3 Steps to an Organized Laundry Room

Christine Pafumi
March 12, 2013

One mom shares how tackling the laundry room daily keeps the house in order as part of the Care.com Interview Series

With a house full of boys, Christine Satterfield often dreams of having a clean and orderly house. The name of her blog says it all: I Dream of Clean. When it comes to man-made messes, she has seen the worst, but luckily, she knows how to handle the biggest problem area of all: the laundry room. Satterfield shared some great tips on how she creatively keeps toy accumulation in check, gets the young ones helping with laundry they can handle, and stays positive about cleaning and chores. Most importantly, she teaches us that a little bit each day can really go a long way! Here are her tips on keeping up with the laundry room:

1. Do One Load A Day
It's simple math: the more family members you have, the more laundry you do. Satterfield advises to make it a habit: "Wash, dry, and fold at least one load a day. Of course there are days that I dread this task, but not nearly as much as seeing a HUGE pile of laundry that needs to be washed on "laundry day."

2. Let the Kids Help.
Because kids can be natural helpers, Satterfield doesn't want to stifle their willingness to help, so they're almost always allowed to help with age appropriate tasks. "From an early age, they learn to put toys away in their rooms, put dirty laundry in baskets, and help transfer washed laundry to the dryer," Satterfield says. "As they age, they are allowed to help with more complicated tasks."

3. Don't Forget the Little Things
When it comes to spring cleaning and the laundry room, don't forget the basic maintenance! "There are certain tasks that need to be completed on the washer and dryer, like cleaning out the dryer vent, emptying the pump filter, etc.," Satterfield says. "I also go through the storage areas to clean out products we no longer need."

Read more of Satterfield's cleaning and organization tips in our full interview below.

Tell us about your family and your blog.

I have a house full of boys so it seems like I'm ALWAYS cleaning. Because I was always looking for shortcuts when it came to cleaning, iDreamofClean.net was created so I could share all of the amazing organizing and cleaning tips I found with other moms. The most helpful trick I stumbled upon is to do one additional cleaning task each day of the year.

What is the golden rule of cleaning and organizing in your home?

Most people overestimate the time it takes to clean their home because it's not something they enjoy. If you do something...anything...each and every day, you're home will automatically be in better shape. For example, by taking 10 minutes to clean up before you go to bed each night and when you wake up each morning.

Do you ever incentivize your children to help out? How do you get your kids involved in home organization?

Right now our kids are young so we're in the process of teaching good habits. As they age, they will still be responsible for certain aspects around the house just because they are part of the family. However, they'll have a list of "extra" cleaning and organizing tasks that they are welcome to tackle to earn rewards/income.

For more advice on getting your kids involved, check out 5 Tips for Getting Your Kids to Do Chores 

Once you're a parent, kid stuff seems to turn up everywhere! Tell us about the biggest problem areas in your home and how you've been able to turn things around.

Toys seem to accumulate faster than anything else in our house! However, we don't want them taking over the entire house, so we limit toys to the bonus room and the boys' room. Small toys are corralled in baskets and the kids are responsible for putting them back in place when they're finished playing.

We also encourage grandparents to give disposable gifts on birthdays/holidays, like a gift card to a bouncy house or a deposit into a college fund. We have also begun hosting a gift exchange during birthday parties. Each child brings a toy they no longer play with and swap with another child. That way our house isn't cluttered with additional toys but our sons and their friends each get a new toy to play with.

Has there ever been a time when your kids were trying to help and it ended up being anything BUT helpful?

All the time! Young kids love to "help" but their helpfulness almost always ends up with me having to redo their work. However, I *try* to look at it as a learning opportunity even though it causes more work for me in the long run.

If you could give other parents one tip about getting your kids to help out, what would it be?

Be joyful as YOU work. If you vocalize how much you despise laundry, dishes, or yard work, they will learn that work isn't fun. However, if you focus on the positive benefits of the work, they will likely follow suit.

For more helpful cleaning tips, check out the Care.com Interview Series: How to Clean and Organize Your Home from Top to Bottom 

Christine Satterfield is a wife and mother who does not like to clean but is fully aware of the importance of it. She created her blog, I Dream of Clean, to share cleaning and organization tips with others in the hopes of making chores easier. You can also find Christine on Twitter and Facebook.

Photo used with permission from Christine Satterfield.

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