As a mum of four kids, now aged 15 to 23, the laundry is one of the busiest rooms in our house. Children grow, and so does the washing, sorting, folding, and ironing. From nappies (I used cloth), play gear, and bibs for babies, to school uniforms, swimming, hockey and footy gear for school-aged kids, to silk dresses, gym gear and work clothes for young adults… it never stops. Not to mention five sets of sheets and six bath towels every week.
So, let me tell you from experience that a home with a big family can be chaos if laundry routines are not established early to help make the house run smoothly from morning to night. As an interior designer and self-confessed organiser, I love a beautiful laundry and believe a well-designed and organised laundry room can make your life better and your family happier. Here are my hard-won tips for making your laundry a spacious, organised, functional and happy place.
A big family requires a big laundry. Too often the laundry is the smallest room in the house, but with three or more children you need lots of room for sorting, washing, drying, folding and ironing. If you are renovating or building, allow plenty of space for your laundry. This laundry in a renovated traditional-style home in Sydney ticks all the boxes.
To sort clean clothes, allocate a basket to each member of the family. Simply divide the clean clothes from the clean washing basket into the labelled baskets. When the baskets are full, place them at the end of the children’s beds. As soon as children are old enough, they can help to put away their own clothes. This laundry in a renovated family home in Kew, Victoria is bright and friendly and has lots of space for under-bench baskets, making it easy to distribute laundry. A fun idea is to use basket liners with your children’s names embroidered on them.
Save on electricity bills and think of the environment by installing a clothesline outside your laundry. Sunlight helps to kill dustmites and keeps your clothes and sheets smelling fresh. Enjoy being outdoors and breathing in the fresh air. This clothesline in the courtyard of a contemporary home in Melbourne, designed by landscape architects Verdigris, blends in with the materials used in the courtyard and connects with the environment.
This pretty blue laundry in a restored 1930s home in Wahroonga, Sydney, is a calming space with cabinetry designed to fit in with the style and era of the home. Your laundry should be given equal importance to your kitchen and bathrooms, and not seen as an afterthought. Use a designer to help you maximise space and create a functional and beautiful laundry that you will enjoy spending time in.