In many homes these days, the laundry area is just that, an area. Even when there's a basement, more and more people are opting to create a space in the house proper, where it's more convenient. One of the best options is to locate it on the second floor, after all, this is where the majority of it's generated and is returned to once it's washed.
All PATCO homes include a designated laundry area, the location being dependent on the specific home plan and the homeowners preference. In our ranch homes, for example, the laundry is located in the central hallway, easily accessible from all areas. Even when configured this way, tucked away behind bi-fold doors, there's plenty of room for storage above utilizing full length shelving.
No matter where your laundry area / room is located, here are some ways to make the task itself a little less stressful:
1. Sort as you go with wall-mounted baskets. Whether you sort by household member or by color, getting the laundry in ready-to-wash order (and up off the floor) is a positive step toward a smoothly functioning laundry space. Metal baskets on wall hooks make an efficient use of space and they can be easily removed if you need the extra space.
2. Stay organized with washer-top storage. A set of baskets tucked beneath the shelf atop a washer and dryer can keep supplies, hand-washables and dry cleaning neat and out of the way. Use the shelf above to store frequently used items like detergent or to hold a cup for pocket change.
3. Store linens nearby for maximum efficiency. You can pull freshly laundered linens from the dryer, fold them and put them away without taking a step when your linen cupboard is integrated with your laundry space. Even in a petite closet laundry, you can put a slender shelving unit to work holding stacks of fresh towels and still leave a shelf or two free for supplies.
4. Provide an easy-access spot for hang-drying. Just because your laundry room is petite doesn’t mean you must make do by hanging your delicates over the dining chairs to dry. Whether you choose a slim folding rack that stashes between your machines or an overhead rack, a thoughtful hang-drying setup is easy and hassle-free.
5. Give socks a chance to find their mates. A wall hanging with a few clothespins attached takes up almost no space (you can even hang it on the back of the door) but provides an undeniably helpful service. To cut down on the stray sock situation even more, consider investing in a few zippered mesh wash bags to keep socks together on laundry day.
6. Sneak in room to sort and fold. A surface for sorting and folding laundry makes the whole process run more smoothly, so it’s worth finding space for one. In a small laundry room, try fitting a table beside a stacked washer dryer set, or keep the tops of your machines free for folding. A counter over side-by-side machines makes an even nicer folding surface and provides a beautifully finished look.
7. Put wall hooks to work. A row of wall hooks in the laundry room can easily adapt to whatever you most need more room for: to hang a tote for collecting dry cleaning, to keep an ironing board handy (but out of the way) or to provide hanging space for freshly laundered shirts.
8. Corral small items in baskets. Stain sticks, dryer sheets and mending supplies can easily become a jumbled mess when lined up on shelves. Stop your stuff from toppling over by storing like with like in small, easy-to-grab bins.
9. Stash a step stool to access top shelves. High shelves and cabinets can help maximize space in a small laundry room — but if you can’t reach what’s stored there, they won’t do you much good. Stow a step stool in the laundry room, and that extra bottle of detergent will never be out of reach again. Choose a foldable one for even more flexibility.
10. Keep it bright and clean. Whether your laundry is in a closet off the kitchen or down in the basement, making sure the space is clean and well-lit can do wonders when it comes to completing laundry tasks in a positive mood.
When meeting with your design / build team, remember, you have choices! Let PATCO help walk you through the best placement options for your new laundery area!