Organizing the Laundry Zone


August is a good time to tackle your laundry area zone. You may still have some laundry left over from vacation. Depending on where you live, you may be washing and storing your summer clothes – here in Georgia, not so much. You may have new school clothes and sports clothing that needs washing. You want this zone under control before fall season hits.

Laundry zones can be large or small and can be located in many places. Some older homes have a laundry zone in the basement. Some are located off the kitchen. I have seen them in closets in the hall or at the top of the stairs. I have even seen them right off master bedrooms. What you don’t want to see are piles of clothes migrating into surrounding areas. Mounds of clothes are not enjoyed by anyone but the family cat.

Keeping up with the laundry becomes less a chore with a well organized space and a plan for keeping on top of the mountain of laundry. It helps to have designated times scheduled to do laundry instead of waiting until an item is needed. “Mom, where are my soccer shorts?”

The idea is to keep laundry moving. Only bring to the laundry zone, the items you intend to wash right now. Leave everything else in the designated laundry baskets. As soon as clothes are dry, get them back to their “home.”

Some laundry zones (like mine) are also used for other purposes than just doing laundry. I have my cleaning products stored here along with my laundry products. I have ironing supplies, pet supplies, recycling bins and cabinets for entertaining supplies. The important thing is to decide what goes where and keep the different zones from running into each other. What you don’t want is something that was just stuck in this zone “just for now.”

During this month I look at my cleaning products and toss and consolidate. If I have a product that I am no longer using – out it goes. If I have ended up with two partial bottles of Woolite, I consolidate them. If I have a large container of soap that I store on the floor, I transfer some into a smaller container that is easier to handle. I want everything in this zone intuitive and easy to find and use.

Having this zone organized may not make you love to do laundry but it certainly will make this task less of a chore.

Jonda S. Beattie

Professional Organizer

Taking Back Your Laundry Zone


The month of August is a good time to organize the laundry area. You may have some laundry stacked up from vacation. There are new school clothes and sport clothing that need washing. You really want this zone under control before the fall season really hits.

Keeping up with laundry is less of a hassle if you have your space well organized.

  1. Decide what the purposes are for this zone. Besides the washer and dryer, do you also have your iron and ironing board stored here? Besides your laundry products, do you also store other cleaning products here? Do you store your pet food? Do you keep your recycling bins here? Be very clear on what you expect this area to house. Then zone it out so that everything has its own home. If you have stuck something in this area “just for now”, now move it out.
  2. Think about how you want this zone to look and feel. You will spend a bit of time here so make it work for you. I like a fun calendar that makes me smile. I also have a stain chart, and since my recycling shares this zone, I also have a list of what is accepted in each bin. I also like to have as many things containerized as possible.
  3. Sort all of your cleaning products. Did you buy a product that you really did not like, but that is still hanging around? Toss it now. Do you have spray starch that is 10 years old and you barely have a nodding acquaintance with you iron? Toss it now. Do you have 2 half bottles of Woolite? Consolidate them. If you buy large containers of soap powder, transfer some into a smaller container to cut down on spills.
  4. Schedule your laundry times. Don’t wait until you need something to do laundry (Mom, where are my gym shorts?). The goal is to keep laundry moving. Only bring to the laundry zone what you intend to laundry that day. Leave the rest in the dirty clothes hampers. Only cats love mounds of dirty laundry. As soon as clothes are dry, get them back to their home. If you have some clothes that need ironing, designate a container to hold them until you schedule your ironing time.
  5. Having a different colored basket for each member of the family is helpful. As you pull clothes out of the dryer, put them into the correct basket and then carry them to the appropriate room.
  6. Have a small container nearby to toss any items you find in pockets, the dryer, or for loose buttons.

Having this zone organized may not make you love to do laundry, but it should make the chore an easier one.

Jonda S. Beattie

Professional Organizer

Organizing the Laundry Zone


If you are following my zone plan, August is a good month to organize your laundry area. School has already begun in my region and that means that new clothes are washed to wear, summer clothes are washed and some seasonal items stored. School team sports have begun and this brings on more laundry. There may even be back up laundry from vacation.

Laundry zones are located in many places. Some older homes have them in the basement. Some are located off the kitchen or even in a hall way. I have seen them at the top of the stairs and right off the master bedrooms. In many newer homes they are very centrally located which is a great if you keep up with the laundry and not so good if you let laundry stack up on the floor.

Keeping up with the laundry becomes less of a chore with a well organized space and a plan for keeping on top of the mountain of laundry. It helps to have designated times scheduled to do the laundry instead of waiting until an item is needed. (Mom, where are my soccer shorts?)

The goal is to keep the laundry moving. Only bring to the laundry zone what you intend to laundry that day. Leave the rest in the dirty clothes hampers. As soon as clothes are dry, get them back to their “home.” Having a different colored basket for each member of the family is helpful. As you pull clothes out of the dryer, put them into the correct basket and then have them go to the proper room.

Have a small container nearby to toss in any items you find in pockets, the dryer, or loose buttons. Have stain remover, sponges, scrubbing brushes on a shelf near the washer. This zone is also a good place to store the iron and ironing board. If you buy your detergents in large containers, transfer some into smaller containers that are easier to handle and less likely to cause spills.

This is the time to declutter any cleaning items stored in this zone. Now is the time to discard a product you have bought and not liked. If you have ended up with 2 half bottles of Woolite, consolidate them. Just toss that spray starch that is 10 years old and you never use any more. Just keep on hand the products that you are actually using.

Now I won’t go so far as to say keeping this zone organized will make you love to do laundry but it should make the chore less of a hassle.

