Step #1: Design the space for the way you and your family live. For example, if dirty laundry ends up in a big pile on the floor of your laundry room, include 2 baskets—one for colors and one for whites. You can sort into more categories such as towels, and darks, etc. If family members are bringing in their own hampers, make sure they use the pre-sort system you set up. This way the laundry will be pre-sorted and seem less overwhelming.
Step #2: Define your zones. Clearly define your space into zones no matter how small your space is.
- Sorting Station: (as we discussed above)
- Supply Station: Keep laundry supplies close. Whether stored inside closed cabinets or displayed on shelves, the key is to have everything you need within reach. Keep like items together by using decorative baskets, boxes and canisters. These are great for storing items that you don’t want out on display. They keep items contained without looking cluttered.
- Folding Station: Adding a counter above the washer and dryer creates a convenient surface for folding clothes.
- Ironing Station: Install a pull-down ironing board that’s built into a cabinet or wall. Or stash one in a tall cabinet or closet nearby.
- Hanging Station: Create a space for clothes that need to air-dry. Install a rod or add a drying rack to a wall. If neither of these are options, mount multiple double-hooks to a wall. Keep hangers on hand.
Step #3: De-clutter your space. Take inventory of your laundry space. Toss, Recycle, or Donate items that you no longer need or use. If the laundry room is a shared space, make sure to keep items in their proper zones.
Step #4: Make staying organized part of your daily routine. Place a hamper in each area of the house where dirty clothes tend to hang out. Typically, this will be in the bathroom and bedroom. Set up a system that works for your family in order to get the hampers to the laundry room. If your kids are very small, you will have to be the one to do this. If your kids are a little bigger, they can do it themselves. You may want it done every day, or maybe once a week will work better for you. Just make sure you have a system in place and your family knows what it is.