6 Steps to Get Your Laundry Room Under Control
Why clean the Laundry Room? No one sees it anyway.
Well, that may be true that no one sees it. However, you are reading this guide, so I’m assuming you are the person in charge of doing laundry in your house. That means that YOU see the Laundry Room regularly. No one likes to work in the middle of junk and clutter. It just makes things take longer…and ain’t nobody got time for that!
Is This Going to Be Hard?
How long will it take me to complete all of the steps?
Well, that depends on how fast you work, how focused you are to get finished, and the current state of your Laundry Room. I will give you this piece of advice: If you give yourself a deadline, your cleaning project will move along at a quicker pace.
1. Gather the items you’re going to need.
All big projects need to start with a good plan. Plan for success right from the beginning by knowing what you’ll do with all of the extra stuff your Laundry Room contains.
Gather the following items and have them easily accessible:
Several trash bags. You’re going to have things to throw away, so make sure you’re not piling them up somewhere else. Go ahead and put the throwaway items in the trash bag and don’t give them a second thought.
Containers for donations. Without a doubt, I always find things that can be donated to Goodwill-clothes I don’t want to save, sheets that we don’t have a mattress size to fit, curtains that we’ll never hang, etc. There’s little doubt this will be an issue for you, too, so have a donation container ready.
The biggest laundry basket you own. Laundry Rooms can be catch-all places. When you find items that don’t belong in the laundry room, put them in the basket so you can put them away at a later time. Don’t just put those random items in a corner to sort through later, go ahead and put them in the laundry basket so you can easily tote it from one room to the next as you put items away where they belong.
2. Determine the purpose of your Laundry Room.
It may seem obvious, but determine what your laundry Room is really for.
Ask yourself these questions:
Is my room only a laundry room? If so, are there other random items that need to be removed and stored elsewhere?
If your laundry room must be multi-pur-pose: What are the ways in which this room must be used? Are there designated uses, or do we just throw everything in there?
Your Laundry Room might double as a mud room or a craft room or maybe your laundry room is in the basement and is also a storage space.The only goal of this step is to figure out what your particular Laundry Room is used for.
Once you determine the actual purpose of your room, it is much easier to decide what stays and what goes. If you do have a Laundry Room that must double as another room, look at the end of this page for maintenance tips.
3. Assess with a fresh set of eyes.
This step is only going take 1, maybe 2 minutes. But it’s crucial to getting your Laundry Room under control.
Stand at the door of the room or closet so you can visualize whole space.
Make a few mental notes about what needs work: The floors? Do you need to declutter first? Is the room covered in lint and dust? Is it really not that bad and you just have a few random items to put away?
Look at your Laundry Room with a fresh set of eyes. If your mother-in-law was standing in the doorway, what would she see?
4. Decide what must happen first.
If you can’t walk more than a few steps in your room, start with the floor. You’ll need to declutter/throw away/sort those items first.
If there are so many items piled on top of your dryer that they continue to fall off, start there.
Is the room covered in clothes-clean or dirty ones? See the next step.
5. Get all clean & dirty clothes out of the Laundry Room.
For clean clothes that just need to be folded, go put those on your bed. If you sabotage yourself, you’re sure to get them put away. If you have children that are old enough to help, put them to work folding and then scurrying around to deliver clean clothes.
For clothes that need to be washed, put them in a laundry basket you’re not using, pile them high in your laundry sorters, or even put them in a trash bag.
Whatever you do with them, put the dirty clothes in some type of container so they aren’t strewn all over everywhere. You’re going to need to wash them soon, so keep them all together so you don’t have to hunt them down again.
6. “big cleaning”
You prepared yourself for this step in Step 1 and now is the time to complete it. This is what I would consider the “big cleaning” of the room.
After you’ve decided where to start in the room, have a plan for every item you touch. If you need to throw the item away, do it. if you need to give it away, put it in the designated bag. If it stays in the room, put it where it goes.
If you are serious about really cleaning the space you’re working in, this is not the time to be sentimental. make your decision quickly and then act on it.
Now, I am a sentimental person. I cherish all of those little onesies and it breaks my heart into a million pieces when I think about parting with them. So what do you do with things like that?
I put them in a box, tape it up, and label what’s inside. If I can’t make a decision about it because it’s sentimental, I save it for another time when I might not feel so attached (whether that’s in a year or ten). It’s better to pack it up and get it out of the way, then continue to trip over it and live in chaos and clutter.
A few tips if your Laundry Room doubles as another room
Keep all like products together.
This sounds like a no-brainer, but it really does bear repeating. If you must store your bulk purchases in your laundry room, make it easy on yourself. Keep all detergent bottles together, all fabric softeners together, and so on.
Don’t haphazardly put your products in the room. It makes it too hard to find them when needed. You don’t want to waste money buying more detergent when there are 3 bottles in your laundry room floor, but you can’t find them.
when you store your products, face them with labels out like you would see on a grocery store shelf. It looks nice and neat and you can easily see what your need.
Buy organizational items that are needed.
If your laundry room must also double as a landing area/mud room, buy the organizational items that make it run smoothly.
A shoe shelf, a bin for all sports equipment, or a hanging tack for book bags and coats can make an enormous difference in a room.
make a plan for each item in the room.
If your laundry room/mud room must function as a place to do laundry and a spot to hang coats and store shoes, then piano books and sewing supplies do not belong in there.
Just because a laundry room must double as a catch-all room, doesn’t mean it has to catch everything. If there is an item in your room that doesn’t have a home in the laundry room, it needs to be stored elsewhere.
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