Laundry Room Baskets

Add beauty and function to your laundry room with a range of basket choices.



"It's such a spacious laundry room," says Lindsay. "And we obviously didn't want to overlook it and not design it." Softening touches include custom fiber artwork and beachwear turned wall art.

Photo by: Eric Perry

Eric Perry

Laundry room baskets. The words no doubt conjure images of white plastic mesh bins. But you can move beyond that typical idea and find baskets that will add a decorative element as well as function to your laundry room.

8 Ways to Make Laundry Easier

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Schedule Laundry Chores Regularly

The equation is simple: You wear clothes. You wash clothes and towels, sheets and bedding, too. Put off the laundry side of the equation, and the job becomes much harder. In the laundry hamper, stains and wrinkles have a chance to settle in and make themselves permanent. A load of wet laundry, left to itself in the washing machine, invites mildew. The dryer load, forgotten and unfolded, settles back into rumpled comfort once the heat dies down.
Solution: Schedule laundry chores regularly. How often to do laundry will depend on your family's needs. Households with young children may have to launder multiple loads each day, while singletons can go for a week at a time between laundry sessions as long as laundry operations are conducted regularly.

Create a Laundry Activity Center

A laundry activity center combines the equipment, tools and supplies needed to get in and get the job done quickly. Establish a space to assemble, sort, wash, dry, fold and return clean clothing and bedding.

Clear Counter Space

Look to the location of the washing machine (if you have one) to set up the laundry center. Clear space around the machine; folding laundry is an active process, so you'll need as much clear counter space as you can create. A sink nearby will make it easier to treat stains and presoak soiled clothing.

Ensure Good Lighting

Good lighting will help you find and identify stains, so supplement existing lighting if it's dark or dreary. Can you read the fine print on a garment label? If not, provide additional lamps or lighting fixtures.

Take Advantage of Storage Space

Store detergents and laundry products in an overhead cabinet, or mount a shelf unit on the wall above the washing machine. Households with small children will need to locate cleaning products up and away from little hands, but within reach of preteens and up, to make it easy for growing youngsters to take over their own laundry chores.

Hold in the Permanent Press

Install a closet rod in the laundry center to hang permanent-press garments. If cabinetry permits, an expandable shower-curtain rod will hold clean shirts and extra hangers in smaller spaces.

Take Clothes Vertical

If space permits, add a retractable clothesline or folding drying rack to the laundry center. Even if the house has an automatic dryer, a clothesline or rack makes it a quick matter to dry sweaters and underthings that should not be placed in the dryer.

Keep Laundry Separated

Code laundry baskets with a different color for each family member and place baskets in every bedroom and bathroom. On laundry days, family members who can take their own baskets to the laundry center, and return the clean and folded clothing to their own closets at day's end.

Photo By: DK - House Works © 2010 Dorling Kindersley Limited

Depending on the size of your household, a single basket may suit your needs—or you may need several. Think about your family's habits and traffic flow. Does it make sense to include a hamper in the laundry room itself? If your family members come through the door and immediately begin stripping off dirty sports jerseys and sweaty socks, you will need a basket to hold them. You'll also want to sort between white garments, bright colors and dry-cleaning pieces, to eliminate having to sort them yourself.

If you have room for a basket center, you can have a labeled basket for each family member. The baskets can be placed on or under a shelf, or they can be part of a built-in cabinet with a countertop for folding. After a load of clothes or bed linens is cleaned and dried, each basket's owner can be responsible for taking the full basket, putting away the laundry and putting the basket back in place. Even young children can carry small loads to their rooms, keeping the chore from piling up on one person.

In addition to standard laundry storage containers, you can find attractive baskets to hold laundry soap, fabric softener, stain remover, and other cleaning supplies. If your laundry room is also used to store garden tools or sports equipment, you'll want baskets to hold those items too.

You can choose from a wide range of styles for your baskets in order to complement your room's decor. For a simple, streamlined look, choose wire mesh baskets that allow you to see the contents inside. These baskets can be part of a pull-out "drawer" shelving system that will make grabbing the items you need easy.

For items you don't want visible, choose a metal washtub-style basket (round or square). As an added bonus for creative types, you can paint these containers in solid colors or with a unique design or scene.

You can also choose a pretty straw or wicker basket that is woven tightly or lined. These pretty baskets can be hung on the wall when not in use so as to add a decorative element. If you have framed artwork in your laundry room, you can choose baskets in colors that match or coordinate with the frames, or you can paint the frames and baskets yourself.

See also: Professionally Designed Laundry and Utility Rooms

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