Ruler of the laundry: Organize your laundry room with these simple ideas

Far from being the most glamorous room in a home, the humble laundry room is probably one of the most used and abused. By following these simple guidelines you can make your laundry room a calmer more organized space.

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  • Recently, I began the project of organizing and decorating my laundry room. With my three boys still at home, I spend a lot of time in there and I wanted to create an environment that was cheerful as well as practical. I have chosen a warm yellow color to paint the walls, installed new shelving and added a rolling laundry sorter. I also purchased a wall hanging with the following saying on it, "Keep Calm and Laundry On." After having five children and doing untold mountains of laundry here are some practical ideas that I have found keep a laundry room running smoothly.

  • Storage

  • A favorite saying in our home is “a place for everything, and everything in its place”. So step one in creating an organized laundry room is figure out where everything will go. When we first moved into our current home, the builder had installed a wire shelf over the washer and dryer. Unfortunately, at only 5' 3", it was a little high for me to reach. Plus it wasn’t large enough to store all of the cleaning items we needed in the laundry room. This meant that some items were left on the floor. The answer was to have a new, lower shelf unit built with several shelves. Now there was a place for everything. I also purchased baskets that could be labeled. Now everyone knows where to find each item.

  • With the purchase of the rolling laundry sorter, it is easy to get laundry sorted and ready to wash. This can be accomplished with multiple laundry baskets or bins as well. Just label the baskets so each family member knows where to place the laundry.

  • Create a System

  • This leads to the next important factor in an organized laundry room — a system. When I was first married and had to use a Laundromat, I chose one day of the week to do laundry. I continued this system even after we moved in to our first home. However, as more children joined the family, one day a week was no longer practical. So it morphed into multiple laundry days.

  • Now our system integrates our laundry sorter. It consists of three bags so the laundry can be sorted according to color. We also have a large basket for towels. Each member of the family knows what goes into each bag. If space is an issue, have laundry baskets that are labeled. These can be set on top of the washer and dryer if possible. As each basket gets filled, that load can be done. Another key to your system is the folding. Whether you fold straight from the dryer or you take it into another room to fold, be sure to do this right away. First, it keeps the clean laundry from getting wrinkled. Second, it keeps from having piles of laundry stacked all over the place.

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  • Family Help

  • My last tip for keeping your laundry room organized is getting your family involved. Everyone can help. My youngest son has always loved to help in the laundry room (although I can get it done much faster without him). I am happy to have him hand me the clothes from the dryer so I can fold them, place the dirty clothes into the washer or move the clothes from the washer to the dryer. Now he has begun to learn how to sort the laundry into darks and whites.

  • Older children should be learning to do their own laundry and can sort, wash, and fold their own clothes. In a large family, assigning a day to each child ensures that each can get their laundry done in an orderly and timely fashion. Lastly, if your children do nothing else, they should help put away the laundry. This will keep the laundry from piling up and cluttering the laundry room (or wherever else you fold).

  • By following these simple guidelines your laundry room can go from the room of chaos to the room of organization where you can “keep calm and laundry on.”

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Robyn Carr graduated in English and is the mother of five and grandmother to two adorable granddaughters. She currently lives in Windermere, FL.  

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