Sunday, February 15, 2015

Week 7 - Organizing the Laundry Room

It's Week 7 y'all! Just one more week to go and we will have our homes clean and organized!  This week is the laundry room.  This room can really be a tricky spot for some of us.  I'm going to get very real with y'all and show you my very ugly laundry room - it's ugly because it's an unfinished room in our home.   While it is organized, it's not very pretty.  But thats okay! Not every room has to be beautiful.  One day I will have a beautiful Pinterest-worthy laundry room (cause I'm weird like that), but finishing off this room is very low on the list when it comes to $$.    Some of you may just have a laundry closet - that's awesome because it's really all you need and it will stay much more simplified and organized that way. 
 Our room has a bit of a story behind it.  Our laundry room used to be located on the main level in the room that is now our mudroom.  It was a tiny little room that just had space for the washer/dryer and for us to walk through to get to the garage.  You can see how we turned that space into a mudroom by clicking HERE.   Then you can see how we keep it organized by clicking HERE.   We moved our washer/dryer down to the basement into an unfinished room in our home that also had a utility sink already in it.  We now have a nice big laundry room/storage room that works really well for us.   I even laid  down some of those self-adhesive tiles on the unfinished floor several years ago.  It looks like wood, but is actually just inexpensive adhesive linoleum tiles.  I used a carpet remnant that we had already on top of the linoleum. Sometimes a space will need to serve two purposes - like our laundry room does for us.  
 Like with all the rooms we have worked on before - the most important thing is to PURGE away any items from your laundry room that you don't use.  Remember to take everything out of your space before your organize it.  Make a pile for donate, toss, and relocate.  Then assess what will actually be put back into your space and what kind of storage containers you need for your remaining items,   Don't forget to do a thorough cleaning while everything is out of your room.
 I love this very multi-functional storage system from Ikea that I bought years ago, it has served several purposes.  You can see by clicking HERE how it was originally intended to be the place where all the laundry was folded and organized.  It worked great for that purpose - it really did! I just got tired of spending so much time standing there in a window-less laundry room folding clothes all the time.   I much prefer to sit on the couch and fold clothes while chatting with the kids, or catching the news or whatever.  I mean let's be realistic!!  PLUS - when the folded laundry is all over the couch or my bed, then we are forced to put it all away right away instead of it sitting where it shouldn't be.  (Especially when the dogs start walking all over it right after I fold it -  and digging through it to make a comfy resting spot.)  

So NOW - this great system holds all of my photography props, which is mostly for my newborn sessions.  I have so many fabric pieces, baby blankets, furs, and other items.  I keep them separated by color and by boy or girl to make it easier for setting up my sessions and figuring out what I want to do.  Plus, I always wash every item after I use it, so it's really handy to store it all right in the laundry room.  I use lots of baskets, buckets and backdrops for my newborn photography so those are stored right here as well.
 Our laundry room also serves as an extra storage area for homeschooling supplies. There are plenty of hand-me-down items waiting for Boo to use during her homeschooling years.  There are also things I just want to hold onto - like all the girls' wooden puzzles that I want to save for grandchildren, etc.  The white cabinet on the end holds sewing supplies. 

I also use these shelves to store all the extra laundry detergents and cleaners.  The green bins are from the dollar store - cheap and simple.

I also store our extra cleaning supplies on the old mudroom shelves in the laundry room, along with the old towels that we use for washing the dogs in the utility sink (every utility sink should be decorated with princess stickers, right?)  Don't forget to keep a garbage can in your laundry room for cleaning the lint traps on your dryer.  I keep ours right under the sink.  To the right of the sink we store our air compressor, pressure washer, and window screens which we take off in the winter.  It's nice to have some indoor storage for those types of things that aren't great to keep in the garage.

 We have an extra refrigerator in the laundry room too - what a luxury!  We recently went in with a group of friends and bought a quarter of an organic grass-fed cow.  It's great to have all that freezer space full of fresh organic meat!  I highly recommend doing that if you like to get organic meat.  It saved us some money and it came from a local trusted source.  Plus - it's nice to know I always have meat available and don't have to make a quick trip to the grocery store!   

Above the refrigerator I keep a lamp on all the time.   Since the room is unfinished, the light must be turned on by pulling a string that hangs down from the lightbulb.  So I like having the lamp on so that I don't have to walk half way into a dark room.  Also above the fridge, I had my man hang an old shower curtain rod we had lying around and I use it to store all of our extra hangers.  What a difference this makes in keeping all the closets so much neater!  Also on the fridge is a basket full of rags.  I never had a designated spot for them before - it's a great idea! 
 Because our room is not finished - there is no way I can install any shelves or cabinets above the washer/dryer to store all my laundry detergents.  I discovered this handy little cart on Amazon that is made to fit right between your washer and dryer.  It's the perfect solution! I keep the detergents that I use on a regular basis right here.

Our extra linen closet is in the laundry room too.  This is really handy for when the linens need washing, its quick and easy to put it all away.  Our sewing baskets are stored on the floor of the closet.

This room also stores all of our extra winter jackets - especially snow gear and dress coats that don't live up in the mudroom during the winter.  Plus with three girls, we always have extra coats waiting to be grown into and passed down.  Again, we hung a simple bar across some strong hooks that are simply screwed in to the exposed beams.
 I keep this drying rack right in front of the book shelves all the time for hanging laundry to dry on hangers.  The picture below is a collapsible drying rack that is great for pulling out when there are lots of things that need air drying - like my photography props! 

 The great thing about this kind of drying rack is that it folds up and tucks right in between the dryer and the fridge when you are done using it.

 I love keeping my little wooden stool (thanks Theresa!) right in front of the dryer - for three reasons. It's perfect for me to be able to reach the hangers that are stored above the fridge. It is perfect for little Boo to be able to move the laundry for me on occasion and to be able to reach the buttons (she still loves it!).  And I love putting the laundry basket right on the stool when getting the clothes out of the dryer and putting them into a basket.  Plus it's a photography prop! HAHA! 

 It may not be a very pretty laundry room - but it is big and serves its purpose well.

 Happy Organizing! 

Follow me on Instagram here and post your pictures using the hashtag #organizeeverything - You can follow along and catch up on all the organizing in the links below.  It's not too late to get started! 





Anonymous said...

What a great space! I was wondering if you do a home Bible study or anything? I am not sure what denomination you are (I am Anglican) but I am looking for a great study to do (we keep getting snowed in up here in Nova Scotia so I need to do church at home a lot recently!). I'd love to see a post about that or if you'd prefer to email me my email is Thanks!