How to Set Up the Ultimate Laundry Room

According to This Old House magazine, Americans spend more time in the laundry room than they spend in the bathroom. Altogether, they're spending an average of eight hours a week doing 35 billion loads of laundry a year, but many people still don't have a genuine laundry room.

Some homeowners designate a corner of the basement or bathroom as the laundry area, but is that really enough? If you'd rather have a space entirely dedicated to the care and cleaning of your clothes, it's time to set yourself up with the ultimate laundry room. Not sure where to start? Check out these DIY decorating and organizing ideas.

1. Hook yourself up with space
Depending on how big your family is, you may need a lot of space to spread out and really sort through all that laundry. You'll need space for the washer and dryer for starters, but then consider where you'll be working. You might want countertops or a table to act as your workstation, along with some cabinets to house things like stain remover, laundry detergent, dryer sheets and whatever else you use to keep your garments clean. Make a list of the storage features you need, then make them happen.

Southern Living magazine noted that fronted cabinets are better than shelves if you're worried about clutter. The doors will be able to hide all your supplies without taking away from the look of the space. If you're going with lower cabinets, a nice curtain of fabric can provide the same coverage and add to the laundry room's decor.

2. Make sure there's task lighting
This Old House pointed out that you'll need plenty of task lighting to illuminate the areas where you'll be doing things like folding laundry, scrubbing stains and sorting piles of clothes. Under-cabinet light strips can help you light up the counters that will act as your workspace. Ambient light sources from windows, skylights or lamps can help brighten the room and make the task at hand a lot more appealing.

3. Consider a sink
If you can, you might want to place a sink in your laundry area for sheer convenience. There, you can soak clothing items that have stains, wash your hands or perform messy household tasks that you might not want to do in the kitchen or bathroom sink. Look for utility over appearance, since the laundry room sink will need to be tough to handle all the jobs you'll be using it for. Stainless steel is a durable choice that's easy to clean and its into many design schemes.

4. Add a clothes rack
Not everything can be tossed right into the dryer after it's been washed. For delicate garments and items you have to air dry, it helps to have a clothing rack with hangers on hand. That way, you can hang things up right as you take them out of the wash to air dry. A retractable clothesline or fold-up rack can help you save space when you're not using them, according to This Old House.

5. Choose a calming or cheerful color palette
Laundry isn't everyone's favorite household task, but you might feel a lot better about it if you surround yourself in calming or cheerful hues that improve your mood. Go with pale greens, blues or grays for a soothing effect that'll help you destress even as you're folding clothes, or go with a happy purple, pink or yellow. As long as you keep the color scheme consistent in the laundry room, you should find that you don't dread the task as much because you enjoy being in the space.

6. Add some cute, useful touches
BuzzFeed featured some unique ideas that not only help you stay organized in the laundry room, but offer a little decor boost as well. For example, if you're always finding loose change falling out of pockets, place a piggy bank or mason jar nearby so you can benefit from the savings. Always losing socks? Set up a lost sock basket or line of clothespins where your family members can look for their lonely socks. Another great idea is to use a cool hanging mailbox as your lint disposal. There are all kinds of other unique ideas you can check out on Pinterest to really make your laundry room work for you and your family.

7. Label everything
For really awesome organization, label everything you can. Start with the laundry baskets or hampers: Label lights and colors, or designate a separate basket or hamper for each family member. If you decide to make your detergent and fabric softener look chicer by moving them into glass jars, be sure to label those too. You'll know where everything is and whoever else does their laundry will be able to pick up the routine faster!