Love it or hate it, an organized laundry room makes doing the wash less onerous. Our breakdown of what you need and where it goes will get your space humming.
Place a hamper in each person's closet, or a laundry bag on the back of each bedroom door. For a small family, think about having just one central container.
Choose hampers that can double as easy-to-carry laundry baskets.
Put a container for dry clean-only items near the front door if it can be stored discreetly.
Set up three containers – one for lights, one for darks, and one for delicates and hand-washables – near the washer. Container options include plastic tubs on casters, hampers or attractive baskets for under the bottom shelf of a floor-to-ceiling shelving unit, or labelled laundry bags that hang on the wall or on a unit.
Consider a standard washer and dryer; space-saving stacked units; or front-loading ones, above which you can install a convenient folding surface.
Use easy-to-reach shelves (or a locked cabinet if you have small children) for detergent and other frequently used items.
Post care-label instructions over the machine, along with stain removal charts.
Keep one or two small plastic tubs for handwashing.
On a shelving unit, stock clear jars for storing clothes pegs, loose change and special soaps; rags for mopping up spills; mesh bags for delicates; and a container for small bottles of stain removers and related tools.
For hang-to-dry clothes, you'll need a clothesline (retractable ones are convenient for small spaces), a drying rack or a tension rod (it can be hung in a doorway); pant, skirt and, for shirts and blouses, broad-shoulder hangers; and clothes pegs.
For sweaters and other clothes that can be dried flat, use a mesh drying rack or a shelf on an adjustable plastic-coated wire shelving unit or a stainless-steel cart. Be sure to also stack some clean, fluffy towels for squeezing excess water out of sweaters.
Reserve a flat surface, like a table, and keep it clean and clear. If there's no space for one, a wall-mounted fold-down shelf is a good alternative.
Wall-mount an ironing board caddy (get one that holds an iron) or a fold-down board that flips out of sight.
Discourage clutter with frequent mini-cleanups; keep a garbage can in the room.
Have your laundry room double as storage space for other items; for instance, create a vertical broom closet for household cleaning supplies. Hang hooks for mops, brooms, a dust pan, feather duster and vacuum hose. Add a small shelving unit for pails, cleaners and their caddy, and a container for dust rags.