Thursday, January 28, 2010

Suds Up!

This is especially useful for those of us who only have time to do the family's laundry, ironing and folding during the weekends. Take the chore out of doing the laundry by getting organized.

Collecting the Clothes
Hampers should be placed in areas that are easily accessible. For instance, place laundry baskets in the closet, the bathroom or the bedroom. If it is a small household, one hamper should be enough. It would make collection easier.

The best kind of hamper is the type that has a handle so it can easily be transported to the laundry area.

Separate items that are meant for dry-cleaning. It will make it easy for you to remember to bring them to the cleaner. Also, it prevents you from accidentally throwing a dry-clean only item in the wash.

The Sorting Process
Clothes have to be sorted before they are washed. Set up three containers: one for light-coloured clothing, one for darks and one for items meant for hand-washing.

Containers do not have to be ordinary plastic tubs. For something more decorative, pick wicker baskets or coloured baskets. You may also want to explore built-in shelving units.

The Right Equipment
There are different kinds of washing machines and dryers. Some are front-loading and stackable, others are top-loading and stand-alone. Pick the ones that can best fulfil the needs of the family. Also, have a couple of basins on hand for delicate items that need to be handwashed.

Most people focus too much on the machines that they neglect to think that the laundry room requires more than just that. You will also need shelves and cabinets for detergents, fabric sheets, mesh bags and other items needed for doing the laundry. A jar for loose change is also handy.

Shelves should be constructed easy-to-reach. For safety, make sure that the supplies cabinet can be locked to keep small children from accessing them.

Install a clothesline in the laundry with a jar of clothespins nearby. Small spaces benefit from retractable clotheslines. A drying rack is also useful for items that need to dry flat.

The laundry process does not stop with the washing and drying of the clothes. The garments also need to be folded and ironed. Prepare a flat surface, such as a table, that is wide enough for folding. For ironing, install wall-mounted or fold-down boards to keep them out of the way when not in use.

A trash can in the laundry area might seem unnecessary, but is actually one of the best things to have in the room. You can easily throw bits of trash stashed in pockets or empty bottles of detergent.

Maximize Space
Be open to the idea that the laundry area is not just for laundry. Install a broom closet for cleaning supplies. Walls can also be used for hanging mops or rags. The laundry area is actually the best place to store items that get wet such as pails and bailers, because water drips would not be a big deal.