Ready to start your annual spring-cleaning project? We’ve got tips to clear the clutter in your laundry room, closets and basement. Be sure to click on the Project Shopping List to stock up on everything you need to freshen your home for spring.
Organize Your Laundry Room
The laundry room gets a lot of attention these days. Along with being the place to wash and iron, it’s often a mud room, pet storage area and extra spot for coats and boots.
Check out these 9 useful tips for cleaning, organizing and outfitting your laundry to keep it fresh and functional.
Tip 1: Install Shelves and Cabinets
Shelves and cabinets add storage space and can keep clutter in place. They can also provide space to fold clothes and organize detergent, fabric softener and other laundry supplies.
Keep your shelves organized. Storage containers are great for stowing away items you don't need all the time, keeping them clean and dust-free. Keep a small bin handy for those items lost in the washer/dryer like coins, buttons, and keys.
Keep a small trash bin next to your washer and dryer for lint and used dryer sheets.
Tip 2: Use Laundry Hampers or Sorters
It may go without saying, but the more organized your dirty laundry is, the easier things will be when it comes time to do the wash. A hamper or basket will keep your dirty laundry easy to handle before the wash; a sorter will help you organize dirty laundry into loads before laundry day.
Tip 3: Get a Clothes Rack
Setting up a drying rack next to the washer gives you the perfect place to hang clothes as they come out of the washer, especially delicates. A drying rack not only lets you lay clothes flat to dry, but with hangers, you can also hang garments from the rack.
Tip 4: Use a Folding Table
A folding table or rollaway cart is perfect for folding clothes as they come out of the dryer. It’s there when you need it and easy to put away when you don't, keeping your laundry room organized when it's not laundry day.
Clean Out Closets
Don’t forget the bedroom and linen closets. Once you’ve emptied them and vacuumed and dusted the closet, follow these steps:
Tip 5: Use the Right Tools
Look for closet organizer kits with adjustable shelves. These can be easily moved and reconfigured as your storage needs change. To maximize your closet’s functionality, try multi-pocket shoe organizers that hang on the inside or outside of closet doors. These handy organizers also make the perfect holder for hosiery, scarves, ties, belts and other accessories. Finally, consider installing additional shelving above a hanger rod. Reclaim that wasted space and increase your storage.
Tip 6: Keep or Donate?
Items worn often should be easily accessible, stored at a height between your shoulders and your knees. Items used less frequently can be stored on higher shelves or in bins at ground level.
If you haven't worn a piece of clothing since you cleaned out your closet last year, consider donating it.
The same goes for linen closets. Keep frequently used towels and bedding within reach. Organize linens and spare blankets according to size. And if you have linens you no longer use, consider donating them.
Keep a folding step stool handy to quickly access all parts of your closet.
Organize and Clean Your Basement
Is your basement the home for everything you want to keep but don’t know what to do with? In a lot of homes, the basement is a catchall, and it’s usually the space that needs the most attention.
Tip 7: Use Caution When Storing Items
If you have a damp basement, avoid storing photographs, artwork, food or clothing in the basement. Anything stored there should be kept in plastic, waterproof bins rather than cardboard boxes. For the best storage conditions, keep the basement temperature between 60º and 75ºF (15 to 24ºC).
Tip 8: Organize
Keep long-term storage items in one area. Store old toys, baby books and other nostalgic items together for easy access. Move clothing, bathroom, kitchen items and bedding to their designated areas. Using a labeler or permanent marker, clearly label all boxes, baskets and containers. Install additional shelving if needed to organize books, electronic equipment and other frequently used items.
Tip 9: Clean Up
To finish spring-cleaning your basement, wash the basement floor and walls thoroughly with soap and water. Use a wet/dry shop vacuum to remove water and cobwebs. Vacuum any carpeting and clean all glass surfaces. For a more intense cleaning, add trisodium phosphate (TSP) to a bucket of hot water and mop the entire floor.
Use TSP as directed by the manufacturer. TSP can corrode metal and stain finished wood. Be sure to wear protective eyewear, clothing and rubber gloves.
You finished your spring-cleaning project and cleared the clutter. Well done! Enjoy your freshly arranged laundry room, closets and basement.
Project Shopping List
Here’s what you’ll need to complete this project successfully.