Thursday, February 15, 2018

How to organize your laundry space {spring cleaning series}

Welcome back to this organizing, spring cleaning series!  If you haven't read the kick off post, "How to organize anything," you'll want to flip backward and read that {here} first. That post is key, as it highlights the tools and steps needed to organize any space, room or mess. I will refer back to that process as previously detailed, in all the posts still to come in this series. 

I'm excited to share this tiny room with you.  I've seen some amazing, jaw-dropping mud/laundry rooms with perfect, matching bin systems, gorgeous statement tile on the floor and amazing lighting...  But, then, there is (my) real life, where I'm combining high function needs, with small space living.  The good news, with a little bit of planning and organization, it can totally be done!  For years, we talked about transforming this little space with some built in cupboards, etc.  Real life budgeting pushed me to get a little creative and you can imagine my joy, when measuring tape in hand, I discovered that I had a little storage cupboard that was the perfect fit.  But let me back up.  

When we moved into this little spec. house, there was a side by side washer and dryer in this space, and one of those awful wire racks above it, wasting gobs of potential storage space.  Nearly a decade of living here and making that work finally ended when the machines gave their last.  We purchased front-loading machines and bought a stacking kit (about $20).  Once they were stacked up high, we were able to fit an existing cabinet beside them, in this room.  (I found it at an antique shop years ago, for $100.) I can't recommend a stacking kit highly enough.  It maximizes your laundry space in wild and exciting ways.

(Okay, yes... that might be dramatic.) 

The lighting is awful in here, but I think we can all overlook it for the sake of checking out how it's organized and how it functions.  Let me tell you.  It functions beautifully!  We come inside from the garage, (where I park my car) and coats and shoes get deposited on hooks and a floor tray.  On the back of the garage entry door, I have an iron/ironing board combo hanger. (You can find a similar one here.) (I'm big on having a pretty ironing board. I loathe ironing but a pretty board makes me a little more likely to enjoy it... pretty+function, like I always say!) (You can find really cute, inexpensive ironing board covers at places like Marshalls and Target by the way- or check out this cute paisley one.) Behind the door that opens into our kitchen, I store all of our brooms, dustpans and such, because they are ugly and awkward.  I love and use a rack (like this one) that you simply push the handles into.  In the cupboard, we store everything our home basically requires to function.

So essentially this room is a; laundry facility, utility closet, mud room combo, with storage for all household items, medicine and randomly needed things.

I want to take you on a small tour...

I have labeled the photo so you can see what we keep in these drawers and such.  I thought you'd enjoy seeing how much I've packed into this small space and this cupboard.  I've also used a bookshelf in this room, which worked well, but this works even better because of the drawer space. It is the most organized spot, and helps me run this household with ease.

(I'm a big fan of using pretty bowls and trays for actual storage.) The lazy susan is practical and handy and I can't recommend getting your hands on several of those, enough!

The first aid box holds all of our medicines and such.  It was an old radio parts box that I painted- though I'm considering switching that out for a basket, so it's easier to slide out, grab what's needed and slide it back. (A lidded box is a pain and now I've got older kids so I don't need to be as careful  when it comes to medicines.)  The bathroom cleaning supplies are contained in a seventy nine cent bucket from Ikea and the slim line garbage catches lint from the dryer.

This is the view as you walk in from the garage.  We created a coat hanger by installing Ikea hooks onto a painted board.  It's a great coat catchall.  (I keep this sweet sign hung above it for the off seasons.) Brooms and dustpans are stored behind this door.

A recap on how we make this multi-purpose room organization work: 
*Laundry supplies are kept on a lazy susan like this one
*Cleaning supplies are kept next to the cleaning rags.  Bathroom cleaning supplies are kept in this inexpensive bucket from Ikea that keeps them tidy and contained.  
*A small, slim line garbage can is kept handy for emptying the lint tray
*Medicine and first aid supplies are kept in an old radio parts box that I painted for this purpose. 
*Junk drawer items, household tools, extension cords, lightbulbs, etc. are within easy reach. 
*I don't go crazy purchasing too many cleaning supplies, and I've been in homes where they had so many they couldn't possibly use them all up.  We don't keep supplies in every room or space- just here which is handy because you always know where to go for any kind of mess.
*Coats get hung on cute metal Ikea hooks that we mounted to a board.
*Shoes get dumped onto this tray, and then often moved into the hallway shoe storage or bedroom closets.

A Note on how we do laundry in our home: (because having a system for that keeps this room organized.)
*Everyone in our home keeps a dirty clothes hamper (a simple, white plastic basket such as this one) in their closets.
*Everyone does their own laundry when it's full, and removes the clean items back into the basket, transporting it from the laundry room into their own room, where it's folded (presumably) and put away.  Sometimes someone needs to combine with another to create a full load but not normally.  This is a system we have been using since the kids were in late elementary school and they both do a great job with their own laundry.  When they run out of clothes, they make time to run a load. (wink) So I don't have to monitor it at all. (This system keeps this tiny room clutter free, and teaches my kids responsibility for their own items.) This is a system that works so well for us.
*We lay cleaning rags and wet dishtowels flat over the washer door to dry in between loads and toss them into whatever load gets washed first.

I hope this was helpful as you consider organizing in a tight space that needs to live large!  As always, hit me with questions and I'll get back to you! 


  1. Can you share a bit more on how the laundry system works? I love that you've created a way to raise capable kids and I hope to do the same. I guess Im missing the link of sorting by color of clothing heaviness...jeans, etc. Thank you :)