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Australian decluttering expert reveals her tips for transforming a messy laundry

She’s the Australian decluttering whizz who transforms any mess into a miracle. 

And recently, Anita Birges, founder of Mise en Place, worked her magic again by transforming a family-of-seven’s chaotic laundry.

‘People think all they need is a washer, a dryer and a washing basket and everything else happens on its own,’ Anita said before adding ‘I think that’s why laundries become overwhelming.’

Here, the expert shares her simple three-step process for making over a messy washing space and creating one that’s a haven of pure coordinated calm. 

 

Australian organisational expert Anita Birges (pictured) can transform any cluttered space into one that’s a haven of coordinated calm

The room the expert dealt with was overflowing with clothing along with boxes of detergents and powders scattered everywhere

The room the expert dealt with was overflowing with clothing along with boxes of detergents and powders scattered everywhere

1. Install an adjustable storage system

A laundry makeover needn’t be something that lacks style, as Anita revealed in a video she created for Howard’s Storage World.

The room the expert dealt with was overflowing with clothing along with boxes of detergents and powders scattered everywhere. 

Taking change of the situation, first saw the expert bring in two two Easy Build Wardrobe kits from Howard’s, priced at $319. 

 This trestle table has been installed as a folding table but because there isn't a proper system in place it lacks any real functionality

 This trestle table has been installed as a folding table but because there isn’t a proper system in place it lacks any real functionality

One wardrobe kit was assembled above the washing machine, and its shelves were lined with a number of plastic containers to house all manner of laundry detergents.

‘I have decided to use the Mimi organisers because they sit perfectly next to each other, they are clear and they are aerated,’ she said.

‘And the best thing about this, is all those chemicals that were on the sink and bench before are now out of the reach of children.’

Laundry liquids and detergents were once stored in disarray above the sink

Laundry liquids and detergents were once stored in disarray above the sink

Anita also added a selection of pretty labels because everything in the laundry was on display.

A second wardrobe kit, divided into four sections, offered storage for a range of items starting with a vacuum cleaner on the bottom shelf, a hanging rail for shirts and the top shelf earmarked for accessories.

‘And one last shelf at the top to store any extra washing baskets.’

One wardrobe kit was assembled above the washing machine to create a storage station for washing products 

One wardrobe kit was assembled above the washing machine to create a storage station for washing products 

After Anita has worked her magic this laundry isn't just functional it is also very pretty

After Anita has worked her magic this laundry isn’t just functional it is also very pretty

Storage items needed for a clutter-free laundry: 

Easy Build Wardrobe kits, priced at $319

Mimi organisers, priced at $11.95

Elfa Custom Distribution Station, priced at $788.45

Iron and Ironing Board Organiser, priced at $24.95

All items available from Howard’s Storage World 

2. Create a distribution station

If you are looking to take your laundry organisation game next level, then a distribution station is a must-have addition.

Anita showed how an Elfa eight drawer free-standing basket system, priced at $788.45, worked perfectly as a folding table and storage solution.

Next, she labelled drawers and explained that this meant as clothing came out of the dryer it could be folded and allocated to the correct person.

‘Each family member can come in and take what they need or they can actually remove the drawers, take it to their bedroom and unpack and unload themselves,’ she said.

‘If each person has their own basket they are going to take ownership of it and be part of the laundering process.’

Anita revealed how an Elfa eight drawer free-standing basket system, priced at $788.45, worked perfectly as a folding table and storage solution

Anita revealed how an Elfa eight drawer free-standing basket system, priced at $788.45, worked perfectly as a folding table and storage solution

3. Dedicate a space for the iron and ironing board

The iron and the ironing board are two items that never seem to have a place in the laundry.

‘I have found it just stashed wherever people can put it,’ Anita said. ‘I’ve got a great solution for it: an iron and ironing board holder.’

This product, priced at a very affordable $24.95, is one the expert said she uses in ‘practically every home’ because it gets the ironing board off the floor and puts it safely on the wall.

'If each person has their own basket they are going to take ownership of it and be part of the laundering process,' Anita said

‘If each person has their own basket they are going to take ownership of it and be part of the laundering process,’ Anita said

‘And it’s heat-resistant plastic so once you’ve finished with iron you don’t have to wait for it to cool down before you put it away.

'People think all they need is a washer, a dryer and a washing basket and everything else happens on its own,' Anita said

‘People think all they need is a washer, a dryer and a washing basket and everything else happens on its own,’ Anita said

‘And it also has this great space for the cord so nothing is hanging down,’ she added.

Lastly, the expert said a laundry basket on wheels took care of the problem of unsightly washing baskets and could be moved from the washing machine and back ‘with the greatest of ease’.

‘And really importantly now I have proper labels on these now so anyone walking past with their dirty laundry can chuck it straight into its basket.’

Her final touch was to bring some greenery into the room.

Anita said this didn’t have to be a real plant ‘even a simple picture of something that’s green can give you the same effect of calmness’. 

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