Laundry Room Cabinets

Upper and lower cabinets with an extended countertop will keep this laundry room fully functional and uncluttered with storage space to spare (design courtesy of Tailored Living of Markham Ontario, Canada)

We’ve all seen the commercials on TV where sniffing clean, fresh-scented laundry seems to be the high point of everyone’s day. In truth, the high point is actually getting all the laundry done, folded and put away! This process can vary from household to household with differing levels of efficiency:

  • Mom does all the sorting and washing, family members drop off their dirty laundry in the laundry room and later claim clean, folded laundry to put away.
  • Mom does the washing, folding and putting away of everyone’s clothes.
  • Each person does their own laundry, start to finish.
  • Laundry is done on a “need to wear” basis, sometimes resulting in a stinky tee shirt being washed alone.
  • Laundry is done a-load-a-day or on a weekly basis, averting mountains of dirty clothes.
  • Laundry is done when the closets and drawers are empty and the washing machine is hidden under piles.

Regardless of your laundry style, an efficiently designed laundry room is important to getting the task done. An organized laundry room may even inspire you to establish a more productive routine for you and your family. Here are five tips for making your laundry room work for you. I use the commercial laundry service at work and it’s brilliant, so I’m trying to improve my service at home too!

Tip 1: Use all available space

As with custom closet design, this maxim means “think vertical.” Regardless of your space constraints, installing custom cabinets and open shelves around and above your washer and dryer will provide handy storage for laundry needs. A countertop or table creates room for sorting, treating stains and folding clothes. Overhead cabinets keep all the soaps, whiteners, fabric softeners and other implements easily accessible. Open shelves can hold folded clothes neatly in stacks until they are put away.

Tip 2: Configure your space for your unique needs

If you like to hang dry items, be sure to have sufficient hanging rods or racks right where you do the laundry. Tailored Living has retractable valet rods and pull-down hanging rods that fold away when not in use. Convenient hanging helps prevent wrinkles (and save on ironing) by immediately hanging items right out of the dryer. Have space to store empty hangers instead of letting them accumulate in the closets; a bin or basket makes it easy for everyone to deposit their empties. If you like to do just touchups or all the ironing as you do the laundry, have an ironing board which you can find more about here in the laundry room, free-standing or a pull-out version. If you would prefer to use a steam press, check out the best steam press reviews here. Keep a sewing kit on hand for replacing buttons or repairing hems before putting clothes away. Have enough hampers available whether one per family member or for general pre-sorting: whites, colors, delicates, extra-dirty (like work clothes or sports uniforms), pet blankets and dry cleaning.

Valet Rods

Valet rods and a fold-out ironing board are useful in the laundry room or a closet

Tip 3: Let there be light

Be sure your laundry room has enough light so you can clearly see what you’re doing. Machine dials and settings may be hard to read and a wrong temperature could ruin your clothes. If your laundry room is in a corner in the garage, you may not have enough light to do that emergency nighttime load in comfort and safety. Add a standing lamp or task LED lighting to brighten up a dark laundry room.

Tip 4: Post directions for washing and drying procedures

Create a simple chart showing settings and temperatures for different clothes and fabrics. Include steps for using the washer and dryer, along with reminders like checking pockets and unrolling bunched socks. Some models recommend adding soap after the tub is filled with water, some have bleach and fabric softener dispensers, and it’s always good to remind users about clearing the lint trap before tossing in another dryer load. Kids learning to do their own laundry will appreciate a non-verbal reminder on how to do it right, and you may save someone you love from turning their tighty-whities a soft, pastel pink.

Tip 5: Plan for comfort and safety

Laundry Garage

This garage laundry area is neat, clean and very organized, with under-counter LED lighting

Having the machine heights easily reachable will eliminate physical stress. Some frontload machine doors are quite low to the ground and a riser or pallet to raise the machine could make it easier to reach in to load and retrieve laundry. Some top-load machines may require an available stool for “shorties” to reach in comfortably. Place a rug in front of the machines or laundry sink to catch any spills and prevent a slippery floor. Keep laundry contained in hampers or baskets, not piled on the floor to become a tripping hazard. Store all toxic products out of the reach of small children and pets that might ingest them.

If these tips have you yearning for a more efficient laundry room, help is just a phone call away. Your Tailored Living designer can evaluate your space and work with you to custom design laundry storage and organization solutions that will perfectly meet your needs and maximize your space. Call 866-641-8958 (US) or 866-973-8221 (CAN) today to schedule a free, in-home consultation or go online to www.tailoredliving.com to find a designer near you.

And once the laundry room is squared away, you may want to consider some custom closet design, home office organization, or a garage makeover as the next step to getting your whole home organized.