rise of the micro laundry
Here in Australia, we are blessed with larger homes than our European counterparts, which affords us a dedicated room solely for the purpose of laundry. But the rise of inner-city apartments and the cost of living has put a spotlight on small footprint living and in some cases, forced these micro spaces into existence. However, I’m finding the more I live large in a tiny space, the more I realise I need less to be happy in life. It’s working out the functionality and the necessities of your family.
We’re a family of 5 so you can imagine the amount of laundry we go through in a week. Add on top that we live small in a 3.5 bedroom miners cottage and our laundry/surf gear store/ linen press is actually a tiny cupboard in our bathroom, we’re doing alright. I have pinched, borrowed and stolen space to make a micro laundry big enough to accommodate three young kids, two dogs, an axoltyle, goldfish, the surf tub and ironing station. Right inside our micro bathroom. Here’s my tip sheet on maximising space and saving your sanity:
Washing machine, dryer, ironing board, vacuum space. Look at your space and go up, as high as you can to maximise all available ceiling height. If you can’t reach this from foot, consider a ladder or nearby stool part of the decor and necessary part of the fit-out to make the most of available height.
The best purchase I have ever made was a drawer ironing board. Previously I have hidden the ironing board in our master bedroom, behind the sheer curtain in the corner. And the iron lived semi-permanently plugged into the same corner. It was ridiculous. I hated manoeuvring the ironing board out, and I’m busy as hell in the morning to get three kids and myself out the door to put it away. Of course when I get home, it’s afternoon, and I know I’ll need to use it tomorrow, so hey, why bother putting it away? See the problem? This drawer ironing board slips away in a jiffy and means I can literally iron items from the wash to wardrobe whilst kids have a shower. Double-winning!
Spend on the benchtop.
Stone all the way in the laundry. I know, it’s only the laundry and no one will see it. But real stone is so worth it. It’s sexy, it’s easy to clean, it won’t warp and doesn’t look cheap. You can do it budget friendly though, especially if we forgo the laundry sink to be cut out. For a micro laundry, ring around stone suppliers for offcuts. You can save a bundle by picking up a slab in the clearance pile and compromising on some basic colours that are available. I can usually find some neutrals I’m happy to work with after a phone call or two.
Hide your nook.
If you have converted some kitchen space to cater for your micro laundry, then the cabinetry will already be decided by the style of your kitchen cabinets. But if you’re integrating the laundry into an existing bathroom, corridor or nook, look at what will best disguise the space. In a hall, simple flat finished panels with discreet handles will blend a nook away. Consider pocket doors to tuck them inside the cabinet when open or a simple bi-fold is a good space saver aswell.
Hide the sink.
I have NO space for a sink. None. However, it is a building requirement here in Australia to have an allocated laundry tub that’s not the bathroom basin or the kitchen sink. So given we value the bench space, covering the sink as you would in a small kitchen is the ideal way around this situation. Better yet, consider a smaller slimline sink to make the most of available space. Consider also your taps and their positioning. If you can lift them off the bench and install wall mounted taps, we can squeeze the most out of this tiny zone.
Stow the laundry baskets.
These can be annoying. We need them, their lifesavers when unpacking the car, or doing a quick room cleanup. But they are annoying to store and take up space. Make sure you pick sexy ones that stack, can double as grocery hampers if you shop sans plastic, and give them a pigeonhole above the machine to live beautifully. Or consider a drawer that can fit the basket in and act as the laundry hamper – again, double duty thinking is key in micro spaces.