The latest trend in new home construction is a multifunctional space that may act as a laundry room, mudroom, family organizational center, craft and gardening space, or even a home office. Even with all of those functions and plenty of space, there is still a need for an organized area purely for the function of handling and cleaning laundry.

So, whether your laundry room is a spacious showplace with tons of storage or simply a corner tucked away in the basement, it is important to keep the space organized. If your laundry area is overrun with clutter, laundry chores will be more difficult and take longer and no one wants that. These organizational tips will help you get the actual area used for laundry under control and with just a few minutes of effort every month or so, keep the space manageable.

Take Out the Trash

Start by looking around your washer, dryer, and workspace at what should be thrown away. It is amazing how many things just never make it to the trash can. Throw away or recycle any broken hangers, empty detergent containers, expired and out-of-date laundry products, and damaged laundry hampers. If you don’t have a trash can handy in the laundry room for dryer lint, pocket trash, and empty containers, now is a good time to add one. Remember, dryer lint filters should be emptied after every load to prevent fires and help clothes dry more quickly.

Declutter the Space

Why are there library books, garden tools, and basketballs on the dryer? Unless your laundry area is a shared space, get rid of anything that should not be in the laundry room.

Even in a multifunctional room, the actual laundry work area should be kept clear of other items. This prevents clean clothes from being soiled, cross-contamination of food items and cleaning products, and leaves a workspace for specific laundry tasks like sorting soiled clothes and folding clean ones.

Consolidate Laundry Products

Just how many laundry products do you really need? Select one detergent that works well for all fabrics rather than multiple specialty products. Consider using baking soda in the washing machine or distilled white vinegar to boost detergent cleaning performance and soften clothes as a way to eliminate fabric softeners and dryer sheets.

If you decide to transfer detergents and stain removers to decorative containers, be sure to label each one correctly.

Make a Line and Folding Space

Not everything should be tossed in a hot clothes dryer. Rather than having clothes spread everywhere waiting to dry, find a spot in your laundry area to place a freestanding drying rack or install a wall-mounted drying rack. A wall-mounted retractable clothesline may also be the answer because it can be completely out of the way when not in use.

Now that you have a spot for drying clothes, look for a way to create a designated folding space. It could be a table or a counter. If you have a front loading washer and matching dryer with no storage pedestals, consider adding a counter over the top to create a spacious folding space.

The folding space can also be used for ironing, eliminating the need for an ironing board. Or, consider a wall-mounted compact ironing board as a perfect space saver.

Create a Place for Everything

If you don’t have cabinets near the washer, it is worth your time to install some type of storage shelves or unit above the washer for laundry products. This is particularly important to store products out of reach if you have children, pets, or vulnerable adults in the home that could accidentally be poisoned by cleaning products.

Storage can also be added with over-the-door shelving, wall baskets, an added shelf or ledge over the back of the appliances, or a rolling cart placed between the washer and dryer. Find inexpensive containers like boxes or baskets for small items like clothespins, scissors, and scrub brushes.

Use a basket or glass jar for items that surface as you empty pockets before tossing clothes in the washer. Your family will know where to look if they are missing something. It may also be helpful to designate a basket for those single socks or mittens until the mate appears. Empty the baskets on a regular schedule and never look back!

Sort Everything Out

Make an investment in a separate dirty laundry hamper for each person in your family and one for each linen closet or bathroom. As laundry is removed from the dryer or the clothesline, the items can be hung or folded and placed in each basket. Every family member can be responsible for taking their clean laundry back to be put away.