Kitchens and bathrooms might very well sell homes, but I challenge the notion that the kitchen is the hardest working room in the house. While I agree that it IS a workhorse, I think that there are 3 other “rooms” that work harder and do more per square foot (or inch, as the case my be).
Here are my 3 hardest working rooms in the house:
- Laundry rooms. We are not all blessed to have large “luxurious” laundry rooms. In fact, I’d be willing to bet that most folks have 1 of 3 types of laundry room: the small walk in, the mudroom (or utility room if you live in the south), or the laundry closet (think of bi-fold doors behind which is just enough space for washer/dryer and maybe a shelf). No matter what type it is, the laundry room serves so many purposes beyond just housing the washer/dryer as well as the hot spot to wash, dry, fold and iron; they serve as storage (for laundry and no laundry related items), coat, shoe, and bag racks, broom and mop repository.
- Garages. If laundry rooms are little power houses, what on earth would the garage be? Especially when you consider that for many homeowners, the “laundry room” is IN the garage. Garages do so much that most folks don’t even park in them anymore; not because they don’t want to, but because there’s no space left for the car when you’ve got a workshop, lawn equipment, storage, storage, some more storage, bikes, storage, laundry, a gym, and storage.
- Closets (includes coat closets, clothes closets, storage closets (you know those little things under stairs), and yes water closets too). I realize I kind of cheated on this one by grouping all types of “closets” together, but to be honest the same concept really does apply to all. Again with the storage, in every type of closet. And do we really need to go into detail on how much hard and unappreciated work the “water closet” must do? It actually should probably be #1 on this list by itself.
And here are a few small tips to give these spaces a little special attention:
- Paint. Paint the room a color that makes you happy (and that makes you look your very best for the closet). Doing so will make you actually want to be there, and want to keep it nice and tidy. You could paint the whole room or just 1 wall.
- Declutter and organize. It really is true that this will make life so much easier. Everything from doing laundry to getting dressed to making minor home repairs becomes so much more efficient and enjoyable when there’s a place for everything and everything is in its place (more or less).
- Use smart storage solutions. It doesn’t have to be expensive, it just needs to fit your lifestyle and make sense for you. A good universal example is to hang a small cabinet over the lavatory in the water closet – use it to house extra rolls of tp or other toiletries that may not fit in your vanity. You might even be able to stash a sachet on it to keep things fresh.
- Art. Hang a nice picture or artsy mirror in an unexpected place where you might spend a lot of time – above the dryer where you might fold clothes, on your pegboard in the midst of your hanging tools in the garage.
What has proven to be the hardest working room in your home? Have you done anything special to make it an appealing and efficient space in the home?