Traditionally the laundry or wash house was located outside of the main dwelling, beside the outhouse. When these rooms were brought indoors the laundry was usually situated at the back of the house, beside the back door for easy access to the outdoor clothesline. In multi level homes the laundry is often located in the basement or garage, providing easy access outside. As inner city apartment living or the choice to live in a much smaller home becomes popular, the location of the laundry moves to the kitchen, bathroom or alcove cupboard in the hallway. Leaving a lot of the items that had previously been housed in the laundry, now needing new homes.
Regardless of whether you love or loath doing laundry, if you are the person in your home that is designated to manage this task, it’s likely you will be spend approximately eight hours per week in this space. This is usually more time than we each spend in the bathroom, so why is this space not given the same consideration as your bathrooms?
In the Unclutter Your Universe home, doing the laundry is my thing and that’s just the way I like it. Thankfully we have a separate laundry with lots of space, that has been organised to maximise storage and efficiency. I’m very particular when it comes to how things are washed and I am happy to take on this task, rather than have my clothing and the house linens destroyed by careless washing. We also have a limited outdoor drying space, so to ensure everyone has the required items when they need them, it’s easier if I manage it all. So that I don’t have to sort through a large washing basket before loading up the washing machine, I have three separate baskets for everyone to sort their washing into. The partners work uniforms are kept in a separate basket and washed as one load at the end of the week. This ensures that no other clothing is damaged by the chemicals which are often spilt on these items. White and black clothing and any hand washing are placed together in another basket. With individual loads of these groups, washed as needed. The third basket is for everyone’s underwear, socks, school uniforms and everyday clothes and is washed most days. There is also a large bucket with a lid where face cloths, tea towels and cleaning cloths are soaked prior to washing. There are shelves above the washing machine and washing baskets which store washing and cleaning products. The cupboard under the sink houses shoe cleaning items and old towels and cloths for cleaning. This is also the out of season home for the dehumidifier and heater.
It’s time to cast a critical eye over these rooms and take a photograph of this space. This will help you see the space as it really is. Then, take some time to ask yourself the following questions, which hopefully will give you a great starting point to work from.
- Does this this space match the new décor style that you have planned for your home?
- Is there enough space to store the machinery that you use regularly in this space?
- If you have a front loading washing machine, is it elevated enough to prevent the constant bending up and down to load and unload the machine?
- Is there enough easy access storage for the items that are used regularly?
- If you have a dryer in this space, is it vented to the outside to prevent moisture build up?
- Is there quality task lighting?
- Do you have multiple washing baskets to encourage self sorting of washing by other residents of the house?
- If you have young children in the home, are all cleaning chemicals out of reach?
TIME FOR ACTION:
Now, it’s time to get stuck in and give your laundry some tender loving care, turning it into a well organised space that encourages regular activity in this space.
- Remove everything from the space that you can.
- Clean the entire space, including your washing machine & dryer.
- Sort through everything that was emptied out of this space. Only keeping the things that are used regularly and are in good working order.
- If you don’t have a clear picture in your mind of how you would like this space to look. Spend some time in your favourite interiors magazines or on Pinterest getting some inspiration.
- Now it’s time to address any alarm bells that were set off, when answering the above questions. Remember that it’s not just about throwing money at the project. It’s about thinking outside the square. Seeing what can be re-purposed from the things you already have.
- When planning the layout of this room, start with the largest items, such as washing machine and dryer.
- Once you have done all you can with what you already have. It’s time to compile a wish list of things you would love to acquire when the time and budget allows.
- Take a photo of your newly transformed bedroom and compare the before and after pics.
- Celebrate your achievements.
- Share the before and after photos on the Unclutter Your Universe Facebook and Instagram pages or add your comments in the section below.
Next week it’s all about the hallway separate storage cupboards in your home. If there is anything about these spaces that you would like me to discuss. Drop me a line at [email protected]