Day 16: Laundry Room
Welcome back to our How to Organize Your Entire Home in 20 Days series.
We have worked our way through the shared rooms of your house, the bathrooms, the bedrooms and the closets.
Now you’re asking yourself, what else is there to organize?
Don’t you worry though, we still have some rooms planned for you! Today we’re going to focus on the laundry room.
This is the dreaded, cluttered room that we pass through on a daily basis and leave a trail of mess as we go.
It’s easy to shut the doors and pretend the mess isn’t there, but it still is, and today we’re going to face it head on.
We don't want to push the clutter behind a door because it'll always be in your mind and causing you anxiety! Clutter really affects your mental health as well as your relationships. We talk about this more in our blog The Duty to Declutter: Why Clutter is Effectively Ruining Your Life.
If your laundry room doubles as your linen closet, be sure to check out Day 17 tomorrow to apply those same steps to your laundry room.
Typically, the first step in the organization process is to pull everything out. Today, the first step is going to start with gathering ALL your dirty laundry throughout the house.
**Bonus Tip! For those of you who have lots of kiddos in the house (husbands included! 😉), we like to make a basket for each person. That way, when you pull out the dry clothes, you can simply throw each person's clothes in their basket and they can take care of the rest.
This is perfect because it takes some of the load off of you, AND it teaches your kids responsibility!
Go ahead and start a load now and all through today’s process, keep cycling through the dirty laundry until it's finished.
Once you've started a load of laundry, pull everything out of the space and put the items in categorized piles in different areas nearby.
Start bringing out the detergents, fabric softeners, and dryer sheets.
By bringing out everything from the space, you will be able to see which items actually belong in the room and which items have found their way in there but shouldn’t be residing there.
To start categorizing, put laundry detergent with the other laundry detergents, the fabric softeners with the other fabric softeners, dryer sheets with other dryer sheets and so on until everything is in a group with similar items.
By grouping together similar items, you will be able to see everything you have on hand. This will help you better organize and take inventory of all the products you have.
Hint! This helps you save money!
Once you have categorized all of the items, the next step in today’s process is to clean the laundry room.
You want to make sure the laundry room is already clean since that’s where you take your clothes to be cleaned!
Start by dusting off high to reach areas and wiping clean any other shelves, counters, or bins.
Next, wipe clean the exterior of the washer and dryer. Watch this video to see how to clean the inside of the washer and dryer. If there is a sink or any windows, clean those now as well.
After that, replace the trash bag in the trash can (if your laundry room doesn’t have a trash can, it definitely should!).
Finish up by sweeping/vacuuming/mopping the floor.
Now let’s get back to all of the stuff. There are only 3 options to all of these items: keep, donate or trash.
Items that you want to keep should be things that serve your family a purpose and you definitely will be using in the future.
These are things like irons, ironing boards and cleaning supplies.
Items that need to be donated are things that are still in good condition but no longer serve a purpose for your family.
These are things like clothing that is sitting in your laundry room because no one wears it anymore, tools that you no longer use or if you have multiples of an item and only one is necessary.
Items that are trash are things that don’t serve your family any further purpose and wouldn’t serve anyone else purpose either.
These are going to be anything that is broken, torn or stained.
Trash that easily accumulates in the laundry room are empty detergent bottles and dryer sheet boxes.
If you are having difficulty deciding on what items should be kept or donated, ask yourself questions such as, when was the last time someone in my family used/wore this item? Does this item still serve its original purpose for me? How many of this one item do I have and is more than one really necessary? Would someone else better benefit from having this item than I would?
By asking yourself these questions about items you aren’t sure of, you are opening your mind and being honest with yourself about the needs of your family.
Any items that you keep but you don’t need will continue to add to the clutter around your house for no reason.
By giving away these items, you are not only clearing the mess from your house, you are also allowing someone else to use these items that may need them more than you.
After you have decided on which items you are keeping, it's time to start putting back all of the items.
Put the items away by the categories you recently sorted them in.
Baskets are great to use in laundry rooms to keep all of the items contained and organized, plus they look super cute!
We often use Y-Bins from Target. They're plastic, durable, and they look great!
If you are limited on storage space in your laundry room, these carts are great for adding extra space and easy to move around as needed.
Don't forget to use labels whenever possible to ensure everything continues to stay organized.
Finish up by displaying decorations (fake plants look great in laundry rooms!) in the areas of the laundry room that look empty.
By filling empty surfaces with decor, you will be less compelled to start stacking clothing clutter there.
When all of the items are put back in their spot, it’s now time to take care of any leftover items that are still sitting on the laundry room floor.
These are the items that were in the room at the start of today’s process but don’t actually belong there.
This could be sports equipment, toys, electronics, anything that someone brought into the laundry room and left there.
These things continue to add to the clutter of your laundry room and need to be put away in their correct spot within the home!
Take note of who in your family the stuff mainly belongs to and have a conversation with that person on the importance of putting things where they actually belong.
If it's not a matter of who it all belongs to, rather than what it all is (extra food, tools, household supplies), consider adding a shelf in the laundry room to permanently store those products so they have a designated spot and are easier to keep organized -- but make sure there isn't a home for these items elsewhere!
Once everything is put away, let’s get back to the laundry that you’ve been cycling through.
Check out this video on how to file fold clothes so they are easy to find, stay organized and you have more space in your dresser drawers.
It’s best to fold clothing as soon as it comes out of the laundry so wrinkles don’t develop and your laundry doesn’t become clutter all around your home.
However, life can get busy and that’s not always possible. Set rules with yourself for when clean clothes need to be folded and put away by.
You can also impose these guidelines on your kids when it comes to their laundry baskets! Incorporate folding and hanging their clothes into their weekly chores early on (I started doing my own laundry when I was 9!).
The more you can include your family in the laundry process, the better!
Dirty laundry can easily start to feel overwhelming so don’t forget to ask for help when you need it.
Designate certain days of the week for certain loads of laundry and see the cycle (wash, dry, put away) all the way through on those days.
Having a laundry schedule throughout the week will cut back from having to play catch up at the end of the week and having to spend an entire day doing so.
If you are still feeling overwhelmed by your laundry room, please reach out to the Clutterless Home Solutions Team, we would be glad to help you get back on track!
Clutterless Home Solutions