DOES YOUR LAUNDRY WORK FOR YOU?

laundry basket

Traditionally the laundry or wash house was located outside of the main dwelling, beside the outhouse. When these rooms were brought indoors the laundry was usually situated at the back of the house, beside the back door for easy access to the outdoor clothesline. In multi level homes the laundry is often located in the basement or garage, providing easy access outside. As inner city apartment living or the choice to live in a much smaller home becomes popular, the location of the laundry moves to the kitchen, bathroom or alcove cupboard in the hallway. Leaving a lot of the items that had previously been housed in the laundry, now needing new homes.

Regardless of whether you love or loath doing laundry, if you are the person in your home that is designated to manage this task, it’s likely you will be spend approximately eight hours per week in this space. This is usually more time than we each spend in the bathroom, so why is this space not given the same consideration as your bathrooms?

ironing board
Photo by Filip Mroz on Unsplash

In the Unclutter Your Universe home, doing the laundry is my thing and that’s just the way I like it. Thankfully we have a separate laundry with lots of space, that has been organised to maximise storage and efficiency. I’m very particular when it comes to how things are washed and I am happy to take on this task, rather than have my clothing and the house linens destroyed by careless washing. We also have a limited outdoor drying space, so to ensure everyone has the required items when they need them, it’s easier if I manage it all. So that I don’t have to sort through a large washing basket before loading up the washing machine, I have three separate baskets for everyone to sort their washing into. The partners work uniforms are kept in a separate basket and washed as one load at the end of the week. This ensures that no other clothing is damaged by the chemicals which are often spilt on these items. White and black clothing and any hand washing are placed together in another basket. With individual loads of these groups, washed as needed. The third basket is for everyone’s underwear, socks, school uniforms and everyday clothes and is washed most days. There is also a large bucket with a lid where face cloths, tea towels and cleaning cloths are soaked prior to washing. There are shelves above the washing machine and washing baskets which store washing and cleaning products. The cupboard under the sink houses shoe cleaning items and old towels and cloths for cleaning. This is also the out of season home for the dehumidifier and heater.

clothes line
Photo by Karen Maes on Unsplash

QUESTION TIME:

It’s time to cast a critical eye over these rooms and take a photograph of this space. This will help you see the space as it really is. Then, take some time to ask yourself the following questions, which hopefully will give you a great starting point to work from.

 

  1. Does this this space match the new décor style that you have planned for your home?
  2. Is there enough space to store the machinery that you use regularly in this space?
  3. If you have a front loading washing machine, is it elevated enough to prevent the constant bending up and down to load and unload the machine?
  4. Is there enough easy access storage for the items that are used regularly?
  5. If you have a dryer in this space, is it vented to the outside to prevent moisture build up?
  6. Is there quality task lighting?
  7. Do you have multiple washing baskets to encourage self sorting of washing by other residents of the house?
  8. If you have young children in the home, are all cleaning chemicals out of reach?

 

TIME FOR ACTION:

Now, it’s time to get stuck in and give your laundry some tender loving care, turning it into a well organised space that encourages regular activity in this space.

 

  1. Remove everything from the space that you can.
  2. Clean the entire space, including your washing machine & dryer.
  3. Sort through everything that was emptied out of this space. Only keeping the things that are used regularly and are in good working order.
  4. If you don’t have a clear picture in your mind of how you would like this space to look. Spend some time in your favourite interiors magazines or on Pinterest getting some inspiration.
  5. Now it’s time to address any alarm bells that were set off, when answering the above questions. Remember that it’s not just about throwing money at the project. It’s about thinking outside the square. Seeing what can be re-purposed from the things you already have.
  6. When planning the layout of this room, start with the largest items, such as washing machine and dryer.
  7. Once you have done all you can with what you already have. It’s time to compile a wish list of things you would love to acquire when the time and budget allows.
  8. Take a photo of your newly transformed bedroom and compare the before and after pics.
  9. Celebrate your achievements.
  10. Share the before and after photos on the Unclutter Your Universe Facebook and Instagram pages or add your comments in the section below.
cartoon laundry
Max Pixel

Next week it’s all about the hallway separate storage cupboards in your home. If there is anything about these spaces that you would like me to discuss. Drop me a line at [email protected]

Jenni XXX

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  • My laundry works well for my needs except it’s too cramped to do the actual ironing in there so my ironing board has a bad habit of residing in my living room, unless I know someone is expected and I hide it back in the laundry!

    Ingrid
    http://www.fabulousandfunlife.blogspot.com.au

    • Ingrid, why not hang your ironing board on the back of the laundry door. Having easy to access storage, makes it more likely that things will be put away after use.

  • Katie @ Coffee With Katie

    Your blog does inspire me to get busy decluttering and organising! Thank you.

    • That’s brilliant Katie, One big unclutter from that space and organising will prevent you from getting in that state again. Finding easy access storage solutions for your possessions will encourage you to put things away when finished with them rather than leaving till later to tackle.

  • My current laundry works well. We are renting but there is enough bench space for our drier, and our freezer occupies another spot and the washing machine is a front loader. We have a 3 basket system in the laundry. One for dirty clothes, one to take clean clothes to the outside line and one for anything that might need ironing. Thank you for joining in #lifethisweek 31/52 and next week’s prompt is “Selfie Time”.

  • My current laundry is a long narrow space but it has lots of cupboard space and ample room for everything I need there. I actually don’t have too much clutter there as I’ve only been in this house for a year but do need to get better at putting away my laundry and not leaving it in the basket in the laundry until I need to wear it. #teamlovinlife

    • Seems like the space is well organised Deb, setting up some routines around what you do when the washing is dry? I find that putting clothes straight back in the bedroom when they come off the line I’m more likely to put them away, especially if they are lying on the bed.

  • writeofthemiddle

    I’m with you on being happy to take on board the laundry tasks. I’m very particular about how things are washed (and hung out) too! My laundry is a reasonable size but the decor is not for me. We are about to undertake a rather enormous renovation – kitchen, 2 bathrooms and laundry. The laundry just needs new benchtops, cupboard doors and handles and maybe some shelving. Fun days ahead (I hope)!! #TeamLovinLife

    • Min, so glad I’m not the only one who is particular about the washing. When I had a big operation several years ago and good not lift or bend much for about six weeks. I had things set up so that I could still sort the loads before going into the machine and was able to place clothes to dry outside on the racks, and would supervise sheets and towels being hung up on the line to dry. How exciting to have a big renovation happening and getting these rooms made over.

  • Jenni I have an awesome laundry setup, the hubster took 6 months long service leave a couple of years ago and did a laundry reno, and madeover our walk in wardrobe! We keep our ironing station in the wardrobe rather than the laundry – this is because we hang a lot of our clothes on hangers to dry and then put them away, only ironing before wearing. Mind you hardly any of my clothes need ironing. Anyway if you’d like to check out pics, here’s the posts I did back then: http://www.middleagedmama.com.au/laundry-renovation/ and http://www.middleagedmama.com.au/wardrobe-reno/ 🙂

    • Janet, your wardrobe setup is fantastic. I love that ironing station even though I don’t iron much anymore. Who knows maybe I would make the effort if I didn’t have to get the ironing board out of the cupboard and set it up each time?

  • Our laundry is an awful outside thing. All it fits is the washer and dryer, and the sink clogs constantly! But my husband did clean the washer and dryer recently and only then do you realise how grotty it looked before!

    • After doing such an awsome job of uncluttering your living room recently, it’s now time to tackle the laundry. Baking soda, white vinegar and hot water are supposed to be great for unblocking drains, otherwise unscrew the pipe and unclogg before it starts to smell or won’t drain away at all.