New house construction is a wonderful (and overwhelming) experience.
On one hand, the options seem almost endless! You can make anything happen!
On the other… time and budget limitations are a tough reality.
I have found that thinking very intentionally about how a space needs to FUNCTION allows me to more easily prioritize in both my own personal home and the homes of the clients I work with.
In this post, I am sharing over 60 different ideas to consider if you’re in the early stages of the new house construction process. Hopefully, they will help you consider how you plan to use the various spaces in your future home and plan some features in advance that will help you build an organized home that will stay clean with less effort.
- If you’re still early in the new house construction process, try to choose a floorpan that routes family traffic (from the garag, for example) through a mudroom to limit bags, shoes, and dirt from making their way into your other living spaces.
- Hang more hooks than you think you’ll need for backpacks and jackets by the entry.
- Opt for closed storage whenever possible (drawers, lockers) to hide clutter. Add outlets inside for devices.
- Consider making a hidden drop zone for mail, papers and odds and ends that get dropped off as you enter through the house.
- Plan a cubby system for shoes and accessories that need to be accessed frequently.
- Include a trash can in your mudroom design to stop trash from coming into the house.
- Think seasonally; plan a place to store pool toys, sunscreen + beach towels and also winter boots, coats, hats and gloves.
- Select a mudroom floor material that will disguise dirt (I chose black and learned this the hard way)!
- If possible, add a walk-in storage/coat closet to your floor plan.
- Dedicate a place to store all your cleaning supplies including larger items like brooms, mops, and vacuums. Add an outlet inside this closet/cupboard to charge the vacuum.
- Install a wall-mounted paper towel holder in the laundry room for messes.
- Consider where you want to store bulk items like extra tp, paper towels, and lightbulbs. One of the best parts of new house construction is the ability to add in LOTS of storage.
- Include a place for storing dirty laundry waiting to be washed.
- Incorporate hanging space for drying clothes. This could be a closet rod or a drying rack.
- Plan a dedicated spot for loose change and lonely socks.
- Consider adding an extra laundry “nook” near bedrooms if you have a multi-story house and a big family.
- If possible, plan a space for one clean laundry basket per person. You can sort as you unload the dryer and each person can grab it and put away their own laundry.
Main Living Spaces
- Plan a spot for storage bins and baskets to hide toys, books, and supplies that are used daily.
- Consider built-in media cabinets for adding storage.
- Include as many windows as possible to keep things feeling bright and clean.
- Ask your trim carpenter to build storage benches under the windows for extra seating and storage!
- Make a plan for storing throw blankets.
- When you do your electrical walk with your new house construction team, remember to add plenty of electrical outlets (including floor outlets). Give yourself lots of options for plugging in lamps and chargers.
- Pay attention to traffic flow when planning your furniture layout. Don’t cram furniture too close together.
- Include an easy to access beverage fridge or fridge drawer dedicated to kids’ snacks and drinks.
- Create stations for your most frequent activities (i.e. coffee making, breakfast routine, packing lunches) to eliminate unnecessary trips across the kitchen to gather supplies.
- Add cabinets to the back side of the island for storage of infrequently used items.
- MEASURE what you have; make sure you have drawers near the stove tall enough to hold your pots and pans, for example. For a detailed guide on how to do this, check out my kitchen planning guide.
- Prioritize drawer space for the most accessible storage.
- Avoid clear glass light fixtures; they show kitchen grease + dirt and are hard to keep clean!
- If you’re going the new house construction route, you’re probably planning a big pantry. Add a counter (with outlets) to keep main counters clear and use appliances without having to move/unplug them.
- Incorporate a furniture-style display hutch for storing serving pieces and/or collections
- Consider placing pantry close to the garage to make unloading groceries quick and easy.
- If space and budget allow, consider planning for two dishwashers so dishes never pile up.
- Don’t skip under cabinet lighting – a well-lit kitchen is important!
- Create a designated desktop station for paying bills and kids homework.
- Install a built-in bulletin board for displaying important papers and notices in a visible way.
- Think about where you’ll store art supplies, paper, and other office supplies. Do you have enough cabinets/drawers?
- Dedicate some empty wall space for a wall-mounted organizer for school papers, incoming mail, and papers waiting to be filed.
- Include a small locking file cabinet in your design plans for storing important paperwork in an accessible, secure place.
- Designate an area as an electronics docking station with plenty of outlets (consider a USB outlet!). Again, I like a drawer.
- Ask your builder for a pull-out printer tray hidden in a cabinet and don’t forget to plan an outlet behind it!
- Carefully plan your closet layouts to maximize storage. Reach-in closets are efficient in kids’ rooms.
- Incorporate dresser drawers into closets wherever space and budget allows.
- Plan your furniture layout to accommodate large storage nightstands– this will help hide bedroom clutter.
- Plan wall-mounted TV locations so that electrical and cable hookups will be hidden.
- Add light switches close to the bedside for easy nighttime shut-off.
- If you want a large dresser in your room, make sure you have enough wall space in your floorpan!
- Single handle faucets are easier to clean (AND USE) than double handle faucets.
- Plan to include plenty of bathroom drawers for bath toys, oral care, hair accessories, etc.
- Build in a spot for a laundry hamper in each bathroom.
- Consider adding a vanity area to girls bathrooms with mirrors, outlets, and drawers for makeup and hair tools.
- Towel hooks are easier to use than towel bars and can also be used for robes, jackets, etc.
- Plan a cabinet with enough room for a cleaning supply kit and extra tp storage in each bathroom.
- Choose skirted toilets to make cleaning easier!
Playroom/ Rec Room
- Add a bookshelf for books and magazines. This can be built-in or included on your furniture plan.
- Create a toy storage game plan if you have/plan to have kids or grandkids. Drawers are great. So are low cabinets.
- Tuck a set of full or queen bunk beds into a basement, loft or other kids’ area for sleepovers and overflow guests.
- Create a designated play area with an element of fun (swing, climbing wall, hidden room).
- Incorporate a designated game area with storage for board games, puzzles, and video games. I like to add a game table too.
- Install a wall-mounted TV for movie nights.
- Include a small counter for setting out snacks. Add an outlet at counter height to plug in a microwave (for popcorn), mini-fridge, or stereo.
- Plan a closet or cupboard in the garage for outdoor toys and gear.
- Include a utility sink for clean-ups (with a stool for kids).
- Install slat-wall or an organizing rails. They’re great for scooters and bikes!
- If you have room, add outlets for a deep freezer an/or a garage fridge.
- Make sure you have a water spigot.
- If you have pets, consider feeding/watering area as well as access to a dog run.
Did anything on this list surprise you?
Is there anything you would add?
Let me know in the comments below!
If you’re building a new construction house and would like more resources, be sure to check out my Building a Home series!