How to Organize Your Laundry Center

A well-organized laundry center helps you power through the tasks of sorting clothes, pretreating stains, maintaining a collection of lost socks, and putting away clean towels. Whether you carry full responsibility doing laundry or share them with other members of your household, wrangling your washer/dryer area into shape simplifies the process of keeping detergent in easy reach and providing space for hangers. From the way you set up your appliances to how you keep your work area brightly lit, you can minimize the drudgery and maximize your efficiency.

Step 1

Set up stackable appliances to save floor space. If you currently use an older washer that's based around an agitator mechanism, upgrading to a front-loading high-efficiency laundry pair with front-mounted controls will improve your wash quality and help you reclaim the footprint of half your laundry pair.

Step 2

Add shelves or cupboards for laundry products. If you set up side-by-side appliances, mount your storage above the machines to keep supplies within easy reach. Pegboard can offer you reconfigurable storage flexibility at a modest cost.

Step 3

Clear out old detergents, especially regular products that don't work with high-efficiency washers. The suds from regular detergents interfere with the action of HE equipment, which cleans with jets of wash and rinse water rather than by circulating clothes in a tubful of water.

Step 4

Switch to LED lighting to improve energy efficiency and reduce the heat generated by other kinds of bulbs, especially old-fashioned incandescents. From lamps designed for recessed fixtures to LED tape that enables you to add a string of light along the edges of cabinets, LED light sources outlast conventional bulbs and help you cut your electric bill.

Step 5

Add a retractable clothes line or collapsible clothes rod for delicates that you can't dry. Clothespin unmentionables on the line for air drying and wrinkle release.

Step 6

Use twin rolling carts, one to sort dirty clothes and the other for folded clean items. Choose contrasting bin colors and label each cart clearly with its function so they don't get mixed up.

Tips

  • Mount a foldaway ironing board on a wall so you don't need storage space for a freestanding board.
  • Add a hanging pocket or miniature clothesline for unpaired socks, placing them where you can see and reunite them.
  • Keep a small set of organizer drawers for found items retrieved from pockets, including coins, MP3 players, cell phones, stray buttons and notes. Direct anyone who asks if you've seen a missing gadget to this lost-and-found center.

Warning

  • Follow manufacturer directions to keep high-efficiency washers free of excess moisture that can contribute to mold buildup and contaminate your clean clothes.

Photo Credits: Alexa Smahl/Demand Media

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