Unless you do your laundry in the buff, itâ€™s one chore thatâ€™s never really done. Follow these laundry room storage ideas, however, and you can breeze through your dirty duds in no time.
1. Make space for your washer and dryer.
Put your laundry room or area near bedrooms where you generate the most laundry so you can minimize steps and clothes clutter. To carve out space for a laundry station inside a bathroom or hall closet, youâ€™ll need:
- Electric outlets. Electric dryers require a 220-volt dedicated outlet. Cost: $300 to $1,000, professionally installed.
- Plumbing. The washer needs hot and cold water connections as well as a drain or a hose fed into a standpipe. All dryers require a vent to the outside to exhaust heat from the drum. Gas dryers require a gas line. Cost: $300 to $550.
- Space requirements. For a stackable washer and dryer, provide a minimum space of 40 inches deep and 32 inches wide. A side-by-side washer and dryer need space measuring at least 40 inches deep and 56 inches wide.
2. Add cabinets for better laundry room storage.
De-clutter by keeping laundry room necessities out of sight.
- Drawer units. Front load washers and dryers are easy on your back when elevated with base pedestals, which offer drawer storage. Pedestals usually are made by individual manufacturers to fit their brand. Cost: $110 to $265.
- Stock cabinetry. Home centers offer stock kitchen cabinetry that you can install above and/or beside the washer and dryer. For a laundry near the kitchen, select cabinetry that complements existing units. Cost: $130 to $350 per cabinet.
- Freestanding laundry room storage. To keep clutter out of sight behind doors, position a freestanding cabinet between or beside the washer and dryer. Some armoires feature hanging space inside.
- Extras. Equip a stock or freestanding cabinet with a fold-down ironing board and a holder for the iron and related supplies.
3. Provide laundry room storage bins, baskets, and more.
- Bins. Canvas or solid metal bins keep small items corralled and out of sight inside a cabinet or on open shelves. Wire baskets make it easy to inventory supplies while keeping similar items together.
- Lined baskets. A canvas lining provides visual appeal and prevents wicker from snagging folded linens or other items you store inside.
- Pull-outs. Rather than bending and rooting around in the back of a base cabinet, equip it with a pullout hamper, wastebasket, or shelves.
- Sorters and hampers. Youâ€™ll find a variety of bins for storing and sorting soiled laundry, including canvas versions with an overhead rod for hanging clothes.
4. Include easy-access surfaces.
- Open shelves. Melamine or wire shelves above or beside the washer and dryer provide a good spot for quickly accessing often-used supplies.
- Countertops. A countertop on base cabinets or installed above a front-load washer and dryer (that arenâ€™t elevated on pedestals) provide a place for folding clothes.
5. Create space for hanging clothes.
Include a spot to hang clothing fresh from the dryer or to drip dry. For example, stretch a pole between tall cabinets flanking the washer and dryer. For compact laundry room storage spaces, look for collapsible hanging units or retractable clotheslines.
By: Jan Soults Walker
Published: October 1, 2010
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