The laundry room. My arch nemesis.
It's the room in our house that seems to collect everything that doesn't have a "home"...it's the designated place for everything that doesn't have a designated place. It's a very small room that doubles as our primary storage closet in our little home that seriously lacks storage space. So clutter builds up...things get shoved in and piled up...it's bad.
I'm ashamed to admit that this is the reality of what our laundry room often looks like:
It's so bad. Horrible. My least favorite space in our house.
And yet, I need to be able to use this room. My family insists on wearing clothes every day, so I need to be able to wash clothes every day or else laundry gets out of control. And it often does. Because I hate this room. And I hate doing laundry. So doing laundry in this room is just plain miserable.
I finally got to the point last week that I couldn't even get to the washing machine without crawling over piles of stuff and moving things out of the way. Something had to change. I knew I had to do some major work in this space (which is one of the reasons I've procrastinated it so long...I knew it would be a lot of work and a pain in the booty). But enough was enough...no more procrastinating. The laundry room makeover HAD to be done!
But the task was a bit overwhelming. There is no way everything that was stuffed into that room would fit back in and still be a functional space. And I had a very limited budget (like $20 limited).
I had to get creative. And I had to purge. A lot.
It took all week, but I finally have a clean and organized laundry room!
Ahhhh....soooo much better!
Here's what I did to get there:
- I pulled EVERYTHING out. every. thing. It seriously FILLED my dining room and kitchen. It was ridiculous.
- I threw out and got rid of a LOT of stuff. Basically, if it had been sitting in there collecting dust for like 3 years and we never used it, it was gone. If it served no function or purpose, if I didn't love it, or if it was broken or otherwise unusable...it was gone. I only put things back into that room that I knew we would use.
- I took down most of the existing shelving and moved it around. I moved all shelving onto the one wall above the washer and dryer. (Before, there was shelving on every wall...it was ok, but made the room feel even smaller and more cluttered than it already was. I just moved the shelves around so that it looked a little less chaotic. I didn't lose any shelving space...just organized it differently.) Then I used a tension rod I already had from a previous project and hung a little "curtain" in front of the top shelves to give it a nice, clean look above the washer and dryer. (The curtain was made from a half-panel of an old shower curtain that I saved for some reason. I may replace it with a different fabric if I find one I love...but this was free, so it works ;) ). And it's super easy to slide and get to anything I need on the shelves. (I realized in cleaning out this room that I had a bit of a laundry detergent hoarding problem going on, as you can see by all the All on that shelf...I counted 13 of them!...lol. Lots of coupons and great sales lately...so I have enough laundry detergent now to last me quite a while. I love couponing...but that's another post for another day.)
- I painted the walls. The walls had not been painted...EVER. And they were in BAD shape. So I filled all the (many) holes all over the walls and put on a coat of primer and then topped it off with a nice, crisp coat of white paint. I'm really loving white paint lately...it's just so bright and clean. (This step of the process was a pain because of the limited space I had to move around in...especially when trying to paint beside and behind the washer and dryer...which is why I never ever painted that room...and why it probably will not get painted again for a VERY long time ;) ).
- I cleaned everything. (It is so gross how much gunk builds up under and behind that dryer....so gross...just so gross).
- I painted and hung up a peg board. This was the only thing I spent money on (the board itself was only $6, and then I purchased a pack of assorted peg hooks for about $8...so $14 is all I spent on this whole project). I've been wanting a peg board for a long time...I just like them, and I had found all sorts of cool ideas of ways to use them on Pinterest. (I love Pinterest). We don't have a garage, but I think if I ever had a garage I would probably have at least one wall be a solid peg board. Anyway...I love how my peg board turned out and how it allows me to organize all my random little things. (And I can change them around and add more buckets and containers if I need to...I love it!) (This is on the tiny wall directly opposite of the washer and dryer) I painted a section of the peg board blue (just because) and mounted it to the wall using some scrap wood I had, and screwed it into the studs. (The wood pieces behind it allow for the hooks and brackets to go in the holes without scraping up the wall behind it). This was another step of this whole process that was a pain...but in cleaning up I found a stud finder and laser level I didn't know I had (it was like Christmas all over again, lol!)...so I used those and that helped the process ;) ).The set of brackets and hooks I purchased included two "shelf brackets"...so I used an old fence board as a makeshift shelf, and then sorted some of my supplies into mason jars and stuck them on the shelf. (I love using mason jars...they have so many wonderful functions! But that's a whole other blog post too ;) )
- And then...to finish it off...I made some art! And I used a quote that I love from Mary Poppins: "In every job that must be done there is an element of fun"...because finding that element of fun when doing laundry is a little challenging for me (because, like I said, I hate doing laundry ;) ). But now with my nice and organized laundry space, maybe I'll be able to find a little more fun in this job that must be done ;) .
I made my large laundry room artwork using watercolors and a Sharpie marker (what would I ever do without Sharpies?!).
Unlike Mary Poppins, it's not practically perfect in every way...but I like it :)
I also made a smaller version and used it to help me create a digital version of the same art...a version to share!
So if you'd like to print your own Mary Poppins art, just click below on the size and version that you would like! (*It is free for personal use only...please do not sell or use it for profit...thanks!)
Oh, and that cute little printable hanging above my dryer?....
I found that little one on Pinterest over a year ago. You can print your own over here: http://apopofpretty.com/giant-laundry-room-sign-tutorial-endless-love-laundry-free-printable/
I am already loving my "new" laundry room. Doing laundry, although still not my favorite thing to do, is not nearly as miserable. And I can find everything I need very quickly without having to dig and make a mess in the process. Now to tackle our tiny hall closet....if I can organize the nightmare laundry room, surely I can handle that black hole in the hallway ;)