8 Tips to Reorganize Your Laundry Room

Do you fear doing laundry? Are the loads growing out of control? Putting it off won’t make it go away. Let’s face it-dirty laundry is a fact of life. But doing laundry turns into less of a chore when you have an efficient, beautiful room to do it in. If you want to create a laundry room that not only looks good but also works well, here are some tips to help.

Remove Unnecessary Mess

Before making any effort to organize the laundry room, do a full purge of old, new supplies. Toss out distorted hangers, the box of hardened laundry cleaners and all those socks without partners you’ve been saving in hope of a gathering.

Any items that don’t belong in a laundry room can be positioned in a ‘move elsewhere’ box for now and circulated to the appropriate room later.

Create Separate Areas for Different Uses

Consider the various tasks that have to be done and create appropriate places for these activities. In addition to a washer, dryer and sink, you’ll need an area to sort, air-dry and iron. You’ll also need a suitable storage area for supplies.

Sort Clothes Effectively

Save time and trouble by keeping a hamper for dirty clothes in each bedroom. Lightweight hampers with handles can be carried to the laundry room easily. Vented hampers let clothes breathe to prevent mildew.

Use a laundry sorter to divide dirty clothes into three basic groups: whites, darks/colors and delicate/hand washables. Invest in a durable sorter; one with canvas bags that hang from a metal frame will hold up well.

To avoid the lost sock syndrome and make it easier to allocate clean socks to their rightful owners, give each family member a color-coded mesh laundry bag for his or her dirty socks. Wash and dry the socks while they’re still in the bag. Then, deposit the bag of clean socks in each person’s laundry bag.

Get Drying Garments Out of the Way

To air-dry subtle items, use a retractable clothes line, a folding drying rack, or a shower curtain tension rod hung over the washer and dryer.

Use a Space-Saving Pressing Board

If you have a front-loading washer and dryer, install a counter top over the iron for folding clothes. If you want to use it as a handy ironing surface, build the counter top out of MDF, glue some foam on top and cover it with heat-resistant sailcloth. Alternatively, you can install a hinge-top table that hangs from the wall and folds out of the way when not in use; hang the ironing board and iron on an over-the-door hanger to save space.

Use Storage Space Efficiently

Store washing goods in built-in cabinets or placing over the machines or in a near-by self-supporting unit. For both comfort and safety, make sure you install these at a height where it is not too high: no more than about 6 inches above your shoulder’s height.

If space is tight, slide a thin rolling container in the gap between the washer and dryer to store laundry materials.

*Use baskets made of bamboos or clear plastic bins to place dust rags, mesh garment bags and dryer sheets. Select a basket for stain removal products and sewing supplies (for quick repairs). Group items by type and label each container for easy access.

*A mini-sized wastebasket on a shelf is a handy place to keep lint from the dryer or used dryer sheets until garbage day.

*A small clear jar can act as a provisional home for loose change and buttons that mysteriously appear in the machines after you’ve done a load.

Get your family involved

Designate a laundry basket in a different color for each family member. Label it with their name so there’s no confusion. As clean clothes come out of the dryer, place them in the appropriate basket. Deliver each person’s basket to their bedroom and have them fold and put away their things.

Teach everyone in your home (over the age of about ten) how to do his or her own laundry. This is a life skill that everyone needs to learn eventually. Post instructions on the wall for easy reference. If your children are too young, get them involved by helping to match socks or fold towels.

Make the room glow

Now that you’ve made your laundry room purposeful, reward yourself by making it appealingly beautiful as well. Paint it a cheerful color, add a colorful throw rug and hang something decorative on the wall.

Following these simple tips will wash away your laundry day blues, making the chore quicker, easier and more pleasant. Once you’ve created an attractive, useful space with easy access to all your supplies, you’ll spend less time doing laundry and more time enjoying life.

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