Luandry organization-tips, Anyone? : LUSENET : Country Families : One Thread

I'm flushed with the success of getting two parts of my house organized. I'm going to takle a whole room this time-that dungeon known as the Laundry room. Right now, our laundry room is unfinished, but if I get the new washer, my husband wants to finish it out first, which means I have to clear it out-its become a kind of dumping ground for the basement. Also, I would like to get some kind of more organized laundry system going. So thats my goal this week. I would apprciate any tips, ideas, suggestions. Thanks!

-- Kelly (KY) (, February 09, 2002


I have two suggestions, one cheap and one not so cheap. For the cheap one, hang a closet rod in your laundry room. When you take clothes out of the dryer you can put them on hangers and hang them up right away and avoid wrinkling. It also makes it easier to organize what goes to which bedroom, etc.

The more expensive idea may not be feasible depending on how far hubby has gone toward finishing off the separate room in the basement for a laundry room. I would suggest getting two dryers. Seriously, think about it. Did you ever notice how it takes almost exactly twice as long to dry a load of laundry as it does to wash it? Well, with two dryers you're all set and you can cut your time from starting wash load one to getting the last out of the dryer substantially. I hope this helps.

-- Gary in Indiana (, February 09, 2002.

Kelly, one thing I have always doen is presort my laundry. In my laundry room we have 6 baskets. One is for very soiled colored clothes, one for normal colored clothes, one for "good" clothes, one for whites, one for dark towels, and one for light towels. As everyone brings their laundry to the laundry room they put the clothes in the proper basket. When the basket is full I wash it. Everyone knows which basket is which. My kids have done this since they could walk!!! Cale just built me a shelf system, so 3 baskets sit on the bottom, 3 in the middle and the top is a counter for canning and folding laundry. I am really happy with it.

-- Melissa in SE Ohio (, February 10, 2002.

Having a family of nine, I know laundry well! Having a place to hang it up the finished laundry is a great idea. I would also suggest:

The idea about having 2 dryers is excellent also. Perhaps you could find a good used one or, if your husband is handy with appliances, one that just needs something minor - like a new heating element -- people sell those practically for nothing because they think they will be too expensive to have the repairman come fix.

-- Karen (, February 10, 2002.

I agree that having baskets to separate clothes into is essential.

We have a laundry shute that starts in the top floor bathroom, goes through the kitchen and into the cellar. My laundry room is in that corner of the cellar. At the base of the laundry shute is a countertop and sink. I also have four clothes lines that run the width of the cellar. I separate clothes whenever I'm in the cellar and when the baskets are full it's time to wash. Because the wood store is in the cellar, it's always nice and warm down there. A typical laundry is: when I wash whites which includes his dress shirts plus underwear, I'll toss his dress shirts in the dryer while I hang the underwear on the line. When I've finished hanging the underwear (usually about 5 to 10 minutes), I remove the dress shirts from the dryer and hang on hangers to finish drying. Sometimes it takes a whole month before my dryer has been through a complete drying cycle. The drying laundry and the dryer vent directed inside (covered with a pair of pantry hoses to catch lint)adds much needed moisture in the house plus I save electricity and wear and tear on the dryer. During warm weather I hang the clothes outside.

Wishing you enough.

-- Trevilians (aka Dianne in Mass) (, February 10, 2002.

Diane, that's a great idea about venting into the room! I bet it helps with the heating in the winter, also! I would never have thought of that one. We are in the plotting stages of a major kitchen/game room/laundry/sewing room remodel, and I will file that idea away. Anything I can do to save money on that gas bill is welcome!

I'm still working on a clothes line, by the way. Lance's mother NEVER used a clothes line, and thus he gripes unless everything he owns is dried in the dryer. Some people don't know a good thing when it smacks them in the face (or dries off their back after a shower!).

-- Christine in OK (, February 10, 2002.

Hello Kelly,

Having a place to hang clothes on hangers is a good idea. Meli and I do not have a dryer and depend on "solar devices" for drying out clothes. One of the things that she does is to hang the clothes wet on the coat hangers. Then she hangs the coat hangered wet article on the line to dry. When it is ready to take in, all she has to do is just take them right to the closest! Saves her time....and hey!....I am all for that!



-- (, February 10, 2002.

