I am ashamed to say that this WAS the state of my laundry room, and, if I'm perfectly honest, the state of most of my house. This is a symptom of why I haven't been blogging lately; I really just lost motivation to do much of anything at all, whether it was blogging, housework, cooking, even looking after myself! Finally, though, I kinda snapped out of it and the first step on my agenda was a laundry room makeover. Because, let's be real; I spend an awful lot of time in there, so it may as well be a pleasant place to be!
So back to the laundry...not only was the mess extremely off-putting (I mean, come on, laundry is bad enough without having to look at that mess the whole time), but it made my job so much harder. I was always tripping over things, I couldn't find things, and getting to things in the cupboards was nigh on impossible. So the first (obvious) step was decluttering. I started by taking literally everything that could be moved out of the laundry. Every piece of clothing, every bottle, jar and box, every small appliance and every bit of junk (and there was a lot of junk!) came out of the laundry and into my dining room. As I was pulling things out, I put things that didn't belong back to where they did belong, and started three piles - things to go back in, things to give away, and things to be binned. Can you guess which was the largest pile?
I then cleaned every single surface, including behind the washer and dryer. I wish I had thought to take some pictures of that, because let me tell you, the amount of dust and lint behind there was scary. Talk about a fire waiting to happen. If I can give you one bit of advice, it would be to check behind your washer and dryer!
Once everything came out, and the laundry room was clean, it was time to start putting the things that should be in the laundry back in. One great thing about going green in the laundry is that the amount of products going back into my laundry is tiny. It was literally one container of soapnuts, a small basket of wool dryer balls, a container of non-chlorine bleach and some stain remover, placed into a small fabric lined basket and stored in the cupboard under the sink. I still had a lot of old products left over, like regular detergent, fabric softener etc, so these went to my MIL who hasn't jumped (and probably never will) onto the eco-bandwagon.
The linen closet has never been used as a linen closet since I prefer to store my linens in their room of eventual use. That is, sheets/pillowcases in the bedroom, towels in the bathroom etc. I just find that system so much easier than one central location. This is especially true for the kids' linens, because as all you mothers know, you always need to change sheets quickly in the middle night, whether due to illness or "accidents", so having direct access is wonderful. Since I'm not using it for linen, I decided to use it for my less-used small appliances like the ice-cream maker, waffle maker and deep fryer, as well as for my growing collection of vases and seasonal home decor. I also put my collection of baking trays and tins here since I don't have a lot of storage for these in my kitchen. Lastly, I'm temporarily storing my sewing machine and serger here as well, until I fully set up a craft room (long term project). If you look closely at the pic above, you'll see I placed them on an old scooter board of the kids. This makes it so easy to pull out from the bottom of the cupboard, saving my back.
Next, I rejigged the layout of the room. The giant laundry basket (from Elfa, and one of the best things I have ever bought) used to jut out into the middle of the room and a) made it look really cramped, and b) was always in my way. After realising that I will hardly ever open both of the linen closet doors I moved the basket in front of one of the doors. I can still open the other door for regular access (this is the side I put the baking tins), and the basket is on wheels so it's easy to move if I need to open both doors. Before the move, I could not have imagined what I difference it would make. My laundry room honestly looked double the size.
I used to store my large indoor drying rack (another great buy, especially since the mass of green passionfruit vine you can see in the above pic is actually on top of my outdoor washing line!) in the space next to the washer and dryer, but that made it really hard to keep that area clean, and the rack picked up all the lint that comes out of the dryer. I stuck some of my favourite 3M Command stick-on hooks behind the laundry door, and the rack is now hanging nice and securely and out-of-the-way. My trusty steam mop also moved from the space next to the dryer (for the same reasons as the rack) and now has its own spot where the laundry basket used to be. I then added a white wicker basket on top of the laundry basket to gather the lonely lost socks that always seem to appear, until they can be paired up again.
Finally, the fun part - it was time to prettify the room! Above my bench and sink was an expanse of wall crying out for some artwork. I found these delightful vintage style prints from Mandy Lynne at her Etsy store and custom framed them myself using the amazing Frameshop.com.au. Here are some close ups of these great prints - it truly makes me happy just looking at them! And I apologise for the atrocious iPhone photos...
So there you have my laundry room makeover. It's not quite finished yet - I plan to make a cloth cover for the laundry basket so all our dirty laundry (and there always seems to be some!) is under wraps - but for now, it looks so much better and is so much more functional.