Streamline your laundry room - East Valley Tribune: Get Out

Streamline your laundry room

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Posted: Tuesday, October 13, 2009 11:15 am | Updated: 2:17 am, Sat Oct 8, 2011.

Follow these quick tips for organizing your laundry room:

Corral all-weather gear: Hats, gloves, sunglasses and scarves usually end up all over the house or shoved in the coat closet. Identify what's important and group similar items. Then purge any glove missing its partner. Gather all your cold- and warm-weather essentials and separate them into labeled baskets for each member of the family. Store these where your family normally takes such articles off after coming indoors.

Contain your cleaning supplies: A common source of frustration in the laundry room is finding a place for all those cleaning supplies. Solution: Store cleaning supplies in a carryall caddy. The caddy is ideal for wire shelves because it prevents bottles from tipping over.

Create a pet zone: If your pet's possessions are slowly taking over the household, consider creating a pet zone in the laundry room. A pet zone can free up space and make you aware of how much you pamper your pet, which might lead you to cut back. Things to put in the space: a bed or crate; a peg rack for leashes and collars; and food dishes on a non-skid carpet or in an elevated dish. Be sure everything is placed out of the flow of traffic for the room.

Go vertical to dry clothes: The too-small laundry room often suffers from a serious lack of hanging space, resulting in clothes draped over the dryer, cabinets and doors. Vertical space is often the most overlooked area in these rooms. Install a retractable clothesline or buy an inexpensive freestanding drying rack to reclaim space in the laundry room. Imagine, counter space that's actually used to fold clothes.

Pre-sort dirty clothes in hampers: Cut down on laundry time with an organized method for pre-sorting clothes. If space is available, add three laundry hampers (we love the idea of color-coding or labeling) for whites, lights and darks. When a hamper gets full, it's time to run the wash. To keep the system going, have each family member take responsibility for bringing his clothes to the laundry room.

Create a laundry room "Lost and Found": More than socks go missing in the laundry room each year. Add a mug or basket near the washer to contain items found in pockets. For those elusive socks, keep another basket handy for strays. Reunite all items with their owners each week.

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