Laundry rooms can often become a catchall for shoes, coats, backpacks, mail and anything else that can quickly get dropped off at the door. But these "chore rooms" don't have to be merely industrial spaces; they can be just as clean, organized and designer-worthy as every other room in the house. Follow these six tips to keep your laundry room organized once and for all we promise!
Corral All-Weather Gear
Hats, gloves, sunglasses and scarves usually end up all over the house or shoved in the coat closet. Use Julie's SPACE method to get organized: Sort, Purge, Assign, Containerize and Equalize. First identify what's important and group similar items, she says. Then purge any glove missing its partner. Assign by corralling all your cold- and warm-weather essentials and containerizing with labeled baskets for each member of the family. Store these where your family normally takes them off after coming indoors. "Rather than retrain the family," says Julie, "store things beautifully where people drop them." Finally, equalize the space every day by tidying up.
A common source of frustration in the laundry room (other than endless piles of dirty clothes) is finding a place for all those cleaning supplies. Solution: Store cleaning supplies in a carry-all caddy or open-top storage container. The caddy is ideal for wire shelves because it prevents bottles from tipping over. Plus, no more rooting around in the back of the cabinet for window cleaner. Design by Elsa Greer
Create a Pet Zone
If your pet's possessions are slowly taking over the household, consider creating a pet zone in the laundry room. A pet zone can free up space and make you aware of how much you pamper your pet, which might mean you have to cut back. Things to put in the space: a bed or crate; a peg rack for leashes and collars; and food dishes on a nonskid carpet or in an elevated dish. Be sure everything is placed out of the flow of traffic for the room.
Go Vertical to Dry Clothes
The too-small laundry room often suffers from a serious lack of hanging space, resulting in clothes draped over the dryer, cabinets and doors. Vertical space is often the most overlooked area in these rooms. Install a retractable clothesline or buy an inexpensive freestanding drying rack to reclaim some much-needed space in the laundry room. Imagine, counter space that's actually used to fold clothes.
Presort Dirty Clothes in Hampers
Cut down on laundry time with an organized method for presorting clothes. If space is available, add three laundry hampers (we love the idea of color-coding or labeling) for whites, lights and darks. When a hamper gets full, it's time to run the wash. To keep the system going, have each family member take responsibility for bringing their clothes to the laundry room.
Create a Laundry Room Lost and Found
More than just socks go missing in the laundry room each year. Add a mug or basket near the washer to contain items found in pockets. For those elusive socks, keep another basket handy for strays. Reunite all items with their owners each week. By deciding where things will go (at least temporarily) and remembering to make it logical and accessible, you'll have more success with organization in the long run.