Sort. Wash. Dry. Fold or hang. Wait for family members to put things away. These are the typical steps in a household’s laundry cycle—and the traditional focus of a dedicated laundry room. But in today’s busy world, laundry rooms have taken on a new life as the catch-all for backpacks, briefcases, purses, shoes, coats, and other items dropped off at the entry. Don’t fight it; lean into the laundry room’s role as the most versatile room in the house. Follow these six savvy steps to create a hard-working but well-organized laundry room.
- Corral House-Cleaning Supplies in the Laundry Room
Admit it; you’ve gotten used to leaving cleaning supplies in the laundry room—right next to the detergent, bleach, and dryer sheets. And that means it takes extra minutes to root around for what you need to clean house. So save yourself some time and effort. Keep cleaning supplies organized, visible, and accessible with a pullout cleaning caddy under the laundry-room sink. Not only does a caddy keep cleaning supplies in one place, it can be removed from the stand and carried where it’s needed—making house cleaning less of a hassle. BTW: Since detergent and other laundry products need to stay in the laundry room, feel free to store them in an upper cabinet or on a shelf mounted above the washer or dryer.
- Prepare a Laundry Room Pet Zone
Why is the laundry room perfect for organizing Fido’s food, treats, and doggie shampoos? Because laundry rooms tend to be outfitted with durable flooring and countertops that stand up to water, grime, and even claws. Make the laundry room even more pet-friendly by installing a pullout wire basket in a base cabinet to corral toys, waste bags, ear cleaner, and other supplies. You can also install a top-mount trash can with a lid to store Beaux’s dog food—keeping the kibble protected and out of the way. Such a trash can will also eliminate the need to pick up a heavy dog-food bag at feeding time. Add a wall-mounted peg rack to keep leashes ready at all times.
- Set Up an Air-Dry Station in the Laundry Room
Just say “no” to the practice of draping wet clothes over the dryer or cabinet doors to dry. Instead, install a closet rod over the sink (to keep drips from hitting the floor) or add a folding laundry valet to create a spot for hang-drying clothing that shouldn’t go in the dryer.
- Establish a Laundry Room Lost and Found
Everyone knows that some socks disappear once they’re thrown in the dryer—and that’s on them. But family members need to take responsibility for the items left in the pockets of their jeans, pants, shirts, blouses, and hoodies. Help them help themselves by adding a basket in the laundry room that is designated as the lost and found. Not only will it create a “home” for lost items, but it will help keep clutter from spilling out of the laundry room into other areas of the house. Now when you can’t find the mate to a single sock? Just check the lost and found.
- Use the Laundry Room to Store All-Weather Gear and/or Sports Equipment
It’s tough enough to get going in the morning without having to search the whole house for your hat, coat, umbrella, or duffel bag filled with athletic gear. Help everyone stay on schedule by storing outerwear (including hats and gloves) as well as sports equipment in the laundry room. That way, people can grab what they need right before heading out the door. Install cabinet rollouts to store gloves and hats where they are out of the way but easily accessible. Add hooks for coats, backpacks, and sports-equipment bags.
- Set Up a Laundry Room Folding Station
You know how it goes; clean laundry seems to end up either sitting in a basket or being piled on a chair for days. Creating a designated folding station in your laundry room will not only give you the space you need to fold clean laundry, it will help motivate you to fold clothes immediately after they leave the dryer. Designate a section of the countertop as a folding station or add a storage-smart island or mobile cart if you have the room.
DIY Laundry Room Organizing Hacks
- Store liquid detergents and softeners in beverage dispensers. This allows you to quickly add your cleaning detergent/softener to a wash and it also looks sleek and stylish. If you use powder detergent or pods, store them in a glass penny-candy jar.
- Hang your ironing board on two decorative hooks. This quick fix gets your ironing board up and out of your way.
- Create a stain station. Put all of the products you need for stain removal in a box or basket and store it in a convenient spot. Now when you need to work on a stain, everything you need is all in one place.