How to Make the Most of Your Laundry Room

Tips to make even the smallest of laundry rooms do some heavy lifting. Source: www.faithfullyorganized.wordpress.com

Whether you have a laundry closet or an entire room, the space tends to be cramped. Not to mention all the lint, spare change, bobby pins, and bits of washed paper (that someone left in their pocket) that inevitably collect in every corner. A little organization goes a long way in such a space.

Laundry isn’t one of my favorite tasks, but a tidy work area certainly makes the chore a bit less painful and much quicker. When I think about laundry, one key word comes to mind: efficiency. I want to get it done in as little time as possible.

Before I set up my laundry room, I considered how to make the space work for me, instead of against me. What could I do to create an easier and smoother work flow? Here’s what I came up with:

  • Place frequently used items on lower shelves.
  • Group similar products together.
  • Label items clearly.
  • Simplify. Throw out any unnecessary/expired items. (This was a toughie for me, as I love my cleaning/laundry products.)

I often find it helpful to start with a clean slate. Empty the space (you can leave the washer and dryer in place though 🙂 ) and wipe down all surfaces. Then, let your brainstorming begin. Would some wall mounted shelves work? What about a caddy between the washer and dryer? Maybe a compartmentalized hamper? And don’t forget the containers–plastic bins, wire baskets, galvanized buckets. Oh, the possibilities!

For more ideas, here’s a look at my laundry room and how I’ve made the space work for me. It doesn’t look like a magazine spread, but it’s efficient and tidy. Maybe one day, I’ll decant some detergent into a giant mason jar or hang a sparkly chandelier, but for now, I’ll just wash our unmentionables with my blue, liquid Costco concoction beneath a canned light.

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My laundry room is quite small and heavily trafficked since it’s the path from the garage into the house. It suffers a lot of wear and tear, but I have big plans for this modest room- a wooden counter over the washer and dryer, new tile (white floors drive a perfectionist like me bonkers), and a pocket door on the kitchen side. Three doors open into this tiny room, so a pocket door would cut down on the frequent collisions.

One day, I’d also like to insert a laundry cart between the washer and dryer, but I’ll wait until my youngest grows a bit older and not so curious. An open cart would just be an invitation for her to fling powder detergent and eat dryer sheets.

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There’s not much else to say about the room, except for the laundry baskets on the washer and dryer. I have a really genius, clever system for clothes: The dirty laundry goes in the blue basket, and the clean in the white basket. 🙂 I keep two hampers upstairs, one for the kids and another for me and the hubs. When it’s time to do laundry, I simply bring down the hampers and sort the clothes. I start with a load of whites and put the colored items in the blue basket to be washed next. Once the clothes are cleaned and dried, I transfer them into the white basket to be folded.

Okay, now let’s move on to the closet…

The Laundry Room Closet

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The key to my laundry room closet organization? Bins, bins, and more bins, of course. I store cleaning supplies in this closet as well, so I use bins to separate them from my laundry essentials. You might recognize the gray containers from my pantry post. I found these cuties at Big Lots for $2.50 a piece, so you better believe I stocked up.

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Let’s break down this closet, one shelf at a time.

  • Top shelf: This is where I store my caddy of cleaning supplies that I use downstairs. A wire stack shelf maximizes space, creating room for wipes, Swiffer pads, and any future items. shelf.JPG
  • Second shelf: I reserve this space for laundry-related items, such as liquid detergent, my iron, and a bin of dryer sheets, stain removers, Borax, and various other laundry aids.

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  • Third shelf: This space is used for refills and extra items. When buying in bulk, I shelve the duplicate products here for future use. The hanging wire shelf above it stores extra Swiffer pads.

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Moving on to the right side of the closet where I inserted a three drawer organizer to hold party supplies…

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Kind of random, I know, but since the laundry room is adjacent to the kitchen, it’s a convenient spot for leftover paper plates, napkins, plastic cutlery, and various decorations. (Although I do advocate getting rid of stuff, hoarded saved party supplies really do pay off in the long run if you have the storage space. In my opinion, party supplies tend to be overpriced, but with each shindig I throw, I spend less and less money by reusing leftovers.)

Above the party supplies, I store my caddy of cleaning supplies for the upstairs. I’m a huge fan of caddies. They make cleaning a snap–load a caddy up with your essential supplies and then grab and go!

And you might be wondering why I hang the kids’ floaties from the clothing rack. An odd choice at first glance, but it’s actually quite convenient. The laundry room opens into the garage, so it’s an easy place to grab the floaties on our way to the pool. I also keep beach towels folded in this closet for the same reason.

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On the shelf below the towels, I store cleaning supplies that I don’t use regularly, such as carpet stain removers and Goo Gone. (If you’ve never heard of this miracle product, you’re welcome.)

I keep large items that I use less frequently on the highest shelf, such as my turkey roaster and various crockpots. On the next shelf down, I store spare toilet paper, napkins, and paper towels.laundryr4

And I’ve saved my favorite laundry room trick for last…I hang mops and brooms on the inside of the closet door. A great space saver! It has worked wonderfully for me. Much better than my former system of propping them in a corner, only to have a cave-in every time I tried to remove one.

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So whether you want to do a complete laundry room overhaul or just some tweaks, I hope you’ve gleaned some ideas for your own space. A little organization goes a long way. Even if you don’t spring for a galvanized bucket of fabric softener or a rustic, barnwood drying rack, a few simple changes can transform your laundry room into a pleasant space.

 

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