Welcome to Week 1 of the Less Mess Challenge! This week, we’ll be working in laundry spaces and linen closets! We’re starting here on purpose. It’s an important space in a home that gets a lot of use. It’s also a place where we rarely store many sentimental items, making it easier to declutter than other spaces. Plus, you’ll get all caught up on laundry, which will make it easier to keep up over the next few weeks.
Psst – do you need the printable checklist? Download it here.
I’ve written about laundry pretty extensively in the past — every topic from organization, to schedules, to routines, to setting timers, to getting kids involved. I’ll link them below if you’ve got a certain pain point in your space! If you just want challenge info, scroll a bit, it’s below!
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Related Post: Laundry Room Organization
I also believe laundry is less cumbersome if you’re doing it in a pleasant space or if you can pair it with another activity you enjoy, such as watching a show or listening to an audiobook or podcast.
It doesn’t matter if you’re doing laundry in a glamourous room, a closet, or an unfinished basement. Take pride in your space that works so hard for you. Add a small rug, some fun art, and organize it in a way that makes you smile.
The laundry room can be a simple space to organize if it’s not already too cluttered.
Laundry rooms are consistent and functional, the items stored within them don’t change often. Since all laundry rooms are different (cabinets vs shelves, a room vs a closet vs a basement corner, hanging space vs none) some directions may be vague. Apply them in whatever way you can to your space.
Before starting this challenge, consider how well (or poorly) your laundry room is functioning for you. What’s working well? What isn’t working?
If you’re missing any of these, add them!
My Laundry Room Organization
I say it often on Instagram, and I mean it: You can be organized without spending a ton of money on bins and baskets BUT sometimes they help the function of the space. I believe if you invest a bit of time and energy in making a space pretty, it’s more motivating for you to keep it that way!
Here are a few images of how I organize my laundry room:
My Favorite Products
Here are a few of my favorite laundry organization products:
- A turntable is a great way to access all those extra items you might need such as stain sticks and specialty detergents. This Youcopia Turntable has a large lip and adjustable dividers to help everything stay put.
- Bins or baskets are also a great way to contain those extras. Here are my favorite bins – medium and large are very versatile.
- Glass jars aren’t *necessary* but they do reduce visual clutter and make a space more aesthetically pleasing. These are inexpensive and square-ish so they fit nicely. These jars with black lids stand out, but are a bit pricier.
- A shelf is definitely a must-have for a laundry room. If you can’t attach one to the wall, grab a little standing wire one like this for all the laundry things.
- A small trash can is great for lint and dryer sheets (if you use them). This magnetic lint bin sticks right to your dryer.
- If you don’t have space for a full rod, these fold out hanging bars are quite useful!
- Some kind of bin or basket for clothes you no longer want is something I recommend making a place for in your laundry space. Any basket will do.
The linen closet tends to be a place of excess. Too many towels, sheets, curtains, pillows, and blankets can really take a toll on the function of a space. Consider what you actually need for your family.
How do those numbers line up with your linen collection?
Don’t even get me started on extra curtains. Are you really going to use them?
We have 2 bath towels per person and three sets of sheets per bed (two for summer, one for winter). Sometimes even that feels a little excessive.
We also have some pool/beach towels – two per person.
If your linen closet is full, consider letting go of a few items (pet shelters are always grateful for blankets and towels). You can also look for alternative places to store items. For instance, we store sheets in each person’s closet rather than one shared family closet.
If you don’t have a linen closet and you’re not happy about that, you can purchase a cabinet with doors for your family’s linens. Alternatively, linens can be stored in a chest.
If You Only Have 30 Minutes: Quick Declutter
- If you’re behind on laundry, you won’t be able to tackle it in just a half an hour, but don’t let that stop you – throw a load in and fold another!
- Clear the tops of the machines if they have anything on them
- Remove any items from this space that do not belong
- Remove any clean clothing from the space and put it away
- Tidy up the shelf or space where you keep your laundry containers.
- Empty your lint trap and garbage can.
- Dry dust all surfaces
- Do a quick check of your linen closet — can anything go?
If You Have an Hour: Declutter & Surface Clean
- Do everything above, plus run a tub clean cycle (We use Affresh Tabs once a month)
- Remove items from the shelves, dust them, wipe up any spilled detergent, combine duplicate bottles to free up space, and replace the items neatly, keeping items you use most often the most accessible.
- Dust the tops of the machines.
- Vacuum the floor and in between the washer and dryer.
- Do a quick inventory of everything you have in the laundry room—remove any items that don’t belong. Group like items and place nicely on shelves or in bins.
- Fold any towels or sheets nicely within your linen closet.
If You Have a Few Hours: Declutter, Deep Clean & Organize
- Do everything above, plus clean out your dryer vent (someone should do twice it a year, it’s a fire hazard) Here’s how.
- Wipe out the gross stuff around the lip of the washer (and the dryer, as needed)
- If you already have bins, remove everything, wipe them out and replace only what you actually need or want. If you don’t have bins, consider adding some. Adjust labels, as needed. Laundry rooms are a great place to store household items such as batteries, extra cleaners, and lightbulbs – just make sure you group like items together and label them.
- Remove all items from your linen closet. Replace only what you need, folded neatly. Consider containing smaller items in baskets.
- Clean light fixtures, baseboards, cabinets, etc.—laundry rooms are DUSTY—eliminate as much as you can.
Maintaining Your Organized Space
Staying on top of laundry is KEY to keeping your laundry space organized. A load a day works for me, but do what works for you — just be consistent. Establish some kind of laundry routine and schedule and stick to it. It will help laundry become more manageable and it will keep your space (and closets) more organized.
You’ll also want to follow the “one in, one out” rule for your linen closet. If you purchase a new set of towels, donate the old set.
Organizing the Laundry Room
Spend some time this week organizing your laundry space and linens.
Next Week: The Kitchen