How to Get Your Laundry Room in Tip-Top Shape, According to The Home Edit
Hollywood’s favourite home organizers share their tips for a clean and tidy space.
Forget blockbuster movies and reality TV. These days, excelling in the difficult-to-master realm of home organization can make you quite the superstar, too. Exhibit A: Marie Kondo. Exhibit B: Joanna Teplin and Clea Shearer, the Nashville-based cleaning-and-tidying gurus behind The Home Edit.
With decades of home-organization experience between them, Teplin and Shearer are the unofficial organizing experts of Hollywood’s brightest (and messiest) stars. In recent years, they’ve tackled every room from Mandy Moore’s pantry to Dwyane Wade’s walk-in sneaker closet—all while amassing more than one million Instagram followers and penning a New York Times bestselling book that offers readers a look into their cleaning process. (Spoiler: it includes a lot of handmade labels.)
Ahead of National Laundry Day on April 15, which, yes, is apparently a thing, the pair teamed up with GE Appliances to talk all things laundry. And we didn’t pass up the opportunity to ask them how to get the oft overlooked room in tip-top shape. Read on for The Home Edit’s top laundry room organization tips.
If you’re one of The Home Edit’s million-plus Instagram followers, you’ll know that Teplin and Shearer are big fans of categorizing and labeling everything. The duo suggests decanting and storing items like laundry detergent, towels and laundry sheets into aesthetically pleasing—and accessible—bins, jars and baskets to help streamline a room’s look.
By decanting items, you’ll also be removing excess and unsightly packaging, which can take up valuable storage space. “This is really critical and it helps you take advantage of all the different spaces that you may or may not have,” says Teplin.
Labels also ensure you can locate essentials easier, making laundry less of a chore. “You’ll know exactly where something goes and where to find it,” explains Shearer. “It also adds that aesthetic quality that really kind of elevates a space.”
Opt for Smart Appliances
In an area as spatially challenged and function-forwarded as the laundry room, Teplin and Shearer believe in investing in appliances that work hard for you. They prefer multi-tasking machines with next-level functions, such as washers that auto-dispense laundry detergent from a container that stores the liquid internally.
This simply saves a step in the laundry process and removes the need for a “drippy” bottle of laundry detergent nearby, potentially freeing up storage space. Some appliances even come with WiFi connectivity, so you can check detergent levels and monitor your machine from a smartphone. “It’s essentially a professional organizer in a machine,” says Teplin. “They work with you, so you’re not just working around them.”
Most laundry rooms are strapped for space, which can make incorporating storage solutions difficult. The answer? Look up. (And down.) “Think vertical,” advises Shearer. “Look to the wall above your washer or dryer. If that’s empty, you can add cabinetry or floating shelves. Look behind the door, where you can hang an over-the-door unit.”
Other empty, underused spots—what Teplin and Shearer call “negative space”—include the area between your washing machine and the wall or the space below a window. Storage solutions such as rolling hampers and freestanding carts can be incorporated here. “We will take every square inch possible and we will use it,” adds Teplin.
Make It Beautiful
The more time you want to spend in your laundry room, the more likely you’ll actually keep it neat and organized. So don’t be afraid to approach it—design-wise—the same way you would, say, a powder room. “A lot of people will tell you to have fun with or take design risks in a powder room, but I think a laundry room is a similar space,” says Shearer. “It’s one of those areas that’s often overlooked.”
Shearer says she employs a graphic floor tile in her laundry room, while Teplin uses a bold, statement-making wallpaper that draws the eye up. For some people, the laundry room is also a source of tranquility, where you can escape to listen to a podcast while methodically folding a fresh load of laundry, for example. You can lean into that by incorporating calming hues, like grey and soft blues and greens, into the space.
“It’s kind of this little bonus room that you never thought could look great,” says Teplin.