Decluttering starts by focusing on the function of a room or space then subtracting everything that doesn’t serve the function.
Laundry rooms are a bit trickier, though. The name implies they are only for washing and drying clothes, but a well-organized laundry room will hold everything else you need to keep clothing in good shape.
Organizing Laundry Rooms
Let’s start by getting rid of obvious clutter:
- Anything that’s broken
- Obvious trash (e.g., empty containers, dry-cleaning bags, etc.)
- Things that belong in other rooms
- Products you don’t like or which don’t work but you’ve been keeping around anyway
What you should have in your laundry room:
- Your washer/dryer (naturally)
- Laundry products (detergents, bleach, oxygenated bleach, dryer sheets, stain removers, etc.)
- Iron and ironing board
- Sewing kit (if you don’t have a sewing room)
- Extra towels for mopping up messes
- Wastebasket for lint, trash, etc.
Organizing the laundry room makes it easier to use and a little less miserable to do this seemingly never-ending chore. Ideally, you shouldn’t need to move anything or shift things around just to do a load of laundry. A few tweaks to your existing laundry room can help.
1. A Place to Hang Clothes
Hanging prevents wrinkles. If you aren’t a fan of ironing — I’m not — you can often skip it by taking clothes out of the dryer while they’re still ever so slightly damp, then hanging them to finish drying.
A rolling garment rack is fantastic if you’ve got the space for it, especially if you have a one-floor home. If you’re short on space, consider mounting a closet rod from ceiling hooks, so you’ve at least got somewhere to hang clothes right as they come out of the dryer.
2. A Place to Air-Dry Clothes
Certain garments, like sweaters and delicates, should be air-dried. Line-drying clothes
A collapsible drying rack gives you space to flat-dry things like bulky sweaters. Tuck it alongside your appliance or hang it on wall-mounted hooks when not in use.
3. A Place to Sort Clothes
Sorting clothes on the floor leads to overlooking things. If you’ve got the space, a rolling laundry hamper allows you to sort throughout the week and can provide extra counter-top storage, too. When a compartment is full, you know it’s time to do a load of wash.
4. A Place to Fold Clothes (and Iron If You Must)
Fold clothes in the laundry room, and you’ll keep them from taking over your house. If you’re following Marie Kondo’s method, folding clothes is a must.
Using an ironing board as a folding surface is an excellent use for the thing if, like me, you try to avoid ironing altogether. Short on space? A door-mounted ironing board works great! Oh, and you’ll have room to iron, too.
5. Sewing Kit and Other Clothing-Care Items
Use baskets and shelves to hold clothing-care items. Keeping a small sewing kit in the laundry room (with needles, several colors of thread, pins, and iron-on hemming tape) lets you quickly make small repairs.
Having extra towels in the laundry room is also a good idea, in case the washing machine overflows. Pressing bulky items like sweaters and electric blankets between thick towels before adding them to the dryer also speeds up drying time.
6. Decant Laundry Products Wisely
Be smart about transferring products to other containers. Moving Borax and washing soda to separate glass jars does help preserve them, since their boxes absorb moisture that makes the contents clump.
Keep laundry pods in childproof containers! We’ve all heard about tragedies when children mistake laundry pods for candy. If you have small children, don’t put appearance over safety: leave the pods in their childproof containers!
Also, don’t casually mix different products. Some common household ingredients become lethal when combined.
Cleaning the laundry room is much easier once it’s been decluttered and organized. Since a lot of lint and moisture flies around in this room, it’s a good idea to clean your laundry room at least every two weeks.
For now, let’s give it a basic cleaning:
- Dust the ceiling, light fixtures, walls, window sills, shelves, and doors.
- Wipe the shelves with a damp microfiber cloth — including everything you’ve shelved.
- Use a clean, damp cloth to wipe the appliances inside and out.
- Clean the window and polish any glass.
- Clean the baseboard.
- Vacuum or sweep and mop the floor.
- Empty the trash.