Tale of two laundry rooms

When I shared the house tour photos, I mentioned two potential laundry room locations.  Now that we have appliances in the house, we’re jumping to get them installed so we can actually move into our construction zone.  I’ve also mentioned my battle with decision paralysis and this is a perfect example.   There are so many decisions to make so quickly and I’m just stuck.  We can put the machines in the traditional laundry room or the basement, and I cannot bring myself to commit to a location.

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I know, totally blown out photo. I am capable of merging exposures, I just chose not to.

This is the laundry room/entry at the back of the house.  My initial inclination was to remove the upper cabinets and add lockers to serve as a mudroom.  I know that’s a super pinterest-y plan, but our town is relocating schools at the moment and I definitely think I can source some lockers.  We’re also short on storage of the coat closet sort and have a ton of snowmobile gear.  I like the potential for helmet/gear storage that’s away from our normal coats so they don’t start to smell like 2-stroke engine smoke.  I also worry about laundry piling up and getting trampled by dogs and feet as they enter the house.  If we put the machines here, we’ll have to add venting for the dryer.

On the plus side, the hookups are here and ready to go.  With bedrooms spread throughout the house as-is, I love the idea of having a fairly central location for laundry.  Also, no shame, I’m super lazy about laundry and maybe having it here will encourage me to keep up with things.  I want to start using the clothes line right outside the backdoor and worry that I’ll get lazy about hauling things out there if the laundry isn’t right here.

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This is our small basement.  My initial inclination was to put the laundry here because otherwise the room will just serve as very large storage for a hot water heater and kitty litter box.  There’s a utility sink.  The hookups and venting are ready to go.  I have plenty of room and we don’t need to worry about muddy boots and paws passing through the place.

On the negative side…. I’m still lazy about laundry.  For real.  My fitbit would love all the extra steps that I’ll take in getting our laundry from our master to the first floor then down to the basement.  As I’m typing this, I’m thinking perhaps that’s a plus?  Our old Detroit house had a second floor master and basement laundry, so this is nothing I haven’t lived with before, but I recall letting things pile up a bit more than they should.   I also HATED our Detroit basement because it was dark and gross.  This room is large, clean (ish), and fairly bright, so I won’t be as much of a baby about going downstairs.  Very specifically, I don’t think I’ll use the clothes line if laundry is down here.   If we put laundry upstairs, I can certainly put lockers and snowmobile gear in the basement.

I need input.  Should we do a pass-through entry/laundry room or a dedicated laundry in the basement with dedicated mudroom upstairs?  Alan thinks laundry upstairs, but we’re both stuck on the idea of adding vents and making the space cramped.  I’m 50/50, maybe 51/49 in favor of the basement.

10 thoughts on “Tale of two laundry rooms

  1. My vote is to put the laundry upstairs. I am very lazy with laundry too, and the basement seems too far away. I think you mentioned that you might have kids someday, and I think you will be really happy that you don’t have to leave kids unattended or make a special trip downstairs to do the laundry.

    We just had to create a laundry space here. We had to choose between the 1st floor and the basement. I chose the first floor for ease. Also, my kids do their own laundry, and I predicted that the basement was just going to be too scary for them, and I was going to have to go down there all the time when they did their laundry. That would defeat the whole purpose of having them do their own.

    So, I guess my input is more about the future, but this lazy person votes for upstairs. :)

    • I definitely appreciate the input. We definitely want kids sooner rather than later. I didn’t even consider being downstairs/out of sight – a great point in a house that’s already filled with ridiculous hazards (jagged logs everywhere, stairs with absolutely no railings… ya know, as you do).

      I’m realizing now that no matter where we put it, I won’t take steps to permanently remove/cover any hookups, should we want to change locations. Having the flexibility of two spots is great just in case needs change some day.

  2. So…this is just my two cents and you can take it for what it is worth, but I went from having a basement laundry room in our old house (granted, we had a laundry chute which is HEAVEN) to having first floor laundry in this house (in an area about the same size as what you are showing here and laid out the same way with the door/above cupboards) and I HATE having it on the first floor. There isn’t enough room to have multiple baskets of laundry (it’s really only a place for the washer and dryer – laundry is thrown/sorted/folded elsewhere and then brought to that space) and I always feel so claustrophobic when I have more than one basket lying about (which it’s a laundry room – there is usually more than one basket). Another random thing (which you probably don’t have to worry about with a brand new washer) but our hose snapped and we had water EVERYWHERE and through the floor etc. etc. so we had to have that repair. If you have it in the basement, you just shop vac and mop really well and run the dehumidifier. Another thought – how long is your winter season? Yes, drying clothes outdoors is awesome (I’m not a fan because I think it makes them “crunchy” and I hate that feeling – but that’s me) but how long is your winter season?

    Those are my thoughts. Many people think I’m crazy when I talk about loving a basement laundry room but I think 1st floor laundry is stupid. (Unless you have a giant house with a 8×14 laundry room)

    • Your issues with baskets and displaced laundry are my exact concerns. I totally let stuff pile up and think the guest bedroom will turn into laundry overflow space. The laundry room at my parents place is pretty small and also houses a litter box and trash can and I just hate the congestion. I didn’t even consider the flooding – how horrifying and what a mess to clean up! On these counts, you’re right, the basement absolutely wins.

  3. Basement laundry. Have one washing machine/flooding mishap on your first floor and vents and such and you will wish it were happening on the concrete floor of the basement.

    Also, those small “laundry rooms” built in houses between the 1960s and now, are not practical. They are SO SMALL! And as a pass through + laundry rom they are utterly useless.

    As much as I hate laundry, it’s better in the basement. I have plenty of room for things like a hanging/rolly rack, sorting bins, drying racks, and a folding table….i love a folding table! to me laundry is something that requires a lot of space and tiny laundry rooms just don’t cut it.

  4. wow i just read Kate’s comment after i wrote mine – sorry it’s a repeat! :) I guess we are in agreement.

    And yes, I was at a home show this weekend where the laundry rooms were on the first floor and they were GIANT and fancy but that was in a $1.8M house. Unless I’ve got something like that to work with, which I wouldn’t, I’m not using precious first floor space on a laundry

    • If multiple people are saying the same things, it’s really worth considering. You guys already convinced us and we’re definitely setting things up in the basement. I still agree with Stacy that day-to-day things would be easier upstairs, but the basement seems like a better long term solution for us.

  5. Well, I am definitely looking into the future with my reply. :) You’ve got to live with it, and it sounds like you know what will work best for your household. Go for it!

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