The SPACE Method
Julie Morgenstern lays out the SPACE method in her book Organizing from the Inside Out: Sort, Purge, Assign, Containerize and Equalize. Sort clutter based on frequency of use, necessity, summer essentials, and winter essentials. Next, purge anything that’s not essential, broken, or has a missing pair – like a single glove or a purse with a broken zipper. Using labels and baskets you can keep your essential laundry room items organized and beautifully stored. To equalize the space, make sure you tidy everything up each time you go into the laundry room. You may need to go through the SPACE method periodically to make sure clutter doesn’t creep back in.
Cleaning Supply Control
One of the biggest sources of frustration in the laundry room is having a place to keep all the cleaning supplies, like detergents, bleach, softeners, spot removers, and sprays. Rather than stowing them willy-nilly on top of the dryer or on the floor, get a caddy or rolling cart to keep your cleaning supplies organized and within reach.
Lost and Found Station
It’s inevitable that you’ll find hairpins, coins, and other miscellaneous items when you wash clothes. Set up a lost and found station using either a basket or a cup near your washer, so that you can easily toss loose items without throwing them or letting them accumulate on the floor. It’s nearly impossible to go through the SPACE method every day, but by setting up a designated lost and found station for loose items, you can make those SPACE method days a lot more efficient, besides keeping your room tidier.
Use Vertical Space
A common complaint in the laundry room is that there just isn’t enough space. When you need to air dry delicate garments or cotton shirts (which tend to shrink in a dryer), consider installing a hanging bar or a retractable clothesline as way to inexpensively give you more space to hang clothes. If you have space under a laundry room shelf, you can mount a bath-towel holder underneath and create ample space for hanging clothes. You can also hang a tension rod in between two walls to create extra hanging space.
You may not remember all of your mother’s home remedies for removing stains, so making a stain chart that details the best methods for removing different types of stains can be a great way to expedite the stain removal process. Start with a comprehensive list of stains, laminate it, and post it in your laundry room where you can read it easily.
Stacked Washing Machine and Dryer
If you’re building your home or considering renovating your laundry room, it may be worthwhile to consider a stacked washer and dryer combination. The European-style set optimizes space, and is great for tight quarters or small apartments. Just because your laundry is small doesn’t mean that is has to be messy. Opening up floor space with a stacked washer-dryer allows for more organization with baskets, containers, and hanging racks, depending on how you design the space.