I just cleared off the same pile of laundry from our bed for the third night in a row. There are piles of laundry all throughout our house it seems. Our laundry room is upstairs with all the bedrooms, which is ideal when dealing with gathering laundry from those rooms or putting it away. However, I have three small children who go through at least 3-4 outfits a day, not to mention the towels from kitchen or meal spills, or the sock or outfit changes that all seem to happen downstairs. This is just how life is right now with 3 kids. However, you’ve got to believe that I am making mental notes in my head about how I would design our house to be more efficient when we build someday. Our current house layout has all the bedrooms upstairs, on the left and right of the landing. If you keep walking past the rooms, the girl’s bathroom and laundry are at the very end of the hallway. Given that I have ‘mommy brain’, anything that is out of sight is truly out of mind. I have gone through a 2-gallon jug of vinegar so fast trying and freshen up the various loads of wash that I forgot to switch over to the dryer. Yes, I have set reminders and worked on my routines, but when the evening comes, my to-do list takes a back seat to my time with my bud debriefing about our day. It’s the highlight of the day for me. With all that being said, here are the things I would do differently when we build so laundry can be as easy as sipping wine.
- Master on the Main – laundry connected to the master closet. How convenient would it be to have a pocket door opening to master bedroom closet, probably the most convenient set up in my opinion. So many floor plans have the Master on the Main, and yet the laundry room is clear on the opposite side of the house. If this is going to be a house you can see yourself in for a long time, even after the kids have moved out or maybe you don’t have kids, do you really want to haul your loads of laundry back and forth across the entire house when you are the only ones living there? If you do, maybe you have some pointers for me that I can learn from. For me, having a way to put clean clothes away efficiently as well as visually reminding me there are clothes to put away is so important for me. Other people may not need such proximity to be helpful.
- Laundry Chute – If all other bedrooms are upstairs and the laundry is on the main floor, either to serve the needs of the Master bedroom or to provide a drop off zone by a mudroom, have a laundry chute. This has a one-way solution however, as the clothes still need to be walked upstairs to the other bedrooms. Until kids are big enough to walk their clothes upstairs and put them away, you must be ok with doing that yourself until they can learn to do that. If that is something you are ok with, this can be a wonderful set up, as the Master can still be on the main floor and the daily messes can go straight into the wash instead of a basket at the bottom of the stairs.
- Mudroom-Laundry – Being able to walk into the laundry from being outside, with the grubby clothes, and not worrying about tracking dirt in, that’s my dream. Snow days tend to stress me out because my girls want to go play in the snow, for about 20 minutes, and then bring all the snow in with them as they peel off the layers of wetness onto the floor that I just cleaned 5 times already today. I don’t want to let them see my eyes get big when they show me the snowballs they hid in their pockets, half melted. So I will be strategic with how my laundry room is located so no matter what walks or runs inside, it was designed to handle it. With this set up, the flooring is crucial. In our last house, the mudroom was beautiful. We joked that it was the mudroom that never saw mud – we didn’t want to damage anything, it was too nice, and not in a good way. The cabinets were all white, and the floors were very expensive French oak hardwoods, which were too nice for a family with small children. When we have a mudroom/laundry, I picture flooring that can be mopped easily, and dirt won’t stand a chance at doing damage: concrete floors possibly, or tile, as long as the grout is forgiving.
Do you have any pictures of your laundry you would like to share? I would love to share what you have done to make your mudroom/laundry set up efficient for your family.