I'm working my way through the house doing spring cleaning with a plan completely stolen from my friend Ericka -- tackling one room per week with a deep clean. In the process, I've discovered something about myself. I LOVE to organize, but I HATE to clean.
Aside from the rug in front of the kitchen sink, I probably stand still the longest in one day, in this spot right here, folding and hanging clothes. So, I've been very happy by how much this little re-organization project has helped simplify my laundry routine.
As you can see, we have more of a laundry closet than a laundry room. This arrangement is fine by me because I'd rather not be shut off in a small room by myself folding clothes anyway. However, the closet leaves me with a small space in which to get a big job done. But, since the re-design, it's working out great! 1st, notice the curtains. They can close off the space so that I can hide it all when company is over (although now that it's so organized, I may not be drawing the curtain so often anymore). Also, the bulletin board can hold little snippets from magazines, Bible verses, inspirational quotes, pictures, or stain removal tips.
On the shelf above the machines, I've added these plastic drawer systems. The big one has one drawer for each child. I put all of their clean undergarments, pajamas, and socks into their drawers (at our house, we hang everything else). When the drawers are full, I pull them out and take them to the bathroom (where the kids keep all of these clothing items). When the kids see their drawer sitting on the bathroom countertop, they know it's their job to put their things away and return the drawer to the laundry area (and, yes, even my 2-year-old son can do this :) The smaller set of drawers holds collar stays (which go in all my hubby's dress shirts, extra dryer bars (we've switched to those instead of dryer sheets), and clothespins. Atop those drawers is a small trashcan to collect dryer lint (it's compostable, you know) and extra hangers at the ready.
At the very top of the closet, I have crates labeled "Resale" to collect the clothes I plan to put into the kids' consignment sale I participate in twice a year. So, when I wash that t-shirt that has begun to fit like it should be made of spandex, I can just pull it from the dryer, fold it neatly, and tuck it away in a resale crate until I'm ready to do my tagging for the sale.
Above the washer, the closet rod is divided up into three sections so that I can organize the kids' clothes as I hang them up. Also, my hubby put up two new shelves for me on the left-side wall of the closet. One is up high and holds laundry items that I don't need as frequently.
The other one, which is lower, holds my detergent, lonely sock bin, and lotion (does folding laundry make anyone else's hands crazy dry?).
This may well be the best part of the whole project-- there's nothing on the top of the machines! It's completely free for folding. So, while I may not have loved vacuuming dryer lint off the power cords or handling the sock retrieved at long last from down the crack by the washer, I am loving the fruits of my labor -- a clutter-free work space!