Okay, so maybe I am the only one who was waiting anxiously for this project to wrap itself up! But anyway. Here it is. I know I’ve been talking about it for a while, but it is FINALLY ready to unveil.
This is the third of a series of posts on Taming Mom’s Hotspots sponsored in part by Target. As a Target Inner Circle Member, I received a gift card to assist me with this project. Don’t miss my posts about how we organized The Command Center and The Pantry!!!
And stay tuned for a giveaway at the end of this post!!!
Taming Mom’s Hot Spots | The Laundry Room
First, you have to understand how much I have DETESTED this room for the past few years.
When we moved into this house eight years ago, I was so thrilled to HAVE a laundry room that I didn’t much care that it was bare bones. It came equipped with ONE wire rack that was really hard to reach. Take a look.
I KNOW! We are slobs. (Also note the “system” — the laundry sorter that was clearly NOT being used, the drying rack that was overflowing, and the shoe shelves that were empty. Are you sensing a pattern here?)
When we bought a set of front loaders a few years ago, which naturally spawned a series of blog posts, we removed the shelf and never put it back. I had a portable laundry hamper/hanging rack in there and that was IT. Take a look at these BEFORE photos.
I’m dead serious. We lived this way for four years!
In a wild attempt at organization, my husband hung hooks along one wall for backpacks and jackets, and we hung bins that were supposed to hold important papers that need attention, but those ended up gathering more and more stuff until they were literally overflowing and not at all useful.
I’m not sure WHY I ever thought that bright orange paint was a good idea. I was trying to pick something fun, but that color just sucked all the light out of the room. Also, we only had one light, and it didn’t provide much illumination. With no natural light source in the room, it was a dungeon.
We have 9-foot ceilings in my house, so I knew there was a ton of wasted space, but we just used it as-is because we weren’t sure what to do with it. Because the washer and dryer were on pedestals, hanging shelves or cabinets seemed almost worthless because we’d barely be able to reach them.
It wasn’t until I hired an organizer to help me configure the space that we were able to come up with a workable plan.
Darla DeMorrow of Heartwork Organizing stepped in and breathed new life into this space. In full disclosure, I paid her a reduced rate in exchange for social media promotion, but she gave me the same treatment she gives all her clients. She truly will go shopping with you, come to your house and hang shelving units, and give you advice based on your habits and needs. Here is how she describes her business: “Part service, part coach, part miracle worker, with a designer’s eye, we can work with you to improve your situation.”
She is fantastic, and I am not done with her yet!!! If you’re local and looking for professional help organizing or staging your home, contact Darla TODAY and get on her calendar. You won’t regret it.
After assessing the situation and asking me about our families habits and current systems, Darla determined that we needed:
- better lighting
- lighter paint color
- a better system for organizing papers
- shoe storage
My only request was a nice sturdy hanging rack for line drying clothes and a system for storing all our stuff. Beyond that, I had no vision for the room.
As we discussed the project further, we decided we needed to do something about the ugly green linoleum floor. Darla wanted to paint it, but my husband wasn’t hearing any of that. He was convinced it would end up getting scratched and dinged and looking like crap, so he offered to lay wood floor.
Neither one of us was about to argue with that!!
Then we discussed paint colors. Darla thought we should go with something light in cooler tones that would make the small room feel larger. We looked through her paint palette and picked two coordinating shades of teal that we thought would be soothing in the space.
Finally we discussed what to do with all that open wall space. Darla recommended an open shelving system on the right wall over the washer and dryer, rather than cabinets. It’s by far the less expensive option, and she promised we could make it look pretty with proper containers. As for the hooks on the left wall, she liked the idea, but gave me tips on making them more effective — such as assigning certain hooks to certain kids so they weren’t constantly hanging coats and backpacks on top of each other’s and knocking stuff onto the floor when they wanted to get to something under the pile.
She also suggested that I remove the pedestals from under the washer and dryer so we could bring the shelving down to a more accessible height. I was nervous about getting rid of that storage space. I use those drawers for beach towels and bathing suits and winter hats/gloves/mittens, etc. But she promised the space could be used more efficiently if we got rid of them.
Clearly this was no small task we were undertaking!!
She took measurements and jotted down ideas and later on the week got back to me with a plan of action. Here’s how our project unfolded.
Laundry Room Organization At Last!
The first thing I did after Darla’s initial assessment was clear out the room and take everything off the hooks. I hung back only the most essential coats and backpacks. Those hooks were never intended to hold Paul’s and my things, so I went through the coat closet in the foyer and got all of our coats and jackets hanging neatly in there. I got rid of all the other assorted junk that had accumulated on the hooks and spread out the kids’ jackets and backpacks so that each had their own hooks. I cannot BELIEVE I never thought of doing that before.
