The Reveal- (Laundry Room Makeover Part 3)

I’m tickled pink (or should I say, orange) how my laundry room has come together over the past month or so. With a few tweaks to organization, layout and color this essential spot in our home has been made all the more inviting to work in. From the start I approached this with emphasis on function and getting the most out of this space rather than pure aesthetics. Don’t get me wrong… I would love to have a pretty little laundry room complete with jars and scoops, matching towels rolled and displayed on open shelving and baskets with ribbons and bows that I gawk over on Pinterest.  Unfortunately, that’s just not gonna fly due to limited space and amount of people living here. So let me show you around the finished product of my attempt to combine form and function without sacrificing style…

Last post left off with the reworked over-the-door organizer. Here it is surrounded by a fresh coat of paint.

 

Laundry, organizer, labeled organization

 

And if you look real close you might just notice where my husband replaced the wood trim along the door where the dog had scratched the life out of.

 

Closeup of replaced wood trim details

 

To the left of the door is the sink and trash can. I love how this can was practically made for this space. It’s extra important that it’s covered since I have a dog who thinks the trash can is a second bowl.

The picture of the flower was given to me by an old friend and has been around since the beginning of time our marriage. It just happens to go perfectly with the orange color I chose, Orange Poppy. Thanks, Sonnie!

 

laundry, orange, kvartal, organization, makeover

 

 

And another view from the front… That little elephant bank in the lower right hand corner is where I store all the money I find make while doing the laundry. I wish that the person who gave it to me knew that I still use it… Carolyn- are you out there?

I just couldn’t resist the cute “Help Wanted” sign I picked up at Hobby Lobby. I don’t have any applicants yet though…

 

Laundry Services- Help Wanted

 

Underneath the sink and cleverly hidden behind the trashcan is my indispensable BISSELL Spotbot and trusty bucket. No space is wasted!

 

Extra storgae space utilized under sink for buckets and Spotbot

 

Because this room is only about 8.5′x 6′ it’s important to take full advantage of all space. With limited floor space, vertical was the way to go. Here are the two walls with drying racks and mop / broom rack.

 

Laundry, rack, orange, organization

 

The white metal hanging bucket is from Ikea and provides easy access to clothes pins. I also replaced all the random sized store hangers with a set of blue hangers for a more cohesive look.

 

A view of two drying racks with extra storage

 

And now for my favorite part of the “tour”…

 

View of laundry room before makeover

 

View of Laundry Room after makeover

 

 

I am lovin’ how those curtains cover the “junk” but keep it accessible. They were super simple to install (especially since my husband did it) and slide easily out of the way. One day, I will get around to making what’s behind it prettier but in the meantime nobody needs to know what’s back there. Except  of course, you lucky readers who got a peek of my junk ;)

So there you have it, laundry room makeover- real world style. Not that Real World, my real world- four kids, two dogs, one husband and an affinity for all things functional. Now if you’ll excuse me, I have some laundry to do…

Over-the-Door Organizer- Laundry Room Makeover Part 2

labeled, organizer, organization, storage, solution,

Did you think I forgot about the whole laundry room update I was going on and on about a few weeks ago in this post? I didn’t, I swear! I have just been baby-stepping my way through it. Sometimes I have a concept in my head and have to wait until I get enough brain power going to figure out how to carry it out. That’s pretty much the best way I can describe my process. Anyway, here’s what I’ve been up to…

Our laundry room has two doors- one that connects to the kitchen and one that leads to the garage. We don’t really use our front door very often so this has become our main thoroughfare to get in and out of the house. Because of this we have an over-the-door organizer that holds items we need to grab and go like sunglasses, hats, gloves, YMCA membership cards and dog supplies.

Here’s what that “organizer” has looked like up until now… BLECH!!!

organizer, door, entry, laundry

This is all the crap that was “organized” in that mess. See if you can spot the

  1. bubba teeth
  2. mismatched walkie talkies
  3. enough dog collars to start my own rescue

 

Over-the-Door Organizer

oh and this blast from the past…

I really like the concept of having essential items close at hand but as you can see over time things tend to add up. It was important to me to not only clear through some of the less essential items but also to have it less visually overwhelming overall.

All it took was a trip to Ikea where I found a similar organizer but instead of clear plastic it’s pockets are white.  Getting better already- ahhhhh….

Over-the-Door Organizer

The part that really delayed progress these past weeks was figuring out how to label the pockets while keeping it visually attractive. I thought about labeling the outside of the pockets or hanging tags from each one but I really wanted a cleaner look. I finally decided on tucking a piece of card stock inside each pocket and labeled it using my Silhouette Cameo and a file from the Silhouette store. I then altered some of the cards to better match what they were labeling.

