Today’s post is sponsored by IKEA. Thank you for supporting the occasional sponsored post that helps support this site and all of the gingham-ness you see here.
There’s a saying that my brother taught me in German, and in English it goes like this: order must be. Yes, I’ll take order, please. Make mine a double. It’s how I like everything to be. Orderly. Efficient. Resourceful. Sustainable. It’s especially true when it comes to laundry and cleaning.
Keeping items handy for laundry and making it easy for my family to sort, hang dry, and fold to put away (hopefully!) is what my version of order is. If I want my husband and kids to run combined loads in the washing machine for efficiency and to use drying racks instead of the clothes dryer, I have to keep it simple.
Likewise, keeping ingredients handy for me to make our cleaning supplies is an absolute. It’s too easy for me to consider buying already made glass cleaner or liquid hand soap or paper towels when I know we need some at home and I’m feeling lazy. Keeping everything within reach is how I combat my desire to reach for the already made solution – which consists of mostly water. While I know I’m wasting money, more importantly, I’m wasting resources – more plastic, more containers, more trash.
Here are my tried and true methods for keeping order – it must be – and how to organize a laundry room for sustainability. Let’s just say maximum sustainability, shall we?
By the way, all of the products showcased here are from IKEA. IKEA is committed to designing products that are sustainably made and that help consumers live more sustainably at home. I really like that commitment. They encourage smart, conscious decisions to help the environment and their products look good, too. You know that matters to me!
How to Organize a Laundry Room for Sustainability
1. Sort dirty laundry into labeled baskets
Sorting dirty laundry is one of the best ways to gauge whether there’s a full load of wash or not. I use the basket to help in judging the amount. These TORKIS baskets in bright green have handles that are just the right size for a label to let my people know which basket the clothes go into. Sorting items into different baskets keeps the washer from being run when it shouldn’t be. Water and resources aren’t wasted when appliances are run less often.
Even young children can sort dirty laundry – that’s how my kids learned to do their own wash – by sorting laundry. Having baskets clearly marked helps kids and spouses alike. We only run one load of whites a week in our home but my kids both have dirty laundry baskets in the laundry room for their clothing. They are very particular about their clothing (huh, can’t imagine where that comes from!) and take care of their own laundry and don’t like it when I get involved with their clothes. Actually, I like that, too.
2. Use pails for laundry that’s smelly or wet
Without going into many details, my teenagers are known for leaving giant piles of laundry (could be clean or it could be dirty – at this point, we’re not sure) in their rooms and if it’s dirty, it can smell. My husband and I say nothing about these piles because, why would we? It’s their laundry and their rooms but with these KNODD stainless steel buckets those teenagers can put the laundry in the pail and put the lid on. Done. We don’t see it and we don’t smell it.
We also have one of these KNODD buckets on the side porch. It has been known to rain in the winter and since we workout in the rain all winter long, it’s easy to strip the wet workout gear off and toss it into the bucket for transporting to the laundry room. No more dripping all over the house with wet workout gear. (Read more about working out all winter HERE.)
3. Keep drying racks handy and ready to move around
While I love old wooden drying racks for drying clothing, they can’t be moved around. Sometimes a drying rack in the dining room on cold winter days is exactly what is needed. Washed woolen sweaters can take a week or more to dry in the basement but not in the dining room.
The metal MULIG drying rack can be used inside or outside. They’re incredibly balanced, too. I was surprised at how the rack didn’t tip when I place two wet bath mats at one end and nothing at the other. Added bonus? They come with hooks to add to the side of the rack to get the most out of drying space.
4. Add more drying space without wrinkles
Sometimes a drying rack isn’t enough so then you need the very cute (notice the eyes?) PRESSA for your drying needs. PRESSA is like an octopus that can accommodate lots in a small amount of space. With all those clips, the options are limitless. Holding scarves, workout gear, dedicates – you name it. My swimming gear is hanging on it right now.
PRESSA is incredibly efficient. I’m sending one back to college with my son when he gets home next week. Using this cute little drying rack for hanging wet clothes in a small amount of space is what this is made for!
5. Wall mounted drying racks for towels or on porches
These GRUNDTAL stainless steel drying racks couldn’t look anymore stylish – and they’re adjustable! Honestly, there are so many spots I’d like to mount this rack. It’s an adjustable rack so that it goes from 26″ to 47″ and I’d really like it next to my kitchen sink! How often do you need a dry towel next to the kitchen sink?
On our porch it’s just right for hats or jackets that need wearing when attending our backyard chickens. Yes, we call it ‘farm gear’ but it’s really only rainy weather stuff.
6. When it’s dry, put it in a basket – and put it away – hopefully!
I gave up years ago folding laundry for my kids and putting it away for them. Hey, they need to know how to do it, right? After clothing hangs in the laundry room, it can get taken down from the lines and placed in the clean laundry baskets. Instead of asking me where the clean soccer uniform might be, kids know it’s on the line or in their basket.
These BLASKA 10 gallon laundry baskets are sturdy with handles that will last rather than break after using it a few times. Downside? The laundry does not fold itself and jump into these baskets or put itself away. Can’t help you there.
7. Keep cleaning supplies, cleaning rags, and soap making supplies handy – and in reusable glass dispensers
Since I make liquid hand soap in gallon batches, I need cute soap dispensers. (Here’s how to make 1 gallon of liquid hand soap from 1 bar of soap.) These BESTAENDE dispensers are just right for homemade soaps or store bought soaps and lotions – from the bulk department. Skip the plastic and go with these because they are so cute and so sustainable!
Don’t forget to grab a package of KRAMA wash cloths, too. They are just right when replacing paper towels with reusable wash cloths. (Here’s how to eliminate paper towels.) These wash cloths come with loops on the corner for hanging, too.
8. Put it on a cute cart and add flowers
Yes, we are talking about laundry, cleaning, and drying but let’s keep it cute, right? Flowers from the garden in sweet little SOCKER pots on these RASKOG carts look fresh and clean, don’t they?
The RASKOG carts are easy to assemble (just ask my husband!) and can be moved around to where they’re needed. The middle shelf is adjustable, too, which is great for gallon jugs of concentrated laundry and cleaning supplies.
It’s best when laundry and cleaning can be done orderly but if it can be done with a method that looks good and is reasonably priced, I’m all for it. Yes, it’s true that “order must be” but I like mine with flowers on a rolling cart, don’t you?
Thank you to IKEA for sponsoring this post. As always, all opinions are my own. Thank you for supporting brands that help support Go Gingham.
How do you like to organize the laundry area? Do you use drying racks?
4 thoughts on “How to Organize a Laundry Room for Sustainability”
Great tips Sara. We own an IKEA stainless steel wall mounted rack (I think it is from the Grundtal collection) and I love the design. It is perfect for our small laundry room where I air dry all of my work cloths and my husband’s non-work related cloths. I hang items on cloths hangers and hang the hangers on the rack.
Oh, thank you, Marie-Josee! I absolutely love how the laundry room project turned out. We have so many spots for hanging items to dry, I’m not sure we even need our dryer! 🙂
Thanks so much for writing in ~ happy spring to you!
I like it when you do product reviews. The PRESSA would be handy. I already have an organizing card for my laundry supplies but I think I am slightly jealous of your RASKOG carts–they have a cheerful vintage feel to them.
Those are great tips Sara! I only have a laundry closet – no room here. But you pointed out some helpful tips that I can use!
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