Washing and drying clothes is one of the oldest domestic chores. Long before there were vacuum cleaners, dishwashers, stovetops or running water, people still had to do the laundry. Clothing was washed and scrubbed in rivers, lakes and in streams, and then dried in the sun. The process was an all day affair, even after the advent of soap and the washboard. Things are a bit easier today.
Mechanized cleaning devices like the washing machine and the clothes dryer became affordable in America at the end of the twentieth century. But the process still takes time. After collection, sorting, washing, drying and folding, the wash cycle eats up nearly two hours each day. Not to mention the fact that we do more laundry than ever before.
For obvious reasons, wash was typically a weekly chore before the washer and dryer came on the scene. Now it is a daily chore. In fact, it is more than daily. The average family does four hundred loads of wash each year. Though the process will probably never be enjoyable, there are tools and accessories that can at least make it bearable.
Laundry Room Organizers
The laundry room is typically the most cluttered and disorganized room in the home. Part of the problem is that there is seldom enough space. For some strange reason, architects rarely pay much mind to the laundry room, even though it is one of the most popular rooms in the home. As a result, the room is often undersized for the work for which it was designed. This forces many homeowners to hate the process even more than they normally would. For, not only is the chore unappealing, but the environment is inadequate. Laundry organizers can solve many of these simple storage issues.
Before you do the wash, you must obviously collect the dirty clothes. Hampers are one of the most popular home organizers because they can be placed in common areas. Unlike the standard plastic laundry basket, the hamper is typically found outside of the laundry room in hallways and in bedrooms. There are also many different kinds of hampers that perform more than one function. There are flip-top hampers, collapsing hampers, rolling hampers, hanging hampers and more.
Because most families have two parents that work these days, the laundry often gets pushed to the weekend. Doing seven or eight loads of laundry on Saturday and Sunday has become a new American tradition. But what do you do with all the dirty clothes? Some folks just leave them on the laundry room floor, which is not only messy, but also unsanitary. We like the rollout hamper for the laundry room. These capacious hampers are often installed as drawers that simply rollout when needed.
For those that want extra organizational features, we recommend the triple laundry sorter. These hampers have three separate compartments for whites, colors and mixed clothes, which eliminates the need to sort or separate clothing before you do a load of laundry. When used outside of the laundry room, it is often a good idea to place labels on each compartment to let family members know which clothes to deposit in them.
For obvious reasons, hampers that are placed in public area are far more stylish then those that are relegated to the laundry room. The modern hamper is made of attractive materials like canvas, wicker and sea grass. They look just like any other functional piece of contemporary furniture.
Most homeowners adore devices that perform more than one task. It generally makes their lives a lot easier. The laundry center is probably the most versatile organizer on the market today. Often seen in hotels and motels, it comes equipped with a laundry sorter, a rod for hanging dry cleaning and a top shelf for towels and bedding. Because it takes up a lot of space, the laundry center is best for homes that have large laundry rooms on the first floor. The device may get in the way in smaller rooms, which obviously defeats its purpose.
As small as they often are, many families use the laundry room to store extra food, which means that shelf and cabinet space will be even harder to come by. Laundry room cleaners like bleach, detergents and stain removers often have to be stuffed into any open space or simply left on the floor. One simple and affordable solution to this storage problem is the laundry caddy. This diminutive organizer fits snugly between the washer and the dryer and makes use of previously unused space. Most of the models we reviewed were equipped with three small shelves that were, nonetheless, large enough to hold bottles of bleach, fabric softeners and detergents. The laundry caddy has tiny casters that allow it to roll out smoothly when needed.