There are two things that pile up at my house…dishes and laundry. Today I am going to share ideas on creating a highly-efficient laundry room and tips on laundry organization and routines.
We all need to wear clothes to be civilized, and clean clothes is a plus, so figuring out how to create a laundry room and routine that works for you is so important.
I will first address the actual organization and design of a laundry room and then I will share some of my favorite hacks for making laundry less painful.
Notice in the pictures how there are spaces for all the major activities in a laundry room and nothing more. Simplicity is just as important in the laundry room as I believe it is in the closet.
Keep in mind that the less clothes you have, the less laundry you will need to wash, dry and fold. Simple is best.Lucy Bowman
For some ideas on capsule wardrobes check out this post.
LAUNDRY ROOM ESSENTIALS:
- washer and dryer
2. drying rack
5. containers to keep clothes pins, baking soda and organize laundry cleaners, ironing supplies and misc. things collected from clothes. Try to keep containers uniform in size and or color to make things look more organized. Uniformity can be really nice too when it comes to towels and sheets. My goal is to get all white towels and sheets. I just love to be able to see if my laundry is clean. It may seem boring, but think about what hotels use…white. Check out my organization picks.
6. baskets for sorting: I love the idea of being able to hide the baskets inside cabinets, but I just use boxes and baskets of the same size.
7. Ironing Supplies: I love when everything I need is within reach and can be put back easily. There are simple units with hooks and a small shelf that you can hang your ironing board on and then put an iron on top of the shelf above the hooks. I personally just hang the clothing that needs ironing and use my steamer to make the process faster.
8. Countertop to be able to fold and organize clothing. I love that you can simply add wood on top of front loader washers and dryers if you have a small space. Use durable countertop material, as well as durable flooring since water and cleaners will be a daily thing in this space.
9. Light is such a nice addition to a laundry room because laundry can be a tedious job and if the room and the task is filled with light, the tasks can be less burdensome. Many of the most beautiful laundry rooms have a window and good lighting.
TIPS FOR STAGES OF LAUNDRY
GATHERING: There is nothing more annoying than having to start the process of doing laundry by having to gather individual pieces of dirty laundry throughout the entire house. My husband and I have a basket in our rooms and our children put their dirty laundry done the laundry shoot/drop since our laundry room is in the basement.
At our house we have a laundry shoot (a small opening that goes from the first floor down through the main level and into the basement where my “laundry room” is. I put quotations around laundry room because although it is a room, it looks nothing like the rooms I am showcasing in this post. It is an unfinished basement area that, although very functional, is not pretty. If we didn’t have a laundry shoot, each of my children would have a basket in their room.
SORTING: There are many ways to sort, but the most common is (darks, whites, delicates and towels.)
You can also sort by texture; the laundry that is more abrasive, like jeans, are not wearing out the other clothes that are softer while they wash. I know one mother who is more concerned with texture than she is with color once the clothes have been washed at least once. Also, I have never used bags for delicates, but they exist and I should probably give it a try for longevity of my clothes.
PREPPING: This is where you would apply stain removal to stains, soak something that may need it and make sure that you apply any measures that may be explained on the care instructions for the laundry you are going to do. I keep the washer manual nearby so I can check the parameters of the different settings.
WASHING: Use the right water temperature (Cold water for delicates, shrinkable clothes and darks that could bleed. Warm for mildly soiled clothes and man-made fabrics. Hot water is for whites, bedding and towels and work clothes.)
Clean out your washer at least once a month. I use Affresh for cleaning the washer and there is a setting for cleaning on my washer.
I highly recommend using eco-friendly detergent (brands to check out: Seventh Generation, Molly’s Suds, Better Life, Method, BioKleen) that will avoid allergic reactions and are healthy for your family. I use liquid detergent, but I know powder can also be used and may save money.
DRYING: I don’t use fabric softener sheets because I have not found any that play with the allergies in my family. If you use something that is gentle and works well, please let me know. Use the most eco-friendly heat setting to get the job done and pay attention to care labels.
FOLDING: My biggest tips for folding is to fold near the place that you will be putting the clothes away, so you are more likely to put it away (or your kids are more likely to put it away). Also, I do use the Marie Kondo folding for my shirts, pants and under ware. Click here for short tutorials on how to fold Marie Kondo style.
PUTTING AWAY: Once the laundry is folded, we have a basket for each person in the family and the person will take their basket and put their laundry away. I am just entering the stage where my children can do this on their own, so if you have really little ones, I still suggest you fold near the site of where the clothes go.
Also, another tip to make your life easier with children is to buy outfits that coordinate (look like they go together). This will help you know what clothing belongs to which child and will also make it easier for kids to pull outfits out that makes sense. Hopefully, this also cuts down on the amount of clothes that your children try on and then put on the ground.
A quick note on timing of doing laundry. I have found two ways that seem to work equally well since the real challenge of staying on top of laundry is simply to do it.
The first is to try to get it all done in one day. The other is to do a load a day. How often do you do laundry?
Check off the essential tools for your laundry room and create efficient systems for your laundry routine.
I hope that you and I can create a laundry room and routine that can add more function and beauty into our homes. Let me know what your best laundry hacks are in the comments! I hope to share some improvements of my basement laundry situation in my stories on Instagram.