Does your basement laundry room feel like a dungeon?
The average person spends six hours a week doing laundry. That’s the equivalent of 13 days straight of nothing but laundry! Not surprisingly, there is a trend towards upgrading laundry spaces.
While upstairs laundry is becoming the standard, many people still have to trudge down to the basement to get work done. But you can make doing laundry more enjoyable (or at least less boring) if you set up the room with respect for both form and function.
Let’s first address the function part of the equation. What activities do you need to do in this space? In what order are these tasks completed? Here is a list to get your brain going:
- clothing transport
- classify clothes
- pretreated laundry
- Clothes folded and hung
- Iron clothes (yes, some people still do this!)
- Hand wash (and air dry) delicate garments
- Sewing and craft activities.
- gift wrapping station
- Store laundry supplies
Now that you know what needs to be accomplished in this space, think about the shape. After all, the laundry room is a space where you can really get creative! While lively decor doesn’t necessarily make doing laundry fun, it will make time seem to go by faster. And you’ll be surprised how little it costs!
- Clean up! Before you begin, create a clean canvas. Clutter – If you have it, you need to remove it. Then clean it up like your mom is coming to visit and sleeping in the basement. If her basement is still in its original form, consider painting the walls and floor a light, neutral color. Keep items off the floor as much as possible.
- Falls and stairs! Consider adding a laundry chute to help with transporting clothes (albeit one way!). This is especially helpful if there are people (and you know who they are) who don’t get their “dirties” where they belong on a regular basis.
- Define the washing space. Is your laundry area floating in the middle of the room or tucked away in a corner? Set some limits. Add colorful FLOR interlocking carpet tiles to define your laundry space. You can make it the size you need and in the colors you want. Not only is it a great design element, but it’s easier on your feet.
- A place for everything, and each thing its place. Create a mobile cabinet with built-in storage by adding casters to the bottom of a vanity cabinet. Use this mobile space divider to help define your space in an otherwise spacious room. Check out irregular or discontinued items at your local DIY store for a great deal.
- Make it happen. Buy three large laundry baskets to sort your clothes into light, medium, or dark. Make decorative signs to indicate which is which. Or just write on them with a marker pen, whatever gets the job done!
- Know when to fold them! Get a discontinued kitchen island at a great price and use it as a folding table. Not only will it be a more comfortable height for your back, but you’ll also get extra storage underneath! And why not add a couple of bar stools for crafting or just hanging out? Optional mini fridge.
- Hang out. Hang a pole on or near the “folding island” to hang items while you fold them, or get a rolling coat rack. If you hang up your shirts while they’re still a bit damp, you’ll have a much easier time ironing them. Use hanging dividers to separate clothing by owner to keep items organized.
- Bright ideas. Don’t skimp on lighting. Use a combination of overhead and task lighting to make sure you can see what you’re doing. If you have basement windows, clean them and dress them with light curtains that let in natural light.
- Make it fun! Add a whimsical element, like a colorful sign that says “Leave Your Dirt Here” with an arrow pointing to the clothes sorting area. Find clever cabinet knobs with a laundry room theme. Add a tip jar for loose change found in the wash. Use colorful containers to store supplies. You can find many inexpensive plastic containers at dollar stores. Use your imagination! But avoid small chatchke items that collect dust (and spiders).
- Think green. Add an indoor tree to add life to the space. Maybe a nice long lasting rubber tree or fake ficus.
Still not excited about laundry? Add a stereo or TV to help pass the time. Chaka Khan’s “I’m every woman” could do the trick!