Doing laundry is a very universal activity but at the same time, very personal. There are many ways that people manage laundry depending on family size and ages, laundry room space, time, and the aversion to piles of dirty clothes. For example:
- Some families have a scheduled laundry day when everything for the week gets washed … if it’s in the hampers.
- Other households have an every-man-for-himself style, with each person randomly doing their own laundry.
- There are even those who do laundry only when there is nothing clean to wear, resulting in marathon laundry weekends and the question with no good answer, “Is this too dirty to wear?”
An efficient laundry room will streamline the process of laundry and change your life
However laundry gets done at your house, Tailored Living® can help you design an efficient laundry room that will make the never-ending task easier. The right storage and organization solutions will bring order and calm to the process. Here are seven essentials for an efficient laundry room so you can sail, stress-free, through laundry day, confident that everyone will have what they need each day for work, school, and play.
One: Laundry storage cabinets
Cabinets can immediately turn an out-of-control laundry room into uncluttered, organized space by providing storage for everything and anything that goes in the laundry room. This includes laundry products, small appliances, and linen closet storage like extra pillows, off-season bedding, and extra sheets and towels. Built around the washer and dryer, custom upper and lower cabinets capture valuable floor-to-ceiling space for storing daily-use items as well as long-term storage.
- Laundry products like soap, fabric softener, wool dryer balls, stain removers, bleach, and laundry aids are right where you use them but safely out of sight and reach by small children and curious pets.
- Lower cabinets can enclose pullout laundry hampers or laundry baskets to eliminate piles of dirty clothes on the floor.
- Clutter is eliminated (or at least hidden) and your laundry room becomes a more welcoming space.
Two: Workspace countertops
Without workspace, you’re left with the floor and the top of the machines as your sorting and folding areas. That might work for sorting dirty clothes but, past that point, the floor is not your friend once things have been washed and dumping clean laundry on the beds just makes more work later on. Built-in countertops create comfortable space for sorting, folding, and stacking clean laundry, letting you move smoothly from task to task.
- Your washer and dryer will stay clean and uncluttered, not buried under laundry and random piles of stuff.
- Countertops for folding and sorting let clothes go straight from the dryer to “distribution stacks,” so you only have to handle things once.
- For a small laundry room, use a folding table as temporary workspace while laundry day is in full swing, then hide it away.
Three: Storage shelves
Shelves can create valuable workspace in conjunction with cabinets or on their own. Open shelves can provide storage in between cabinets or in corners where cabinets aren’t practical. Deep cabinets are made more accessible with pullout shelves that bring the storage space out to you. Shelves over a washer and dryer can serve the same purpose as a cabinet to organize and store all the laundry products within easy reach.
- Use shelves to stack clean, folded laundry, one shelf per family member.
- Have a sewing kit handy to make quick repairs, like a loose hem or dropped button, and dedicate a shelf to “repair needed” items so you don’t forget about them.
- Keep a basket for rescued pocket contents to make it simple for everyone to retrieve pens, hair clips, keys or anything else they forgot in a pocket.
Shelves are an easy fix for needed storage and help to keep workspace countertops clear of clutter
Four: Laundry hampers
Laundry hampers or laundry baskets are a must for efficiency in handling laundry, from corralling the dirty clothes in bedrooms and bathrooms to transporting everything to the laundry room for sorting. Hampers can be wheeled for easy transport room to room or integrated pullout hampers can be hidden behind closed cabinet doors in the laundry room.
- Multiple hampers can help everyone “auto-sort” with one hamper per specific type of laundry, like dark colors, whites, delicates, sports uniforms, towels, and bedding.
- If you have the space, each family member can have their own hamper in the laundry room for all the laundry they generate.
- Laundry chutes are gaining popularity, with all the family’s laundry tumbling to the laundry room and into a big hamper at the end of the chute.
Five: Hanging space
The right amount of hanging space can be one of the biggest time-savers in your laundry room. Being able to hang dry non-dryer items so they can dry properly without cluttering up shower rods and bathtubs is a huge plus, and hanging clothes straight from the dryer will prevent wrinkles that plague clothes that have been piled even for a short time. Additionally, you can sort and hang each person’s clothes together making it quick and easy for everyone to collect their own clean clothes.
- Stationary hanging rods will keep clothes wrinkle-free until they transfer to the closets.
- Valet rods pull out for additional hanging space and retract when not in use.
- Free-standing and fold-out racks let you create all the hanging space you need.
Creative hanging options help to maximize functional space in large or small laundry rooms
Six: Appropriate lighting
If you’ve ever tired to do laundry in a dim garage or laundry room, you know how helpful good lighting can be. You can see colors correctly (navy versus black), find any stains that need attention before tossing into the wash, correctly read the dial settings, and you’ll never ever grab the chlorine bleach by mistake instead of the color-safe bleach! Natural daylight is ideal if you have a window in your laundry room and you can always supplement available light to a brightness that works for you.
- Halogen bulbs give the closest approximation to natural daylight, but they can get hot and are best used in pendant lights or recessed cans to avoid touching them.
- LED lights are great for under-cabinet task lighting for countertop workspaces or to illuminate the inside of your cabinets.
- Check out Light Bulb Buying Guide: How to Pick the Right Light
Seven: All-service sink
Considered a luxury by some, an integrated laundry sink ramps up efficiency by eliminating running and dripping from room to room by letting you deal with handwashing and stain removal right in the laundry room. You can scrub dirt off tennis shoes or boots, soak or pre-treat stains, rinse heavily soiled items before they go into the washer, or handwash delicates and hang them up to dry.
- Post a stain removal guide near the sink or inside the cabinet door where laundry products are stored for quick reference.
- If everyone does laundry, also post “how-to” guides for the washer and dryer showing settings and temperatures for different fabrics and colors as well as how to properly use the machines.
- Laundry sinks are ideal for bathing any pets that will fit; no more painfully bending over the bathtub or chasing them with a shower hose.
Efficiency can and should be beautiful in a space where so many hours are spent every week
If doing laundry in your home is more chaotic than it needs to be, treat yourself to a solutions-based laundry room that fits your unique lifestyle. Call 866-712-3404 to schedule a free, in-home or virtual* consultation or go online to www.tailoredliving.com to find a designer near you. They’ll work with you to design the perfect combination of laundry room essentials to eliminate laundry stress from your life.
*Virtual consultations are not available at all locations