Household Organization Tips: Organize The Laundry Room

Laundry room organization can turn a chore into a pleasure. These tips are useful whether you are sprucing up an old home or remodeling.

With a little organization, the hard-working laundry room can become a favorite room of the house. Since a good portion of each day is spent there, especially in large families, it is worth it to design attractive and useful features into it. A spacious laundry room is always desirable, but often not possible. Organization is the key to maximizing the space that is available.

Shelves or cabinets installed over the washer and dryer are perfect for storage of detergent, dryer sheets, and other supplies. If this is impractical, chrome baskets can be hung on the wall behind the washer. Any shelf or cabinet needs to be installed high enough to allow the washer lid to be open and still have 6" clearance.

Storage is important, because without it, the top of the dryer, which could be used as a folding counter, tends to become a shelf for supplies instead. Having these supplies in the way makes it difficult to clean the filter and operate the dryer's controls.

If possible, counter space or a table for folding is an asset to any laundry room. This can be as simple as an old kitchen table or as elaborate as built in cabinetry.

When buying laundry baskets, get several that are identical in size and shape so that they can be stacked to store easily. Get them in different colors, if desired. This can facilitate teaching younger ones to sort laundry and to deliver the folded clothes to the proper family member.

A sink is a real boon to a laundry center. It should be large enough to launder hand washables. Another great addition to a laundry room is a retractable clothesline. This will provide a temporary place to dry delicates. A few hooks on the wall or door, or a closet bar are invaluable for hanging freshly dried laundry. A trash container is absolutely essential, since you will be cleaning both lint filters and pockets.

A necessary item for storing an iron and ironing board is a wall-hung organizer designed for the job. Having your iron and ironing board neatly stowed out of the way will save hours of wrangling with the ironing board or hunting for the iron. Make sure there is floor space available in the laundry room for doing the ironing. Maybe a fold down ironing board attached to the laundry room door would be a nice alternative. If the room is simply too crowded, it would be better to store your ironing board where you will use it, in a bedroom perhaps.

Some laundry rooms are big enough to accommodate a sewing machine for making quick repairs. It's important to have plenty of ventilation so that humidity doesn't damage the sewing machine's delicate mechanisms.

If you are designing a home, here are some tips for the laundry room. First, place it near the part of the home where the dirty laundry will accumulate. That would probably be the bedrooms and bathroom.

Consider having a drain installed in the center of the floor. This will make it easier to clean up after any flooding or other mishaps. You may also wish to insulate the interior walls so that the washer and dryer noises are not so noticeable in the rest of the house. Be sure to install adequate lighting.

Resist the urge to tuck the laundry area in a closet along a hallway. It will probably not provide ample space for efficient working, and it is likely that baskets and piles of laundry will accumulate in the hallway.

A second small laundry area installed near the guest room would be much appreciated. It need only be the size of a closet with a small stacking washer/dryer unit inside. A few hooks and hangers are a nice gesture.

Laundry rooms are often combined with other uses. This practice has pros and cons. For example, space in the laundry cupboards often gets used for pantry overflow. The humidity in the laundry room makes this a less than optimum place for food storage, and you have the risk of spilling flour or something worse on your clean laundry. The same problems arise when the laundry area is incorporated into the kitchen.

If the laundry room has a door to the outdoors and a large sink, it may become a plant potting area. Again, you will have to guard against stray potting soil getting too near the clothes.

Worst of all is the laundry room combined with a home workshop. Having tools, grease, and sawdust nearby while handling clean towels can be unnerving.

On the other hand, combining a small laundry room with a small bathroom can add space for both rooms. The laundry generated in the bathroom will be right where it needs to be as well. One sink can do double duty in this case. In addition, the shower curtain bar makes a nice place to hang just dried garments on hangers.

A well-designed and equipped laundry room makes doing the laundry almost pleasant. Modern fabrics and dryers make ironing almost a thing of the past if the clothes are removed immediately and hung on hangers or folded. A disorderly room will render this task difficult and easy to put off. Organizing the laundry room is an investment that will pay for itself in convenience and time!

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