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Laundry Rooms

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  by Leslie Patterson

Many homeowners can recall household laundry rooms located in unfinished basements, spare closets, or limited free space near garages or kitchens.

Southern Home Laundry Room

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These laundry areas were often cramped, impractical, and continuously frustrating for families. Though often a task that is approached with little enthusiasm, today's dream homes have the technology and resources to turn laundry into the simplest of household chores.

In order to arrange the most efficient laundry facilities in your home, there are a few aspects to review. You want to ensure that the space will be functional without detracting from the home's decor. To determine the location that is most spacious and convenient, keep in mind the following:

  • Avoid high traffic areas - Areas that are frequented by family members should not be considered for laundry facilities. Even the most organized laundry room has the tendency to harbor piles of clothing and bulky accessories, all of which will be inconvenient to access with people constantly moving through the space.

  • Select a dedicated room - The laundry room should not be used for other tasks such as crafting or home office work. A trend in new home is the placement of laundry rooms adjacent to bedrooms, as they are the largest sources of dirty laundry. However, it is important to note that laundry facilities should be kept separate. Your dream home bedrooms are places of rest and rejuvenation where dirty laundry should not have the opportunity to overtake available space.

  • Efficient use of space - Once the appropriate space is set aside, using it properly is key. Vertical space should be utilized just as commonly as floor space. Some washers and dryers are stackable, allowing smaller spaces to include folding tables or utility sinks. Other laundry facilities install overhead cabinetry for storing important laundry accessories from detergents to drying racks. At least 48 inches should be left in front of laundry units to allow easy movement and provide extra space for future appliances that may be used in the same location.

  • Making it your own - Though laundry is not necessarily a fun task, the space itself does not need to be a drag. Today's appliances are sleeker than ever, coming in numerous shapes, sizes, and colors that allow you to customize your laundry room to match the rest of your home's decor. Reserving wall space for some favorite artwork, hanging curtains from any windows, and installing decorative flooring are just a few of the numerous options available when outfitting your laundry room with a splash of style.

Modern Laundry Room

Once the laundry room location has been determined, it is time to ensure the laundry facility is as efficient as possible for your family. First, examine your laundry needs:

  • What kind of clothing is most often put through the laundry cycle?

  • Do you have a regular schedule for completing laundry?

  • Who will be using the space most often and is it tailored to their individual needs?

Contemporary Laundry Room

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When answering these questions, you may find there is a need for a drying rack or folding table near the washer and dryer units. Perhaps you need a utility sink to pre-rinse the constant flow of heavily soiled items. Most importantly, be sure to address the situations of collecting and sorting laundry.

Many homes have multiple hampers, with each family member being responsible for gathering their dirty items. If space allows, place a laundry sorter in the laundry room. With each slot dedicated to various laundry loads, family members can sort their laundry in an organized fashion, without burying the floor in clothing and clutter. Though the average family does eight to ten loads of laundry per week, there is no reason this amount should be overwhelming. Create a space that is equipped to tackle your family's needs, and laundry will no longer be the chore that tugs at your patience or squanders your time.

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