That night, Paul removed the pedestals from under the washer and dryer. Already the room seemed more manageable, but we had a LONG way to go!
Darla tipped me off that Sherwin Williams was having a 40% off sale on paint that weekend, so I headed right over the next day to buy a couple of gallons. Paul loves Sherwin Williams paint, and it is the brand Darla recommends as well. We decided to paint a darker shade on the back wall and a lighter shade on the side walls.
We went with SW 6191 Contented for the lighter one and SW6472 Composed for the darker one. Aren’t the color names PERFECT???!!!
The next night, Paul went to work.
When I woke up the next morning, I had fresh paint!
We chose wood rather than ceramic tile or sheet vinyl because we have wood in the foyer and thought it would flow nicely into the laundry room. It’s not very expensive if you do it yourself. I think we spent around $300 at Lowes on the wood flooring. Paul installed it in a weekend.
Color & Design
Meanwhile, Darla and I met at Target to look for design inspiration. The folks at Target wanted me to check out the new limited edition Method line of products in Beach Sage. I fell in love with the color palette, and it went perfectly with our paint colors!
Darla recommended using fabric bins for organizing my stuff on the shelves. I liked these Itso Fabric Bins, and the colors worked so we picked up a bunch. Later we returned the ones we didn’t use. When shopping at Target for things like this, it’s a good idea to pick up extras just in case because they don’t stay on the shelves for long.
Once the room was painted and the floor was in, we could start hanging the shelves.
Darla recommends the freedomRail shelving system. I discussed why at great length in my Pantry Organization post. Basically it’s very good quality, sturdy, and it is easy to adjust to your space.
We are not affiliated with freedomRail at all. I purchased all the shelving at full price; we just both think it’s a great product!
It was Darla’s idea to put the shoe cubbies in the open space between the dryer and the closet to contain the shoes that are always scattered about our house. She hung it high enough off the floor that I can fit laundry baskets underneath it. BRILLIANT, right?????
You can see how the freedomRail works, I hope, from this succession of photos.
AND I got my hanging rack!!! We actually designed the system so it is at the PERFECT height for me to reach.
Then it was time to start organizing the shelves!!!!! All of the stuff we had removed from the laundry room plus our new storage bins were lined up in the halllway.
Darla went through and helped me place it on the shelves in an organized manner.
Clearly I have an unnatural fear of running out of paper towels. HA!!
The cool thing about the fabric bins is, you can move them around depending on the time of year. We used several to house the kids gloves/mittens/hats/etc. Those can go way up high in the summer months and on a lower shelf in the winter months. Same with the basket of beach towels you see there. They will soon go up on a high shelf since we rarely use them in the wintertime.
Expanding the Closet
Now it’s time to discuss the closet. This teeny tiny closet that is located to on the right wall when you enter the laundry room is almost worthless, and unfortunately the door is cut smaller than the actual space inside. I don’t have a before-before photo, but I grabbed this after Paul removed the molding and before we expanded it.
Not only does it have an extra few inches of storage space on either side of the doorway, but it extends ALL THE WAY to the ceiling inside. Of course, you can’t access that space with the standard door height. It was Darla’s idea to remove the door entirely so I have better access, and then Paul suggested cutting the doorframe all the way up to the top so we could hang shelves and access all that storage space. Darla loved that idea, so that is what we did.
We also ordered more freedomRail shelving so I had solid, adjustable shelves like in my pantry. We painted the inside coral for fun.
We used some Itso Plastic Bins from Target to contain similar products and keep the closet looking tidy. Darla used her label maker to label our containers so even the kids can put things back where they go!
I didn’t realize how crucial good lighting is to a space like this. Darla has a whole mathematical equation for determining how much light one needs in a space, but you know how well math and I get along, right? Here is her post explaining How to Calculate LightingNeeds.
Suffice it to say, we needed a second light.
(Do you know how hard it is to take a photo of lights? LOL!!)
It is AMAZING what a difference the extra light makes in that space. It’s like a different room.
Laundry Room Decor
Our top priority was making this space functional, but we added a few decorative touches to keep the project fun and help make the room a more pleasant place to be. Might as well make the more mundane household tasks as pleasant as possible, right?
Early on in the project, I started keeping a Pinterest board of laundry room design ideas that I found appealing. I found these safety pin plaques at Ballard Designs, and we decided they would go perfectly on the back wall.
