The most requested thing for dinner around here? Noodles. With butter.

Saturday, October 20, 2012

A little home improvement.

Our laundry room was begging for help.  When I bought the house 11 years ago, I was thrilled to have an inside laundry room instead of one in the garage.  I put in a set of shelves I had, put the vacuum attachments on the wall, hung a broom organizer, and then started using the back wall to mark kiddo's growth chart.

Through the years, the room has become a collection hall of stuff- kitchen stuff, linen closet stuff, garage stuff, outside stuff, cleaning stuff, dog stuff... you get the idea.

Then there was a leak.  I think it was something to do with the washer connection to the water.  It was awful.  I was dropping towels all over and bemoaning my new laminate floor and muttering about mold and mildew, mold and mildew!

My neighbor came over and helped me move the washer and dry out the floor.  A few years later, the washer overflowed.  Most likely it was not quite balanced and I put too much in it.  Water nightmares all over again.  I mopped up and moved the washer away from the back wall where I pulled out the soggy baseboards and placed a space heater and dehumidifier for awhile.  We kept using the washer in that position which was really hard to work around, but I was scared to push it back to the wall in case of more leaks that I couldn't reach.  I also removed the door because it was taking up space in the room. 

After making do for about a year, I used this summer at home to finally fix the problem.  I called my insurance company and they sent ProServ out to diagnose and/or fix the dampness.  They detected a tiny bit of mold that they cleaned out for free (YAY!), so I didn't file a claim.

Then I moved everything out of the room and started from scratch.  That's what you are supposed to do when you re-do a room.  (Everything landed in the dining room or living room and some of it is still there- yikes!)

I started with new paint.  Almost Heavenly Blue from WalMart.  Love it.  Then my neighbor installed new baseboards and I put up another wire shelf.  I know, some people hate the wire shelves but they were the cheapest quickest thing and I think they work well for what I want.  They are visually light and airy which is important for a small room.  I also decided that the room would only be about laundry and a few kitchen supplies- not random stuff.  I labeled all my white baskets with the planned contents, and corralled the cleaning supplies.  Before I painted over kiddo's growth chart, I made a giant "ruler" out of a 6 foot 1 x 4 and then copied all the data onto it.  Lastly, I re-hung the door and put the brooms on the back of it with a simple over-the-door clothes hook.

Now it is a bright, welcoming, efficient place to deal with our laundry.  I can hang clothes out of the way, the hamper rolls nicely, and I know exactly where everything is.  I had no idea that labels would make such a difference!  I might still put some decor on the walls, but for now it is exactly what we need.

Total cost?  About $20 for paint and $40 for shelves.  I used baskets I already had and made labels with my scrapbooking supplies.  Oh, I bought a metal pail from Goodwill for $.99.  It's my new lint bucket.

Here's a look at the befores:

The washer is pulled out from the wall- about 15 inches.

ServPro cleaned it up and I was able to replace the original laminate floor with my neighbor's help.

And here are the afters:

The growth chart just leans against the wall.  I can easily move it if we ever get a different house.
Back against the wall where it belongs!
Those baskets are labeled towels and candles.
The towels are old towels used for cleaning and for drying off the dog when he gets wet outside.
The gray dishtub is used to corral Windex, Spray 'n Wash, etc.

The door is back and helping hold the Swiffer,  floor squeegee, and window washing stuff.
I love Tide Pods.  They help kiddo do the laundry without having to measure or spill liquid.  
The powder is Oxy.  Can't live without Oxy...
No doubt as to what is in there.
I have four baskets labeled with the seasons.  These hold- are you ready for this?-  dishtowels for each season.  Yeah.  I found out I have about 4 dozen dishtowels.  That's 48, people.  48 dishtowels for a person who doesn't even like being in the kitchen that much.  48.  (About half of those are Christmasy.  You can't use up 24 Christmas towels in one month... hello?)  Apparently, that's pretty much how I decorate my kitchen- seasonal dishtowels that rotate with the calendar.  It's inexpensive, but I had no idea how many I had or how they pile up!
I have to start re-gifting these babies...
Our triple hamper helps kiddo sort the clothes.  I used paint chips to label the sections- lights, darks, and reds.  
It's a pleasure to do laundry now.  We can even shut the door now and block out the noise from the machines.  Next project?  Probably the garage...


  1. Have fun working on your garage next! Your laundry room looks amazing now and so organized!!!!! Thanks for stopping by my blog - yes, fall is in full force here in PA right now. I am loving this time of the year. Anne and I are off to clean out our shed and put away lawn chairs today. Always something to do . . .

  2. Your new laundry room is impressive!
    The use of the pain labels is inspired!!! I've LOVE to steal that idea for my own home but my entire laundry space consists of a cupboard that fits a dryer over a washing machine.
    I sort laundry on the hallway floor outside the cupboard, except for Saturday mornings when we strip the beds there's usually not too much as we usually do at least once load daily.
    (I have a drying rack and a washing line on the balcony so we avoid using the dryer if we can)Little Mr has a nasty habit of wiping whatever is on his hands (or face) on the fronts of his shirts so the wash is seemingly endless.
    One day if I have a laundry space big enough to have hampers I will TOTALLY steal your idea ... not for the kids but for Himself who if left to his own devices will wash everything together... sigh, Yes we have done the pink (ex-white) tee-shirts and greyish bras thing (the new Tee-shirt culprit was dark blue), ...too often!
    I'm going to "pinterest" that photo and tip! (linked back here of course) Brilliant makeover!!!

    1. Wow- I've never been pinned before! Thanks! ( No worries about the typo. :-> )

  3. eek, please can you edit that to read "painT" labels? apologies for the typo!