We all have our problem areas and the one room that I struggle with is the laundry room. Between the kids throwing their clothes on the room’s floor to storing out-of-season items, this room can spell disaster for our family. I know I am not alone with this problem.
Here are some tips for this troublesome spot that will keep this space functional and multi-tasking for your busy family. Now we just need to convince Kenmore to come out with an appliance that can put the laundry away and this space would be perfect. Until then, here are some strategies for organizing this space.
1. Remove the Unnecessary
Clutter has a way of creeping into the laundry room. Start by pulling everything from the shelves and start grouping the items you need in the laundry room together to be placed in baskets. Put items from other rooms in their rightful homes, donate any items you no longer need, throw away any empty laundry or cleaner bottles, and recycle anything that can be recycled. Use a damp cloth to wipe down the base and wires of sticky messes.
2. Organize What Remains
Organize the remaining items into baskets and place them back on the wire shelving. Use the highest shelf for the items you need the least and then put your must-have items on the lower two shelves. Consider a few jars for other items like powdered laundry detergent, clothespins, or for items that are found in pockets. With little boys, it is amazing the surprises one can find!
3. Make Sorting Easy
Consider purchasing a laundry sorter on wheels that you can use to load and unload your dirty clothes into. These sorters can be a great way to get kids to help you and sort their own laundry from their hampers. Add a handy labeling system for younger kids so they know where whites, darks, and medium loads can go.
If your laundry room is short on space, consider a sorting hamper with an ironing board built on top to maximize every inch of this space. Of course, you hardly need an iron at all when you have a Kenmore dryer to fluff and refresh.
4. Avoid Holding Stations
I’m just going to say it: I know everyone loves hamper stations on Pinterest but almost everyone I know who has one of these, finds it ends up being a holding pin for things that should have been put away. Let’s just say I have firsthand experience with that one with my two children! To avoid this, I’m recommending just sticking with a sorter for dirty clothes and skipping a clean clothing sorting system. This also goes for baskets for missing socks. Send the missing sock off with its owner’s sock drawer and hopefully someday his mate will appear. May your clothing never be held hostage!
5. Go Vertical With Storage
Utilize the surrounding walls to get things off of your floor and into a more functional space. Drying racks and ironing boards can be wall mounted and additional storage shelves can be added to get clutter off the floor. Doors into the laundry room can offer additional storage utilizing a compartmentalized shoe organizer for your household cleaners and detergent on the back. I also find a well-placed hook in any room is always a lifesaver for buttoning shirts and to act as a holder while I am ironing. I try to have a hook in every room of my home!
6. Make the Space Feel Bigger
Small spaces are my specialty thanks to my own home’s choppy floor plan and finding a spot to fold laundry is always a challenge. Consider installing a wall mountable table for folding that can be folded down when not in use. The trouble with tables that do not fold down is that they become a catching ground for clutter and take up valuable space. Add a few stackable bar stools that can be placed in the corner. This can now be a great spot for the kids for crafting as well as a spot to fold your laundry. When you are done, the table can be flush to the wall, leaving plenty of floor space for other household activities. I have found that foldable tables force you to sort and fold… And eventually put away.
7. Make a Laundry Cheat Sheet
Print out a laundry cheat sheet for those mysterious and tricky laundry stains in the pile. Frame it and hang it where you can reference it when tackling your laundry. Now what is the formula for boys and dirt…?
8. Have a Basket for Each Family Member
Although I am not a fan of holding stations for laundry, I am a big fan of each family member getting their own laundry basket for their clothing. When laundry day comes, give each family member their own basket to put their clothes away and return empty back to you. Small children might not be able to take their baskets to their room yet, but they can help put clothing away into those dresser drawers.
9. Make the Dual Purpose Room Work
Since this room also holds craft storage, sort your craft supplies and get rid of anything you have not used in the last year. Sort the remaining supplies into a cubby station (that already exists). For the items you want your kids to use, be sure to put these supplies in the lower cubbies for easy access for crafting while you are doing laundry. Wait, that’s not fair!
10. Designate a Spot for Donations to Keep the Space
The spaces in our home can easily become cluttered again especially when we have so many helpers in our house (ahem). Keep an empty basket on the top shelf that can be your go-to basket for items that your children have outgrown. Once the item is washed, just tuck it in the basket and once full, donate it. It feels good to get rid of the things that we don’t need any more and the bonus is that we can give it to someone who does. Winning!
Check out more of Amy’s tips and tricks on her blog – Mom Advice.