For a room you spend a lot of time in, the laundry room sure gets little attention. A laundry room makeover is an easy way to make that room more cheerful to be in and more organized so your work is easier.
As a professional organizer, I’ve had the chance to work with many laundry rooms, which are sometimes more of an archeological dig than a functional space. Often, the extra entry is from the garage or side yard and goes in through the laundry area. This makes it a very convenient dumping ground for everything in your arms. After a while, things pile up, and even though you know you really need to do the wash, you just dread going in that room.
There is a cure to the no-fun laundry room. It’s so easy to make it a bright, welcoming and functional space for the whole family to use. Check out these six simple steps.
1. Roll on the Paint
One of my tips for keeping a room from attracting clutter is to make it beautiful. The nicer the space, the less likely you will be to mess it up. Often, the laundry room seems to get skipped when the remodeling bug hits, but it’s usually a small, easy project to complete, and it helps to keep things in order.
When hunting for laundry room paint, I decided to go with kitchen and bath paint for its ability to handle moisture. You can use any paint, but if you find your laundry room is a damp room, this is a good option. If your laundry room is a heavy traffic room like mine, make sure to pick a finish that can be wiped down to easily remove scuff marks or fingerprints.
Keep in mind that colors can influence mood. Create a happy space in your chore place with a bright color that makes you joyful, or go for a calming neutral like pale grey to keep feeling peaceful.
2. Have Some Fun
Think of the laundry room like you would any other room you remodel. Paint the trim. Add blinds or a pretty valance. Put some attention into the details of the decor. Add some fun. RoomMates Wall Decals are a great way to liven up the room. They are easy to apply and change later on, if you wish. You can add artwork, photos from past vacations or posters that make you smile. Featured above are RoomMates Laundry Quote Wall Decals.
3. Organize Your Stuff
There’s probably not a lot of junk in your laundry room. If there is clutter, get rid of it or remove it to where it should be stored. Look at what is left. Most likely, it is comprised of many things you need to run a household. You’ll find you have paper towels, light bulbs, tools and cleaning products.
Organize the items you need to store by grouping them into categories and putting like items together. Add some shelves and cabinets. Organize the things you need into the storage areas so all the clutter is put away and there is room to work in the laundry room.
"If you're looking to get a small space organized, the dollar store will be your new best friend,” adds Kari Lloyd, editor at Rent.com. “Pick up a few cheap wire shelves to organize all your laundry items—it can easily double up for hanging items up to dry with a few hangers. Even a hanging shower storage organizer can store and organize all your small, fiddly bits, freeing up space for you get down to the serious business of washing."
4. Make Space to Work
Laundry becomes clutter when it starts to pile up on the sofa, bed and kitchen table in hopes that it eventually folds itself. A great way to prevent that is to create a place to fold laundry right in the laundry room.
Add a few cabinets with a countertop. Use an extra kitchen table you paint a fun color. Get a rolling table that can be moved for projects. Whatever you choose, having a flat surface will help you contain laundry mess to the laundry room.
5. Get Hung Up
Usually people tell you not to get all hung up. This time, do get hung up. Laundry left in the dryer or in a basket becomes a mass of wrinkles. Next thing you know, you’ve got to rewash and dry it just to take care of the mess. No wonder your wash never gets finished!
Add a place to hang freshly dried clothes. As you gather your dirty clothes, grab empty hangers. When the laundry is finished, pull warm clothes from the dryer and hang them up in the laundry room. If you can’t hear your dryer buzzer, set an alarm on your phone.
You can add a hanging bar or tension rod for clothing or install some coat hooks along the wall—those will hold hangers as well.
6. Keep it Up
In your laundry room remodel, create a system for incoming and outgoing clothing to eliminate piles everywhere. Cubbies or shelves can be a great addition. You can assign each family member a shelf and label them. Clean, folded clothes can be placed in the correct cubby for them to collect. Or, assign each person a certain color basket.
Establishing a laundry day(s) is a big help with piles of dirty clothes. Waiting until there is nothing clean to wear or until you have more time usually means more work. Doing a bit at a time can really help. You can try assigning a day per week to each family member in order to spread out the workload.
Creating a bright, organized space is sure to help reduce family laundry chaos.
Lea Schneider is a home organizational expert with years of experience combining organization with design. Lea writes her tips for The Home Depot. If you are planning a makeover of your own laundry room, and your plans include painting, you can view a wide selection of trim colors on the Home Depot website.