Joyful Downsizing: Organizing the Laundry Room

Kim Kubsch

“Organizing Your Laundry Room” is 16th in a series of articles featuring techniques for decluttering your home—one room at a time.

How much attention or love do you give your laundry room? While we really don’t spend a huge amount of time there, we do use it several times per week, so it should be functional and stylishly efficient.

Laundry Room smarts to implement time-savvy systems to help you manage laundry chores and reduce stress include:

* Do a load or two several times each week. Pick a designated day you wash everyone’s sheets and towels, and a day for colors, and maybe a different day for whites.

* Set a timer on your phone or magnetic timer to remind you to add clothes, switch machines, or put everything away.

* Keep supplies handy to save time by keeping everything you need within reach.

* Follow through—remember to fold and put away clean laundry. Consider putting laundry on a nearby bed or somewhere you will be forced to deal with it in a timely way.

* Pack more function into your walls by making use of its side walls—matching bins, hooks, peg board, wall shelves.

* Tools to consider include risers to store below and above the riser or shelf. Three-tier rolling carts with wheels provide mobile storage for toiletries and makeup, laundry room, kitchen, bathroom, office, coffee bar, or hobby area.

* White or clear bins or baskets can be labeled for hand-wash items, dry cleaning, cloths/rags, laundry care items such as a lint roller, sweater shaver, handheld steamer. Bins, baskets, or tiny cabinets or cubicles can be used to store detergent, vinegar, and stain cleaners.

* A two- or three-drawer hamper helps presort dirty clothes or divide them by person.

* Tired of setting up an ironing board? Use a magnetic ironing mat. It can transform the top of your washer and dryer or any other flat surface into an ironing board. You can store it rolled up or use the magnets to attach it to the side of your washer when it’s not needed.

* Do you lose socks and waste time matching them by type or person? One solution is to clip them together before you put them in the hamper so they stay matched in the washer and dryer. Or use a mesh laundry bag for each family member to keep socks and any other small items united.

* Add a jar or piggy bank for all the loose coins you find in the clothing before washing clothes.

* Decorative touches can be achieved with small, artificial or real plants, message signs, or canvas prints of beautiful scenery.

* Stash extra paper products out of the way on a top shelf.

* Keep a dust buster and oil diffuser or fresh-scent dispenser handy.

While laundry rooms may be small, make them mighty!

Future articles will feature digital photo storage, drawer organization, and moving preparation. Stay tuned.

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