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Ideas For A Fully Loaded Laundry Room

Excerpt from: 27 Ideas for a Fully Loaded Laundry Room
By: Lisa Selin Davis, This Old House magazine

Wash, Dry, Repeat

Americans spend more time in the laundry room than in the bathroom: an average of eight hours a week, collectively doing some 35 billion loads of laundry a year. And yet, while bath design has evolved into a discipline of its own, and the space into a bonafide retreat with soothing soaker tubs, the laundry is often relegated to a basement, separated from the life of the home.

Increasingly, though, homeowners are creating laundry rooms that are as integrated as a bath or the kitchen. They can even be in a bath or kitchen. Chalk it up to busier lives and a need to multitask, says designer Dana Jones of Long Beach, California. A first-floor laundry room can serve as a command center—a nook near the family room, where parents can keep an eye on the kids while folding, or off the back door, where it can double as a mudroom, home office, or hobby area. On the second floor, stackable, whisper-quiet front-loaders can tuck into a hall closet, just a balled-up-shirt-toss from the bedroom.

Laundry List

Along with a washer and dryer, consider these elements:

Lighting: Task lighting, such as under-cabinet strips, illuminates specific work zones. Ambient sources, like natural light or a ceiling fixture, brighten the room.

Utility Sink: A utility sink multitasks as a hand-washing station, a place to soak soiled sports gear, even an area to pot plants.

Hanging Racks: Hanging racks provide a place to air-dry delicates and hang shirts straight from the dryer. Choose a steel bar, a retractable clothesline, or a fold-up rack.

Varying Countertop Heights: Counters of varying heights suit different jobs. A raised surface atop front-loaders is perfect for folding, while a 36-inch height is the norm at a sink.

Cabinetry: Cabinetry can hide detergent and cleaning supplies, as well as an ironing board, pull-out hampers, and sliding utility rails.

Open Storage: Open storage above a counter keeps folded linens high and dry. Low cubbies can encourage kids to drop off their dirties and retrieve clean laundry themselves.

Water-Resistant Materials: Water-resistant materials, such as concrete counters and stone floor tiles, are durable and easy to clean. A laminate top and ceramic tile are thrifty alternatives.

Stackable Machines: A front-loading design allows a full-size washer and dryer, such as these from Whirlpool, to squeeze into a narrow passage, leaving room to one side and above for open storage shelves.

Tidy Bins: In addition to dirty clothes, a combination of lidded and open-top woven containers hold cleaning supplies, extra toiletries, and towels.



Clever Cover-Ups: Fitted with “flipper” media cabinet hardware, 30-inch-wide cabinet doors open out into the room, then slide back inside the cabinet to reveal a front-loading washer and dryer. Unlike regular hinged doors, these can remain open without eating up floor space or blocking access to an adjacent doorway.

Overhead Storage: Upper cabinets serve as a linen closet and are deep enough to store small laundry baskets.

Retractable Ironing Board: With little space to prop up a traditional ironing board, the homeowners chose a folding version that fits neatly inside a drawer. The board stretches 3 feet out from behind a false drawer front.

Pull-Out Hamper: Concealed inside a drawer below the ironing board is a canvas hamper that holds clothes in need of pressing. A matching bin on the other side of the machines keeps dirties out of sight.

Under-Cabinet Light: A halogen strip tucked behind a soffit brightens a quartz counter used for specific tasks: sewing and folding, and attending to stains. Additional, ambient light comes from the windowed door and ceiling fixtures.

Rethink a Home Office: Rather than dedicating a guest room or a portion of the kitchen to bill paying and web surfing, a spacious laundry area becomes host to a handsome home office.

How To Clean A Teenagers Room Without Calling a HAZMAT Crew

We all know that the easiest way to avoid cleaning your teenagers room is to simply keep the door shut, put a “caution do not enter” sign on their door, and walk away. I know that getting your teenager to do it themselves is a never ending battle of rants: “I LIKE MY ROOM LIKE THIS!” and our passed down from generations reply: “IF YOU DON’T DO IT, I’LL DO IT FOR YOU!” Well, from my own personal experience my Dad DID clean my room for me, but in a not so pleasantly accepted way…let’s just say the front of my house looked like someone got evicted by the local Sheriffs, and that someone was me! But my room was clean! In this day and age our only possible saving grace is to wait until that inevitable day when they move out! College, a great job offer, rooming with their friends, whatever the occasion for them to fly out of the nest and test their independence has arrived, and now you remove the caution sign from their door and prepare to enter a room that would make Oscar Madison look like Mr. Clean.

How to start the “Decon”:

First off, be prepared to wear thick rubber gloves, old shoes that you don’t care if they get ruined, old work clothes, plastic eye protection and an inexpensive dust mask. There is most probably going to be layers of thick dust, cobwebs, and science experiments growing a muck, so it does pay to be ready for anything. Be sure to bring PLENTY of 30 gallon trash bags, large plastic storage bins, and have your all natural cleaning solutions pre- mixed and ready for battle.

1) OPEN the windows and air out the room. It’s best if weather permits to leave the windows open during the cleaning process if you can, but you can leave them open for at least 15 minutes if it’s cold outside.

2) Take everything that’s not nailed down from the room and put it in one location, if weather permits outside on a back porch or your garage. Remove everything from drawers, the closet, under the bed, the desk, the floor and walls. The only thing that should remain in the room is the actual furniture, but if the room is becoming your new office or a “man cave” then remove that too.

3) Set up your storage containers by labeling as follows: “keep,” “donate” and “mystery.” Trash anything that’s broken, give away anything in fairly good condition that they don’t use or aren’t likely to use, keep things they may want to keep, and put anything that you’re unsure about in the “mystery” box. This should make the process go faster, and decisions should be the responsibility of your teenager when they come back home for their first visit. After that the “mystery” box becomes a “donate” box.

4) Clean the room while most everything is out of the way. Look under the bed, in the closet and dresser drawers for dirty dishes, empty food wrappers and rotting and dried food that may be causing unpleasant odors so you can throw them away. Dust, wash down the walls and the furniture, clean the fixtures, windows, baseboards, and always vacuum last. If the carpets are stained beyond recognition you might want to save that for the professionals and have it steam cleaned, but do that only after you have patched and repainted the walls.

What to do with the “new” space

The realization is that you most probably will not do anything to their room until you know for sure that your young adult will not be coming back home permanently. When you know this for certain, then you need to make the decision as to what you can do with this new space. A guest room? Media room? Home office? Ultimately the decision will be yours to make, so enjoy it!

Article credit: Teresa Ward, President of Teresa’s Family Cleaning and New York State’s Small Business Entrepreneur of the Year, is often considered Long Island’s foremost authority on cleaning homes and businesses to create a cleaner and healthier environment for all. Her highly sought after, award winning weekly newsletter provides timely cleaning tips and other important Long Island information and charitable events for homeowners, businesses and not-for-profits. Click here to sign up and receive your copy today!