By Kelly O’Roark
Washing clothes is never at the top of my to-do list, but having a multipurpose laundry room forces me to go in there several times a week, and whether I like to admit it or not, I actually don’t mind doing laundry as much as I used to. I know it sounds crazy because for most of us, doing laundry is equivalent to listening to the “Frozen” soundtrack for the 87th time on a 13-hour car ride (For the love of everything, when will this end??). It can be almost torturous to see nine piles of dirty shirts, socks, and towels staring you down week after week, and you start to think that if you ignore it, maybe it’ll just magically disappear.
All that being said, tackling those laundry piles doesn’t have to be that stress-inducing. Want to know how that’s possible? You need a laundry room that 1. Accommodates all of your washing, drying, folding, and ironing needs (i.e., room to do all of the above), and 2. Serves other purposes besides being a place to do laundry. When you have a room that’s specifically designed around those two concepts, it’s amazing how much it motivates you to get things accomplished (after you catch up on all of the shows on your DVR once the kids go to bed – because, priorities).
Here are five must-have characteristics of a multipurpose laundry room that’ll make life so much easier.
1. Space to Actually Finish the Main Task at Hand
While a laundry room is obviously a room that centers around a washer and dryer, it’s important to have space to do the additional steps that come after you take your clothes out of the dryer. Counter space to fold several piles of clothes and space to set up an ironing board are essential in getting things done right away (instead of transferring a messy pile of clean clothes to your room where they’ll sit in a corner getting wrinkled).
In addition to having space to fold and iron clothes, it’s important to have a space where you can hang clothes to air dry or hang them once you’re done ironing to keep them wrinkle-free. A shelf for hangers can also double as extra storage for the bulk items that you bring home from your superstore shopping expeditions (Checkmate)!
2. Storage, Storage, and More Storage!
Cabinets and built-in coves for baskets are the perfect way to store laundry-related items so that they’re within reach when you’re tossing things into the washer and dryer. To keep things organized, you don’t want these items sitting out, but you also don’t want them in a place that’s hard to access when you’re quickly trying to do a few loads of laundry in between your meetings, meal-prepping time, and other ‘fun’ adult tasks.
Cabinets above the washer and dryer are an ideal place for laundry detergent, fabric softener, bleach, and other clothing-related cleaning items, while things like extra linens, lint rollers, and handheld steamers can be stowed away in the inside of the stand below the washer and the dryer.
3. Shelving for Common Household Items
While the garage is great for storing pruning shears and snow blowers, toiletries and fragile items should be stowed away indoors. Since it’s best to maximize the cabinet space in the kitchen for dishes, pots, pans, cooking utensils, and appliances, your multipurpose laundry room is the perfect place to store items that you buy in bulk, like paper towels, napkins, tissues, and toilet paper, and also a place to store that (ridiculously large) collection of flower vases.
It can also be a place to store an overflow from your kitchen pantry with items such as cereal, canned goods, appliances that aren’t used every day (like air poppers for popcorn), and large stock pots.
4. A Utility Sink That Doesn’t Look Like One
Having a utility sink that looks like it belongs in a garage or on a construction site doesn’t exactly invite you to put your clothing in it, so finding one that looks more like a kitchen sink is a perfect place to soak those stained dining room table cloths or muddy athletic uniforms.
And yes, you can even soak pots and pans in here to remove any unappetizing distractions before guests come over for your dinner party.
5. A Place for Pet Food Bowls and Toys
Having water bowls and food dishes in the kitchen not only creates a tripping hazard, but it can be an eyesore. And if you have a cat, a litter box in any of your main common areas is a definite no-no. You can utilize the space underneath your countertops by placing your pet’s food and water bowls there along with a litter box, toys, leashes, and other pet supplies.
Not only does this hide the presence of pets in your home, but it also keeps everything in a designated space so that you remember to feed the cat before you clean the litter box (even though she has no problem letting you know that you neglected to fill her food bowl on her timetable).
Creating a multipurpose laundry room is a great way to check off multiple to-dos on your chore list while completing the seemingly never-ending (yet slightly more bearable) task of washing clothes, towels, and linens. Who knows? After implementing an organized and multifunction laundry room, you might actually start to enjoy doing those endless piles of laundry! (Yes, I’m laughing too.)
What’s your favorite aspect of this versatile space? Sound off in the comments below!
Images used with permission, courtesy of Kelly O'Roark