Monday, August 9, 2010

Laundry Rooms are a New $tatus Symbol

In the new homes, the washers and dryers are no longer stuck in the dark, basement corner of the house. Homeowners are demanding more out of their laundry rooms than ever before. Why? Well, most American families throw 8-10 loads of laundry in the washer per week. Plus, on average 20 million women and 10 million men spend hundreds of hours each year washing and drying clothes. These are the people that want their laundry rooms to be practical, organized, large enough to accommodate day-to-day needs, and well decorated. Laundry rooms are actually becoming the newest status symbol, seeing as some laundry rooms are worth more than $30,000.

Many families are actually making the laundry rooms into the messy chore, craft, sewing, and even gardening project rooms. Laundry rooms are in need of more than the typical cabinet, washer, and dryer. People want a folding station. They are now looking for DryAire drying cabinets, where sweaters and delicates can dry in a couple of hours rather than a couple of days. They want the SinkSpa, which is a jetted sink where hand-washables are washed by water jets. They desire ironing stations: including an adjustable board, place to store the hot iron, and automatic shutoff controls.

Now, perhaps you are simply looking for ideas to spice up your own laundry room. Maybe you’re trying to figure out ways to make your rental property a winner. Or, perhaps you’re getting your home into selling shape. Whatever your goal, the following will help you figure out ideas in how to make the laundry room pleasurably livable.

Before you start making all these plans to upgrade. Sit down in the laundry room for at least 15 minutes and really take some time to figure out your needs. What annoyances do you run into right now? Do you have any spot to hang clothes when it rains? Do you struggle to get the clothes from the washer into the dryer? Do you really need a utility sink? Do you tend not to iron because you have no place for the ironing board? Does the room need a more cheerful paint color? Does the floor need to be replaced?

1. Obtain a Practical Washing Machine. Some washers have a finger faucet under the rim, allowing you to easily wash detergent off your hands. Other washers feature “reminder chimes,” signaling you that the clothes are done. A few of the newest washing machines have some very practical features: a quick-wash cycle that enables you to wash the shirt you need for the party in record time, a virtually noiseless direct-drive washing system, a delay-wash feature that starts the washer up to 19 hours after you load it, and a steady-spin feature that keeps the washer spinning, even if the load is unbalanced.

2. Install Cabinetry. Before you install anything, sit in the laundry room and figure out your current needs. Do you need open shelving units or cabinets with doors? Do you need spaces for various laundry baskets? Where can all of the detergents, spot removers, and dryer sheets be easily reached? Will you add a countertop to fold clothes?

3. Storage. An alternative to cabinetry is to Install Wire shelving. The wire shelving is strong, durable, easy to install, fits to your needs, and doesn’t rust easily.

4. Ironing Station. Either set up an ironing board station or install a built-in ironing board. Both set-ups should have a permanent spot for the hot iron.

5. Laundry Sorting Baskets. Use laundry-sorting bins to organize your laundry by color and cycle. If you desire your family to follow your new system, make sure the laundry bins are clearly marked, such as “darks, delicates, towels, whites, dry cleaning, cold wash” etc. The more you organize, the more time you have to do other things.

6. Easily Accessible. If you are remodeling or building your home, make sure that your laundry room is easily accessible from the main activity areas of the house.

7. Windows. Install another window or two in your dark and dreary laundry room. Many people like their laundry windows to overlook the backyard play areas. Bay windows with a ledge not only take the “laundry room” feel away but also provide a usable ledge for baskets and folded laundry.

8. Change the Lighting. Change the one-light in the center of your ceiling to attractive track lighting.

9. Hanging Space. Many clothes require drip-drying, so either hang a rod or two near the floor drain or hang string from one side of the room to the other. Whichever way you choose, make sure that it is practical and out of the way. When using hangers, choose the plastic ones rather than the metal ones, as they tangle less and do not rust. If you have wire shelving, you can also easily hanging clothes from those. You could also place a rod next to the dryer that is equipped with plastic hangers to immediately hang items when they come out of the dryer.

10. Usable Space. Rolling carts are a practical addition to the laundry room. You can slip a thin one between the washer and the dryer, which can hold the detergent, stain stick, bleach, dryer sheets, etc. This keeps deep space usable and practical.

11. Small “Catch-all” Basket. Get a small basket to put next to the washer to keep items that are still in the pockets such as lipstick, money, receipts, etc.

12. Trashcan. Make sure that at trashcan is nearby to unload the lint tray, throw away used dryer sheets, and wrappers found in pockets

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