5 Tips for a better organized laundry room

Cartoon style drawing of a washing machine, laundry basket and ironing boarrd

Many clients will hire me to organize their laundry room. Much of the disorganization comes from not having a system to get the clothes to the laundry room, washed, dryed, folded and back to the rooms. Laundry piles up near the washer causing disorganizing. In the blog you will learn 5 steps to help you build a system that makes getting the laundry done easy.

Keep a central collection area for your laundry close to where people change.  The main bathroom, near the bedrooms, is often a good choice. Keep three hampers – one each for lightmedium and dark colours. Make sure everyone knows to empty pockets, because no one else is going to check.

Keep a stain remover nearby so everyone can treat the stains on their clothing. Children may need help with the most difficult stains, like blood.  Use shampoo without conditioner on grease stains. Once stains are treated, fold the clothing to prevent stain remover from touching the hamper. Remember to place clothing in the correct laundry hamper.

Have a table or space available so you can fold and pile items as they are removed from the dryer. You might have a piece of smooth wood (or cover it with a cloth) that you can place over the laundry tub to make a folding area. Make sure the floor is clean so if anything falls, it will not need to be laundered again.

Have a place to hang up clothes – a line, door hooks or a free-standing rack.

Establish a laundry supply shelf or cupboard. Be sure to have a variety of supplies available so you can easily handle any stain – detergent, bleach, shampoo, stain remover, and a bar of laundry soap for quick hand-washing items.  Include a basin so you can conveniently soak or hand wash items.

What do you do to make laundry easy in your home?

Julie Stobbe is a Trained Professional Organizer and Lifestyle Organizing Coach who brings happiness to homes and organization to offices, virtually using Zoom. She has been working with clients since 2006 to provide customized organizing solutions to suit their individual needs and situations. She uses her love of teaching to reduce clutter, in your home, office, mind and time. She guides and supports you to be accountable for your time, to complete projects and to reach your goals. If you’re in a difficult transition Julie can coach you to break-free of emotional clutter constraining you from living life on your terms. Online courses are available to help instruct, coach and support your organizing projects. Get started by downloading Tips for Reorganizing 9 Rooms.

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15 thoughts on “5 Tips for a better organized laundry room”

  1. Laundry rooms could be challenging with the size. I’ve been to homes with very tiny space and some other with large laundry room. As long as we have a system to make it work, we should be good.

  2. I’m glad to see you mention the idea of a laundry line. Many people have tiny laundry rooms, and the free-standing racks just won’t do. But a retractable laundry line (like you sometimes see in hotels) is a great solution. It practically disappears when not in use!

    1. I think some people don’t realize the importance of a line in the laundry room. If there is no line or hooks over a door to hang articles you start to see them lying all over the home. Once again it is important to get them put away as soon as possible ( a system) to help maintain order in the home.

  3. It’s incredible how the laundry process can cause stress and anxiety in many households. I’ve had several who LOVE doing laundry, and they can’t imagine why it’s a challenge for them. Many more clients of my clients have a negative relationship with laundry and all the processes associated with it.

    Making the laundry ‘cycle’ have as few barriers to entry can help. That includes strategically placing dirty laundry receptacles, getting help from the family, creating a routine, having the supplies you need where you need them, and practicing.

    I enjoy doing laundry. The process is a great way to practice mindfulness. I also love how there is a beginning, middle, and end. Even though it’s a process that needs repeating, each ‘session’ does end. I enjoy the sense of completion.

    1. I like how you explain the session having a beginning, middle and end. I see a lot of clients who never get to the end. One session should be completed but it doesn’t get completed. Clothes aren’t folded, not put away, things are still hanging to dry or the last load never was completed. The next session starts so it seem like a never ending cycle instead of a completed session. Reinforcing a completed session and that means you get a break from laundry may make a good reward/mindset for some of my clients.

  4. There are so many reasons why the laundry process breaks down, but identifying the obstacles and removing them are so rewarding. Sometimes, clients lack motivation (so the mountains of laundry become a self-perpetuating problem, making them even less likely to handle it), but for most people, creating some easy wins makes the process so much easier.

    I hated laundry back in the days when I had to collect quarters and schlep to a laundromat. Now, I have a tiny stackable washer/dryer in a closet off of my kitchen; the ease of access makes laundry my favorite household chore. My laundry goes from the basket directly into the washer, and I always do a load when the basket reaches 2/3 of the way full; I start a load before I have to do a nearby focused task (like at 11p, as I’m sitting down to write a blog post) and the switch from the washer to the dryer gives me a refreshing break without the likelihood I’ll wander too far from my task. Most importantly, I never start a load of laundry unless I have the time to see it to completion, which doesn’t mean just drying things, but hanging or folding and actually putting them away.

    Sometimes I think that having too much space in the laundry room is where people go awry, as they try to accomplish too much in one small space. Having only the essential tools to spot-treat, wash, dry, fold and/or hang means that it can run like clockwork; the more people add to their laundry room (including ridiculously high and deep cabinets nobody can easily reach), the more cluttered they become. And I’m with Seana; while I’d hate to do without a dryer, the convenience of a retractible laundry line (high up enough so that nobody gets garroted) — especially if you find yourself without enough hangers near the dryer, can save steps and sanity.

      1. Yes, Betsy has a very good point. Too much space lets people get stalled on completing or starting the task. The clothes can stay out of sight in the laundry area.

    1. I like that you discussed timing your laundry so you can get it completed. I sometimes put in a laod on my way to bed and then into the dryer in the morning when I go for a walk and then complete it. This timing lets me get a head start on the process when I have lots of loads to do in one day. I also plan tasks that fit into the wash, dry, fold time and use it as a quick break from a task and then get back to it refreshed to concentrate. I also do all my laundry in one day so I can get a break from it for the rest of the week.

  5. It amazes me how often I work with clients who struggle with laundry. Getting the space organized is a great start: Thanks for the guidance on that! And then it can be helpful to have rhythms for when to laundry as well as making sure others in the household do their share! Having one collection area will surely streamline the process!

    1. Sometimes when I am in for an appointment with a client I will ask if they need to do laundry. They can get one load completed in the time we are working together. It helps them to see a process and get started on the mound of laundry.

      1. Yes! That is a great thing to offer to clients as YOU can keep track of the time and makes sure the clothes move successfully from the washer to the dryer and then , the biggie, to their final destination. I love the practicality and simplicity of your suggestions. 🙂

  6. I have seen people get ‘stuck’ when it comes to laundry. It has many steps, involves one or two or more people’s clothes–some dark, some light, some delicate. It takes time, effort, and concentration and ALWAYS needs to be done. Creating a laundry system that is simple and easy to follow for all involved makes the process less daunting and more apt to get done.

    I don’t mind doing laundry–especially in the winter when I can pull a warm towel out of the dryer and wrap myself in it while folding clothes!

    1. Laundry does have a mindset component to establishing a routine/process that works. If you are trying to avoid it that is when problems arise. If you develop a different mindset, it will only take a few minutes to start a load, it is nice when it is all back in the drawers, it is part of my week and it is completed quickly, then a process can be developed that used less energy and reduces mental stress. Having a reward, a warm towel, lunch out, read a book, can help to get the job done. I need a reward when I have to do gardening. Being outside isn’t enough of a reward for me to dig into gardening. lol

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