Find tips on how to make the most of your laundry area and maximize storage.
By Jacquelyn McGilvrayMore in Decorating
Laundry and utility rooms seem to collect clutter like magnets to metal. Here are some ideas for structuring your laundry room so it will be easier to keep it neat and orderly.
Take your laundry-related storage to the ceiling by installing cabinets or shelving over your washer and dryer. Look for modular storage systems that have a variety of shelves, racks and hampers that can be fitted to your space.
Elevated storage keeps potentially dangerous cleaning supplies out of reach of young children, and it is also practical if your laundry space is in a basement that is prone to flood.
To make more functional space — like a folding table — construct a built-in cabinet around the washer and dryer. This works well if you have a front-loading washer, but can still be done with a top-loader. Build the cabinet with a hinged countertop so the appliances can be removed in case repairs are needed. If you have a top-loading washer, make sure you have enough head room for a hinged countertop and you'll want to use a hinge with locking side arms that can stay open. To totally conceal the washer and dryer, install bi-fold doors or use a shower-curtain tension rod to hang upholstery-weight material just below the edge of your countertop.
Install shelving around the perimeter of the room mounted 12 to 18 inches from the ceiling. It'll provide additional storage for infrequently used items. Use utility baskets that slide onto shelving to hold items such as extra paper towels, toilet paper and trash bags.
Is your laundry room directly below a bathroom or closet? See if you can install a chute inside a bathroom vanity or linen closet. A conveniently located laundry chute coming from the floor above can help alleviate mounds of clothes lying on the floor in the bedroom or overloaded in hampers. If your laundry area is in a basement, it should be easy to see if you can cut through the floor.