Cleaning a laundry room is one of those tasks that most people put off for days, weeks, or perhaps even months longer than they should. It’s not a room visitors often see, and it’s not a room that you think about when cleaning. But, that doesn’t mean it shouldn’t be given a scrub down every once in awhile.
Here are some tips on how to achieve a tidy and clean laundry room:
Wash out the sink
If you are lucky enough to have a sink in your laundry room, that’s probably where most of the dust and dirt and grime in your life gets washed out. It may also be where you would soak some dirty clothes, or handwash your delicate items. So make sure to clean out the sink really well. Try using a cup of vinegar, half a cup of baking soda and detergent. Rub down the sink with the mixture and let it sit for 10 minutes. Next, wipe it down with a sponge, and then block the drain, fill it back up with water and let it sit another 10 minutes. Your sink will never look so clean.
Wash the floor
With all the dust, dirt, and lint that comes from doing laundry, make sure your floor is spic and span. Especially because you probably drop clean clothes when taking clothes out of the dryer.
Declutter your laundry room
Usually the laundry room becomes a place to drop all your unwanted belongings. Try instituting a declutter system with baskets and bins. Once every week or two, go through the piles and get rid of what is unneeded and put away what is just laying about.
Clean the lint trap
Make sure to clean your lint trap after every load dried. Not only will it help keep dust under control, but it will help your laundry dry faster as well.
We spend a lot of time in our laundry room, so make sure it is a place you don’t mind being by keeping it clean and tidy.
Whether you are a college student doing laundry in a dorm, or a family of six drowning in dirty clothes, everyone wants the secret to doing less laundry. Today, I’m here to share it with you. Some of you may already employ this method, but for those who don’t, this trick will save you time and energy.
Don’t wash your clothes every time you wear them.
It’s so simple! If you are in the habit of washing everything right after you wear them, it’s time to have a change of heart.
Here’s the main rule. If you sweat in it, wash it. If you spilled something on yourself, wash it. Otherwise, put it right back in your closet. Make sure to actually hang your worn clothing up rather than leave them in a heap on the floor, otherwise they will get wrinkled and unwearable.
The Smell Test
When you’re wondering whether a piece of clothing belongs in your sortasack bag or back in your closet, give it a quick smell. After one or two wears, most clothing will be fine – especially in the winter. But, once you get a whiff of something not so sweet, it’s time to do a load.
Some clothing you probably (hopefully) want to wash after every wear are undergarments and socks. Pants, pajamas, sweaters, comfy clothes, and even bras can easily go a few wears.
So next time you’re about to wash a pair of pajama pants or jeans you’ve only worn once, try hanging it back up and wearing it one more time. See how you feel, if you don’t even remember, or if you keep sniffing the air to see if maybe you made a mistake. Chances are, nobody will even notice, least of all you.
Does anyone else have any tips on how to do less laundry and save time?
Over the weekend I was reading an article in This Old House and came across what might be the most interesting fact of the week: “Americans spend more time in the laundry room than in the bathroom: an average of eight hours a week, collectively doing some 35 billions of laundry a year.”
Eight hours a week! It sounds like a lot, but if you consider doing a load or two a day, the time of washing, drying and folding really does add up.
This Old House touched on a topic that I blogged about a few weeks ago — the idea that laundry rooms are supposed to live in the basement rather than in a main living area of a home. We discussed whether laundry rooms should go upstairs, but there is another interesting trend emerging: the inclusion of a laundry room into a bathroom or kitchen.
This Old House provides 27 different ideas on how to make your laundry room work as less of a laundry room and more of a functioning command center. Here are some of my favorites:
- Add a Sink — It will make it much easier to rub stains out, rinse items that need to be hand washed, and do some of the dirtier home tasks like watering plants.
- Add Storage — Putting kitchen cabinets in the laundry room means you will have more storage for anything from winter hats to wrapping supplies to your actually laundry detergent. It will also help keep the space clutter free, making it more appealing to spend time in.
- Add Color — Why should a laundry room be sterile? I’ve seen laundry rooms with a ton of color. Other people prefer to hang family pictures in the room so they can look at those they love while folding.
- Add Bins — A few weeks ago I posted a bin round up, and there’s no reason you shouldn’t use a pretty bin in your laundry room to help with storage and clutter.
Make your laundry room the best possible place to spend eight hours of your week!
I recently stumbled upon a blog post titled: Dear Laundry, I Hate You. The title made me laugh, but I knew this woman’s pain all too well. With four children including a newborn, the load of laundry weighing down this unfortunate blogger was large. She was doing 12 loads of laundry a week.
Keeping up with a large family’s laundry is not easy, but there are a few tips that can really help. These can be applied for a family of 6 or a family of 3. If you have any to add, leave them in the comments section!
