Sprucing up your laundry space

Sprucing up your laundry space

DECOR

Sprucing up your laundry space

NEAT SPACE: What a laundry room needs is good storage, a sensible layout and details that make cleaning clothes less time-consuming. PHOTOS: ANUSUIYA BHARADWAJ

Do you hide your laundry room because it’s not presentable? We spend time in this space, sorting clothes, washing them, perhaps ironing too, so we might as well make it look smart and classy. The best thing is that a laundry room doesn’t need a lot of space to function. What a laundry room does need is good storage, a sensible layout, and details that make cleaning clothes less time-consuming and more pleasant. My machine has finally found its abode in the shaft area after making rounds of various balconies of the house. It’s well-lit, away from the main areas and yet in a place that is easily accessible to the rest of the family. But, all said and done, laundry is dirty work, so why not make your space fun and enjoyable.

Choose a smart layout: Don’t position washers, dryers, ironing boards behind doors or in awkward corners.

Add adequate lighting: Indian homes usually position their laundry spaces in balconies or shafts rooms, which is practical for the machine, as it gets good sunshine and air to dry up and does not hold on to moisture that can corrode machine parts.
 
Include plenty of storage: Built-in cabinets and shelves are smart (and can even add to a home’s value), but there are plenty of inexpensive free-standing or between-the-washer-dryer caddies, cabinets, and bins too.

Choose easy-to-maintain floors: Carpeting the laundry room is a bad idea. Ceramic tiles, laminate flooring, vinyl, and other hard surfaces are practical to keep clean and won’t be damaged if water or soap suds fall on them now and then.

Install a real laundry sink: Washing delicates in a bathroom sink is a pain. A deep, dedicated laundry sink is a smart choice if you have to wash a lot of garments by hand, and it can also be useful for rinsing off sandy shoes and the like.

Decorate the walls: If you are lucky to have a laundry room as a focused space to wash and rub, then put in that little extra effort to add some colour here. You’ll enjoy working in there more if it feels as warm and inviting as the rest of your home. Choose bright colours or floral patterns to add some fun. 

Consider a fold-out or hide-away ironing board: Having an ironing board set up all the time takes up a lot of space. There are a lot of models that are meant to hide behind the door or fold up on the wall when not in use.

Add a TV or a radio: Make laundry less tedious by simultaneously entertaining yourself with some music.

Create a sorting and folding area: A table and/or laundry sorting bins give you a place to work (aside from on top of the washer and dryer).

You can find foldable versions of these items so they only need be on the floor when you're using them.

Keep a lost and found basket: Misplaced socks and gloves can be a pain to reunite. Having a basket dedicated specifically to these ‘loners’ can help you easily track down pairs.

My hamper in the bathroom is very convenient to sort out coloured and whites that need a wash with the hand.

Sort your laundry: Organising the laundry even before you step into the laundry room will save you plenty of time. Keep separate hampers for light, dark and white clothes. Label them if you need to (if you have forgetful family members.)

Handy tips

If your washer and dryer are old and outdated, you might be wasting a lot of energy. Consider investing in more efficient machines and you will save money in the long run.

When buying new machines, consider the energy star ratings and investigate how much electricity they will use in a year.

Other useful design features that help save energy include water level controls, moisture sensors, and spin cycle adjustments.

Clean your washer and dryer regularly, and maintain your appliances well.

They can last a long time and work at the peak of their efficiency if you know how to maintain them.

If they are not working at their peak, find out what needs to be done, and fix them yourselves.

Don’t let your laundry pile up, do a little every day. Also keep on top of your ironing, folding and storing to ensure that it does not take over your weekend. If you are pressed for time, do a load of washing at night, and dry them when you wake, and act on them during the day. If space allows, hang a shower rod/hanging rod. They make a great air dryer and waiting space for items in need of ironing. If space is not an issue, go all out with a garment rack. Keep your dry cleaning and hand washing separate from daily washes; assign a washing basket for special items to avoid disaster. Hang a bulletin board for washing instructions, stain removal tips, and any other laundry knowledge that you want at your fingertips.

Have a piggy bank for all that loose change jingling about in those pockets. Keep mildew and mold at bay by positioning your washing machine door open when not in use.

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