Organization: laundry room tips

Several people have asked me about my laundry room and how I organize things to keep up with the amounts of laundry that we handle. I’ve talked a bit about this before, but haven’t showed the entire set-up. Our most recent modification has been to add long closet rods down both sides of the room. These rods function as clotheslines that work rain or shine. We most often use them to dry jeans, sheets, and quilts– the bulky stuff.

The rounded bar lets clothing dry with less creasing, and the presence of the rods lets us use the dryer much less. It costs 50 cents an hour (or more) to run the dryer, and we do 3-4 loads of laundry a day, so I estimate that this simple modification saves us $1 a day, not to mention extending the life of our poor overworked dryer. In good weather we also use an outdoor clothesline, which cuts our electric bill even more.

This has been a wonderful modification, and is one that almost any laundry room could fit. Even if your washer and dryer is in a closet in a hall, you could probably mount a rod above your washer/dryer. You can also use the rod to dry large quantities of shirts all at once, by simply putting the shirts on hangers to dry.

My very favorite laundry room modification is the shelving my husband installed under a long counter opposite the washer and dryer. We have one basket per bedroom, and sort laundry straight from the dryer into each bedroom’s basket. Twice a week everyone folds and puts away their own laundry. In between times, kids can easily locate a favorite shirt or another pair of jeans. This system has worked really well for us. If my laundry room and my family were smaller, I would probably build deep shelves above the washer/dryer on which to store baskets. But since I’ve got a big laundry room, I use the above-washer space for bins of craft supplies.

I’m blessed with a big laundry room, so I have some options that a lot of people don’t have. But even a sliver of space can be useful. This basket fits next to my dryer and is where we toss clean sheets and towels before we get around to folding them (twice a week, at the same time we fold clothes).

This last picture shows the shelf John built to go next to my washing machine. It holds 2 big laundry baskets, and it is where we toss dirty laundry. When the baskets overflow onto the floor, I know we’re behind, and make sure to get an extra load done that day. Every now and then I dream of having two washing machines, but most of the time we keep up pretty well, and all in all, this laundry room is working extremely well for me.

What works best about your current laundry room?