Storage Potpourri: Laundry, Linen, Entryway, Mudroom.

  This month we'll lump several storage areas together.  May is usually a muddy,  messy month as people go in and out frequently and are engaged in gardening, landscaping, outdoor sports, etc.  We'll look at each area and present various considerations and options.

    The laundry-room is usually large enough for more than just a washer and dryer.  You'll need a convenient place to store detergent, bleach, fabric softener and other such items. The choice is between open shelves (in wire or laminate) or in an enclosed laminate cabinet with doors.  Your choice depends upon visibility and cost.  If you'd like to hide everything then a cabinet with doors would be best, although it will cost the most.  If view doesn't matter, then open shelves work well.  Wire shelves are less expensive then laminate ones.  If you have enough shelf space you could store paper products and other "non-laundry" cleaning items here.  You will likely want to have some hanging space for items just removed from the dryer.                                                                      

    Linen closets are usually quite simple yet there are several considerations. Linen closets are usually found near bedrooms or bathrooms to contain bedding, towels, table linen, etc.  If you have several of these try to keep things close to where they are typically used.  The biggest mistakes in using these closets is improper shelf spacing and incorrect depth.  It is usually better to have deeper shelves, at least 16" and even up to 24" if the depth is there. 

    Entry way closets typically have the ubiquitous builder favorite--a "pole& plank" at medium height.  Obviously, this does not use space efficiently.  After you've put most of your coats and jackets in, you'll find space above the shelf and below the garments which is wasted--often half or more.  Depending upon how wide the closet is, a better arrangement is to divide the closet into long and short hanging areas.  Another shelf can usually be added above the long hanging space.  This, however, usually needs to be a shallower shelf (12") so it can be easily accessed.  Basket towers are another welcome addition for storing caps, gloves, mittens, etc.  If there are children, each child can have his own basket.  These baskets will keep the clutter contained, allow for drying and be visible.

    Mudrooms are actually full-room entryways.  The term "mudroom" connotes that mud and mess are allowed here but must stay here.  Many of the same considerations apply here as with entryways.  There will likely be more wall space to use here than in an entryway closet.  A hookstrip for hanging coats and jackets works nice here.  There are many choices for hooks, but using double hooks is advised.  Many kids are used to using these at school and will therefore make better use of  them than using coat hangers.  Designated areas for boots and shoes can also be allocated.  Stacking footwear on shelves or racks will conserve space.  A phone and message or bulletin board are other welcome additions to a mudroom or entryway.

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