I avoid doing laundry often enough that my family asks me what's clean before they decide what to wear. (We've had too many planned outfits ruined by one piece or another still lingering in the dirty clothes hamper.) I also avoid putting laundry away--so much so that we have thought shirts and shorts to be lost forever, only to realize months later that they were under a stack of folded clothes the whole time.
About 3 weeks ago, after another episode of the needed clothes being lost, I had an intervention for myself. I decided that enough was enough. I needed to get my attitude and my laundry room under control. I embarked on a Spring Cleaning-esque mission to make my laundry room a nice place to be. I quickly found that unless we also cleaned out the closet, there just wasn't enough room to put away all the clothes that were cluttering up the laundry room.
What started out as a one-room tidy up project became a small home-improvement endeavor complete with furniture demolition, shelf installation, and total re-organization.
Step one was to clean out and organize the closet. Behold, the before and after:
The next hurdle on the path to a clean laundry room was the linen closet in the master bathroom. Step two was to organize that closet to make room for all the towels and socks that we found!
I didn't really get an accurate "before" picture, so this is essentially a "during and after" picture instead. I don't think HGTV is going to give me my own home organization show based on this project, but it's at least better!
Finally, we have actually made it to the laundry room. I decided very early in this process that in order to keep any kind of system working I needed a table and another hanging rack. I had been using Oakley's doggie bed/tent as a holding area, which was just a bad idea all around. Here is the before/after of that area:
Now you can also see the new shelf I put up! Rex at Lowe's was very helpful in cutting the shelf to my strange length and in getting me set up with all the right hardware so that this shelf matches the other one in the room. I wanted them to look like they had all been installed together, not like one was an afterthought.
A better shot of the shelf. (What can I say? I'm proud of my work!)
The final piece to the puzzle was the top of the washer and dryer. They had become pseudo-folding tables and catch-all's to the point of things falling off and getting lost in the abyss. I didn't really do much here other than put everything away, but the organizing that happened before this made it possible!
This view is the first thing I see when I walk into the laundry room. It is now a much nicer place to be, and doing a load of laundry doesn't seem as daunting.
Overall, I'm very pleased with the steps I've taken. I finished everything about a week ago, but the after pictures were taken this morning. The organizational system has held up that long, at least! I'm hoping that I've got everything set up now so that the place can stay tidy like it is now for the long-term.