Pocket organizer, shoe, storage, organization, door, label

 

Here’s my lovely assistant who generously offered to demonstrate what it will look like when we use this organizer…

 

Over-the-Door Organizer

Although this journey is taking me longer than some may think it should, I am perfectly pleased with the results of waiting for the right inspiration to strike.

organizer, door, storage, solution

I hope someone else can shorten their journey by using my ideas as inspiration! I would love to hear about it if you do.

Stop back next week when I reveal the other changes going on in the laundry room. You can make sure you don’t miss out on updates by signing up for email alerts or subscribe by RSS.

Conquering Mount Washmore (Laundry Room Makeover Part 1)

My laundry room needs some love and is really showing it. Here’s the ugly truth… when something looks disorganized, messy or cluttered I tend to shy away from being in that place. Here’s what my laundry room looks like right now. (seriously, I’m running to get my camera) .

Laundry Room Makeover

Yep, that’s my poinsettia wreath and Fall wreath hanging out on top of my washer amongst the other chaos. Which might explain why I have been avoiding doing wash on a more regular basis. Problem is, this is what happens when you try to catch up on wash for a family of six…

Laundry Room Organization- Mt Washmore

I do not recommend this method to anyone. That pile would have been a full nights work of folding when I worked at the Gap in high school. {I *do* have impressive folding skills thanks to that!} Unfortunately, I don’t get paid to fold my family’s clothes- unless of course you count the money I keep when I find loose change in the wash. Instead I have to find that internal motivation for keeping my house running smoothly {and then blog about it in hopes that monetization will pay off one day *wink*}.

The worst thing about this is that I KNOW better than to let the situation get like this. Quite a few years ago I stumbled upon this wonderful book, Sink Reflections, which really opened my eyes to how having routines can help to keep things in order allowing you time to do other things that you truly enjoy. One of “The FlyLady’s”  biggest buzzwords she uses  is “baby steps”, little things that when incorporated into your daily routine can get you far. Although I don’t quite stick to her exact method like I used to, my life definitely functions smoother when I incorporate small acts into a routine. Throughout the years I have incorporated many baby steps into my life.

Let me share my first baby step for getting my laundry room back to being the place I don’t mind spending time in…

Create a laundry schedule and stick to it as much as life lets you. If you do a load or two a day you will avoid a visit to Mt. Washmore. There are better ways to spend your time than there- trust me, I’ve been there!

Think about how many loads you do per week and divide that among the days you can commit to doing laundry. Do your best to wash, dry, fold and put away all in the same day. For our family of six, I really should be doing at least one load a day.

I’ve done this before but just like New Year’s resolutions as time passes, it can fade away. Once you set up a schedule, be prepared to check back and reevaluate how its working for you. That’s where I’m at right now… reevaluating and renewing my commitment to stick to a wash day schedule.

I like to post mine in a couple of places just in case any family members want to help out with the laundry they’ll know where to jump in… a girl can dream, can’t she?

Here’s a peak at what my old one looked like:

Laundry Room Organization

And with the help of PicMonkey here’s my new and improved one which I intend to display in a frame:

LaundryScheduleNew

 

That’s a step in the right direction if I do say so myself! Hopefully you can find some inspiration to incorporate into your own life…I’m sure I’m not the only one who’d rather sign up for baby steps rather than an organization marathon, right? Next up, clearing out some of the clutter… this should be good!

*You can read about how I set up my laundry baskets in my blog post here.

Thanks for stopping by and don’t forget to subscribe to the blob via email or RSS so you don’t miss anything!!

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Kitchen Cabinet Organization

Kitchen Cabinet Organization

I thought I was finished improving the functionality of things in my kitchen since I put the final touches on my Dishdrainer Dilemna project I had been focussing on. But things like that can be contagious I’ve found, especially when cooped up inside trying to stay out of the cold. Again, I found myself wondering why I do certain things one way when clearly they can be done better. This time it was my cabinet, the same one that got the nifty spice rack addition which I wrote about in my Kitchen Ideas & Inspiration post.  The original changes were working out just fine but it became obvious to me that there was still room for improvement. These past two weeks I’ve been putting the finishing touches on it and I’m pretty pleased with how it turned out. Here’s are some tips that helped take this cabinet from “good enough” to “great enough”.

  • Keep things most often used within closest reach.

