Tuesday, August 3, 2010

Organizing the Laundry Room

We should all do what, in the long run, gives us joy, even if it is only picking grapes or sorting the laundry. - E.B. White

My laundry room is, for some reason, one of the hardest rooms in my house for me to keep organized. I think it's because we use it for so many purposes and it's not really very big. It's the place where we get our clothes clean of course, but has other functions as well. We come into the house through the laundry room from the garage so it serves as a "mud room" where the kids leave their jackets and sometimes their backpacks and shoes and also contains our "overflow" refrigerator, and my ironing board and iron.

I have learned a few tricks over the years to keep it from becoming an overwhelming mess.

1. I don't want the laundry to get out of hand, so I do some every day.
2. I keep the detergent, bleach, etc. in a cute enamelware dishpan on top of the washer. That way I can see it and know when I'm running low, but it's contained in one spot so I don't have to hunt it down every time I wash a load.
3. I use the wall space and the top of the refrigerator. I have hooks on the wall for jackets and bags and a wall organizer that holds my ironing board, iron and spray starch. The top of the fridge is where I keep empty lunchboxes during the summer and when not in use during the school year. They are in an old laundry basket. I also keep a trash can handy for things like lint, used dryer sheets, and sometimes candy wrappers and other odds and ends I find in pockets.
4. I regularly go through the lonely sock stash. I match up what I can and cut the rest up for rags. These are perfect for times when you need to clean up something really yucky because you can throw them away with no guilt.
5. No clean clothes are allowed to stay in the laundry room once they are dry. I have a bar to hang drip-dry clothes, but as soon as possible after they are dry I put them away.
6. About once a month I mop the laundry room floor and wipe down the surfaces of the washer, dryer and refrigerator. I also wash out the laundry basket. It seems to be a repository for crumbs and dried grass.

What room is hardest for you to keep organized?