A Better Laundry Set-up

Wednesday September 14, 2011
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I have never been a domestic diva, by any stretch, and laundry has always been my Achilles heel.   Before we did our addition, our washer & dryer were down in our dingy unfinished basement and I hated going down there.   So I kept finding new clothes to wear until my hubs got fed up and did the laundry himself.   When we completed our addition, we moved the laundry upstairs, outside our bedroom.  It is much more convenient, but I’m still not great about doing it.

Lately, I decided that my laundry area wasn’t working as well as it could, and needed some changes.  With big help from the Handy Hubby, the laundry area has been re-orged and updated.   I like it so much better, I don’t even mind doing laundry! (almost).

Before I show you the new & improved, take a look at the old version.

Before

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We had our W/D stacked so that we could have a place for the dog’s kennel.   Stacked wasn’t terrible, but it’s not as convenient as side-by-side.  On top of the kennel are two laundry baskets.   The front one was a hodgepodge of laundry supplies, extra trash bags and who knows what else.  It was a mess.  Behind it is another laundry basket full of rags.   The upper cabinet was largely unused (by me) because I couldn’t reach it very well.  Now, behold the transformation.

After

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The big change was that Mike built a platform and we placed the W/D side-by-side.   The kennel got moved to another location (more on that later).

I was inspired by sister-in-law’s laundry set-up when we were on vacation.  Her husband built a platform like this and I was struck by how much more space underneath it affords.  It is also way cheaper than buying the matching pedestals.

Allow me to show you just how much space I have underneath.

Under the Left Side

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I can fit two laundry baskets and a step stool.   One bin contains all my spare TP and some cleaning supplies, the other holds our summer beach towels.   These are stored in a more accessible closet during summer months, but then stashed away here when we don’t need them.

Under the Right Side

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I have a big empty basket — it’s so handy to simply slide it out and dump laundry out of the dryer!   I also have two rag bins.   The front one has loose rags, I just throw them in there and grab what I need.  The second bin has rag towels, which I rolled up to make it easier to grab one.  We use these for things like cleaning the dog’s feet on rainy days.

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Other Touches

You can see I painted the walls a cheerful blue — it was leftover paint from the baby’s nursery.  The cute bin sitting on the dryer came from Target (medium fabric bin, $7.99).  It holds stain sticks, lingerie bag, dryer balls, etc.   I mounted a “Magic” Broom Holder and I bought a new, slimmer trash can to fit in the tighter space — you can barely see it next to the dryer.

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On the left side, there is just enough room for my box of laundry soap (I buy Country Save in bulk) on the platform.   Above, on the wall is my bag holder from IKEA.  Behind the soap there is room for my big step stool and the plunger.  It’s not terribly convenient to get them out of that space but they are not frequently used.

Perhaps my favorite part is the extremely high-mounted clothes rod (from Home Depot, ~$10).

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Previously, any clothes that needed immediate hanging did so on the door jamb, which pretty much obstructed the whole laundry area.   Now they can be hung up out of the way.   Of course it’s too high for me to reach on foot, but I simply slide my step stool out from beneath the washer and it’s an easy reach.

I love how our laundry area has transformed.  It has even transformed my laundry habits!

Better Laundry Habits

1. Use the alarms.

I turned the annoying alarms back on.  I used to have them off because I didn’t want to wake sleeping babies.   Now I make sure they are on and am trying to train myself, Pavlov-style, to jump up and take care of the laundry when I hear it beep.

2.   Don’t start what you aren’t home to finish.

I am more purposeful about when I do laundry.  I try and start a load in the morning when I know I will be home to move it into the dryer.   Ideally I will also be around to take it out of the dryer, but… baby steps… I’m sure I’ll get there 🙂

3. Sort the Kids Clothes

We do all the kid clothes together and they used to be responsible for sorting and folding them.  But they hate laundry as much as I do and moan and groan and ignore it.   This means their clean clothes would sit in a heap on their floor for days.   Now, I quickly sort the kids laundry as it comes out of the dryer into separate laundry baskets (I have more than shown) so that each kid has his/her own basket of clothes to deal with.   They still take forever to fold and put them away, but at least the clothes are in a basket and not laying on the floor.

Having a better laundry system definitely works for me.

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5 Responses to A Better Laundry Set-up

  1. 1
    Diana says:

    I love this idea! Our laundry room is about that size, and it would be great to have the storage space underneath the appliances. Thanks for the tip and pictures 🙂

  2. 2

    I really need to get back to having the kids deal with their own laundry. We’ve been hardly watching any TV, so consequently the kids aren’t folding clothes while watching TV. Love the blue paint color!

    I’m visiting from The Mommy Club linky.

  3. 3
    Crystal & Co says:

    Excellent tips! Love the platform you guys build. (The drawer platforms are just so expensive.) Excellent solution!

    Sharing this in Facebook. Thanks for linking up to my mommy solution meme.

  4. 4
    Shannon says:

    Great ideas! If I could just consistently follow the “don’t start what you aren’t home to finish” rule it would revolutionize my laundry.

  5. 5

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