Monday, January 16, 2012

Let's Organize!

Face it. We all have those rooms in our house that are a disaster. It's usually one that you can close the door and no one is the wiser. For me, it was our laundry room. It's not even a real room (sadly). It's a closet that has to serve as our laundry space as well as linen storage. My challenges with this space are:
1. It's not a room, so there's limited space
2. It has to have all the laundry "stuff"
3. It has to have all the linens (or so I thought)
4. It also houses our broom, mop and dustpan
5. We keep a hammer, screwdriver, nails/screw box, flashlight there for easy retrieval
6. My diaper pail lives there
7. We have 4 different sized beds in our house with multiple sets of sheets for each bed
8. I needed space for tablecloths and shower curtains as well

Here is my picture of the before laundry room. See? A mess. I was throwing sheets and trying to get them on the top of the pile without toppling the pile. Our beach/holiday towels were out of reach. I really hated trying to put things away in there, but didn't know of a better solution. UNTIL.....I saw a pin on pinterest about folding sheets into their coordinating pillowcase. It was something I could easily do and would actually make a difference in that space. But why stop there? If I was organizing part of the laundry area, I would do it all.

I started with the folding of the sheets into their pillowcases. I used this a chance to weed through some of our sheet sets. Did we need 3 sets of sheets for our guest bed that gets used less than 7 nights a year? Did we need a velvet curtain that didn't fit any of our windows? Buh-bye extra linens (hello, Freecycle). BAM! 2 nice piles of linens that aren't towering and teetering out of control. Then, I cut up a shoe box and folded the cleaning rags into it, labeled it and put them neatly back on the shelf. I folded the towels and put most of them neatly on the shelf. I also took one set and moved it to the downstairs bathroom. We have a second bathroom, but no linens down there. This would save a step for the future. (It also creates a new organization project for me. Sigh. It never ends.) I cut up another box (recycle and reuse!) to store all the laundry supplies like my spray starch, spot remover, my spot scrubbing toothbrush, etc. Now it is compact and neat on the shelf. I moved the extra tools and hardware into my husband's tool box in the garage and just kept a hammer, our universal screwdriver and a pair of pliers. These are handy to have in the house, so I wanted to keep space for them. I have to admit, the shelving looked great, but I still had to deal with my diaper pail and the soak basin that usually sit on top of the dryer.

I slid both the washer and dryer over about 2 inches so I had a little more space on the left side of the closet. I hung the dust pan on the wall and was able to slide the mop and broom neatly behind the garbage can. Now I had space for my diaper pail on the floor of the closet next to the dryer instead of on the top! I can easily reach it, but it's not right in the way. I stacked the hand towels into one stack and the washcloths in front of them so I had room to place the basin on the shelf. This may have to change as the hand towels don't always stay so neat, but we'll try it out. Voila! The laundry closet is organized, neat, tidy and I feel accomplished. It gives me motivation to keep organizing throughout the house. (I started last night by organizing my sewing room.) Here are the after pictures. As an aside note, I was feeling down with my blog photos after spending so much time on Pinterest. The rooms, the foods, the crafts look like they're shot by a professional photographer. I wish my pictures were as visually pleasing, but I live in the real world and don't always have time to stage a shoot and my house is a regular house without any fancy built in laundry space with custom cabinets. It works for us. :)