• Home Organization • Paper/Filing Systems • Time Management
Iron it Out!
The warm weather is finally here! More time will be spent outside on grass, on sand, eating at barbeques and feeling just a tad more sweaty than usual. It’s a trade-off—spending more time outdoors leads to spending more time doing laundry.
Unless we want to walk around naked or wear really smelly clothes, we have to do laundry. We should be grateful that washing our clothes in a nearby river is a thing of the past and we should kiss the hand of the person who invented the washing machine! But maybe your laundry area doesn’t exactly inspire you to ‘throw a load in.’ In most homes, the laundry areas have been laid out for us already—you’d need the help of a plumber to relocate your washer and dryer. So, we have to make the best of our laundry space, whether it be in the basement, in a hall closet, or right off the kitchen.
If you can’t move your machines and have to choose between paying the mortgage and paying someone to do your laundry, you need to organize your laundry space to make ‘doing the laundry’ as easy as possible. Purchasing some laundry room-specific products can help turn your disorganized laundry area into a functional spot for your washing and drying needs. Here are a few to try:
Helpful Product #1: Over the Washer Shelf
This laundry shelf attaches to the back of a washing machine or dryer to provide extra storage space for detergents, fabric softener, dryer sheets and other laundry accessories. It’s a great solution for small laundry rooms!
Found at: www.organize-it-online.com Price: $9.99
Helpful Product #2: Hot Iron Rack
Mounted to a wall, this product, made of heat-resistant plastic, has storage areas for an iron, it’s cord, and an ironing board. It’s a great organizer and space saver!
Found at: www.improvementscatalog.com Price: $14.99
Helpful Product #3: Fold-Away Drying Rack
No room for a standing drying rack? This rack gets mounted to the wall and folds down to mere inches when not in use. It can be used with garment hangers or clothespins, or you can drape garments over the bars.
Found at: www.containerstore.com Price: $34.99
Helpful Product #4: Rolling Laundry Organizer
This 8.25” wide mobile cart is just the right size to roll easily between a washer and dryer. It organizes all of your laundry supplies and keeps them tidy and at arm’s reach.
Found at: www.spacesavers.com Price: $39.99
These four highlighted products are just a ‘taste’ of what’s out there to help organize your laundry space. To go with these helpful products, I’d like to offer some ideas for staying organized while doing your laundry:
• Create a ‘home’ for each of your laundry supplies. It’s challenging to try to locate your detergent and dryer sheets if they don’t have a specific home to live in. If you know where the detergent is, you won’t be wasting time running out to the store. You also won’t have to spend money to buy more of what you already have in your home—somewhere...
• Return laundry products to their homes right after using them. This will save you time when you go to do your next load of laundry.
• Place laundry supplies close to the spot you’ll need them most. Some logical places for your laundry supplies are:
- Near the washing machine - detergent/bleach/stain remover
- Near the dryer - dryer sheets
*Don’t forget to place them within arm’s reach! If they can’t be in arm’s reach, purchase a fold-up step stool.
• Remove anything from the laundry space that does not belong there and put it where it should live. If you don’t know where the item should live, create a home for it.
• Group ‘like’ with ‘like.’ Place products for the washer together in one place and products for the dryer together in another place. If you plan to hang clothes to dry in your laundry space, keep all hangers and clothespins in one location.
• Follow the ‘one in one out’ philosophy to keep the space clutter-free. When one item comes into your laundry area, another one must go. So, simply put—when you run out of detergent, throw away the container and replace it with a new one. Placing dry and/or folded laundry into closets and drawers will consistently keep your laundry space free of ‘clothing-clutter’ and the area will always be ready for the next load.
• No room for a table top? Fold clothes on top of the washer and dryer or fold your clothes on your bed. Your clothes will be closer to the closets and drawers they’ll be going back into—a time saver!
**Apartment dwellers or those who utilize a nearby Laundromat—I haven’t forgotten about you!
• Keep rolls of quarters with your laundry detergent. If you use a Laundromat’s declining balance card instead of quarters, keep it in your wallet or on your keychain.
• Don’t drag huge containers to the Laundromat! Pour liquids into small, plastic containers (check out leak-proof bottles by Nalgene) and take a few dryer sheets in a Ziploc bag.
• Keep the above laundry supplies together in a small bag that you can sling over your shoulder and grab on the way out the door.
Keeping your laundry area organized is half the battle. In my next article, we’ll talk about time management and laundry. Until then, happy washing and drying!
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Article by Stacey Agin Murray, professional organizer and owner of Organized Artistry, LLC. Visit http://www.organizedartistry.com for your FREE e-list of 'Top Ten Tips for Organized Living.'
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