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Believe it or not, one of the most heavily used rooms in the home is also one of the most neglected—the laundry room. This can result in a mess, plus hidden dangers. Did you know that dryers and washing machines were involved in one out of 22 home fires reported to U.S. fire departments between 2006 and 2010?

At this time of year, it’s natural to start thinking about spring cleaning and streamlining your routine—and the laundry room is a great place to start!

Safety FirstStore detergents and cleaning products securely.
Keep containers out of reach of kids and pets, on high shelves or in closed cabinets. In particular, kids often mistake colorful detergent pods for edible treats.

Did You Know?

The average family in the U.S. does more than 400 loads of laundry per year.

Get rid of lint.
Lint build-up is often the cause of fires in home dryers. You probably
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clean out lint screens after every load, but you should also regularly inspect and clean out your dryer’s vent pipes and the ducts outside your home. Periodically disconnect the hose from behind the dryer and vacuum out the lint.

Lock machine doors between uses.
If you’ve got young kids at home, the washer and dryer can be appealing hiding spots. If yours don’t have a built-in locking mechanism, buy a childproof lock to prevent young ones from climbing in and getting trapped.

Organize Your SpaceEverything in its place.
Designate catchall containers for loose change, lost buttons, and anything else in pockets so they don’t go through the machines—clear canning jars with lids work well. Similarly, organize spot-removers, bleach pens, and the like in clear sealed containers.

Create an ironing niche.
Keep all your ironing supplies handy by installing a unit that holds your ironing board and iron behind a door or on a wall.

Give yourself a work surface
Add a freestanding table, a foldout shelf, or a countertop near the machines, to make sorting and folding a breeze. Keep a foldable drying rack handy or install a rod across the doorway to hang-dry items.