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Laundry Down Under – 10 Easy Ways to Update Basement Laundry Rooms
Does your basement laundry room feel like a dungeon?
The average person spends six hours a week doing laundry. That equates to 13 straight days of nothing but laundry! No wonder there is a trend to upgrade laundry rooms.
While upstairs laundry is becoming the norm, many people still have to trudge down to the basement to get the job done. But you can make laundry more pleasant (or at least less dreary) if you decorate the room with respect for both form and function.
Let’s deal with the function part of the equation first. What activities will you do in this room? In what order are these tasks performed? Here’s a list to get your brain going:
- Transport of laundry
- Sorting laundry
- Pretreatment of laundry
- Folding and hanging laundry
- Ironing laundry (yes, some people still do it!)
- Hand wash (and air dry) delicate
- Sewing and craft activities
- Gift wrapping station
- Laundry storage
Now that you know what needs to be achieved in this space, think about form. After all, the laundry room is a room where you can really be creative! While lively decor doesn’t necessarily make doing laundry fun, it will make the time go by faster. And you’ll be surprised at how little it costs!
- Clean up! Before you get started, create a clean canvas. Clutter – if you have it, clean it. Then clean it as if your mother is coming to visit and wants to sleep in the basement. If your basement is still in its original shape, consider painting the walls and floor a light, neutral color. Keep objects off the floor as much as possible.
- Slides and ladders! Consider adding a laundry basket to help transport laundry (albeit one way!). This is especially helpful if there are those (and they know who they are) who don’t get “dirty” where they belong on a regular basis.
- Define the laundry room. Does your laundry room float in the middle of the room or tucked into a corner? Set some boundaries. Add colorful FLOR interlocking carpet tiles to define your laundry room. You can make it just the size you need and in the colors you want. Not only is it a great design element, but it’s softer on your feet.
- A place for everything, and everything its place. Create a movable cabinet with built-in storage by adding wheels to the bottom of a laundry cabinet. Use this movable room divider to help define your space in an otherwise expansive space. Check out irregular or discontinued items at your local hardware store to get a good deal.
- Fix it. Buy three large laundry baskets to sort your laundry into light, medium or dark. Make decorative signs to indicate which is which. Or just write on them with a sharpie – whatever gets the job done!
- Know when to fold them! Pick up a discontinued kitchen island at a good price and use it as a folding table. Not only will it be a more comfortable height for your back, you’ll also score extra storage underneath! And why not add a few barstools for crafting or just hanging out? Mini fridge optional.
- Hang out. Hang a rod above or near the “folding island” to hang items while you fold, or get a rolling clothes rack. If you hang shirts while they are still slightly damp, you will have a much easier time ironing them. Use hanging dividers to separate clothes by owner to keep things organized.
- Bright ideas. Don’t skimp on lighting. Use a combination of ceiling and task lighting to ensure you can see what you are doing. If you have windows in the basement, clean them up and dress them up with light curtains that let in the natural light.
- Make it fun! Add a whimsical element such as a colorful sign that says “Drop Your Dirties Here” with an arrow pointing down to the laundry sorting area. Find smart cabinet knobs with a laundry theme. Add a tip jar for loose fabric found in the wash. Use colorful containers to store supplies. You can find many cheap plastic buckets 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, durable rubber tree or faux ficus.
Still not excited about laundry? Add a stereo or TV to help pass the time. Chaka Khan’s “I’m every woman” might just do it!
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