1. Create a schedule and stick to it
It sounds so easy, yet I know it’s so hard to actually do. But just imagine doing 12 loads of laundry in a single day. That would be soul crushing. Which is why it’s important to make a commitment to doing a certain number of loads a day and stick to it. Plus then you get to feel a sense of accomplishment when you’re done.
2. Don’t let fresh laundry sit around
When it comes to doing laundry, the time consuming part isn’t actually washing and drying the clothes, but folding them and putting them away. I know I’m guilty of leaving a load of laundry in the dryer for a few days, but I try not to. By putting laundry away immediately it’s one less thing to weigh on your mind.
3. Don’t fold everything
If putting away laundry is a problem for you, try not folding everything. Maybe tee-shirts, pjs and socks can just go into a drawer rather than taking the time to fold them properly.
4. Enlist help
If you have older children or a helpful spouse, take some of the burden off yourself and put it on them. Make members of your family fold and put away their own clothing, or better yet, start teaching your older children how to do their own laundry.
5. Pre-sort your clothing
You knew this was coming, but it really is extremely helpful. By using a product such as sortasack, the sorting is done for you, taking away a lot of pre-laundry time.
What tips would you give the woman who has 12 loads of laundry to do a week? Did I miss any?
I recently found myself talking to a wonderful interior designer. Our conversation eventually hit on the topic of laundry (surprise, surprise), but more specifically, about the growing trend of renovating homes to put laundry rooms on the second floor.
Laundry rooms have typically lived in the basement of a home. That way the washing machine and dryer don’t take up space in the main living area, and the noise is confined to the darkness below. However, in discussing this with my interior designer friend, it came to light that many families are choosing to move their laundry rooms upstairs during a home renovation.
Obviously it depends on the family to decide if the benefits outweigh the cost, noise, and space limitations, but I think it’s an interesting decision to make. Here are some of the top reasons to have your laundry room near your bedrooms:
Having a washer and dryer on the floor your family sleeps on is a huge time saver. Instead of lugging loads of laundry up and down stairs, it’s easy to throw in a load in a few seconds and forget about it. It will also save your knees and back from aches and pains.
It may seem like a small detail, but having laundry on a floor where you don’t need to go up and down stairs makes putting clothing away much easier. It takes less time to throw a load of freshly dried laundry on your bed and fold late at night than to trek downstairs, lug it up the stairs, and then proceed to fold and put away.
3. State of Mind
I know I’m not the only one who doesn’t like being home alone in the basement. By having laundry below ground, I’m much less likely to throw in a load late at night or if I’m starting to feel sleepy.
Of course, there are draw backs to a second story laundry room as well. The most important being price limitations. Having a laundry room on the second level means you will need to install plumbing and draining if it’s not already there. That can definitely run up the bill.
Where does your laundry room live? If you were to move, would a laundry room on the second story be on your wish list?
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Cleaning supplies have gotten a bad reputation lately. They are said to be filled with chemicals that are bad to inhale, and bad for the environment. Which got me to thinking, should I buy green supplies or try making my own?
I decided to do some sleuthing, and consulted the website of the queen of clean, Martha Stewart.
She had some great ideas on cleaning that I wanted to share with you.
1. Mix mild dishwashing liquid with water
By mixing two cups of water with two tablespoons of dishwashing liquid in a spray bottle, you have made yourself a great solution for wiping down counter tops. It’s so much cheaper than buying 409 or some other equivalent, and it’s good for the environment.
2. Use baking powder
I always knew that baking powder had a really great cleaning component, but was never sure how to use it. Martha says to mix 3 parts warm water to 1 part baking soda and use it to clean the oven or wipe away stains.
3. Natural Window Cleaners
Use distilled white vinegar to wipe down windows and mirrors. Mix equal parts vinegar and water, and you can use the same potion to wash most polyurethane-finished wood floors.
4. Have the Necessary Tools
Make sure to have sponges, cloths, paper towels, medium-bristled scrub brushes and rubber gloves on hand.
Have you ever tried to make your own cleaning supplies? Is it something you’re interested in or do you just not have the time?
Young adults across the country are packing up their rooms and heading to colleges across the country. What they need more than great study skills is to load up on dorm room friendly items to help making living in a small space easier.
At sort-a-sack we have always believed that our product is the perfect way to manage laundry. It helps students pre-sort their dirty clothes so they are less likely to ruin their favorite sweater the first time they do laundry on their own. It also has the washing instructions printed directly on the bag, so there’s no need to call mom at 2am when they finally get down to the laundry room. And, it is not only a laundry bag, but a laundry backpack, meaning students can strap it to their backs rather than drag a heavy bag behind them. Finally, it has a sturdy hook so it can hang on the back of a door and leave that precious floor space totally free from laundry.
