Have a guess as to how many loads of laundry you do a year? Well, according to ChaCha.com, the average family does 400 loads of laundry per year, which boils down to about 33 per month and 8.26 loads every week. Whew! With as much time as you’re spending in the laundry room, it may be time to make this room your next home improvement project.
Many people are rethinking how they do their laundry rooms. No longer do you have to have a separate room for your laundry, though if you prefer it that way, it’s fine. Families are incorporating the laundry area into other parts of the house. Today you can find washers and dryers concealed behind cabinets in the kitchen, tucked away into a hall closet, residing next to a desk in a home office, as part of a craft and hobby room in the basement and in unused space in garages. A general contractor can give you ideas on how to do this. Wherever you decide to park yours, the following suggestions will help you set up a functional, stylish space for your laundry room.
1. If you have the room, install a countertop. It’s more convenient for you to fold the clothes in the laundry room, and it will help prevent them from wrinkling. You’ll be able to remove the clothes from the dryer while it’s still running and fold them a few at a time, rather than having to carry all the clothes to another location to fold them. Choose a high countertop height so that you have a work surface that’s comfortable for folding clothes while you’re standing. A 42-inch high counter works well for this purpose. If the room is also used for other things, you can install another counter at the standard 30-inch height for sitting at a desk.
2. Install a few cabinets with doors. Cabinets are a perfect place to store your laundry supplies and will contain the mess out of sight. Companies are even making cabinets that conceal your washer and dryer—especially useful if your laundry area is in your kitchen or office.
3. Make sure you have a utility sink. You’ll use if for many tasks, such as soaking laundry, cleaning up after craft projects—even washing the dog if you need to.
4. Set up hampers or baskets. Train your children to put their dirty clothes in their hamper in the laundry room. You can color code them or use stackable cubbies if that’s easier. Find a system that works for you.
5. Set up an ironing spot. If you don’t have room for a full-size ironing board, install one that attaches to the wall and folds out when you need it. It’s space saving and convenient.
6. Use easy-care materials in your laundry room. If you have a concrete floor in your basement, you could paint it to brighten up the space. Another option for a floor that works well in a laundry room would be inexpensive ceramic tile. Economical laminate countertop is a perfect choice for your counters.
Taking the time to complete a laundry room home improvement project will just make this room a more pleasant place to be in—something you’ll appreciate as you’re folding that 400th load of laundry next year!