Laundry in a house with three kids and two adults is NEVER ENDING. By the time you finish folding everything (if you managed to fold it at all), another round of dirty socks, twisted jeans and t-shirts that are half inside out have piled up again. Laundry may never be completely done, but these simple projects and great ideas will help make it easier, cheaper and a bit more fun to get through the loads.
Create a Stain Center – In a perfect world, I would pre-treat stains as soon as everyone’s clothes are pulled off each day. But in the real world, I only remember the stains days later when I’m throwing the clothes into the washing machine. Have a center set up and ready to go so you can pre-treat as you throw everything in. Include your favorite stain fighters, a lint roller to remove fuzz before or after you wash and your own collection of tricks.
Smarten Up Your Decor – I don’t know about you, but I am always googling what the different stain symbols mean and how to get certain stains out (or, you know, ignoring them both completely). If you print handy infographics of how to deal with stains or how to decipher laundry symbols on clothing they will be there when you need them! There are plenty of printable graphics available online. Print them out and frame them for cute wall decorations that brighten your space and also offer at-a-glance help right where you need it.
Lost & Found – My girls are definitely at the age where I need to check their pockets for kleenex, rocks and grass (yes, grass) before they go in the wash. I find all sorts of treasures in their pockets! Repurpose an old jar as a place to collect pocket change, tiny abandoned toys and other small items that have been collected. You can use one central jar or, if you have a whole family of pocket collectors, use one small baby food jar for each person. Check out Lil Luna for a tutorial for this cute Keep the Change laundry room wall art:
Single White Knee High Seeks Same – No matter how hard you try there always seems to be some disappearing sock whose sole purpose (hehe… sorry, had to do the pun…) is to drive you crazy! Stop balling them up on the dresser and check out The Culinary Queen Bee for how to make this fun and functional matching board. This is super easy to customize to your own sense of humor, too. Make the board look like a Wanted Poster or even paint the top with chalkboard paint so you can swap around different headings whenever you feel like it. Here are a few suggestions to get you started:
- Looking for Sole Mates
- Meet the newest contestants on Laundry Match-Up!
- Department of Missing Socks
- The (Other) One
- Clean, Single and Seeking a Mate
Get Organized and Take Note – We had an over the door organizer in our old house’s laundry room and it was amazing for keeping the laundry room tidy. If you also paint the back of the door with chalkboard paint, you have an instant and stylish place where you can jot down notes about what you’re running low on or when it’s time to clean the house blankets again. Check out My Sweet Savannah for how she did it and more tips and tricks for laundry room organization.
Get Vertical – A pole style shower caddy is a great way to create space in an oddly shaped nook if shelving isn’t an option. You can adjust the pole to go from floor to ceiling and since it’s so narrow, it fits just about anywhere.
One Word: Shelves – If you want to create space to get organized, shelving is about as easy as it gets and sooooooo useful in the laundry room! Cabinets, cupboards and closets are nice, but having shelving up around the laundry room makes access easier and prevents things from getting jumbled up and thrown around. If you’re handy with woodworking there are some great tutorials on how to make your own floating shelves or just opt for store bought ones. Either way, using baskets, fabric drawers and other bins can help keep things organized and pretty. See the before and after of this tiny laundry area at Eat Sleep Decorate.
Tilt the Shelf – Another great way to make the most of shelf space if you’re using store bought wire shelving is to install them at an angle. Simply install the shelf upside down so the lip sticks up. Then install at an angle and use small baskets as bins. This trick is great for being able to see everything at a glance and its lower profile works well for making it more accessible to your vertically challenged kids.
Easy Lid List – When you have clothes that you know you need to check after being washed to see if a stain came out, or which need to hang or lie flat to dry, make a note on the top of your washing machine with a dry erase marker. Keep the markers in a small cup on a shelf or use one with a magnetic cap and leave it stuck to the lid. Check out Sarah Hearts for how to make the cute vinyl wording.
Clean Your Soap – Dump the chemical laden detergent and make your own! It sounds hard, but the recipes are simple and you can find eco-friendly options for both DIY powder and liquid detergents. This one is definitely on my to-do list.
Soften Safely – Now that you’ve seen how easy it is to make detergent, it’s time to tackle softeners. Check out the ingredients list on your favorite softener and you’re likely to find carcinogenic solvents like dichlorobenzene or known carcinogens like formaldehyde. Instead, spend a few minutes – and much less money – making your own softener which you can also then use to make reusable dryer sheets.
Cut Down on Dry Time – There are two simple ways to cut down on your drying time, which helps save energy and reign in that electric bill. You can either throw a medium size dry towel in with your wet load or make some of these cute woolen balls. These balls can eliminate your need for dryer sheets completely since they’ll cut static. Add a few drops of essential oil to each one to give your dry clothes a great scent.
Be Prepared – No matter how hard you try, mistakes can happen. Have a place all set up to deal with stains, tears, snags and – worst of all – shrunken clothes. Having everything you need in one convenient space will keep emergencies from becoming full blown catastrophes. It also makes them much easier to deal with since you won’t have to hunt down the items you need.
Use All Your Space Wisely – If you’re short on space in the laundry room, get creative by using the small gap between your machines. A vertical spice rack can hold plenty of weight and it slides easily between the machines – saving space and preventing items from falling between the two.
Streamline Ironing – Make ironing an easy part of your laundry routine by keeping everything set-up and ready. Include your water, starch, iron and spray bottle so you can simply take clothes right from the dryer to the board.
DIY Drying Rack – Need a place to lay items out but you don’t have a rack or table? Making your own drying rack is easier than you think. Best of all, it can be folded away when not in use.
Install a Retractable Clothesline – Line drying is a great way to care for certain fabrics but it isn’t always a realistic option. If you don’t have a good outdoor space for drying or if you just need an alternative during cold or wet months, install a retractable clothesline in your laundry room. Pull it out when you need then zip it away when you’re done!
Put Your Laundry on a Pedestal – Putting your machines up on a pedestal can save you a bit of bending over and it automatically creates extra storage – talk about a win-win!
Give Your Machines a Make-Over – When you don’t really need a new machine, but you want to update the look of your laundry room, painting and stenciling your machines might provide the perfect answer. The job is super easy and you can choose colors and designs that fit in with your décor.
Get Hung Up – Everyone knows hanging clothes right away helps to reduce wrinkles, but what if you don’t have the space for a rolling rack? Simple – create space and save some money by using shower curtain rods or towel bars.
Doing laundry can be a chore, but using these 20+ DIY laundry room projects will save you time and help you get organized.