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Laundry Basics

Set Up an Efficient Laundry Room

How to organize your laundry-room space so you can get the most out of it.

By Amanda Hinnant
Washer and dryer in a laundry roomMichele Gastl

The Ambience


The laundry room should emanate cleanliness. It should be bright and easy to clean. If it doesn't have a window, then flood the room with lights and make sure the walls are white or a luminous color. Clean the laundry room when you clean the house, not just when you clean the basement.

These touches can make the space as livable as any other room:

  • CD player or radio
  • A rug or carpet swatch to stand on. It absorbs splashed water and cushions your feet.
  • Framed art or photos
  • A pretty dish or bowl near the washing machine serves as a catchall for pocket contents. It's also a reminder to check pockets for lipsticks, pens, crayons, and other detergent-defeating culprits.
  • Bulletin board. Tack up care labels, extra buttons and thread, stain charts, and product samples.
  • Trash can for lint. But if you are planning on camping out this summer, collect dryer lint in a coffee can. Lint makes high-quality tinder because it is extremely combustible, which is a main reason you shouldn't let it build up in the dryer.
  • Ironing-board cover. Contrary to popular belief, these don't have to borrow patterns from tea cozies. Look for striking new styles instead.
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