Does the basement laundry feel like a dungeon?
The average person spends six hours a week doing laundry. That’s the equivalent of 13 days in a row of nothing but laundry! Not surprisingly, there is a trend toward improving laundry spaces.
While top clothing is becoming the standard, many people still have to trudge to the basement to get work done. But you can make your laundry room more enjoyable (or at least less dingy) by setting up the room with respect for both form and function.
Let’s tackle the functional part of the equation first. 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 started:
- Clothing transport
- Clothes classification
- Pretreatment of clothing
- Foldable and Hanging Clothes
- Ironing clothes (yes, some people still do this!)
- Hand wash (and air dry) delicate items
- Sewing and craft activities
- Gift wrapping station
- Laundry supplies storage
Now that you know what needs to be accomplished in this space, think about the form. 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 will be surprised how little it costs!
- Clean up! Before you begin, create a clean canvas. Clutter – If you have it, you need to purge it. Then clean it up like your mom came to visit and slept in the basement. If your basement is still in its original shape, consider painting the walls and floor in a light neutral color. Keep items off the floor as much as possible.
- Slides and stairs! Consider adding a laundry chute to help with laundry transportation (even in one way!). This is especially useful if there are those (and they know who they are) who do not take their “dirty” to where they belong on a regular basis.
- Define the wash space. Is your laundry area floating in the middle of the room or tucked away in a corner? Set some limits. Add colorful interlocking FLOR carpet tiles to define your laundry space. You can make it in the size you need and in the colors you want. Not only is it a great design element, it’s gentler on your feet.
- A place for everything, and all 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 expansive room. Check out irregular or discontinued items at your local DIY store for a good 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, whatever gets the job done!
- Know when to fold them! Pick 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 will also get additional storage space 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 folding, or get a coat rack on wheels. Hanging shirts up while they are still slightly damp will make ironing them much easier. Use hanging dividers to separate clothing by owner to keep items organized.
- Brilliant ideas. Don’t skimp on lighting. Use a combination of ceiling and work lighting to make sure you can see what you are 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 item, such as a colorful “Leave Your Dirt Here” sign with an arrow pointing toward the clothing sorting area. Find smart cabinet knobs with a laundry theme. Add a tip jar for the loose change found in the wash. Use colored 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. Perhaps a nice, long-lasting rubber tree or a fake ficus.
Still not excited about clothes? Add a stereo or TV to help pass the time. Chaka Khan’s “I am all women” might be enough!