Did you know that Americans spend eight hours a week, collectively doing some 35 billion loads of laundry a year? However, it’s surprising that when planning a new home or thinking about remodeling the existing one, the idea of a laundry room is not something that comes to our mind instantly. In fact, for most of us it is an afterthought that rarely materializes into reality. But having a dedicated laundry space has plenty of advantages and you will soon realize that it makes your life a lot easier as well.
One of the biggest benefits of having an exclusive laundry room is most definitely all that additional storage space that comes along with it. Shelving and storage in any room is all about utilizing the available space to the max, making every square foot count. Below are some insider tips on how to make yours a “fully loaded” and functional laundry room.
Install Cabinets – Don’t overlook storage space. This includes storage of items used infrequently and items used on a regular basis, such as laundry detergent and bleach. Depending on your space and appliance styles, your best storage option might be overhead horizontal cabinets and shelves, or vertical cabinets. Tuck storage under countertops or in unused nooks and corners of the laundry room.
Regardless of how teeny tiny your laundry room may be, you can almost always benefit from installing a few cabinets. In addition to hiding unsightly half-full bottles of cleaner and other necessary products, they also serve as a defined place. No longer will you be hunting under the bathroom sink for your spot treatment – it will be exactly where you expect.
Take it Vertical – In most homes, a laundry room is hardly an expansive space. Generally it’s the compact size that contributes most to its disorganization. Since you can’t always go horizontal with your storage solutions, go vertical. Built-in, recessed floor-to-ceiling shelving can provide you plenty of storage space. If your budget includes the purchase of a new washer and dryer, consider a stackable washer and dryer, which will allow you a bit more space for other elements of the room. A stackable unit won’t be suitable for every layout or lifestyle, but for some, it’s the perfect option. It also takes up half the floor space.
Add a Sink – If the laundry room doesn’t already have a wash sink, add one during your remodel. Laundry or utility sinks come in an array of styles and price ranges, and will require plumbing. Position the sink next to a counter or select a sink with a built-in counter, making it more convenient when you use the sink. Use the sink to wash out quick stains or soak stained sporting gear!
Balance Your Elements…
Beautifully stacked baskets, labeled fabric bins, tilt-down drawers, slide-out shelves and pull-down hampers; you need a bit of everything in a good laundry room.
Consider all of the uses of the space, and spend some time thinking about the function of it. A Designer can help you design a space that incorporates all of the elements below, so that your new room will be just as functional as it is beautiful!
Before you can begin doing your laundry, clothes need sorting. Design a sorting area, instead of doing this task in the middle of your laundry room floor. The sorting area might be comprised of a number of laundry bins, arranged horizontally or vertically in the laundry room. If each bin represents a laundry load, your task simplifies.
Look for the ideal location in the laundry room to install a hanging rod. It should be located convenient to the dryer, enabling you to easily remove clothes from the dryer and slip on hangers, before placing on the rod. If you have a side-by-side washer and dryer, consider positioning the rod above the appliances, below an overhanging cabinet or shelf. Instead of a closet rod, investigate retractable clotheslines for laundry rooms, or other hanging novelty gadgets, designed to hold dry or wet laundry.
Instead of plopping your finished laundry in the middle of a bed for folding, design a folding area in the laundry room. This will allow members of the household to pick up the folded laundry to put away, rather than leaving it to wrinkle and re-soil on the bed or floor. This folding area could double as a sewing or hobby area.
* Ironing Board
If you have room on a wall, consider installing a built-in ironing board cabinet or a roll-out ironing board that can be easily tucked back in a drawer when not needed. Instead of dragging out and setting up an ironing board, simply drop open the cupboard to release the ironing board or roll it out of a drawer… How great! When not in use, it tucks neatly out of sight.
Add Some Design – A laundry room doesn’t have to be a dull, boring place where you only go to throw your dirty socks and t-shirts. Add some color and design to the room! Backsplash and floor tiles do a great job in creating a cool environment for your laundry room. Same goes for some of those throw rugs that you could place on the floor.
Also, consider whether you have enough light in your laundry room. If necessary, add adequate lighting into the room by opening up a window or adding sufficient artificial lighting, such as under cabinet lighting. Choose bright and cheerful colors, or shades that make you feel positive and motivated.
De-Clutter – Finally, rid some of the clutter by providing each member of your family with their own hamper to keep in their rooms. Rather than piling dirty clothing and other items on the floor of the laundry room, keep them hidden and out of the way until it’s time for laundry day. Sometimes simplifying the spaces in your home means doing a little displacing. Factor into your design some open shelving where you can place each family members’ baskets neatly on laundry day, so you don’t have baskets, bins, and piles of laundry everywhere. Organization is key!