I have always dreamed of a "Martha Stewart-Inspired" laundry room with ample countertop space for folding towels and a wall of shelves for storing all of my cleaning supplies. Unfortunately, that just isn't my reality. Living in the city you are lucky if you have a washer/dryer in your apartment. Most urban dwellers have a laundry "closet" (i.e. doors to hide their washer/dryer), which believe it or not is still a pretty nice luxury. Even in such tight quarters you can make the most of your space and store all of your laundry essentials. Below is a breakdown of how I have made the most out of both my previous and current laundry closets. Hopefully this will inspire you to see your space with new found potential or maybe even try a new laundry product.
Items in my Laundry Supply Basket
- Iron- I rarely go to the dry cleaners. Reason being? Ironing is not hard, doesn't take a long time and saves a ton of money when you do it yourself. This video from Martha Stewart is really helpful for understanding Dress Shirt Ironing 101.
- Spray Starch, Sizing and Spray Bottle filled with Water- To accommodate different fabrics and preferences (I like a crisp shirt but my husband likes a soft shirt).
- Tide-to-Go Pen-for small stains this pen has been a lifesaver! If you don't have one, run to the store right now! I cannot tell you how many times I have been able to save an article of clothing thanks to this pen.
- Spray Oxiclean- for large and/or tough stains, I pre-treat stains with a spray or two of oxiclean before laundering
- Corn Starch - If you have a grease stain, apply corn starch immediately to the affected area. I hosted a Super Bowl party and someone accidentally spilled taco meat on my linen dining room chair. I cleaned the chair with a damp rag and detergent, then applied a generous layer of cornstarch to the affected area. After a few days of letting the corn starch sit and work its magic, I vacuumed it off the chair and the stain was gone!
- Real Simple Delicates Wash Bag - it's so devastating to open the wash and find a strap or delicate item that has fallen victim to the agitator. This bag prevents those casualties.
- Woolite - for handwashing delicates, sweaters, non-machine washable items.
- Sewing Kit- so great to have on hand when you loose a button or have a minor tear in your clothing.
- Individual sized packets of detergent (for travel)- Stored in my laundry supplies bin, but taken on trips. These individual sized detergent packets have surprised me with the number of times they have come in handy.
- Washing Machine Cleaner- works in both top and front load washing machines. Helps to reduce odor causing residues that build up in your washing machine over time.
Other Laundry Closet Staples
- Ironing Board- nothing fancy, just something to get the job done.
- Real Simple Drying Rack - compact storage, yet expands to accommodate many items at once. This drying rack is an essential when laundering delicates.
- Martha Stewart Stain Removal Chart- so helpful to have on hand. Many articles of clothing in my house have been spared thanks to this chart.
- World Market's Laundry Symbol Chart - all of the symbols on your clothing care tags are explained on this chart. Best part? It's magnetic so you can sick it right on your washer/dryer for easy reference.
- Liquid or Powdered Detergent- everyone has their own preference when it comes to detergent. I'm a dye & fragrance free-liquid detergent girl myself.
- Extra Large Canister of Powdered Oxiclean - I am a huge fan of Oxiclean. I add a scoop of Oxiclean to almost every load of laundry because it gets stains out, brightens whites and preserves colors. More to come in future posts on additional reasons for how/why I love Oxiclean.
- Bleach - Although not visible, there is a bottle of bleach tucked on top of the Washer/Dryer behind the Oxiclean. Reason? Bleach is very potent and I try to only use it sparingly.