Why is it that we spend so much time in our mudroom/laundry rooms, yet it’s almost always the area in our home we’ve given the least amount of thought to?
Some small fixes here can go a long way, and this month’s article is geared toward making your space more functional. In this issue, we’ll elevate a humble space in order to make it work harder and smarter for you.
As with most home remodeling/renovation/upgrading projects, your first consideration should be defining its purpose. Do you simply want to make it more attractive? Or is it less than optimal in terms of function? Maybe it works great and is aesthetically pleasing, but you need it to serve an additional purpose. Whatever the case, walk through a day in your mind and write down all the things you need and want to have your mudroom/laundry room do for you.
This article discusses a combined mudroom/laundry room of a smaller size – the kind so often seen just off the garage or tucked away in the corner of the home near a side door. If you’re fortunate to have a larger space, even better. But know that you don’t need a lot of space to make your mudroom/laundry room perform more efficiently for your family. Some thoughtful planning and easy fixes do just that. Take a look at the following suggestions.
Not only is it the place to sit to take your shoes off or put them on, you can store them beneath the bench. If you have shelving over your appliances, your bench can double as a sturdy stepstool. And unloading heavy shopping bags is easy to do onto a bench.
This is also a terrific area to place items that have to go with you the next time you leave the house. At night, put all bags and books needed the next day on the bench. Works like a charm.
A full-length mirror
It’s handy to have a mirror to check your look just before walking out the door. This can be mounted either on a wall or on the back of a door. No expensive one needed here either, just something basic will do the job.
Adding one across the top of side by side appliances is a fairly simple fix. If you’re handy with tools, this could be a weekend project, but otherwise, be sure to call a professional contractor such as Mike at D4. This counter will not only enable you to fold clothes easily but it will keep mail and other items from slipping between your washer and dryer. You can often find countertop remnants at the larger home improvement stores for cheap. If you attach it to the wall and leave an empty space beneath one end, it becomes the perfect location for a trash can or your bulkiest, heaviest items.
Where you charge your electronics can be a very personal thing. Some people can’t bear to be apart from their phone and prefer to charge it in the kitchen, in the center of the home, where a call won’t be missed. Others prefer to keep it in the room where they’ll spend most of the evening, and still others want it bedside overnight. If you don’t need it with you every minute, your mudroom can serve as your charging station. If you don’t have the needed outlets, call +1 250-572-4812 and speak with Mike at D4 to add an extra one for you. He can also install a small shelf for your electronics near the outlet and you’ll be charged up and good to go in the morning, quite literally.
An old dresser
Depending on the size of your space, you might want to put an old dresser in your mudroom/laundry room and either delegate drawers to members of the family, or to clothing accessories such as gloves, hats and scarves. The dresser can be prettied up, of course, but if it’s a private space used just by family, looks may not matter. Having a set of drawers requires a bit more space, but if you have it, this dresser will keep these awkward items together in one place.
Any respectable laundry room should have a place to hang your laundry once it comes out of the dryer. It doesn’t have to be large; enough space to hang several items of clothing is enough if space is limited. Some people include cubbies with baskets in which to sort smaller items such as underwear and socks, but if you don’t have room for that, simply use the top of your appliances to fold and sort these items. Just be sure to keep this area free and clear for this purpose.
Corral those garden flags
Consider using a skirt hanger to corral all your garden flags. Large or small, they keep nicely in this space and you never again have to wonder where they are or iron them when changing them out for the season or holiday.
Do you bring in the mail on your way into the house each day? What a perfect place to sort and rid yourself of junk mail. Be sure to have an open waste basket for this purpose (and for all those dryer sheets you might use as you do your laundry). Consider installing a wall-mounted mail sorter/key ring rack just inside the door coming into the house. If done daily, you can open and sort all your mail within a minute or so, ridding yourself of envelopes, advertising flyers and junk mail immediately. Home organizers recommend this as a terrific way to avoid bringing clutter into your home. And for a reason. It works.
Another popular use…
…Of the laundry/mudroom is storage of a pet’s belongings. In this case, you might choose to keep Snowball’s flea collars, food, and litter on some shelving or behind cabinets. The larger items such as litter and cases of pet food store nicely beneath the bench. And because they’re used frequently and are heavy, those items would be best kept on the floor and not higher up in a cabinet.
Cabinets can be repurposed from anywhere else in the home for use in the mudroom/laundry room. Sprucing up the kitchen? Consider moving your older cabinets into the mudroom. How about a tall, double-door pantry? Works perfectly for this space. Often you’ll see a washer and dryer in this room with an abundance of unused space above it. Cabinets work well here, and again, being a private space, your mudroom doesn’t need to have anything fancy unless you simply want it to.
You might prefer straight shelving here, though, and if so, consider installing the wire shelving so that you can hang up your laundry as it comes out of the dryer. One end of it also serves nicely as a coat closet when you arrive home each day.
If you have, or choose to install, a utility sink – often plastic and very deep – you’ll find that it’s very practical. Are you a gardener? If so, when you bring in your harvest of tomatoes, beans, and fruit, you need a place to unload them to be washed. Sure, you have a kitchen sink. But if that sink often has dishes in it, or if you keep it pristine, you might not like the idea of all your fruits and veggies covered in dirt dumped into it. How about potting new plants or watering your indoor ones? The utility sink is a wonderful place to do just that. Anything bulky and dirty can be cleaned in a utility sink. Even pets can be washed in this sink. When you have one installed, you’ll discover many more terrific uses for this mudroom staple.
These are just a few of the more common functions to incorporate into your mudroom/laundry room…
I challenge you to write down all the ways you use this room for a month. You may be surprised to find other ways your own mudroom/laundry room can perform better.
Once you’ve decided how you want to upgrade this space, call Mike at D4 to schedule an estimate. He’ll come out to your home and show you how to make your plans a reality. It’s that easy.
Call Mike at D4 now at +1 250-572-4812 and tell him you read about it here. Mike and his team of specialists will take good care of you and turn that overlooked space into a multipurpose workhorse!