Wash. Dry. Fold. Iron. Repeat.
Laundry is the bane of my existence. It seems that once I think I’ve gotten the pile completed, the kids are throwing something new in. I spend quite a bit of my weekend time in our cramped laundry space. The laundry space needed an update to something more convenient and stylish. After all, as the mother of three it is essentially “my space”.
In my house we have a fab washing pair from Samsung. They came in a beautiful graphite colour and call me crazy but that was one of its selling points. Both of them are front loading and open towards one another so there were limited ways we could change our laundry space around without making them no longer functional.
Since the days for sitting in the garden sipping a cider are long past, it’s a great time to start doing some DIY inside (out of the cold and hey you can still sip a cider if you want). So it was the perfect time to go in search of laundry room projects for a seriously small laundry room. Something that would wow the family and maybe get my daughter to WANT to do laundry. Yeah I’ll keep dreaming.
Tip 1 – Stackable Washer and Dryer
If both your washer and dryer are front loading there are brackets that you can purchase that make them able to be stacked one on top of the other. If your dryer is a condenser, this makes things even easier. Now we don’t all have a beautiful laundry space like in the picture above but can you imagine the amount of space you can free up by stacking them? This will give you space for cabinetry, shelving or racks for air drying.
Now if you don’t have a tumble dryer there is obviously no need for stacking but the space on top of the washing machine is great for other purposes.
Tip 2 – Shelving and Cabinetry
If you are fortunate enough to have a dedicated laundry space then bringing in shelving and cabinetry is a must. Shelving gives you a place to store all your laundry essentials whilst shelving can serve as folding racks, drying racks or a decorated space. Adding in a clothes rail will allow you to either dry your laundry in the laundry space or hang those items that will wrinkle if not removed from the tumble dryer immediately.
In this image from Fun Home Things a worktop has been built on top of the washing machine and tumble dryer. It adds more functionality to the space, allows you to store laundry baskets on top, without scratching the tops of the machines.
This storage option is brilliant. We all have doors and space behind them. Painting the door with chalkboard paint makes it simple for kids to find those cleaning products to do their chores. No more “but mom I couldn’t find the toilet cleaner!”. If your home is like mine I could always do with more storage space. This behind the door trick is not only handy for the laundry room, but for coat closets, bathrooms and even the kids bedrooms (hello, Legos and Barbies).
Tip 4 – Where to store the ironing board
I abhor ironing. There I said it. I come from a place where we don’t iron, anything that needs ironing goes out for dry cleaning. Then I moved to England and everything changed. I do have a typical ironing board like the one seen above but I’m keen to try out making my own to use on a flat surface like a worktop. So much easier, and not so rickety. I mean how hard could they be to make, it would be simple to store or if you keep it atop the washer or dryer you can do your ironing right in your laundry space.
So on the interwebs (Pinterest to be exact) I found DIY instructions on a homemade ironing board that would fit directly onto the top of your front loading washer or dryer. It required cutting a piece of plywood and let’s be honest, I’m not that handy. I then stumbled upon this little gem from Rustic Honey. It is the same idea as the wooden one but it’s portable and you can roll it up. Not only can you use it on your washing machine or tumble dryer top but also on any flat surfaces from worktops to coffee tables. It makes doing a pile of ironing much easier and for me safer, since my ironing board loves to wobble while I’m trying to do sleeves.
Tip 5 – No tumble dryer? No problem.
The rainy season is upon us and gone are the days of bright sunshine and cool breezes that make drying our laundry simple and easy. I don’t always want to use my tumble dryer. It isn’t as energy efficient as I would like and sometimes it’s just downright noisy. I needed a way to hang things inside, that didn’t take up loads of space like those portable drying racks. So I went with one of the DIY projects on Live Simply by Annie. She has loads of different options, but this was the best and most stylish option for me. It folds up flat and nearly looks like art. You can hang coats on it when you aren’t hanging wet laundry and if your laundry space doubles as a mud room, it doubles this racks purpose. Rain coats, ponchos and umbrellas can easily hang from the bottom knobs. It’s perfect!
Most homes in England don’t have the separate laundry space or even a cupboard to put our laundry units in. But what you can do is make a space all your own. A nook under the stairs? The end of a weirdly shaped bedroom? A shallow closet amongst the hall? The options are endless. All it takes is a bit of imagination and some DIY.