It was time. The laundry was multiplying like moths trapped in a Cheerios bag. And if you've never seen that, it's a lot. (p.s. getting rid of moths is a "how-to" post for another day), and yes, their nest was in a box of cheerios (imagine the Dragon's nest in How to Train Your Dragon). But I digress. I had to tackle the laundry beast, and that required me to channel all of my laundry room ideas into an actual plan. It went a little something like this:
Identify The Problem
- Laundry room was so tiny that all of my clean laundry was just ending up dumped out on the basement couch (and once it was folded, everyone would just go dig through it, and ruin it, and make me angry) This is a picture of a good day on the basement couch.
- Where did that leave the dirty laundry to go? Outside the laundry room door. Basically, we were creating nests for Hobo spiders.
- Our laundry room issues gave rise to the term "the sh*t rolls down the hill" in our household. Whenever we'd walk someone into our basement I think that's the first thing we'd say (followed by a disclaimer about how our window wells were painted with pink elephants, martinis and lemon wedges by the previous owner). So the problem here is I guess that not only was our laundry was dirty, but so were our mouths.
- The existing floor in the laundry room itself was not level. Why did that matter? We had a flood last year and where did the water flow? AWAY from the drain!
- Energy efficiency - my husband is a nerd. The grown up word for that is analyst. He analyzed energy consumption and usage all over our house. Our house was sucking energy like crazy. Part of the problem was the lack of proper insulation in the laundry room (which is located right by the furnace.)
- No storage space. Homes built in the 60's . . . what were they thinking?
- Nowhere to "hang dry" clothes (we are militant about hang drying our jeans). Our make shift drying station was strung between a few beams in the basement and constantly had clothes strewn over it.
- Overall lack of organization. I hate to admit it, but we couldn't blame all our woes on a bad 60's floor plans. We had let it get out of control.
As you can tell. I felt our laundry room situation was problematic. Dramatically problematic. So my husband and I talked about all of the pain points in the basement. We brainstormed solutions, tweeked the floor plan, changed our processes. Here are some of the things we worked through:
Identify The Solutions
- Size of the Laundry Room: We decided to make the laundry room itself bigger. This meant pushing out a wall (which then meant we'd need to redo electrical and a few other odds and ends)
- Organization: We took our list of pain points and went step by step through creating a flow for the laundry. Sounds simple, but it's helpful to write down every little thing that's contributing to the problem and make sure you've provided a solution for it in your remodel, no matter how small (down to making sure you've got a convenient home for your dryer lint!)
- Flooring Issues: No way around it, we were going to have to level the floor out.
- Energy Efficiency: My husband sprayed foam installation to his hearts content, followed by re insulating the entire room.
- Storage: By pushing a wall out we actually found that we could create some storage space under our stairs that we had never had access to before. As well, moving walls allowed us to create a linen closet on the outside of the room.
- An Organization System: I'm talking baskets and bins that we could actually use.
- Space Saving: Built-in ironing board, collapsing folding racks, etc.
- Design and Color: Make it a happy place! I know how much time is spent on laundry so I might as well make it my favorite room of the house when it comes to paint color.
Create the Plan
- Of course, I started a Pinterest board dedicated to the laundry room
- I outlined how I wanted to utilize space and what the flow would look like
- I set up a MyLowes account to keep track of all my stuff
- Deadlines need to be flexible since we were doing it ourselves (like, it took us 6 months)
- I planned in advance to be patient. Things happen that you don't expect (cough, cough, like redoing your plumbing and electrical once your walls come down)
Here's what the basement looked like once we tore the walls down to begin the remodel/expansion:
What did we end up with?
Check out what we did!
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