To recap, sort-a-sack is the perfect dorm room accessory because it:
- Pre-sorts laundry
- Has washing instructions printed directly on the bag
- Has backpack straps for easy carrying
- Can hang on the back of a door, freeing up floor space
It turns out, we’re not the only ones who thing sort-a-sack is the real deal.
Here is a video from The Mal Pearson show featuring sort-a-sack.
Head to minute 4:50:
Sort-a-sack on Mal Pearson Show
What do your college bound kids use for their laundry? Or do they wait and bring it home?
When I think about activities that may be bad for the environment, laundry is not the first thought that pops up. But the truth is that laundry can use a lot of energy and put a number of pollutants into the world. There is good news though — just a few changes can make a big difference.
- For those of us with older washing machines, consider using an environmentally friendly detergent. One of the most well-known ones is Ecover, which only uses plant based ingredients and is completely biodegradable. It can be found at Whole Foods. Click here for coupons.
- If you are in the market for a new washing machine, consider choosing one with the Energy Star label. It uses less energy and will save more than 7,000 gallons of water a year.
- Using warm water expends a lot more energy than running a cold wash, so try to choose cold water whenever possible. 90 percent of energy used to wash clothing is in heating the water. Plus, washing in cold water will prevent clothing from fading.
- Consider hanging clothes to dry, or not drying your entire load. This will lead to a shorter drying cycle, saving energy.
If you can’t get enough information on green laundry tips, TLC has 10 Green Laundry Tips on their website.
Have you taken any steps to “greenify” your laundry process? I’d love to hear.
When you look at beautiful catalogs from Container Store, Pottery Barn, or West Elm there’s a whole lot to be excited about. Schools is almost here, which means that it’s time to get your house, kids, and family organized. But have you lost your organizing mojo? That seems to be the case for many families who are struggling to get organized and get learning once again.
After reading a few articles about how to get and stay organized, I realized there was a tool that was cheap, pretty to look at, and truly effective. It was something I could find at almost every store. The big organizing secret? Baskets and storage containers.
I rounded up a few of my absolute favorite containers. Take a look…
1. Plastic Storage Bin from Target — $6.99
These bins are great for organizing a lot of things. At the end of a school year, I usually purchase one of two of these to house old projects and notebooks that I think my kids might want to go through one day. I also use these to store sweaters during the summer, and boots during the winter.
2. Magazine Files from Ikea — $1.99 for 5
If you’re like me and love looking at beautiful pictures of perfectly organized spaces then you get a lot of magazines. I keep mine organized using these extremely affordable magazine files from Ikea.
3. Pretty Storage Baskets from Amazon — $38.03 for 3
These are a bit on the smaller size, but they’re great for fitting in bookshelves as a way to wrangle the smaller things. I have one for cards, another for change, and so on. This way what used to sit around looking ugly now has a place to live unnoticed.
4. Galvanized Bins from Amazon — $99 for 6
If you’re into a more industrial look, and don’t mind a splurge, these galvanized bins from Amazon are great. They hold a ton, but they also look super cool so you won’t mind having them sitting around your home.
5. Leather Storage Bench from Overstock.co — $111.99
If you’ve got more to hide than just piles here and there, a piece of furniture that doubles as storage is always a good answer. Use it to keep office supplies or board games. Not only will it provide extra seating, but it will help keep your home clutter free.
What types of containers do you like to use for storage? Did I hit on any of your favorites?
Yesterday I posted a laundry fact Facebook: The average American family does 8-10 loads of laundry each week. Here are some more interesting facts:
- A single load of laundry takes around one hour and twenty seven minutes to finish, including washing and drying.
- According to the Stevenson Company, only 17 percent of homes had separate laundry rooms in 1992, while 57 percent have a separate laundry room in 2006. 15 percent of homes have laundry in the basement.
- LuxuryRealEstate.com reported that 61 percent of new homes have laundry on the upper floors.
- GE states that only 3.5 percent of families have their laundry in the kitchen.
Based on these statistics it seems that laundry is becoming a bigger and bigger force in the lives of American families. Why is that?
My theory is that as families have become so much busier with activities, school, and socializing that organization has become even more key to living an easier life. Laundry is a chore that can be time consuming, but also straight forward and soothing if you do it consistently, and have an organization plan in place. By pre-sorting laundry, and having a designated spot for dirty clothes other than the floor of your child’s bedroom, half the work is already done when it comes time to do laundry.
Additionally, as more importance is put on appearance, clothing becomes more of a part of everyday life. It’s no surprise that consumers are looking for stylish and convenient laundry rooms.
One more interesting fact: The average size of a laundry room for families who make over $100k is 82 square feet; however, without taking income into account, the average family’s laundry room is 47 square feet.
Does organization in the laundry arena matter to you? Do you covet a separate, large laundry room on your 2nd floor? I’d love to hear some thoughts.