Laundry Room Makeover 101
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Tidy Trends1 of 10
By Amy Elisa Keith
In most houses, the laundry room works overtime—as a mudroom and as a dumping ground for cleaning supplies, sports equipment, newspapers and just about anything else that will fit. Before one more things enters this space, Style Network star and professional organizer Amanda LeBlanc shares her tips to transform your multipurpose catchall into a haven of chic clean.
Decisions, Decisions2 of 10
For organizational expert LeBlanc, the first step is the most important one: Ask yourself what you use the space for. "We want to make sure we define how much space you need," says LeBlanc, suggesting that you make a list of the things that should be stored in the laundry room. As for that neglected soccer equipment and the forgotten toys, you should sell, donate or trash them. "Stick to what the room is supposed to do."
The In Crowd3 of 10
"There are two types of people: 'organized in' people and 'organized out' people," says LeBlanc. "'Organized in' people are people who like everything behind closed doors and can remember what's there." If that's you, then cabinets and drawers are what you need in the space to feel like it's tidy. Identifying your style is essential to planning and achieving the ideal laundry room.
Outward Bound4 of 10
On the other hand, some people are more visual and need to be able to see what cleaning supplies, tools and home care products they have. "'Organized out' people are people that if you tuck it away for them, they're not going to remember that it's there, no matter what," says LeBlanc. If you're an 'organized out' person, then get rid of those cabinets in favor of open shelving. Kick the style up a notch by color-coordinating supplies.
Essential Elements5 of 10
"It's important to keep in mind where the outlets are and where the water supply is," says LeBlanc. Avoid a makeover mess by identifying the key facets: electrical outlets, water pipes and gas lines. Those determine where to place the washer, dryer, sink and iron.
Group Mentality6 of 10
Unleash the OCD organizer within by grouping cleaning products by type. "All of my things in the laundry room are grouped by category: bathroom cleaners, all-purpose cleaners, and floor cleaners," says LeBlanc, who suggests placing them on Lazy Susans within the cabinets because "I hate when things get lost in the back."
What's in a Name?7 of 10
Once you have cleaned out the laundry room and grouped like items, place them in labeled cabinets, bins or baskets to keep the order. "My philosophy is to label any container that you cannot clearly see into," says LeBlanc. "You want a clear definition of what's in there, and it'll encourage you to stay organized."
Within Reach8 of 10
Creating a stylish laundry room shouldn't sacrifice function. For example, the washer and dryer may look more mod with pedestals, but they will take up valuable vertical space. "Typically I open the pedestals and they're stuffed with a bunch of random stuff," says LeBlanc. Get rid of the pedestals in favor of a bar for hang-dry clothes and easy-to-reach overhead shelving. LeBlanc adds, "Bring a beautiful countertop or an inexpensive one into the space to add aesthetic."
Color Splash9 of 10
While white may be the de facto color of choice for laundry rooms, the options are truly endless. Instead of turning it into a forgotten space, allow the style of your home decor to flow into the laundry room, too. "You'll want to do laundry if the room is beautiful," says LeBlanc, who suggests Benjamin Moore's Marilyn's Dress and Harbor Haze as refreshing wall colors.
Personal Touch10 of 10
In addition to a fresh coat of paint, infuse some personality into the space. "You're in there every day doing something you hate, so shouldn't you try to bring in some pretty elements to make the space more welcoming and inviting?" says LeBlanc. Consider a tray of apothecary jars filled with powder detergent, wall art and a storage bench. "These are very inexpensive things that make the room so much more appealing."