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HomeHomes
Published: Wednesday, 2/8/2006

Take the Chore Out of Doing Laundry with a Well-Designed Utility Room

(ARA) - Laundry. It s a never-ending chore, but today s laundry rooms are making this mundane task more efficient and convenient. Rising from the basement to the first -- and even second floors -- these rooms are being transformed into multi-purpose centers where homeowners not only have room to store cleaning and pet supplies but also have space for craft and sewing projects.

Storage is Key

In addition to doing your laundry, plan how else you could use the space and create centers of activity. Designate shelves and counter space for your pets, crafts, gift wrapping and even storing seasonal decorations, dishes and table linens. Install a high shelf or cabinet over the washing machine to conveniently store laundry detergent, fabric softener and spray starch. Consider keeping cleansers and other cleaning supplies here, too, so that they are out of the sight and reach of little ones. Create a space to hang and dry clothing with a retractable clothes line that can be removed when not in use. Extra counter space or a small table near the dryer is ideal for folding clothes, plus you can use the storage under the table to hide laundry baskets when they are not in use.

Let There Be Light

Even in the basement, it s possible to create the illusion of light. Replace the old fluorescent lights with newer updated fixtures, or add pendant lighting above your designated activity centers. Freshen up the paint with pale pastels or bold, bright colors. Consider adding a cheery wallpaper border. Brighten up the floor with a laminate in natural, warm tones. Today s new flooring options are easy to install and are durable and moisture resistant. Buy inexpensive, colorful throw rugs to create a more welcoming and comfortable space.

Sink Sense

Today s utility sinks and faucets are more attractive and functional. A sink with a deep, single bowl can be used for everything from washing the dog, to repotting plants, soaking clothes and cleaning paint brushes. A faucet with a longer pullout hose makes tasks at the sink, such as filling vases and large cleaning pails, easier and more convenient. Choose a stylish brushed chrome finish for a cleaner, more visually appealing look.

Details Make the Difference

Even the best designed rooms can benefit from small details. Since you spend considerable time in this room, add some entertainment. An under-counter mounted CD player can liven the mood in any laundry room. Even a small television can make ironing and folding clothes a bit more fun. Tuck that large ironing board away. There are a number of options for taking the hassle out of folding and storing ironing boards. Consider installing a roll-out board near the washer and dryer or try a pull-down version that is hidden inside a cabinet. Label bins and baskets for specific laundry chores. Designate baskets for dark, light and dry cleaning so that family members can help sort laundry. Assign names to baskets so everyone can be responsible for putting the clean clothes away, too. By updating your laundry room and making it more functional, you may find that time spent there is more enjoyable for you and your family.

With a plan for organizing the room and a few added touches of color and comfort, the dreaded task of laundry may not be such a chore after all. Courtesy of ARA Content



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