(Family Features) - If it seems like you're constantly doing laundry, you're not alone. According to the Association of Home Appliance Manufacturers, the average American family does 8 to 10 loads of laundry each week. And from wash to dry, a single load takes about an hour and a half to complete.
Can anything be done to give laundry a lift? Giving your laundry room a quick and easy makeover can clean up this chore and make it more efficient.
Tidy Up. The first step is to declutter and clean up the laundry room. Get rid of broken hampers, recycle used containers and give everything a thorough cleaning. Sweep and mop the floor - and don't forget to clean up the washer and dryer, too. When dust, trash and grime are gone, you'll feel more efficient already.
Sort it Out. Set up a three bin sorter - one bin each for lights, darks and hand washables. If you don't have room for a permanent one, look into one that folds flat when not in use. Make sure you have a place for clothes that can't go in the dryer, such as a rod for hanging or a collapsible drying rack.
Storage Solutions. Keep everything you need near the washer. An eye-level shelf works well. If there's no room for one, try a rolling caddy that can fit between the washer and dryer. Arrange products in the order that you use them. Boxes or baskets make good containers for smaller items such as clothes pins, sponges and scrubbers.
Consolidate. How many laundry products you really need? To save time and space, look for products that do double duty, such as Arm & Hammer Power Gel Laundry Detergents. Their unique multi-enzyme formulas stick to stains, removing even tough stains the first time. The formula helps to eliminate a variety of stains, including grass, blood, soil, clay, grease, oil and food. Find out more at armandhammer.com.
Lost and Found. Keep an attractive dish or basket near the washing machine - you'll have a place to put all the miscellaneous items you find as you empty pockets. When you're done with the laundry, take the dish with you and return the items to their rightful places. And all those single socks? Keep them in a basket, or even pinned to bulletin board. Let them stay there until their mates show up.
Finishing Well. For post-laundry tasks, such as ironing or folding, set up a workstation right in the laundry room. A simple table lets you fold clothes right out of the dryer. If you have room, get a wall-mounted ironing board rack - it keeps the board out of the way and lets you put away a hot iron.
In no time at all, you can turn your laundry room into an efficient workspace that helps you get the job done faster and better.