While we can all agree that we’d love to live in a world of Pinterest-worthy sparkling laundry rooms, we can also agree that most of us just make do with the laundry room we have.
It’s a good day when there is clean underwear.
Luckily, for those of us who may be more laundry-space challenged, there is a solution. Molly Boren, the
Certified Professional Organizer behind Simplicity Works Organizing in Ann Arbor, Michigan, is walking us through the steps to an organized laundry room in only sixty minutes. Ready, set, go!
Step 1: Clear it out (20 minutes)
Like any organizing project, you have to make things look worse to make them better, so Boren suggests completely clearing out your laundry room first.
“Make sure the floor is clear and put everything away so you have room to work,” she says. “Just take everything off the surfaces.”
Laundry rooms can be challenging because they are often in a small, unpleasant or inconvenient locations, explains Boren, so if you’re having trouble tackling yours, don’t feel too badly. She also notes that there are many different categories of items in a small area (hand-wash only items, we’re looking at you), along with the difficulty of liquid detergents, dirt and dryer lint creating a messy space.
Step 2: Clean it off (20 minutes)
Once the space is clear, move on to cleaning off surfaces and corners.
“Move everything off top of washer and dryer and clean those off with a rag,” says Boren. If you have shelves, wipe those down as well.
And don’t forget the trash bin. “Of course trash goes in a bin, make sure that you have a bin in the space,” she notes.
While everything is out of the room, it’s also a good time to break out the vacuum and remove any dust bunnies hiding behind the washer and dryer and lurking in the corners. You may even consider locating your washer manual and storing it in a handy place so you can run a cleaning cycle on your washer.
And as for the giant pile of dryer lint?
“Try to find someone who enjoys camping and can use it for fire starters!” laughs Boren.
Step 3: Categorize (10 minutes)
Next, it’s time to categorize what you found when you removed everything from the laundry room. For instance, Boren mentions speciality cleaners, everyday cleaners, loose change and pocket items.
Out of those categories, store the cleaners in a clear, open plastic box, if possible, because you can see if they spill. For change, designate a jar or a mug or even a fun piggy bank.
“Then assign homes on the shelves on top of the washer for each of those bins,” says Boren. “Everyday stuff should be closer to you and your work surface than speciality cleaners so you can access them easily.”
She also notes the importance of keeping your laundry room child and pet-proof. Laundry pods are especially dangerous for small children and animals, who have been poisoned when the pods have been mistakenly ingested.
“Keep chemicals up high to avoid children and pets and if only a low spot is possible, invest in a childproof latch,” she suggests. If you’re short on space, over-the-door hanging containers or wall mounted baskets are a great option.
Step 4: Customize it (10 minutes)
After you’ve organized the big essentials in your laundry room, take note of what special items you need to make the space work for you.
“It’s nice to have a space for dedicated specality cleaning projects, like a bucket for soaking stain removal or a small hamper to collect mending projects,” Boren suggest. “Those are things you don’t necessarily need to get to right away, but would like closer to the laundry so when you do thave the time, you can do them all at once.”
If you’re debating adding a folding station to your laundry room, Boren says you might want to skip it.
“A folding station is nice, but not necessary, especially if you don’t have space or a nice surface,” she explains. “You won’t want to spend time there.” Instead, she suggest folding clothes in the room nearest to where the clothes will be put away.
As a final customization step, be sure your freshly-organized room is stocked with all of the essentials for staying that way. According to Boren, you will need: a trash bin, lots of clear, plastic containers, a clothesline, wall-mounted or free-standing drying rack, various rags stashed in baskets for cleaning up spills, extra hampers to put around the house in locations where laundry tends to collect (keep one on the first floor or near the kitchen for rags and outdoor gear) and a lingerie or mesh bag for air-dry only items.
To finish off your work, take a step back and look back at your space, says Boren. And last but not least?
“Do a load of laundry and see if the space flows!” she says. Darn. You mean after all that work, we still didn’t get out of actually doing our laundry?
TapGenes Take Away: No matter how much space you have dedicated to clothes clean-up, you will feel better tackling all those loads with an organized laundry room. A professional organizer tells us how to get it done in one little hour.
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