By Meghan Belnap
Organizing a laundry room can be a tough adventure, particularly when you need to fit everything into a small space. A small laundry room can quickly become cluttered with dirty, unorganized clothes; various different products on the machines; and a messy pile of hangers that are a pain to sort through! Using a pre-laundry organizer, space-saving cabinets, and a built-in rack for hangers can turn a cramped space into a spacious laundry room with plenty of room to wash, dry, and hang-up your family's clothes.
A pre-laundry organizer can be greatly effective in turning hectic clothes-washing into a much more enjoyable task. Simply start by gathering 3-5 tall bins (depending on how you prefer to sort your clothes) and placing them side-by-side in your laundry room. Laminate a simple tag for each bin, identifying which clothes should go in each. Laminating the tags helps to make sure they will stand up to heavy usage later.
To start you may simply want labels for whites, darks and lights. If you're a bit more adventurous, or like your laundry sorted into more sets, you might prefer adding separate bins for towels, delicates or denim. Then, punch holes in the four corners, but be careful not to get too close to the edge or you might rip the tags when you attach them. Use small zip-ties to attach the tags at the four corners to one side of the bin. If you have little ones around the bins, you may want to clip the zip-ties and carefully file the edges with a nail file to make sure they aren't sharp.
Now, as people bring in dirty clothes they can sort them into the appropriate bins. Then, when it's time to wash clothes, you can simply pick up a laundry bin and empty it into the washing machine. This can be an excellent time saver, not to mention the space you can save by not having piles of dirty laundry all over the floor!
Anyone who does much laundry knows that there can be a lot of different supplies needed depending on which load of laundry you are running. Some clothes might need fabric softener, stain remover or bleach, not to mention the dryer sheets that most loads need. All these different products can quickly pile up on top of the machine or near the machines until it becomes difficult to keep track of what everything is and whether you need to go buy more.
Keeping everything within easy reach can be a huge challenge, especially in a small space. To combat this fight for space, consider installing cabinets above the washer and dryer to store everything that you might need. Make sure that any top-loading machines still have clearance to open fully before you install the cabinets. Store the things you use most near the bottom and reserve the top spaces for things you don't use as often but still want close at hand.
If your laundry space is in a garage or basement that may be more difficult to put in small cabinets, consider getting some custom garage cabinets that can store everything and can be customized to fit the space. Using customized cabinets can be a huge advantage because you'll be able to customize the sizes of the shelves to your favorite detergents and bottles, as well as make the cabinets fit perfectly around your particular machines.
Keeping the dirty laundry organized and having cabinets to store the laundry supplies makes running the laundry a lot easier, but in many cases, you'll want to hang-up delicate clothes as soon as they leave the dryer so they won't wrinkle! If you simply throw everything into a basket, you'll soon find that your blouses and slacks will be wrinkled before you get a chance to hang them later.
However, no one likes to sort through a pile of hangers that have somehow managed to tangle themselves into a jumbled mess! If you have installed cabinets above your machines, you can purchase a curtain rod and mount it to the bottom of the cabinets, near the front edge. Then, simply put the hangers on the curtain rod and they will be ready to be used as soon as the clothes come out of the dryer. This easy tip can simplify removing clothes from the dryer and help make sure that everything runs smoothly from start to finish.
Whether your laundry room is a part of your garage, a separate room, or even just a small closet, using simple tips like these can help to completely transform the space and bring the room from messy, disorganized and dysfunctional to a space that is a breeze to use. These easy space hacks will help you make the most out of your laundry room and ensure that you spend less time washing clothes and more time doing what you love.