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Corral the mess

Everyone envies the beautiful laundry rooms featured in commercials and on Pinterest boards. But the reality is that most people's laundry rooms are not as pretty.

With a little organization, and a few tips to streamline your laundry process will keep your laundry room looking tidy and prevent clothes from piling up.

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Use baskets

Use small plastic baskets to round up smaller supplies like bottles of softener and scent beads. I got this green basket for just $1 at the dollar store.

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Spills

If you use those huge jugs of detergent like I do, you're probably constantly finding situations like the one in this photo. My family just can't seem to put the cap back on, leaving a drippy mess for me to clean.

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Drip catcher

Catch those drips before they make a mess. I used a soda bottle to make a drip catcher to keep my surfaces clean. Here's how to make one in just a few minutes.

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A quick wipe-down

After each load, take a couple of seconds to do a quick wipe down on your washer and dryer to keep everything tidy. No need to keep fancy cleaning supplies in your laundry room, though. I use old dryer sheets to wipe up detergent spills and dust. 

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Clean up laundry lint

Have a dedicated place to put laundry lint as soon as it comes out of the filter. I reuse dryer lint, so I store it in an empty detergent pod container. 

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Find a place for pocket change

Grab a jar and make it the catch-all for pocket stuff like coins, small toys and whatchamacallits. If something goes missing, direct the family member or roommate to the jar.

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Home for wayward socks

Also, always have a dedicated home for socks that have lost their mates so that they're not laying around the laundry room. Make sure everyone in your home knows about the wayward sock bin, so if they find a lonely sock they know where to put it.

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Make a dryer rule

Next, you need to make a new rule for your laundry room. As soon as something comes out of the dryer, it gets folded and sent to the appropriate room. This will prevent the neverending mountain of clothes that needs to be put away.

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Add shelving

If you have stackable units, put a narrow shelf next to your washer and dryer to hold detergents, dryer balls, softeners and other supplies. 

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Making the rule easy

Rules are more likely to be followed if they're easy. Make a folding area in your laundry room so that clothes can be sorted right away. Adding a counter for folding clothes over the top of your front-loading washer and dryer will help. It also saves space in tiny laundry rooms.

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Make dewrinkling easy

Also, make it easy to remove wrinkles before putting away clothes. Place a hook on one of the walls or on the back of the laundry room's door. Leave a clothes hanger on the hook and keep a hand steamer nearby. Whenever something needs a quick steam, you'll have a convenient place to hang it.

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Ironing with ease

Having a dedicated ironing station sounds great, but most people don't have room in their laundry room. 

Instead, have an old towel on standby. Cover the top of your dryer with the towel and iron out clothes there. No need to struggle with an ironing board or figuring out where to store it.

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Keep a backup

Always keep an extra bottle of laundry detergent stowed somewhere to prevent an I-don't-have-time-to-go-to-the-store crisis and a never ending pile of clothes in the laundry room.

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Keep a timer

If you lose track of time and loads tend to linger without getting switched out, create an Alexa or Google Assistant reminder or make an alarm on your phone to remind you. 

Here are other ways Alexa can help with the laundry.

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