Creating a Functional and Organized Laundry Space

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 Chartso 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.