Does it seem like your hamper is always full and the washing machine is running constantly? You may not be imagining it. Natural Resources Canada says the average family does approximately seven loads of laundry each week. That amounts to a lot of hot water, a lot of energy and a lot of money. Families with children at home are doing laundry most often, and those with pets may find there is ample laundry to wash as well.

With so much laundry being generated, homeowners may want to consider paying extra attention to the space where their clothing is being cleansed. Laundry room renovations may not top a homeowners’ priority list, but it may be time to give these rooms another look.

Assess your equipment

If your appliances are aging, a laundry room renovation can start with an investment in new appliances. New models have large capacity loads and could have innovative features that help fit with your laundry lifestyle. Energy Star qualified clothes washers help you save money on utility bills by using 59 percent less energy than those that meet Canada’s minimum energy efficiency standard and 35 to 50 percent less water than conventional models. And they get your clothes just as clean! Purchasing front-loading models can free up design space, as you can install a counter directly above the units, saving room for other items like drying racks.

Figure out your room needs

Canada’s favourite handyman, Mike Holmes, suggests that when planning a laundry room reno, you should think about the way you do your laundry. Do you wash, dry, fold and hang things right in the laundry room, or do you dump the clothes onto your couch and fold while watching Holmes + Holmes? Moreover, a laundry room need not be limited to laundry only. Many homeowners make large laundry rooms catch-all spaces that can serve as utility or mud rooms, pantry overflows, or off-season storage areas. Consider the functions you want the room to serve and include those ideas in your designs.

Add some natural light

If possible, include a window in your laundry room. Natural light can help make the room more enjoyable. It also can help you identify stains on clothes that need to be addressed and make it easier to fold matching items like socks.

Think about a utility sink

Many washing machines drain out directly to waste pipes in the floor or wall, but you also can opt to have them empty into a utility sink. This sink also provides a convenient place to hand wash items, clean tools or paint brushes, or anything that you do not want to bring into a bathroom or kitchen sink.

Include some flair

This utilitarian space need not be boring or bereft of design elements. Mirror your home’s style in the laundry room, and include wall hangings, plants, accent items, and even task lighting. Play up certain features with a bold floor tile or brightly colored walls.

Updating laundry rooms can be a great way to make doing laundry more enjoyable and efficient.