I agree with Melissa..we also had a bunch of sorting baskets in the laundry room when my home was full of children. One thing I might add which helped me tremendously is that it only takes a minute for the bringer of the dirty laundry to turn the article of clothing right- side-out bedfore they put it in the basket...It takes twice as long to fold clothes which also need to be turned right-side-out again! I love my clothesline! The only time I use a dryer is when it is raining out or just too cold to have fun hanging things out. My clothesline is out the laundry room window, so I do not have to carry laundry baskets or attempt the stairs..even if you are not disabled, it is alot easier to hang clothes on the line from the inside of the house..when we had that huge house in PA, my laundrroom was on the second floor, so I had the window clothesline and the washer and dryer and ironing board all in the same place. Lastly, I had a stacking table right next to the door, so at bedtime, all the children made a stop at the laundry room and took their pile of folded clothes to their room. Now that I think of it, I did a really good job all those years..LOL LOL LOL....never thought about it at the time.."take THAT Martha Stewart"!!! LOL

-- lesley (, February 10, 2002.

When I take my laundry out of the wash to hang it inside, I also put everything that goes on hangers on them. I have a wooden clothes rack I put things like socks, underwear, wash cloths etc... on. Then on the lines go things like jeans, towels etc.. I can hang a load of laundry in about 5 minutes, and according to our electric company, it can cost up to $1 a load to dry them. I do at least 10 loads a week, so this is a big savings.

If I were remodeling a laundry room I would definitely figure out some way to hang laundry!

-- Melissa in SE Ohio (, February 10, 2002.

If you hang clothes inside, you could also get an umbrella clothesline, and use it in the basement with an umbrella stand (like for patio umbrellas--might have to wait until closer to summer to get one) if you have enough clearance. When not needed, you can fold in and put it out of the way.

-- GT (, February 11, 2002.

I saw a neat idea: to install a rod across the middle the length of your tub (above your head) so that you can hang clothes to drip dry). I plan to do that in the home we are building.

-- Ann Markson (, February 12, 2002.

I use the leftover bath water for washing out hose and lingerie--but rinse with clean water--hang in the bath. If washing sweaters, etc. in a sink--I use a drop of cheap shampoo.

I have taught my children how to get stains out (or at least treat them so that they can be washed out) If they get a bad stain at dinner, I ask them to scrub it and squeeze out the excess water after dinner-- I try not to have them change into another shirt because that's just more washing.

I try to wear farm work clothes several times before washing as I'm not going to be seeing folks in them--that cuts down on alot of washing--just put them on a hook on the closet door and wear the next time I'm working in the garden.

I don't iron until something is needed because invariably something ironed will get wrinkled in my closet.

-- Ann Markson (, February 12, 2002.

A couple of ideas that have worked for me is to just cut down on the amount of clothing that each person owns. We have a large family and each son has 2 pairs of jeans and 2 pairs of church/town pants. All shirts are dark colored plaids or solids. All socks are navy blue and the same brand so if one sock gets a hole in it or lost they will still have a pair, kind of like when I wore single hose as a girl. The towels are all the same and a dark forest green. We have a cleaning out clothes day every year before our yard sale and then we take inventory to see what we need to replace. To keep me on track, on their birthdays I usually take that week to buy 6 pairs of new undershorts and a new pair of church/town shoes. Every person has a towel hook that is just theirs and on Friday all towels get washed. I have two towel rings by the sink, that are for hand drying, that get changed more often. Getting ahead of the problem by simplifying and learning to be content with less has had an unforseen benefit in the laundry room. God bless

-- Marie in Central WA (, February 14, 2002.

Question actually. We are renovating our house at present and as our en-suite bathroom is over our utility room I was hoping to install a laundry shute. As this is a very "American concept" and something not used at all in Ireland I was wondering in anyone could give me any help. I found the web site veru interesting and informative.

-- Jennifer Ree (, June 10, 2002.

Hi Jennifer, This should get you started:

this old house

natural handyman

-- Earthmama (, June 10, 2002.

Thanks....I too was looking for "how to install a Laundry shute"!!! those sites were EXTREMELY helpful.

I also have a cheap $15 free-standing hanging rod to hang clothes on, as for folding I use the tops of the washer and dryer, now all I have to do is figure a way to get those pesky hangers my family empties one-by-one back to my laundry room without having to go hunting myself!! lol

-- Rachel (, August 12, 2002.

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