Friday, January 16, 2009

Quick Laundry Room Reno

When I woke up this morning, I had absolutely no intention or inspiration to tackle my laundry room. However, it is January—and for me, the best time of the year to GET ORGANIZED. I stood in the middle of my blue room, glanced around at all the empty bins, baskets and boxes and wondered how to put them to good use.

That’s when I had my “A-Ha!” moment. THE LAUNDRY ROOM. I went straight to work, but not without snapping the imperative Before shot, shown here.

Our laundry room is also our mudroom, and we definitely use it as such—entering and exiting the house through this tiny, awkward, and inefficient maybe-6' x 12' space. The top of the dryer serves as a catch-all for those items needed as we run out the door—sunscreen, bug spray, sunglasses, spray water bottle and comb for messy heads. In this shot, you can see we have a collection of containers for these items, but not one of them is doing a very good job.

My goal: to have NOTHING atop the washer and dryer ever again. Except, perhaps, a freshly laundered pile of towels, which—if I had my way—would smell of Lavender, Peonies and/or Freesia.

As many organizing professionals will tell you, the best way to begin is to clear everything out of the space, then divide and conquer. I had three piles: Trash. Move. Keep. Yes, typically there is a pile to Donate, but there was nothing here I would feel good about giving to anybody. So if it didn’t belong here, it was going to the dump.

Amazing what lived in this room that actually belonged elsewhere in the house: A pair of 3D glasses from months ago when I took Quinn and his BF to see Journey to the Center of the Earth. A race car toy. A combination lock. A boomerang. And no less than three golf balls [NOTE: Nobody. Here. Golfs.]

As I am sorting, purging and regrouping, another “A-Ha!” moment strikes me on the back of the head. Chalkboard paint. On the cheap, dingy cupboard doors above the washer and dryer. For occasional notes like “I Love You”, “Dentist 8am Monday”, or the ever-popular “Do your own fucking laundry!”

The stainless steel bins I implemented here also called out for a quick dash of chalkboard paint, to help those less-inclined-to-remember-where-everything-goes, see what is intended for each bin. I am itching to write something on those doors and bins now, but the can tells me I have to let the paint cure for three days before I can doodle on it.

All that is left for the room is a proper coat of paint to replace the hideous Pepto-Bismol pink the previous owners so generously left for us, and to design and build the most tickety-boo mudroom locker/cubby/bench solution ever. Stay tuned.


  1. i am so inspired- i need to get on the same organization train as you are on...

  2. Genius. You totally are. Seriously.

    WHERE the heck do you buy chalkboard paint?

    You're my idol.

  3. The laundry room looks fab!

    BUT, more importantly, are you okay? Maybe you should do a short post to let us know you're simply living life - much more important than blogging - but still. (I notice on your Twitter string, that you're alive. Thank God!) Take care Joe Girl - hope all is well!

  4. Wow - you tackled that project with no preparations? It turned out so great! I love the chalkboard paint! It would be so fun to change up the room by using different colored chalk - to make different patterns on your cabinets - like a harlequin diamond pattern one week and green polka dots another, or yellow stripes another. The possibilities are endless! Genius! And I love the stainless steel buckets - they look great with the black!

    Thanks for letting me stop by and have a wonderful weekend!