so you can put full loads directly in the washing machine without needing to take the time to sort them.
If you don’t have the space inside your laundry room, try adding wheeled hampers to your home. They can be stored in a bathroom or bedroom instead, and you can use them to easily bring the dirty clothes to the washing machine. Similarly, you could keep a laundry basket near the dryer to sort the clean clothes and then carry them back to their proper places. When you’ve emptied the basket, remember to put it back in the laundry room.
Add art to the walls
Finally, remember that your laundry room definitely doesn’t have to be boring. Use the walls to make it cheery so you’ll enjoy being in there when running the washer or sorting clothes. One option is to hang framed artwork — it doesn’t have to be fancy, you can frame anything from a colorful piece of fabric to a child’s drawing to a favorite photograph. You can also look for whimsical art pieces or plaques that are meant for a laundry room. For an added touch, put up an analog clock that is both decorative and functional.
Set up a laundry routine
Once you’ve finished organizing your laundry room, you can work on a streamlined laundry routine. Decide how you’ll sort your clothes and set up hampers or baskets accordingly. (And don’t just throw everything on the floor and figure you’ll deal with it later. You won’t, and you might wind up with the proverbial red sock mixed in with the light laundry, dyeing everything pink.)
And whatever you do, don’t fall in the trap of leaving clean clothes in a laundry basket. This technique will make you more likely to either leave them there for weeks or to shove things messily into your dresser drawers. Fold or hang everything and put it all away. It will take an extra few minutes out of your day, but then you’ll be done — until next time, anyway.
Got other tips for how to organize your laundry room? Tell us in the comments below!