Has your laundry room become the storage space for, well, everything? We’ve been there. Since the laundry room is usually tucked away, it’s easy to stuff and store extra knick-knacks and articles of clothing there, especially if you’re trying to clean up the rest of your home for guests. But those quick fixes become a long-term struggle that can interfere with your day-to-day life. Fortunately, corralling your stuff is easier and more affordable than you think. Organizing expert Carrie Higgins, author of Organization Hacks, shares strategies to organize your laundry room and take your home from chaotic to calm.
1) Use an all-in-one cart.
A clever all-in-one rolling laundry hub makes this chore so much easier. One we recommend? The Honey Can-Do Rolling Laundry Sorter (Buy from Amazon, $45.98). This three-bin cart with a supply rack, a hanging bar, and an ironing board means you can get more done without dismantling your set-up as you move from room to room. Plus, the bags are removable, and the whole thing is rated as easy to assemble by buyers.
2) Create a hanging storage system.
“Laundry rooms are often on the small side, so it’s very important to utilize every inch of space,” says Higgins. “Adding a hanging storage system behind the washer and dryer (like a shelf unit or pegboard) allows you to store essentials within easy reach.” And if you can’t reach shelves above your washer, because your washer sticks out too far, consider putting the shelving to the right or left of your washer instead. (Don’t want to install anything? Check out Facebook Marketplace for an inexpensive set of shelves being sold in your area.)
3) Use the gaps around your washer and dryer.
Do you struggle with clutter on top of and near your washer and dryer? Create designated storage spaces with the little extra space you have. “You can outsmart that gap between appliances with a narrow storage unit,” says Higgins. Skinny shelves, like ViveComb Slim Cart (Buy from Walmart, $36.95) slide perfectly in place and can stow and conceal anything, from stain sticks to orphaned socks.
4) Sort as you go (instead of all at once).
Tired of sifting through piles of dirty laundry? The quick fix: a lightweight hamper, like the Mainstays 3 Bag Mesh Rolling Sorter Laundry Cart (Buy from Walmart, $11.88), that does all the work for you. Simply separate clothes as you undress, then use the carrying handles to transport them right to the washer. The best part? These mesh bags are removable, so you can wash them along with your clothes when they start to get dirty. Plus, the frame is easy to assemble and take apart, no tools needed.
Want more laundry hacks? Check out these tricks to remove odors and keep towels fluffy, and these tips to remove clothing stains like lipstick and grease.
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A version of this article originally appeared in our print magazine, Woman’s World.