Keeping up with laundry is one of my least favorite housewifey chores. I like clean clothes. But I do not like sorting, hauling, remembering to transfer to the dryer, folding, and putting away.
But I just stumbled across a way to make laundry a more enjoyable chore: LOVE the laundry room!
A little history: Our laundry room is also the pass-through between the kitchen and garage. It’s where I store my oversized and infrequently used kitchen appliances, my linens, cleaning products, recycling and paper shredder. It’s also where I unload my arms with things brought in from the car, where I store items for Stephen to put away properly in the garage, and where I try to keep track of incoming and outgoing mail.
Do I even need to write out the end to this story? It was a mess, all the time.
Fast forward to the day that I decided that my life would not be complete without a counter across the top of my front-loading washer and dryer. This had always been my intention for this room, but I got a real burr under my saddle about it a couple of weeks ago and so I took drastic measures: I wrote it on Stephen’s to-do list.*
I showed Stephen some inspirational pictures and how-to blogs that I had saved to my Pinterest board. “That’s not too complicated,” he agreed, and so he spent Father’s Day working on my counter.
Well, it turns out, I was right: the counter was exactly what I needed to turn the laundry room around. Once it was installed, I could not rest until I had organized the rest of the shelves, cabinets, and clipboards (for real, not just shuffling crap into neat piles). The result? A neat and tidy laundry room that sorts and folds clothes all by itself. Well, not exactly, but at least my eyes can be happy while I’m standing in there doing those tasks.
Want to see?
The counter is glorious because it it easy to wipe down and keeps all of my dirt and stray laundry from going into the cracks between the appliances. Plus, it just feels more grown-up to set all my laundry gear on a counter instead of on the washer and dryer themselves. Maybe it’s just me.
Anyway, a few things to point out: the fun b&w picture leaning against the wall behind the dirty rags (a) makes me smile and (b) hides the washer connections. Providentially, I bought three of those yellow buckets at Wal-Mart for $5 each just about a week before this big organizational shindig. They’re cheerful, matching, and the perfect size to hold a small load of clothes. And if I ever get tired of them as laundry baskets, they can be repurposed in a billion ways.
My calendar and clipboards are on the left-hand wall facing the garage door. The clipboards hold time-sensitive paper-to-be-dealt with (Netflix envelopes, wedding RSVP envelopes, checks to deposit, etc.). You Smartphone users may remember that before Google, people actually hung paper calendars on the wall and wrote on them with pens and pencils. Mine is a dry-erase board, but it’s the same idea. (Your Grandma can further clarify if this concept sounds familiar but is still a bit fuzzy in your head.)
Mostly, the clutter on this counter and shelves needed to be put in its proper place or thrown away. Once that was done, it wasn’t too much trouble to corral the remaining items into matching bins (and what’s the fun of matching bins without cute matching labels?)
The bulletin board keeps up with (important!) paper scraps, gift cards, spare keys, and cute pins. Having the toaster oven out means that I actually use it, so it got to stay.
Most importantly, though, this space has stayed clean for two weeks now! It’s the corollary to the “Messy Loves Company” rule: Clean Surfaces Repel Clutter. When the space was disorganized, I didn’t think twice about adding to the chaos. Now that it’s clean, I go ahead and take a few extra steps to the trashcan or to the kitchen counter (yes, it gets messy, but clutter doesn’t collect for long).
Hmm, so much for this being a short post. I guess I had more to say about my laundry room than I thought. Which further confirms this nagging hunch I’ve been having that I need to get out of the house more.
*This is my almost-failproof, non-nagging way of getting things done around the house. Maybe I’ll talk about it more soon.