Which three rooms of the house do you spend the most time in? The kitchen? The bathroom? The bedroom? Whatever your answers, there was probably one room that didn’t make your list: The laundry room. According to Lis Selin Davis of This Old House Magazine, Americans average more time in their laundry rooms each week (approximately eight hours) than in the bathroom. That may be quite a surprise to some people but it’s true. Hmm, so what do you do when your new place has more of a laundry closet or a laundry nook than a laundry room? Well, here are some tips for making a small laundry space both functional and fabulous:
Walls are prime real estate when working with a small space. Don’t be afraid to move up. Here are some ideas:
• Install a towel bar and use hanging plant buckets as storage. They’re great for holding clothespins, fabric softener sheets, and bleach pens among other things.
• Install cabinets or shelves. Either cabinets or shelves will give you a space that is out of the way but easily accessible for storing everything from dirty clothes to laundry detergent.
• Install a bar or retractable clothesline. Having a places to hang clothes so they can air dry will help keep the backs of chairs and other surfaces clothes-free. Just make sure to put the bar or retractable clothesline high enough that clothes (whether they be pants or dresses) won’t touch the top of the washer or dryer.
Make Storage Your BFF
When dealing with a small space, it’s important to cozy up to storage and all the resources it has to offer right away. Here are some ideas:
• Purchase pedestals with built in storage for your washer and dryer to sit on. For a couple hundred dollars you can buy pedestals with a built in drawer that lift your washer and dryer up. It’s a win-win. You get additional storage and you no longer have to bend down as far to load the washer or dryer.
• Use a Lazy Susan. If you have cabinets or shelves in your laundry area, use a Lazy Susan so that, with a simply spin, you can see and reach your supplies without having to dig through everything.
• Purchase decorative bins. Use bins to hide laundry supplies out of site or to store dirty clothes until laundry day rolls around. You can find bins in any color, any style, and just about any material on the Internet.
When you don’t have a lot to work with, you have to think outside the box. Here are some ideas:
• Stack machines to save space. A lot of front loading washers and dryers can be stacked on top of one another which is a great way to make a washer and dryer fit in a space where they otherwise wouldn’t work.
• Install a countertop. If your dryer and washing machine are front loading and sit side by side, having a countertop put in over top will give you a flat workspace for prepping laundry or folding clean clothes.
• Get a mobile butchers block or island. If, in addition to a small laundry space, you have a small kitchen or a kitchen with limited work surfaces, then a butchers block or small island may be the answer to your problem. Simply add some casters and make that butchers block or island mobile. That way it can easily be moved out of the way when not in use in the kitchen or rolled to the laundry area to serve as a work surface. Just make sure to wipe the surface down really well between uses.
• Don’t isolate your laundry room. Don’t treat your laundry room like a space you’re ashamed of or like it’s a dirty secret. Add color and other decorative items that reflect the style used throughout the rest of the home. For instance, washers and dryers now come in a variety of colors including gray, red, and blue. You can also get storage bins, shelving, counters, and etc. in just about any color and style desired.
You’re going to be spending around eight hours a week in your laundry room so do what it takes to make that time as easy and enjoyable as possible. Use all the space you have available to you, including the walls. Utilize a variety of storage options. Lastly, be innovative!
Article contributed by Janet Majors on behalf of Caster Specialists - a one stop shop for furniture casters. Janet is a huge fan of HGTV and organization. Her favorite store? The Container Store!