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The laundry room or laundry area of the house is sometimes neglected when you're making your normal cleaning rounds. Lint, spilled soap, and germs can go unnoticed until it gets really bad. It doesn't usually take long to get this area cleaned up. Once you do, you can organize and make the space a lot easier to use.

First, clean out the areas around over and under your washer and dryer. If you can't move the washer and dryer yourself, get help or use a vacuum cleaner attachment to get to those hard to reach places. There are special attachments and brushes for cleaning out your dryer lint spaces as well. Doing this periodically will help you to prevent fires and keep your appliances working properly.

Wipe down all the surfaces and get rid of any empty laundry detergent, fabric softener, or stain remover containers. Most of these are recyclable, but end up being stashed on a shelf when they're empty, taking up precious storage space. If possible, keep a recycling container or bag for these items near the washer and dryer so that you're not tempted to stash the empties on the shelf.

Dirty laundry can harbor a lot of bacteria, even molds and viruses. Make sure that you use a disinfectant, antibacterial cleaner, or a bleach solution if possible. Steaming the carpet, drapes or other fabrics that are near the laundry area will also help to eliminate germs around the laundry room. Disinfecting sprays are great for areas that you can't reach.

When it's all clean, think about what you need to store in the laundry room. Many people keep their ironing boards, irons, and other such accessories near the washer and dryer. If you don't have room for even a wall mounted ironing board in the laundry area, think about making one that fits the top of your washer or dryer out of plywood and the appropriate fabric. There are a lot of tutorials for this online. It could be a time and space saver for your to do this yourself and end up with a custom board that fits your space and needs.

Installing a hanging bar over the washer and dryer is another great time-saver. Hanging your clothes on clear plastic clothes hangers as soon as they come out of the dryer helps to keep wrinkles out without ironing. Using the appropriate hangers will also keep your garments from stretching and puckering if you like to hang them up to dry. Follow these tips and you'll have the laundry room you've always dreamed of!

About the Author: Jo Granville is on the staff of Only Hangers, a leading online resource for all types of quality clothing hangers. For more information, please visit