If we had to pick two rooms in a home that were specifically designed to handle the chaos of any lifestyle, we have our picks: the laundry room and the mudroom.
Imagine a kitchen full of abandoned school backpacks and football equipment; a living room speckled with dirty socks and shoes; a bathroom accented with dirty, wet towels on the floor.
For some, imagining the chaos isn’t necessary. (Especially those living in the South Bay area with active outdoor lifestyles and families with children.)
Life quickly gets hectic and there are no better rooms in the home to handle all the activity than the laundry room and mudroom.
Here a few quick tips on each room to help you get started:
Make it multi-task. A full-size laundry room is capable of handling more than laundry. Ample space allows for more than appliance and a sink. Add a table or table-height shelf for folding laundry, wrapping gifts, or potting plants for the backyard. Storage can easily be added by installing extra shelves or cabinets to store supplies. A drying rack over the sink that fold up against the wall makes it easy to hang clothes directly out of the washing machine.
Give it some color. If you plan on spending a lot of time in the laundry room, why not make it a place you can look forward to entering. For example, if you know there are times when you are going to be stressed, paint it a soothing color that is known to calm you down. You can even make the laundry room an inspiring and interesting place to be, with happy wall saying or murals. Added Tip: When we say, “Give it some color” we are being literal, but you can figuratively add color by including some background music for added interest in your laundry room. Just an idea!
Keep it in one place. This room isn’t supposed to expand into other areas of the house. Giving it clear boundaries and keeping it organized will help keep the room contained. The idea is to have everything you need, when you need it, without having to leave. Clothespins, sewing items, detergent can easily be organized in clear jars for added convenience and organization.
As American houses become larger, less formal and more child-centric, the mudroom is making a come back. It isn't some dark corner of the laundry room or a bench in the garage any more. It has become a full-fledged room, often sporting hardwood floors, crown molding, windows and a computer and even a security station.
But let’s face it -- in Southern California, there isn’t much rain, so there isn’t much mud. Nevertheless, you can expect a South Bay mudroom to handle almost everything else under the sun, from Pacific Coast native beach sand, to skateboards, rollerblades, karate kimonos, and let’s not forget the ski equipment after a weekend stay in Big Bear.
Optimize the space. This room is perfect for storage space for shoes, lunch bags, sports equipment and pet essentials such as food dishes, leashes, blankets and toys. Consider this: a full room isn’t even necessary to take full advantage of a mudroom’s benefits. A narrow hall or a partial wall will suffice if the space is utilized correctly.
Maximize storage options. Keep the mudroom uncluttered. Storage pieces can consist of counters, tables and benches, which will serve both day-to-day and seasonal items. In addition, feel free to customize by giving each member of the household their own space with built-in cabinets that resemble a set of lockers. Other essentials can include a boot tray, baskets, a chalk or message board, and an umbrella stand.
Keep it simple. Home centers and container stores offer a wealth of inexpensive (and extremely simple) storage ideas, such as wall-mounted racks for boots, shelving for hats and hooks and baskets for athletic gear. Many of these are tailored specifically for utility spaces, which makes your life simpler.Give the laundry room and the mudroom the attention they deserve and they will be sure to help you manage the chaos of your lifestyle. That is what they are designed to do!