Organizing the Laundry Room

Organizing the Laundry Room

Your laundry room: one of the smallest, most frequently-used rooms in the house. With so much bustle in such a small space, chaos is bound to happen. But when airing your dirty laundry becomes a bit too literal, a little creative juggling can make wash day more efficient, and, dare we say, more fun.

Professional organizer Kelly Pratt shows how to makeover your Laundry Room

Be Clear about Your Laundry Room’s Functions

Most laundry rooms are multi-use spaces. Make sure you accommodate those functions by first determining what they are and then making your space support them. Does your laundry room also act as a household item storage area? A coat closet? A gift wrapping center? A mudroom? Being clear about these functions will determine both area flow and containing, so be thorough in your assessment.

Create Areas for Key Laundry Room Activities

After you’ve determined what additional activities may need to accommodated in your laundry area, keep in mind that the room is primarily for doing laundry. If your space is overrun with other activities, you may wish to reassign certain functions to other areas of your home.

Even in very small laundry rooms, there are ways to create key activity zones. These zones are—

* Sorting.
* Washing.
* Drying.
* Folding.
* Storage.

Not creating space for each of these zones can result in clutter and frustration. Here are some suggestions for solving some common laundry room problems by addressing these activity zones as well as a cool product pick to help you along.

Zone: Sorting

Problem: Clothing clutter

Solution: Having dedicated sorting bins will help reduce laundry clutter in the laundry room and potentially in other rooms of your home as well.

Product Pick: Sorting hampers (Wal-Mart, $5.67/each)

Zone: Washing

Problem: No easy detergent access, no soaking station

Solution: Keep detergents close to your washing machine for easy access. If you don’t have a sink close to your machine, you may want to use a dish tub or large bowl to soak stained items.

Product Picks: ClosetMaid Hanger Shelf (Home Depot, $16.98/each)

Zone: Drying

Problem: Lint, air-drying

Solution: In your drying zone, make sure you can access dryer sheets easily, and keep a garbage can nearby to throw away lint. You will also need to use a drying rod of sorts if you air-dry items. You can use a fold-down rod or large hooks if your space is small.

Product Picks: ClosetMaid Hanger Shelf (Home Depot, $16.98/each), L-brace (Home Depot, $4.71/each for the 8″ length; deco extra)

Zone: Folding

Problem: No place to fold, laundry piles in high-visibility areas of the home

Solution: If you’re like most people, you don’t have a built-in folding area in your laundry room. This lack translates into laundry being piled on the couch in the family room awaiting folding, which, let’s be honest, sometimes takes a day or two to get to. In order to maintain order not only in your laundry room but in other areas of your home, create a folding area. This area doesn’t have to be large—even a card table will do the trick. Or if you’re really pushed for space, make sure you keep the top of your dryer clear so you can fold straight out of the dryer.

Product Pick: ClosetMaid Hanging Basket (Home Depot, $12.48/each)

Zone: Storage

Problem: Lack of storage, uncontained clutter

How to: Every laundry room needs storage. Whether your solution is as simple as installing hooks for coats and bags or using skirting around your folding table to hide storage bins or as extensive as adding cabinetry above your washer and dryer, you must have some storage. If your room is consistently a mess, lack of storage is often the culprit. Adding a folding table, a shelf, hooks or stand-alone cabinets are all fantastic ways to increase your storage quotient.

Product Pick: Plastic bins (Target, Wal-Mart; prices vary)

Make It Pretty

Finally, remember to create a laundry area that is aesthetically pleasing. If a room looks great when it’s clean, you’re more likely to restore the space. Laundry has to be done; make the place where you spend obligatory time pretty!

For other organizing ideas contact:

Kelly Pratt

Spaces Limited Organizing


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