Laundry Room Organization in 7 Steps

If your home is like many others, clothes are one of the biggest sources of clutter and disorganization. Not only are they bulging out of the closets, but they are also lying in piles to be either put away or taken to the laundry room. As I write this, I have two baskets of clean clothes waiting for me to bring upstairs, fold, and put away. And are there rumpled clothes in your dryer that you didn't take out in time, and now they need ironed or fluffed again?

Well, take heart. There are some ways to manage the laundry monster. If we can get our laundry rooms organized and under control, it is much easier to actually keep up with the laundry. We'll feel more motivated when we walk into a clean, straightened area where everything is hanging neatly.

As with all organizing projects, let's start with baby steps.

1. Floor

My laundry room floor seems to be the first to be piled up. I have bins for dirty clothes, but somehow, magically, they often end up lying on the floor. Whether you use laundry baskets, bins, or other organizers - pick up all the dirty clothes on the floor and sort them into categories of lights, darks, colors, whites, towels, and so on. Now would be a good time to sweep or mop the newly cleared off floor.

2. Surface Areas

Now, look at the top of your washer and dryer. My dryer is usually a catch-all for bottles of detergent, dryer sheets, missing buttons that have come off clothes, and all sorts of things like that. Remove everything from the top of the appliances. If it doesn't belong there, put it in a small basket to be sorted later. Then use your favorite cleaner and rag to clean the top of the washer and dryer, including where the buttons are.

3. Shelves

Let's use the same strategy with the laundry room shelves. Take everything off of them. Dust and clean the shelves. Empty bottles and boxes can be thrown away. Items that don't belong go in the basket to be sorted later. Now, put back only the things that belong on the shelves. This also makes it easier to list the supplies you need to restock on your next trip to the store.

4. Wastebasket

I prefer a rather large wastebasket in my laundry room. It holds large bottles and boxes. Also, after I clean the lint from the dryer after each load, I don't have to go to another room to throw it away.

5. Hanging Areas

If you have room for a clothesline in your laundry room, you are fortunate. I have a small area for a line that holds about one load of clothes. I put most things in the dryer, but my clothes that are likely to shrink, go on the lines.

There are also inexpensive racks that are available at department stores that provide a place to hang clothes on hangers while they dry. There are also portable racks that clothes can be draped over while drying.

6. Sorting

Now, collect the dirty clothes from hampers and other places in the house. Start doing the laundry, one pile at a time. As soon as the clothes are dry, put them away, so they are not sitting around in baskets to clutter the house and get wrinkled all over again. Gone are the days when women were able to do all their laundry in one day. Divide it up - doing one or two loads a day, or whatever is best for you.

7. Enjoy!

By now, your laundry room should be a pleasant area of the house. If you wish, add some pretty touches, like a small dried flower arrangement on a shelf or a cute laundry sign on the wall. It's time to enjoy this room where you spend so much of your time.

The Author:

For ideas and tips on homemaking, cooking, crafts, family life, gardening, and family history, visit http://www.oldfashionedhomemaking.com. Or if you prefer a nostalgic stroll back to the turn-of-the-century [http://www.thevintagehome.org] is a growing library of information and illustrations. Learn how our ancestors kept house, cooked, raised children, celebrated holidays and weddings, quilted, decorated, had tea parties, and much more.

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