What Do You Need In Your Utility Room?

Posted by admin | Home Improvement | Posted on April 18th, 2013

Utility Room

While not everyone is lucky enough to have a laundry/utility room, more and more homes are being built with them, and more and more people are extending their kitchens or garages to provide space for such a room. What items you are going to house there depends on the size of the room, of course, but the bottom line should be: Squeeze as much in as you comfortably can! In that way you’ll be saving space in your kitchen or spare/guest room, making them less cluttered and more attractive.

The prime two candidates for your utility room are the washing machine/dryer and the chest freezer. These are big white goods that you will only be using occasionally, and then just for short periods of time (placing or removing food in the freezer, loading and taking out clothes from the washer). Some people also put their dishwasher in the utility room, but this makes no sense to me as you’ve got to cart the dirty dishes and cutlery to the dishwasher and when they have been cleaned, take them back in to the kitchen.

A much more set of items to have in your utility room relate to the washing machine: a steam iron, an ironing board, and a clothes horse, also known as a drying rack.

You may wonder why you would want a drying rack if you have a washer/dryer or a separate dryer. But there are two principle reasons. Delicate clothes can be damaged by the heat of a dryer, and you should never underestimate the freshness of clothes dried by air and sun. Get those clothes out into the garden, or if you have a sunny window in your utility room, open it and get a solar boost to your drying. Drying racks also have the advantage that they have very small footprints when folded. They won’t take up much space when not in use.

A similar advantage of keeping your ironing board and iron in the utility room is that they won’t take up much space. The ironing board can fold away and lean against a wall, while your steam iron can sit on a shelf or even a window sill. Avoid putting your iron on a washing machine, these can vibrate quite a lot and may send it crashing to the floor, breaking tiles or giving your cat a scare! If space really is an issue, then you can get a wall-mounted ironing board that folds down.  I know some people see ironing as therapeutic and their minds can drift away whilst ironing; chilling out the whooshes and wheezes of the steam ironing and the creak of the board. However for me, ironing is not a Zen experience and I find it duller than ditch-water. So if you’re like me you need to have a radio, small portable TV, or music player in the utility room to provide a modicum of entertainment. Failing that, use your MP3 player on your phone with earphones. You can even match your music to the items you are ironing. Classical Beethoven or Brahms for white shirts for work, pop for casual wear, and heavy rock for jeans. Err… that’s if you are sad enough to iron your jeans!

Most utility rooms will have at least one cupboard and/or a few shelves. Use these for your detergent, ironing sprays, anti-stain treatments, mesh bags for delicate laundry, and of course the laundry basket.

washing machineFinally, consider investing in a matching pedestal for your front-loader washing machine. It raises the machine 15” or so off of the floor, making it much easier to load and unload your washer. A great boon if you are elderly or have a bad back. Some also have storage in them; very useful.

Now if you’ll excuse me, I have some shirts to iron- bring on the Beethoven!

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