Last week I finished the #oneroomchallenge crazy event of completing my laundry room in 6 weeks. We legitimately went from dungeon to dramatic difference in 6 actual weeks. You can read all about the adventure and see some fun reveal pics here. Thanks so so so so much for all of the lovely comments and feedback. Special thanks to Natasha at The Simply Inspired Blog and Erin at The Organized Life for including me in posts summarizing their favourite spaces!
Beyond it being a pretty, sunny room, I am MOST excited that it's no longer a chaotic, dirty, dusty mess. Going in there was never fun, and it was almost always a safety hazard as we just piled everything we did not know what to do with in a disastrous pile. Sound familiar? Then you are going to love this post- THERE IS HOPE!!!!
Here are my 5 steps to an organized laundry room. Even if you aren't going to renovate, you can employ some of these tactics today!
STEP 1: DECIDE WHAT WILL LIVE IN THE SPACE
Make a list of the items that are going to actually live in the space. This is what lives in my laundry room:
– kids coats, shoes, backpacks, hats
– grown up off season coats
– all off season accessories for kids and grownups like snowpants, mitts, boots, etc.
– all household cleaning supplies
– all tools, tapes, most crafting supplies, items I use on set when styling for photoshoots or TV shows
When you have this list, figure out how much mass this stuff takes up. Will it fit in cabinets, do you need length for long coats, etc. etc. and design accordingly. My saving grace in this room was the Zobal system by Cutler pictured above. The key is to design your cabinets around your specific stuff, rather than the other way around. Same goes true for buying baskets, or plastic containers of any size. Figure out exactly what you need to store BEFORE you design cabinets or buy organizational items. Then- give yourself a clean sweep and purge everything else that does not belong!
STEP 2: WHAT FUNCTIONS NEED TO HAPPEN?
Obviously, you need to do laundry in the laundry room. But what else needs to happen? Do you need to fold, store laundry, sort laundry? Do you need a space for creating floral arrangements, or crafting up a storm? Do you need space for items that will go to the dry cleaners, or needs to be mended? In my space, I knew I needed the following functions:
– wash and dry clothing (A LOT OF IT with soon to be 7 people in this house)
– air dry clothing
– fold laundry
– space for kids to sit to take off boots, coats, etc.
– place for me to prep for photoshoots, pack up accessories and tools needed when on set
With my functions in mind I approached One One Eleven Designs to create this custom hanging rack for me to hang clothing like dress shirts that I don't want to go through the dryer. I also knew I needed ample counter space for the amount of laundry I fold so having one large 10' run of counter space was super important. This step is going to be really important if you are renovating so you can strategically achieve what you want and dedicate space for every specific thing. If you need help doing this I can help you out.
STEP 3: PLACE LIKE WITH LIKE
This is a step everyone can employ right away. Take all the items you know are going to live in the space as decided upon in Step 1, and now group "like with like". So place all the tools in pile, all the laundry supplies in one pile, all the other items in one pile. Now is the time you go shopping for baskets and such. For items that are kind messy like off season hats and mittens, I really like to throw them in a large opaque container like a wicker or cloth basket. I suggest small screws, small anything really get stored in stackable clear containers. I also corral mail and other small items in small trays and baskets from Bouclair.
STEP 4: KEEP VISIBLE ANYTHING YOU USE ALL THE TIME
To avoid having to rummage through bins and baskets I like keeping visible anything I use on a regular basis. In my house this includes tape, scissors, picture hanging supplies and vases (I love creating fresh floral arrangements throughout my house once or twice a week!) In my laundry room my Zobal wall installations work really hard for me to keep me organized. Additionally, I keep my detergent out on a yellow tray beside my units for convenience. I love how Sarah did this with her pre-soak powder treatment she stores in a terrarium beside her sink- the point of this step is to keep it efficient, functional and pretty.
STEP 5: MAKE IT PRETTY
Just because it's a laundry room doesn't mean you have to sacrifice on style. I would not hesitate to put wallpaper up in a laundry space, hang graphic art or paint the entire space a fun bold colour. Did you see what fellow #oneroomchallenge participant Paige Minear did in her laundry? My point is don't think of the laundry room as an afterthought. It can be just as stylish as the rest of your home. If you are renovating, consider a graphic floor or a bold colour on the walls. If you're just sprucing things up for spring, totally hang some art and / or create a styled surface- even if it's just on a floating shelf or movable storage cart.
Here's to keeping things organized and pretty this season- love to know what spring projects you've got on the go in the comments below.
Photos by Larry Arnal.