If there's one place you want to make a clean start of things and foster an inviting atmosphere, it's the laundry area. The washer and dryer used so often, it pays to make the section bright and welcoming. Don't be afraid to go whimsical. Liven up the space with fun, upbeat paint colors and colorful storage bins. It'll help take away some of the drudgery. Install good lighting, and organize storage facilities in ways that minimize stooping and reaching.
Whirlpool manufactures Duet front-loading washers and dryers with optional storage pedestals to help minimize bending and stooping. The pedestal raises the machine thirteen inches off the floor and makes a convenient stowaway zone for laundry bottles. Visit www.whirlpool.com for more information.
In one of the more unpleasant tasks she had to face, professional organizer Heidi Gaumet found piles of laundry, clean and dirty mixed together, in a client's basement. Everyone in the family simply tossed their dirty clothes down in the laundry area. But when the laundry was done, it was never brought up, so both piles simply intermingled.
Create a workspace area so you can fold clothes right out of the dryer, thereby cutting down on ironing. It also cuts down on the chance that a shirt or sock will go AWOL. Portable racks can save drying time now and ironing time later on. Wall-mounted drying racks are available that won't eat up floor space. A shelf or cabinet above your washer and dryer will keep all your detergent needs within reach. But if you buy oversize products that may make it more difficult to lift, avoid straining your back. Look for a tiered rolling cart instead. Some cart models are so slim they can slip into the narrowest of spaces, even between your washer and dryer. Otherwise, think about transferring detergents and fabric softeners from big, heavy jugs to smaller, easier-to-lift sizes. Investigate whether you can use the space between your wall studs for a flip-down ironing board.
If your basement is like most, it's probably where all your important equipment is, like the furnace, water softener, water heater, and washer and dryer. In other words, it's the guts of your home. Remember: these areas need to remain accessible for servicing. And that's not all. Clutter around these areas could create a fire hazard situation, so make sure the areas around pipes and drains aren't blocked with boxes.