How We Created a Functional Family Laundry Room Drop Zone
While we definitely bought this house primarily for the yard, the biggest selling point inside for me was having a large laundry room right off the garage. Our old laundry room was pretty much a closet that barely fit the washer and dryer, so it certainly wasn’t a functional family space. I was floored to get a “real” laundry room. After we moved in, the laundry room quickly became the drop zone. But after nearly a year of living here, the lack of thoughtful function and having stuff everywhere started to drive me bonkers so I set out to make this space work harder for us, and of course, make it look prettier while at it.
Here’s where things started. Even though this room is on the main floor where everything else was deep orange and wood tones, the laundry room was surprisingly already white and bright. Materials are much cheaper in here which I think is the common theme on builder decisions in this house. Quality = dark. Cheaper = light. Funny how things change so much in 20 years. We love the big sink and of course this room sported another window with a basic honeycomb blind.
The washer and dryer are original, and there was a short hanging bar which was glorious to see. We hang everything so having a dedicated space that wasn’t our shower curtain rod was a huge upgrade! We hang pants from the top so that was the only issue here.
I took an afternoon of PTO one day to give this room a refresh because I have found that I clean the way my dad always does... move EVERYTHING out and start from base. Which looks like this in the room you move things to!
Creating Our Family Drop Zone
Here’s what we did to add more function to our laundry room drop zone.
New Storage Solutions
Wardrobe Rack and Shelving
The cabinet storage in this room is great for things like cleaning supplies, tools, laundry stuff, etc. but after moving in, we started using the floor and wall space as a dump zone for backpacks, backstock, garbage and our vacuum. It was a literal pile at times and was a lot of what drove me nuts in here.
I did some searching and found a freestanding shelf at Lowes that had a wardrobe hanging bar, but also had a few shelves to bring more organized storage to this area. Using wicker storage baskets hides all the crap you need to throw in there! By bringing the storage up off the floor and adding more hanging space, we have room for everything. We added a boot tray to the bottom of the shelf just to control any rain/snow that may come in. Plus, with a little extra room over to the side, I could give Hank and Abbey their own dedicated backpack hook.
Over the Door Hanging
I’m a big fan of using over the door hooks, especially in a room where the door is usually propped open and the space behind is unseen. The owners before left an iron hanger thingy (yeah that’s the technical term) on the wall and we just dumped things in this area without much regard to what we really need.
Our door always banged into it so after taking that down and right sizing what we really NEED accessible helped make the most of this small space and toned down the clutter.
Family Command Center
Using our old entryway table, we anchored the room with a space for our command center. While I’m nothing without my Outlook reminders, I’ve found that having a visible calendar for all of the family activities is helpful during the hustle and bustle of getting everyone in and out of the house each day. Paired with a bulletin board and wall storage unit, this area gives us the place to stash and store papers, home docs, receipts, coupons, etc. Plus with a smaller garbage can, I could tuck it under the table alongside Jake's food and water to keep that out of the flow of traffic.
I decided to keep decorating to a minimum in here for now. It could use a fresh coat of paint, but maybe someday when we get a new washer/dryer I’ll do a bigger overhaul, but for now I focused on controlling the clutter and making this room a little easier on the eyes. At no surprise to any of you, I killed the honeycomb blinds. But instead of adding blinds back in here, I opted just to add a pair of sweet little linen cafe curtains with ties.
While cleaning up the storage underneath the counter, I also worked on clearing clutter on top and installed a wall-mounted paper towel holder. Simple little update but makes so much sense in a mudroom like this. I’m frequently rinsing out paint brushes and such so a jar to hold all my scrub brushes to keep them handy looks and works great. A basket helps control and catch little parts.
Beyond the practical, I found a few sweet little faux plants to tuck here and there to add some “natural” color and softness. I went faux in here for ease and the fact that there’s no way i’m going to water these suckers on top of the cabinets!
So what’s next?
Well, i’d love to at some point replace the laminate countertop and the little tile backsplash. And paint the walls. But might first try my hand at painting these cabinets… color still TBD. I'm hoping that by walking past these samples on the daily I'll get the inspiration I need...
CREATE YOUR OWN FUNCTIONAL FAMILY DROP ZONE
Metal Clothing Rack Shelf System - Lowes
Wicker Storage Baskets - Target
3M Command Hooks (affiliate)
Boot Tray (affiliate)
Over the Door Hanger with Basket (affiliate)
Magnetic Monthly Dry Erase Calendar (affiliate)
Square Cork Bulletin Board (affiliate)
Tie Top Linen Window Curtains - Bed Bath & Beyond
Black Cafe Curtain Rod (affiliate)
Similar Style Faux Plants: Aloe, Eucalyptus and Lavender (affiliate); Hanging Variegated Pothos Leaf - Target
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