It was also Darla’s idea to hang a piece of artwork for each of the kids to help designate their space on the wall of hooks. We went through a box of their best work that I’ve kept and selected one piece of artwork for each of them. We hung them on wooden pants hangers that we found at Target.
She also picked up a wood letter in the initial of each of their first names, and I decorated them with washi tape. Yes, I actually did a craft! Take a look!!!!!
Finally, she bought a shelf and some frames and we hung more of the kids’ artwork above the doorway to the rest of the house.
Because I have three doorways that converge in that corner, when we elevated the closet door, it looked a bit out of place . . . until we hung this shelf. By placing the artwork over the shorter door, it makes the space look more intentional.
The Big Reveal!!!!
Welcome to my NEW AND MUCH IMPROVED laundry room!!
That’s the view from the doorway into the laundry room from the house. We rarely enter the laundry room from our garage (which is where the 3rd door leads) because we don’t park in the garage. Don’t ask. It’s a sore subject.
I’ve been living with my new laundry room organization for a week or two (we were waiting to finish the closet before the big reveal) and it’s working out nicely. The fabric bins on the shelves are labeled so we know what’s inside. We have bins for our winter gloves/mittens/hats, one for napkins, one for extra dish towels, and that big box on the top-right holds all my placemats and cloth napkins.
I love having the washer and dryer off the pedestals. I tend to stand and fold clothes as I remove them from the dryer, and it’s much easier to stack things on top at this lower height. Plus, having the shelves gets all my detergents off the appliances and allows me more folding room. The tops of the washer and dryer also stay cleaner now.
I’ve been using the Method Beach Sage Laundry Detergent, and I really like it. The scent is lovely, and I love knowing that I’m using a cleaning product that is non-toxic and biodegradable. Plus it cleans well, and it’s so easy to pick up and squirt into my washing dispenser.
The shoe cubbies have been a life saver. No more shoes on the floor! The basket is for batteries. I’ve since moved it into the closet.
The bins on top are for odds and ends that tend to accumulate in a laundry room and mudroom area. When they get full, we are supposed to go through them and put things away. I’ll let you know how that works out for us! HA!
It was Darla’s suggestion to replace my odds and ends of laundry baskets with matching ones that I can switch around as needed. The teal laundry baskets were just $3.99 at Target! I bought 6 of them. Three live in the laundry room to sort the dirty clothes into whites, darks and towels. Two live in our bedroom closet to collect our dirty clothes, and one is extra for holding clean, folded clothes. Or something like that. (The kids have one of these collapsable hampers upstairs.) So far, the system seems to be working. I might pick up another laundry basket or two next time I’m at Target because we tend to leave our clean, folded clothes in baskets for . . . longer than I’d like. *grin*
The curled wood floral arrangement is from Target. It adds a touch of pretty to the array of cleaning products.
And this wreath is from the same Smith & Hawken for Target collection, but I couldn’t find a link online.
I love my sturdy hanging rack! It’s such an improvement over the wobbly one that was attached to the laundry sorter that I never used. Well, I used it. It gathered outgrown clothes, extra paper towels, and all manner of clutter — anything BUT dirty laundry (and certainly not sorted into workable categories. The problem was the location — it was not convenient to the washer and dryer, the way my doors opened.)
The multiple laundry baskets work much better for me.
And with the kids’ hooks clearly delineated by their artwork and first initials, they are learning to use their own hooks and keep their things hung up neatly.
Overall this project has made a HUGE improvement in our home life. Not only do I have a pleasant, functional space to do laundry, but we have more storage space for all the gear and household products that tend to accumulate in a home with young kids AND a workable system for keeping it all organized.
I could NEVER have accomplished this without the guidance from Heartwork Organizing and the help of my Handyguy husband. It was definitely a group effort.
As a Target Inner Circle member, Target provided a gift card to assist me with this project as well as one to give away, but I still contributed much of my own time and materials. As always, all thoughts and opinions shared in this post are very much my own.
337 thoughts on “Laundry Room Makeover”
My current biggest organization challenge is our living room. It really needs a re-do.
My biggest challenges would be shelving in my closets and remodeling my bathroom.
FB: Alexia Harvours
I’d like to win to purchase some baskets/covered boxes for my laundry room shelves.
What awesome ideas on organization! I too start out with good intentions but end up failing in execution. I would love to win so I can apply that money to finally finishing up my bathroom redo!
A Target gc would be great for the upcoming holidays.
My kitchen is my biggest challenge. As a a matter of fact we are going to start working on it tomorrow.
My biggest challenge is the boys room. Too many toys tooo many clothes and never enough room
I need organization in our dining/ school room.I need more shelving and storage and just a better way for it to all flow.
