Even when we aren’t remodeling our home, most of us daydream about the new kitchen we want someday, or imagine how we will reinvent the living room, or eventually remodel the master bath.
Improving laundry efficiency probably falls short on the list of lifetime goals for most. The majority of us, I’ll guess, don’t spend much time dreaming about improvements we would make to the laundry room or the mudroom.
But if you are planning a new layout for your home, time dedicated to the space for the things we often take for granted – the laundry and mudroom – is time well spent. I’m an advocate of combining these two complimentary spaces whenever possible. Afterall, both rooms are meant for cleaning tasks, but neither is necessarily the showcase item in your home.
Many items commonly stored in both rooms overlap in uses, so naturally, it's convenient to have them near each other. Storage spaces enable effective organization while also creating a place in the house where you can feel okay about not leaving the space spotless all the time.
Keep Your House Clean
If you can find a space to convert into a combination laundry/mud room, do it. You don’t need a lot of square feet to meet the basic needs of a space like this.
Closets or cubbies are efficient storage units for essentials like raincoats, sporting equipment, and car tools. In a mudroom, you want a place for shoes and boots (particularly winter shoes) that you don’t want to see tramping through the rest of the house.
A good laundry/mud room has as much storage as possible. That means plenty of cabinets and shelves - along with a table or table-height counter on which to pile and then fold clean clothes. This is an especially fun spot to have if you have kids; it makes teaching your children how to do laundry much easier and more fun.
Just as in most rooms, you should arrange for good lighting. In this room, though, you specifically want to concentrate light colored paint to create the feeling of an expanded space.
Inevitably, every photo of a laundry or mudroom shows a clean floor with everything in place. If you can’t keep the space uncluttered all the time, a well-designed room and efficient storage will make tidying up a breeze.
Bins, drawers, and doors or curtains over cubbies will help maintain the illusion. Nothing has to be too fancy. Hardware and home goods stores offer a wide range of products to increase storage.
Our lives improve when we are able to plan a thoughtful space for laundry and storage in our homes. That’s because a certain amount of real living happens there. When we are able to deal with these tasks efficiently, we give ourselves more time for the activities that add meaning to our days.