Finally, after weeks of teasing you, I’m ready to reveal our newly re-organized laundry room! It took much sweat and a few tears, and even a few drops of blood, but it’s finished!
Here’s a shot of the room before the transformation began:
And here’s how it looks now:
As you can see it’s a pretty good size room. It opens directly off the garage, so in addition to being our laundry room it also serves as a mud/utility/catch-all room. The way it was set up before worked ok when it was just me and Chris, but with the addition of Baby Girl and the exponential growth of dirty laundry (how can one small person double a family’s laundry? One of the world’s great mysteries) I needed a better system, more storage, and actual places to put everything that belonged in the room.
I started by flipping the layout, moving the laundry sorting system next to the washer (seems logical) and putting storage for shoes, bags, seasonal items etc. on the opposite wall.
This cheap laundry sorter made up of net bags and plastic tubing worked fine for a while, but then the bags started falling off whenever I put anything in them, causing me no end of annoyance and frustration. Laundry is annoying enough without adding additional hassle. I upgraded to a canvas bag/metal system with four bags instead of three, and it has made a huge difference!
I even made cute little labels for each bin (lights, dark bottoms, dark tops, and brights) so that my ever-accommodating hubby would know exactly where to put his dirty clothes.
This wall formerly held a shelf/hook/picture frame and bench with canvas bins where we kept our shoes. The hooks were too low for us to hang any coats on them except Baby Girl’s, and the bench ended up serving as a dumping ground for everything that needed to come in or go out. The shoe bins worked ok, but it was a pain to sort through them looking for a complete pair of shoes (at least for me…Chris only has three pairs of shoes).
Ah, so much better. After moving the laundry sorter to this side of the room, we (that is, my hubby and dad) installed a shelf above it to hold stain removers, paper towels, etc. I made a picture holder from an open frame, twine, and mini-clothespins (tutorial to come) and we moved the cupboard that had served as tool and hardware storage to this side of the room as well.
You may remember this key hold from this tutorial…it is hanging above the “hardware cupboard” right next to the door to the garage, perfect to grab keys and go.
We had a good start to storage with the cupboards and hanging rod, but the shelves were oddly spaced and too short to store laundry detergent or any other tall bottles. I was forced to put taller items on a metal rack between the washer and dryer.
The handymen in my life added a couple of short shelves above both washer and dryer, which I use for “pretty storage” (a jar for clothespins, baskets for delicate bags and dryer sheets, and some simple flower arrangements). My wonderful hubby figured out how to move the shelves around in the cupboard, so now the detergent, stain remover spray, and other cleaners all fit behind closed doors and out of C’s reach.
I added another basket on top of the dryer for sheet and towels, which had always ended up in a pile on the floor before. I made a sign (using this technique) with lyrics from one of my favorite hymns. I wasn’t trying to be flippant about Christ’s sacrifice, putting a reference to the stain of sin in our laundry room, I just want the sign to serve as a reminder that even the most mundane tasks can point us back to our Savior.
The right side of the room had previously held the laundry sorter and this cupboard filled with tools, picture hanging hardware, painting supplies, cords, drills…you name it.
Moving it and the laundry sorter to the opposite wall made room for this fabulous organizational system, made up of different pieces of a system sold at most big box stores (we bought this at Target). I wanted originally to go for white shelves and storage, but this mid-tone wood color matches the built-in cabinets and doesn’t show dirt. 🙂 It’s actually four pieces put together. The cupboard with doors is one piece, with a separate shoe organizer stacked on top and attached with dowels. Two shorter shelves sit on either side. Eventually we’d like to bolt it all together more securely, but are still trying to figure out how. 🙂
I love this new system of shelves and cubbies, where there really is a place for everything! My purse sits on top of one short shelf with C’s diaper bag and the dog’s leash hanging on a double hook we mounted above. We have enough spots for the shoes we wear most often (yes, mine and Baby’s Girl’s take up most of the cubbies) and a place for seasonal items on top (right now that’s sunscreen, sunglasses and hats…come winter it will be full of gloves and mittens). This cute glass jar is full of dog treats (you can’t see it in the picture, but it has the word “cookie” written in different languages all over it…I found it at Home Goods) and this huge basket from Target is the place to stash anything that needs to go out the door with us the next time we get in the car.
We installed this rack of hooks behind the door to the garage, which used to be wasted space. When cooler weather hits we’ll use it for coats and jackets, but for now it’s great for extra bags and to hang wet beach towels to dry.
Here’s one more “after” shot. I removed the wire rack from between the washer and dryer since I didn’t need it for laundry detergent anymore, and added a slim trashcan (I can’t believe we didn’t have one in here before). Also you’ll see two more shelves on the right above the dryer. These are wire shelves on an adjustable track that add much needed flat drying space. I already use them constantly for bathing suits and other delicates that shouldn’t be put in the dryer.
The before and after may not be a shocking transformation, it is a real-life makeover that has changed my whole outlook when I walk in or out of our house. It’s even made doing laundry more enjoyable!
What spaces in your home used to function just fine, but are now in desperate need of a re-do?