Archive for September, 2011
Over the weekend I was reading an article in This Old House and came across what might be the most interesting fact of the week: “Americans spend more time in the laundry room than in the bathroom: an average of eight hours a week, collectively doing some 35 billions of laundry a year.”
Eight hours a week! It sounds like a lot, but if you consider doing a load or two a day, the time of washing, drying and folding really does add up.
This Old House touched on a topic that I blogged about a few weeks ago — the idea that laundry rooms are supposed to live in the basement rather than in a main living area of a home. We discussed whether laundry rooms should go upstairs, but there is another interesting trend emerging: the inclusion of a laundry room into a bathroom or kitchen.
This Old House provides 27 different ideas on how to make your laundry room work as less of a laundry room and more of a functioning command center. Here are some of my favorites:
- Add a Sink — It will make it much easier to rub stains out, rinse items that need to be hand washed, and do some of the dirtier home tasks like watering plants.
- Add Storage — Putting kitchen cabinets in the laundry room means you will have more storage for anything from winter hats to wrapping supplies to your actually laundry detergent. It will also help keep the space clutter free, making it more appealing to spend time in.
- Add Color — Why should a laundry room be sterile? I’ve seen laundry rooms with a ton of color. Other people prefer to hang family pictures in the room so they can look at those they love while folding.
- Add Bins — A few weeks ago I posted a bin round up, and there’s no reason you shouldn’t use a pretty bin in your laundry room to help with storage and clutter.
Make your laundry room the best possible place to spend eight hours of your week!
I recently stumbled upon a blog post titled: Dear Laundry, I Hate You. The title made me laugh, but I knew this woman’s pain all too well. With four children including a newborn, the load of laundry weighing down this unfortunate blogger was large. She was doing 12 loads of laundry a week.
Keeping up with a large family’s laundry is not easy, but there are a few tips that can really help. These can be applied for a family of 6 or a family of 3. If you have any to add, leave them in the comments section!
1. Create a schedule and stick to it
It sounds so easy, yet I know it’s so hard to actually do. But just imagine doing 12 loads of laundry in a single day. That would be soul crushing. Which is why it’s important to make a commitment to doing a certain number of loads a day and stick to it. Plus then you get to feel a sense of accomplishment when you’re done.
2. Don’t let fresh laundry sit around
When it comes to doing laundry, the time consuming part isn’t actually washing and drying the clothes, but folding them and putting them away. I know I’m guilty of leaving a load of laundry in the dryer for a few days, but I try not to. By putting laundry away immediately it’s one less thing to weigh on your mind.
3. Don’t fold everything
If putting away laundry is a problem for you, try not folding everything. Maybe tee-shirts, pjs and socks can just go into a drawer rather than taking the time to fold them properly.
4. Enlist help
If you have older children or a helpful spouse, take some of the burden off yourself and put it on them. Make members of your family fold and put away their own clothing, or better yet, start teaching your older children how to do their own laundry.
5. Pre-sort your clothing
You knew this was coming, but it really is extremely helpful. By using a product such as sortasack, the sorting is done for you, taking away a lot of pre-laundry time.
What tips would you give the woman who has 12 loads of laundry to do a week? Did I miss any?
I recently found myself talking to a wonderful interior designer. Our conversation eventually hit on the topic of laundry (surprise, surprise), but more specifically, about the growing trend of renovating homes to put laundry rooms on the second floor.
Laundry rooms have typically lived in the basement of a home. That way the washing machine and dryer don’t take up space in the main living area, and the noise is confined to the darkness below. However, in discussing this with my interior designer friend, it came to light that many families are choosing to move their laundry rooms upstairs during a home renovation.
Obviously it depends on the family to decide if the benefits outweigh the cost, noise, and space limitations, but I think it’s an interesting decision to make. Here are some of the top reasons to have your laundry room near your bedrooms:
Having a washer and dryer on the floor your family sleeps on is a huge time saver. Instead of lugging loads of laundry up and down stairs, it’s easy to throw in a load in a few seconds and forget about it. It will also save your knees and back from aches and pains.
It may seem like a small detail, but having laundry on a floor where you don’t need to go up and down stairs makes putting clothing away much easier. It takes less time to throw a load of freshly dried laundry on your bed and fold late at night than to trek downstairs, lug it up the stairs, and then proceed to fold and put away.
3. State of Mind
I know I’m not the only one who doesn’t like being home alone in the basement. By having laundry below ground, I’m much less likely to throw in a load late at night or if I’m starting to feel sleepy.
Of course, there are draw backs to a second story laundry room as well. The most important being price limitations. Having a laundry room on the second level means you will need to install plumbing and draining if it’s not already there. That can definitely run up the bill.
Where does your laundry room live? If you were to move, would a laundry room on the second story be on your wish list?
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Cleaning supplies have gotten a bad reputation lately. They are said to be filled with chemicals that are bad to inhale, and bad for the environment. Which got me to thinking, should I buy green supplies or try making my own?
I decided to do some sleuthing, and consulted the website of the queen of clean, Martha Stewart.
She had some great ideas on cleaning that I wanted to share with you.
1. Mix mild dishwashing liquid with water
By mixing two cups of water with two tablespoons of dishwashing liquid in a spray bottle, you have made yourself a great solution for wiping down counter tops. It’s so much cheaper than buying 409 or some other equivalent, and it’s good for the environment.
2. Use baking powder
I always knew that baking powder had a really great cleaning component, but was never sure how to use it. Martha says to mix 3 parts warm water to 1 part baking soda and use it to clean the oven or wipe away stains.
3. Natural Window Cleaners
Use distilled white vinegar to wipe down windows and mirrors. Mix equal parts vinegar and water, and you can use the same potion to wash most polyurethane-finished wood floors.
4. Have the Necessary Tools
Make sure to have sponges, cloths, paper towels, medium-bristled scrub brushes and rubber gloves on hand.
Have you ever tried to make your own cleaning supplies? Is it something you’re interested in or do you just not have the time?