LOVE YOUR LAUNDRY
Tips from Tinka Markham Piper of Solve My Space for creating a laundry room that brings you joy
Wish your laundry area was a more appealing place to spend time? It would sure make washing clothes a little more fun. So we asked organizer and designer Tinka Markham Piper of Solve My Space to share her ideas for making our laundry spaces – and laundry days – a little more joyful
“For most people, laundry isn’t something they love to do,” she says. “And having a cluttered or unappealing area makes it that much less fun. Yes, laundry spaces are utilitarian. But why can’t utilitarian things also be beautiful?”
Here are some of Tinka's tips for making your laundry area lovely – whether it’s a room, a corner, a closet or a basement nook.
1. Think about what your space needs to do. Is your laundry room also where you store all your cleaning supplies, holiday decorations and clothes waiting to be donated? That’s a lot. Giving the space a more specific “job” (e.g. the laundry room is only for doing laundry) makes things simpler and cuts down on clutter. And even if you do need part of the room for storage (we don’t all have big homes), dedicate one small section to taking care of your clothes.
2. Declutter and organize. Store everything in baskets, on shelves and behind closed doors, with the things you use most often in the easiest-to-reach places. While Tinka doesn’t love plastic in general, she says plastic baskets work best in laundry rooms: they’re affordable and easy to clean. Using visually similar items can also help make things feel calmer and more cohesive.
3. Cut down on your supplies. Instead of buying 6 or 8 products, choose one multitasker, like Soak, that can do it all. That way you’ll have less clutter, less to store, and doing laundry is simpler and easier.
4. Clean up. Vacuum, wipe down surfaces and straighten to keep up the appeal. And while Tinka recommends storing household cleaning supplies somewhere other than your laundry room (that’s not one of the “jobs” of the space), she does say it’s a good idea to have cleaning supplies meant just for cleaning the laundry area on hand.
5. Add a little mood lighting. Doing laundry by the light of a bare bulb in the basement doesn’t exactly inspire joy. Rethink your ceiling fixture or bring in a table lamp to add warm light and make the space more inviting.
6. Make it beautiful. Paint the walls a colour you love. Hang some art. (If there are no walls to be had, decorate the door or even stick a nice picture to the machine with a magnet.) Add in a soft rug, a shelf for your framed photos (or your pretty Soak Wash collection), and you can even bring in some plants if there’s some natural light.
7. Set up a spot for hand-washing. A dedicated area with a colourful basin (we love Phil and all his bright hues), Soak Wash and a folding drying rack lets you skip the setup when you need to hand-wash your masks or Soak your delicates.
8. Make it your own space. Perfection isn’t the goal. Your laundry area doesn’t have to be Pinterest-worthy…there’s no need to put that much pressure on yourself. As long as it’s a space that makes you happy, you’re good.
Want more advice on loving your laundry?
Stay tuned for more great ideas from Tinka Markham Piper on everything from organizing your laundry area to doing less laundry.
Tinka Markham Piper is the founder of Solve My Space. A self-described “chaos counsellor,” she’s part organizer, part designer, part life coach – and fully committed to transforming spaces to help transform lives. She also has a home advice column and you can find her on Instagram at @solvemyspace