Laundry Room Organization

If you’re lucky enough to have a dedicated laundry room, you know that it can easily become disorganized. Whether it’s items from other areas of the house living there permanently or it’s half-finished laundry stacking up, the small room can quickly seem out-of-control. We’ve put together some of our favorite ideas for designing and maintaining a flawlessly organized laundry room.

What Belongs There: Although some people use their laundry room for storage of other items, if you are looking to create an organized space, it’s best kept to it’s original function. The following is a list of items every laundry room should have.

  • Washer & Dryer
  • Iron & Ironing Board
  • Detergent (1 bottle)
  • Stain Remover (1 bottle)
  • Fabric Softener (If desired)
  • Dryer Sheets (1 package)
  • 1-3 hampers (Separated by color)
  • 1 Clean clothes laundry basket

How to Organize the Space: Depending on how large your laundry room is, there may be an opportunity for you to have a dedicated folding table. If so, utilize the space below the table to store your 3 hampers. Use the area above the washer and dryer to add shelves for holding all clothing cleaning products. Keep all other areas minimally decorated and with as little storage as possible. This room should be used as much as possible for laundry and laundry alone.

The Laundry Room Re-Set: If you find that the room often become disorganized, commit to a laundry room reset once per week. At this time, you’ll fold and put away all clean clothes, wash any dirty ones still there, and re-organize the cleaning products and physical items in the space. If you are committed to this process, you’ll find the space stays clean and organized longer.

 

Laundry Day: Managing the Routine

A recurring issue brought up by clients is the task of laundry. Whether it be getting clothes washed, dealing with dry cleaning, or regularly folding and putting items away, it seems that many struggle to maintain a functional system. We’ve outlined below some of our most helpful tips for optimizing your laundry routine.

Scheduling:

  • There are two schools of thought on laundry scheduling and both are based on personal preference. For some clients, doing one load per day over the course of several days, allows them to not be overloaded and manage the folding/putting away process. For people with shorter attention spans or unpredictable schedules, this is a great option. For others, picking a specific day or time of the week for laundry ensures completion. If this is your preferred method, make sure to select a time in which no interruptions will cause half-folded laundry to remain on your couch for days. Calendar reminders are also great for this method.

Laundry Tips:

  • Cut down on the amount of laundry in your home by teaching family members to determine after each wear if the item can be re-hung or folded for another use, or if it is soiled and in fact in need of wash.
  • If you have the space, consider getting a tri-compartment laundry hamper to allow for pre-sorting. This will cut down on time in front of the machine.
  • For those with young helpers, post cleaning instructions, including proper wash cycles for various types of clothing, nearby the washer. You can also use a permanent marker to write “Cold Water” or “Air Dry” on the clothing label to ensure your clothes are not ruined on your kids watch.
  • Wash clothes that need ironing first, then iron while the next load is running.
  • Place a drying rack nearby the washer and hang clothes that cannot be dried immediately upon cycle finish to avoid wrinkling.
  • Use safety pins to pin dirty socks together prior to washing to ensure mates stay together.

Dry Cleaning:

  • Picking up and dropping off dry-cleaning can be a time-consuming weekly activity. For clients that hate the task or simply don’t have the time, I recommend several things. First, look into whether your home or office building offers free pickup. This will cut down on trips and is often similarly priced to regular cleaners. Second, is to invest in a pickup/dropoff service, such as Press Atlanta. They offer twice-a-week and will-call service for a reasonable cost. If neither of these options are a possibility, set a particular time and day of the week in which to conduct pickups and dropoffs at your normal cleaner.

No matter your feelings toward laundry, use these tips and the task will be just a bit easier.

Good Luck,
TWOW

Stuck in a Rut

As 2012 is in full swing, I’ve encountered many new clients who are ready to make the switch from disorganized to organized. I admire this choice, as it often takes great courage and resolve to change one’s lifestyle. A common theme I’ve noticed with people who believe they are disorganized is what I like to call stuck-in-a-rut syndrome. This syndrome usually takes the form of little items that need to be dealt with taking over large portions of our lives. The good news is that with a few simple actions, we can move beyond the small things that are keeping us from achieving our organizational goals.

I’ll give you an example of something that I see over and over again and have even experienced myself. You may be able to relate to the situation where you have many articles of clothing in need of mending, tailoring or dry cleaning but instead of taking them to be fixed, they begin to pile up on a piece of furniture in your bedroom, laundry room or spare room. The sight of this mess leads you to take a little less care in keeping that room organized and over time, more and more piles form of dirty clothes, mail, items to be donated, etc. Before you know it, you’re stuck in a disorganized rut. Sometimes, the mess begins to spread to the rest of your house – the sight of items in need of action becomes the norm.

Another example could be that you have a piece of furniture in a room of your home that needs to be repaired and is unusable until it is fixed. Slowly, you use the room less because it is no longer a comfortable place to spend time. It becomes a haven for all the other things in need of repair in your life. Sound familiar?

It is so easy for disorganization to creep into our lives, but implementing short and simple routines in your week for clothing and home maintenance can make a big difference in making sure your home remains your sanctuary.

For clients in this situation, I like to recommend a bi-weekly routine of errands, calls and actions. Pick a small amount of time on a day of your week or weekend that is conducive to completing a few tasks. For example, on Mondays, I like to stop by Starbucks on my way to a standing client appointment. There is a dry cleaner a few doors down, so I bring a few items every other Monday that need special cleaning attention and I pick up the items I’d dropped off the last Monday I was there. If you have a Saturday morning manicure routine, take your items that need tailoring with you and stop by on the way to your appointment. If Wednesday evenings are the nights your husband steps out with the guys, take a few moments of that precious time to research furniture repair businesses in your area and give them a call during lunch the following day. In other words, find the pockets of time in your week where you’ve already established routines and work in just one or two of these to-dos. A mini-alteration to your day like this can chip away at the piles, and slowly pull you out of the rut. Notice I’m not suggesting that you take a whole day of your weekend to take care of every single pile in every single room – that is not realistic, nor is it sustainable for a busy and aspiring well-organized person.

Small changes can afford lasting results. Think about what’s holding you in a rut and consider what small actions could start to pull you out. Let go of the rut by taking control of your time and your space in short but sweet bursts of time and routine. You’ll be surprised how the growing freedom you’ll feel will fuel more energy towards an organized day and lifestyle!

Good luck!
-TWOW

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