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It’s time to come clean


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Laundry’s one of those chores that many of us spend a significant amount of time doing — love it or hate it. I work in construction, so I have a lot of dirty clothes and do a lot of laundry.

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Whether your laundry room is big or small, try to design it with flow and functionality in mind — have a zone for sorting, washing and drying, ironing, folding/hanging, and storage.

To get the most out of your laundry room, maximize the use of your space to create a functional, organized, and clutter-free room. Install shelves or storage units on the walls, and don’t forget to utilize the entire wall, floor to ceiling, to maximize space. Also, consider installing a hanging rack or bar to air dry clothes or hang garments. Don’t forget about the back of the door, where you can install a storage system, opt for an over-the-door option and hooks. Baskets are a great way to organize and sort laundry and fabric cubes store supplies.

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If custom shelving and cabinetry are not an option, there are many integrated systems available, so you can customize your layout with different design and style options. I recently was introduced to a line of welded steel cabinetry and shelving that are tough and durable, with wall-mounted racks that will organize and declutter any laundry area.

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It’s critical to have a tidy folding area. If you have front-loading machines, placing a counter or a solid shelf above them may be all you need. If you’re using top-loaders, you’ll have to be more inventive. If you’re short on room, consider a shelf that mounts to the wall and folds down when you don’t need it.

I can’t talk about a laundry room without reminding homeowners to use water-resistant building materials and install proper ventilation. Doing laundry generates higher levels of humidity and moisture, which can lead to mould and mildew if there is inadequate ventilation. Countertops should be durable and non-porous like granite or quartz, and I always suggest porcelain or ceramic tile for flooring. It’s durable and easy to clean. Just remember to install a waterproof subfloor system. You can also add decorative rugs or in-floor heating for extra comfort.

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I wouldn’t go cheap on a washer or dryer either — they are probably one of the most used appliances in your home. A washer’s lifespan is 10-12 years, and dryers can typically last longer as fewer mechanisms wear out. I recommend investing in high-quality, high-efficiency models. Top loading or side loading, it really comes down to preference and what suits your space best.

Traditionally, laundry rooms are in the basement, but modern home layouts place them on the main and upper floors of the home. Although both are good choices, I’m a fan of a main floor laundry room. Having the laundry on the main floor makes sense, especially as we age, and mobility issues with stairs become more of a concern.

Upper laundry rooms work well too. However, I recommend adding extra blocking to the floor frame to support the excess weight and decrease vibrations. An acoustic mat is also another option. On a main floor or upper level, I would also highly recommend installing a water proof pan with a sloping floor to a floor drain. If the washer and dryer are in a closet, the door must be vented, and extra space is needed to dissipate dryer heat.

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Washing machines have the potential to leak and can do some severe damage to your floor or worse. I recommend installing a smart leak detector that sends notifications to your phone if there is a leak.

Laundry sinks or utility sinks are great for washing clothes, cleaning oven racks, or dirty construction boots. While a sink in the laundry room is nice, it isn’t required if you have the proper plumbing to drain the water from your washer into the sewage line. However, they are convenient, and I’d recommend one. Traditionally made of acrylic, modern-day laundry sinks now come in various materials such as stainless steel and porcelain.

Layered lighting is one of the essential features of any space, including your laundry room. Natural sunlight is ideal for washing clothes since it allows you to assess how dirty or clean something is. Of course, not all laundry rooms have a window. Consider utilizing ceiling lights or a series of pot lights above and below the cabinets to make your space feel bigger and more functional.

By creating a more functional laundry room, your laundry pile might not be any less, but doing the laundry might even become more enjoyable.

Watch Holmes Family Rescue on CTV Life Channel on Thursdays.

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