This August, I went on a dream trip to Italy. My husband and I spent our days exploring Rome, Florence and Milan. Despite all of the cultural glory and sensory overload, a bit of practicality set in. We needed to do laundry — not only once, but twice! Strangely, there were no laundromats, or lavanderias, in the residential neighborhoods. Apparently all Italian apartments have laundry machines and the millions of desperate vacationers usually pay the thievery that hotels charge. By way of taxi, we did find a laundromat eventually.
While waiting for our clothes to finish, I reflected on the chore of doing laundry. Does it have to be filled with gloom and dread? Must it be done in a space akin to a lifeless prison cell? Absolutely not. Check out some ideas to make your laundry room cheery and more efficient…dare I suggest fun?
1 – Pick up some colorful canvas boat bags from L.L. Bean or Lands End to sort your clothes. If you do use a laundromat, they’ll be already sorted and ready to carry. You can add a luggage-style tag to your bag with your name and contact information on it for an easier, faster dry cleaning drop off to boot.
2 – Add some flair to your laundry machines. This example uses simple black electrical tape in stripes and cut-out polka-dots. Plus, it’s removable if you decide against it down the road. Electrical tape also comes in other colors too, like red, yellow and green. Above, graphic designer Dawn Warnaar of Designed by Dawn Nicole created in black vinyl a hashtag in homage to her dryer’s sock-eating habit, #nomnom……
3 – Free up space in your cabinet by using a simple door-mounted shoe rack to organize all of your cleaning and ironing supplies. They’ll be at arm’s reach and easy to spot.
4 – Add some useful artwork! Laundry room space can be limited, so you may as well make your wall accessories do double duty by actually helping you out. These two adorable pieces collect spare change and odd socks.
5 – Anchor a simple two-prong coat hook to the wall to hang your ironing board.
6 – Install a wall-mounted mailbox for easy lint collection.
7 – Opt for attractive detergent containers. Vintage-style glass jars are much more attractive than the neon plastic containers and are easier to dispense. Here, Ashley Phipps of Simply Designing created these out of Mason drink dispensers and made chalkboard tags for each. Below, powder detergent is an easy reach in an old-fashioned style penny candy jar.
8 – Add some cheery color….Dip the tips of wooden clothespins in acrylic paint. Just be sure to dip the handle end versus the clip end!
9 – Use paint swatches to facilitate laundry sorting. Here the bloggess behind where Do we find the time used paint swatches from Lowes and stick-on labels made on her computer to designate sorting hues for her laundry baskets. She says her previous single hamper, which appeared to be throwing up clothes, has evolved into a sorting game for her family.