Laundry and utility rooms look different in different houses. Older houses often have a basement room, sometimes unfinished, with the washer and dryer and possibly the water heater and other large appliances. Newer homes usually situate the laundry room on the main or upper floor, but the room itself will usually be smaller – maybe not much more than a closet.
How can you take advantage of the space in your laundry and utility rooms to maximize efficiency and storage potential? There may not be a one-size-fits-all, but chances are there are some steps you can take to make the most of these rooms. Read on for some ideas to make it happen.
Look up, and you will often find potential storage space! Don’t waste the space over your side-by-side washer and dryer. Line the wall above the appliances with custom shelving. You can match the tone of the room by choosing durable, inexpensive wire shelving, or you can go for a built-in look with a custom laminate system including shelves or cabinets. Take advantage of a closed cabinet door to store cleaning supplies and other things you don’t want to look at every day.
Use overhead space around the perimeter of the room to store season or rarely-used items. Get bulk purchases from club stores out of the way by lining the room with a custom-sized storage shelf just above the height of the tallest member of your family.
If you like to hang delicates to dry, but don’t always have access to a spot, install a hanging rod overhead and close to the wall that you can just reach. Explore custom options like cabinets that contain flip-down drying racks or suspend a drying rack from the wall or the ceiling.
The thing about cleaning supplies is that, generally, they aren’t much to look at. Sure, you can spend a lot of money on beautifully packaged minimalist laundry and cleaning products, and you should if that’s what you want to do. But, you don’t have to just because you don’t have a place to put the regular stuff.
Build a countertop over the washer and dryer and continue it the length of the room. Fill in the lower space with closed cabinets into which you can store anything you like.
Have you ever taken the fresh, fluffy clothes out of the dryer and then forgotten to fold them until two days later when they’ve become a wrinkled mess? Make the process of completing a load of laundry seamless by incorporating workspace into the laundry room. Fold the clothes as you take them out of the dryer, which is much easier if you’ve got an island or countertop available.
Install a TV or Bluetooth speaker so you can catch up on a show or a podcast while you work. Find an ironing board that fits in your space, whether it’s wall-mounted, flip down, or hidden in a cupboard, so you can iron and hang wrinkle-prone clothes right away.
If your laundry room is sharing space with an unfinished utility space, you may not think to take advantage of the storage potential on the utility side of the room. If there’s space remaining after the required clearance of the appliances, use it to store cleaning products or tools and small appliances that can’t spend time in the garage in the cold winter months.
Shallow shelving can do a great job of holding bottles of cleaner, gallons of detergent, battery packs, bins of lightbulbs, etc.
Maybe the idea of lingering in your laundry or utility room doesn’t sound appealing because the space itself is unfinished and very uninviting. There are a lot of ways to spruce the space up without doing a major remodel. Finish the floor and paint the walls. Stick to light neutral colors, especially if the room is in the basement and has only small windows and little natural light.
Speaking of light – add some! Most people don’t like to spend time in a dark place, so installing additional lighting could help make the entire room more appealing.
Small spaces feel even smaller when they’re cluttered, so work to eliminate stacks and piles. If the room is regularly used for storage, getting stacks of totes or boxes off the floor and onto custom shelves can make a huge difference.
Storage and organization experts can see possibilities for space-saving efficiency where homeowners may not. Sometimes it pays to call in the pros for a fresh pair of eyes. Whether you know exactly what you need or you know that what you need is help, call on Harkraft. Get in touch today to find out how we can put our decades of experience to work for you.