Jonda S. Beattie

Professional Organizer

The Zone Plan – The Laundry Room

The month of August is a good time to organize the laundry area. Laundry has probably stacked up from vacation. New school clothes are being washed. Team sports have begun. You want this area under control before the fall season really hits. Keeping up with the laundry becomes less of a chore with a well organized space.
Laundry areas crop up many places in homes. I see them in or right off kitchens, in hallways near the front entry, at the top of the stairs, in basements, and even off the main bedroom. What you don’t want to see is laundry that migrates into the rooms nearby.
My laundry area is very small. I only have a washer, some shelves, and a place to hang my drying rack. Even though most people have dryers, a drying rack is handy for delicates and hand wash items. Shelves are necessary to store all washing/drying products. You can note in my picture that I also store other cleaning products here. You’ll want laundry soap, dryer sheets, stain removers, sponges, and scrubbing brushes near your washer/dryer. A stain removal chart hung on the wall can be helpful. If you have room place a table to lay clothes on or to treat a stain or to use for folding clothes. I have a small table right outside this area for that purpose.
At least once a year, you want to look over your products you are storing here and consolidate. Did you buy a product that you did not like and it is still hanging around? Get rid of it now. Do you have spray starch that is 10 years old and you never use any more? Toss it. Do you have 2 half bottles of Woolite? Consolidate them. If you have a large container of soap powder on the floor, transfer some into a smaller container that is easier to handle. This will cut down on spills. While you are in here organizing the  shelves, it is a good time to give them a good cleaning as some of the products tend to leave rings.
Have a small container in this area for tossing the items you find luring in pockets or for the loose buttons that come off in the wash. I find this area is also a logical place for me to store my iron, ironing board, and water spray bottle.
To keep this area neat, only bring in the dirty clothes when you are ready to wash them. Let them live in the dirty clothes baskets until the actual laundry time. Mounds of dirty laundry are not enjoyed by anyone but the family cat. As soon as the clothes are dry, get them back to their original space.

Jonda S. Beattie

Professional Organizer

Taming the Laundry Zone


August is a good month to organize the laundry area. Vacation is over and the laundry has stacked up since return. Team practices have begun and caused extra laundry. Your laundry zone may be bursting at the seams!
Laundry zones can be located almost anywhere in a home. I can remember my mother’s was in the basement and even had a laundry chute where clothes could be dropped from either level of the house and land in an open laundry basket. (I believe a cat or two also got a laundry chute ride as well.) My laundry area is in a small room off my living room that was once a porch. If you look at the picture, you can see my dryer is just a drying rack. My handy husband enclosed the area so when it is not in use, it is not seen. Wherever your area, utilize every square inch. Shelves can be added to give extra storage space. Make sure the area is well lit.
You’ll want your laundry soap, dryer sheets, stain removers, sponges, and scrubbing brushes near your washer. If you buy your detergent in large containers, transfer some into smaller containers that are easier to handle and will less likely be spilled. Post a stain-removal chart on the wall.
Counter space is helpful for laying out items to treat or a place to fold clothes. I use a small table that is in the adjacent area. If you have room, you might buy a small table for your area.
A bar or bracket to hang hangers for shirts taken out of the dryer is useful. It does not have to be large but just enough to hold what would come out of one load (because, of course, you are going to immediately put them away ;-} )
Even if you have a dryer, a drying rack hung on the wall is handy for drying items you don’t want to toss in the dryer. Have a container handy for tossing in the items you find in pockets or loose buttons. If possible, have your ironing board, iron, and water or starch spray bottles in this location.
A stack of colored laundry baskets is a handy way to sort clean clothes for each member of the family and for one for the bath/bed linens. When the laundry is taken out of the dryer and folded, immediately put it in the correct basket. Each family member can pick up their baskets, put their clothes away, and return the basket.
Have dirty clothes stay in the various clothes hampers in bedrooms or bathrooms until you are ready to do the laundry. That keeps the laundry area from accumulating heaps and mound of dirty laundry (which cats also love to hide in).

I would love to hear about any laundry zone tips you have tried.

Jonda S. Beattie
Professional Organizer

Laundry Zone

August is a good month to tackle the laundry area. Children are going back to school and team practices are picking up. Student’s clothes are being evaluated for the coming school year- still use, toss, keep for others in family, pass on to others. Laundry may be backed up from vacation. Piles of clothes are probably higher than usual. The dirty and clean clothes may have even migrated from the laundry area into other rooms.
Doing the laundry becomes less of a chore with a well-designed space.
Keep stain removers, sponges, scrubbing brushes on a shelf or cabinet near your washing machine. If you buy your detergents in large containers, transfer some into smaller containers that are easier to handle and less likely to cause spills. Post a stain-removal chart on the wall or inside a cabinet.
Counter-space can be very helpful for laying out items to treat or a place to fold clean clothes. If you don’t have any counter space, consider buying a small table for the area.
A drying rack hung on the wall is handy for drying items you don’t want to toss in the dryer.
If you don’t have a sink, keep a large bowl nearby for soaking items. Have a basket or bowl for tossing in the items found in pockets, the dryer, or loose buttons.
Have designated labeled baskets for dark, light, and dry-cleaning items.
If possible, keep your ironing board, iron, and spray bottles in this location.
A stack of colored laundry baskets can also be handy. Designate a color for each person in the family. When laundry is taken out of the dryer and folded, immediately put it in the correct basket. Each family member can pick up their baskets, put their clothes away, and return the basket.
It helps to have designated times for laundry chores instead of waiting until an item is needed.

I would love to have you share some of your laundry time saving tips as well.

Jonda S. Beattie
Professional Organizer