Kitchen Cabinet Organization

Our first shelf houses sugars, salt, baking soda, corn starch and baking powder as well as the nifty little Matroyshka Cups for measuring it all. Needs may differ from person to person but take the time and thought to figure out what would work for you.

  • Place less used items in baskets or easily grasped containers and place them on higher shelves.

Kitchen Cabinet Organization

This is the shelf I can barely reach when I’m standing on my toes. Because of that I wanted containers that were easy to pull down. This Snapware Cereal Keeper holds almost 23 cups and is just the right size to hold a bag of flour. It turned out to be exactly what I needed to make the most of the space. The basket holds miscellaneous supplies that would otherwise be lost in the cabinet if not contained together.

  • Ditch round containers for rectangular ones.

Kitchen Cabinet Organization

This is probably my favorite improvement to the cabinet. I had my baking products in round containers forever. I must have got the Rubbermaid set for my bridal shower or something. Anyway, when I started realizing I didn’t have enough space for both brown sugar and powdered sugar, I knew something had to change. When I took the time to look at the cabinet it was obvious that there was more space to be used with the right container. These OXO POP Containers are available in both square and rectangular shapes so you can mix and match to maximize the space you are filling.

  • Use labels.

Kitchen Cabinet Organization_MG_0241

Labels make things easier to locate. I like to use chalk board vinyl to create write-on labels for containers. {confession- I cheated here and used PicMonkey labels for the above photo but fully intend on making some real ones in the near future} You can make these yourself with a digital cutter or buy them at office supply stores. I also can’t live without my Dymo Label Maker which is great for making individual spice labels.

  • Take advantage of the vertical space on cabinet doors.

Kitchen Cabinet Organization

I hung measuring spoons on mine but I have also seen the inside of cabinet doors been made into message boards using chalk board paint.

  • Routinely clean out cabinets to get rid of outdated supplies.

Kitchen Cabinet Organization

I swear I’m not getting older but somehow my spices seem to get outdated right before my eyes. Case in point, these extracts must be over ten years old because my grandmom’s handwriting is on them and she’s been dead since 2002- yikes!! McCormick actually has a “Fresh Tester” on their website if you have some of their spices you want to check.

Kitchen Cabinet Organization

 

So there you have it, five tips for a more functional space. Hope this helps inspire you to make your cabinets be all they can be. Now where was I headed… oh, that’s right- the laundry room!!

 

 

Dish Drainer Distress

A couple of months or so ago I had an epiphany. It went a little something like this:

Dish1.jpg

 and then…

Dish2.jpg
So I decided to consult others on this topic and went right to the experts over at the inspiration/solution-filled site called Hometalk where I posted this:
“While cleaning up the breakfast dishes this morning I realized how much space my dish drainer takes up and how generally unattractive it looks. I have always kept it out at all times (with the exception of when we entertain & will have many people in the kitchen) but I’m realizing now what an awful eyesore it is any day of the week. To top it off, it is in clear view from my foyer / front door. We are a family of six so there are lots of dishes/pots washed daily but I need a better solution. What are some alternatives to this boring & ugly dish rack?”
Well, goodness- who knew this topic could get so much feedback?!? 4562 views and 42 comments later {here’s the link if you want to read them all}  I took those suggestions and came up with a solution that seems to be working for me. Here’s what I did…
dish3.jpg
  • Hung up the dish drainer {both literally and figuratively} and stored it on the inside of the sink cabinet door using Command Hooks. That way it is still accessible for those times when there’s an abundance of dishes to dry but out of the way to help break the habit of always having something in it.Dish Mat
  • Purchased a dish drying mat to place wet dishes, pots and pans while waiting to dry. The one I got can be folded in half for small jobs or opened up whole when there’s more to dry. It also fits nicely over my cabinet door to allow it to dry in between uses. _MG_0309
  • For smaller jobs and/or utensils, I found this great Boholmen Colander at IKEA that I can use in the more narrow side of my sink. Bonus is that it has a hole in the corner of it that allows me to hang it right on the hook that the dish drainer is.IMG_0322
  • Committed to using my resources at hand more… both dishwasher (machine) and dish dryers (aka- kids). I am definitely putting more things into the dishwasher and calling on the kids to unload said dishes or dry the hand washes ones.

So there you have it, these are the changes I’ve implemented over the past few months thanks to the feedback and suggestions from Hometalk. It survived the test of the Thanksgiving and Christmas holidays and has become a welcomed change in the kitchen, freeing up some counter space and giving the kitchen a more presentable look overall.

dish drainer collage.png.png
Makes me question what other eye sores I have been living with without realizing it. On to the laundry room… I’m pretty sure I can find a few there :)