I need to organize my bedroom/office desk area, so many things need to be organized
I love your laundry room. I wish mine looked like that. I need to organize my desk that holds all my crafting supplies. I can never find what I am looking for.
Right now we live in a really small 2 bedroom apt. We are moving in the next 3 weeks to a bigger…HOUSE (yay!). In the apt where we live now, the biggest challenge is pretty much everything. With all of the cramped space we just have nowhere to put anything. Everything is in totes so we have to always dig around to find stuff we don’t use everyday, and the stuff we do use is just all over the place. I cannot wait to move into our house and get everything organized! I know I would use this gift card to buy things for our house.
I love the giant safety pins! So cool. I’d love to use the gift card for my new daughter’s nursery 🙂
I so badly need to organize my office!
That is an amazing transformation! My biggest challenge area is the living room. We have a very small house and our living room doubles as play room/family room, so it is filled with kid toys as well as books!
I want to win so I can put this towards christmas gifts
I would have to say backpacks, coats and shoes. There’s four of us in a 2 bedroom apartment. There’s just not enough room for all of us and our stuff. Half of the couch ends up covered in coats and backpacks. I love you little hook idea and my have to use it. Thank you!
Love it! You have sent me into an organizing frenzy around here!
The transformation looks great! I need to transform all my kids toys into something appealing…Too many toys, and they take up too much space!
Love what you did- great color, too. I’d use the GC for my grandson, he wants some Skylander thingies.
The transformation looks great! I need to transform all my kids toys in something eye appealing…Way too many toys take up too much room!
Love the Laundry Room! My laundry room could use a little organization!
I’d love to use the card to shop for groceries.
We currently live in a very small house (hoping to buy a larger one soon) so we have very little storage space. It is so difficult to organzie everything nice and neat.
Our biggest organizational challenge is that we have too much stuff for too little space.
My biggest issues is our bathroom. There isnt enough room for all of our products. It drives me bonkers.
Target is my second home. I would like to organize my closet a bit better.
This is a great post with a lot of ideas that would work for our laundry room that I have never thought of. Thanks!
mine would also be the laundry room. It’s a long story.
my laundry room gets messy fast, great ideas!
I just organized the office! I was so surprised by just how much was actually in our office.
My greatest organizational challenge is the office. It seems like an impossible, futile task trying to stay organized.
My biggest challenge is papers..school, bills, mail. Also kids toys 🙂
I liked the orange. 🙂 I really need to organize the catch-all areas of my countertops in my kitchen!
Wow, what a great transformation you did on your laundry room! I love it!!
My whole house needs a huge overhaul and organization. When I bought the house, there was 2 of us. Now there are 4 in a 1100 sq. ft. house and it’s hard to have room for everything. I seriously would love to use a target gift card to help get me started on some organization pieces.
Wow, that’s gorgeous! I’m in the process of doing my whole apartment, but I am on a super low budget, so the gift card would really help. I love seeing posts like this. It really inspires me to work harder at my place.
I could definitely use some shelving in my laundry room…right now we have zip, zero, none. Which is definitely a problem.
My garage needs help with organization
My biggest organizational challenge would be my master bedroom closet. What a mess!
I would like the Gift Card so I could use it to start Christmas Shopping with it!
My biggest organizational challenge is keeping all of our books, movies, and CDs in some kind of order – and preventing them from spilling out to all corners of the house! I’d love to get some new shelving or cases to store our media!
My laundry room is going to be my biggest challenge yet!
My biggest organizational challenge are all my books. I have three bookshelves currently, and it’s still overflowing. It’s hard to find places to put everything without it being too cluttered.
I’d love to win this to buy shelves for my guest room.
My biggest organizational challenge is probably my pantry! It’s always a work in progress.
I have 5 very unorganized kids and a messy husband. I feel like all I do is straighten, clean, organize and then reorganize. This would really help me buy some things to help clear the clutter.
I have a nonfunctional laundry room- all the walls were gutted and never put back up so there sits my washer and dryer with everything on the floor. Sigh.
My biggest organization challenge is our important documents and bills. Since we married just a couple of years ago, our bills and paperwork is out of control! I had a little system for my stuff, but it just doesn’t apply anymore for our stuff.
My closet is my biggest challenge. I would love to win because I can use it to get a few products to help organize my closet.
I want to win so I can buy some clothes at target.
Biggest organizational challenge would have to be our closets. There is just not enough room for clothing for the 4 us, tiny closets! I know I need to purge even more, but we definitely need a system that utilizes the space we have better!