Wednesday, June 11, 2014

22 Reader Space: Some Love for the Laundry Room

Kathryn is a mom to an entire crew of sweet kiddos, and she knows the importance an organized space has on her daily routines.  She is always a source of inspiration for me, and I just love this little laundry room update she recently completed.


Kathryn has stopped by here a few times before, sharing her daughter's closet organization and her great garage systems as well.  You can find her sharing even more fabulousness over on here blog here and while you are there, you can find more details about her darling laundry room makeover also.

Here is a quick glance at what Kathryn started off with.


I asked her to stop by and share a little bit about her update and how it has made her happier while doing her daily chores.


What is the main function of this space?

"Laundry, laundry, laundry with an area for storing frozen food in our upright freezer and party supplies on the shelving above.  The space also serves as the main pass-through from our garage to the rest of the house.  This room gets some serious traffic."



Any superstar tips for keeping it organized?

"Label it, girl.  With six kids (yes 6!) I needed a space that made putting things back in their rightful place easy.  I made specific zones and labeled them accordingly: cleaning supplies, party supplies, washing supplies, important invitations and food storage.  I also put the seldom used items up high and moved the ones we use more often down low.  After using the space for a few years, I determined that creating a basket, down low, with our most used items was a good idea."




What items did you find were essential when organizing the space, and why?

"Because I finally found a paint color I loved - hello, pretty aqua - I didn't want to see a hodge podge of cleaning and washing supplies.  Those white baskets hold some serious supplies, are durable, easy to clean in case of spills and keep me from purchasing too much of the same thing.  We decided to go with open shelving since the baskets did a good job of containing things.  Plus, it was less expensive than purchasing pre-made cabinets.  And, that magnetic invitation board, covered in fun fabric, makes locating important invitations, coupons, etc. super convenient.  We just grab them on our way out the door.  For the party supplies, we went with clear box storage so I always know what supplies I have on hand.  We also added a drying bar for items that need to hang to dry or are in need of ironing.  Purchasing the over-the-door ironing caddy was also a must."



What did you do to go the extra mile and "Make it Pretty"?

"I decided to take the hardest working room in the house my happy place.  With eight people living here, we do our fair share of laundry and birthday parties.  That aqua on the walls is a great color to see as I'm sorting lights and darks.  The inspiration came from that fabric covered magnetic board, with its aqua, orange and brown.


I used those colors in the labels (which I laminated for durability) and in the laundry art I designed for above our washer.  The "wash 'em, dry 'em, put 'em up" is a family saying around here and I decided to add a few common laundry symbols as well to make it pretty and useful."




What items did you DIY to stay on a budget?

"All the labels and laundry art are my designs that I created in Adobe InDesign and then printed to fit into the desired size.  The two frames were repurposed from the boys' room after we did some spring cleaning.  Hello, free!  My husband installed all the shelving.  And, due to a major water leak a few years ago, he also fixed the drywall, retaped, painted and installed new baseboards.  The only thing we hired out was the installation of the faux wood tile.  Originally we had peel and stick flooring, but with the massive amounts of traffic and an unfortunate accident with a bottle of liquid detergent, we pulled it up and put tile down instead. Best choice we ever made!"



How has this space impacted your life for the better?

"I function best when there is order - or at least the semblance of it!  Because we have a large family, it's all about ownership and independence around here.  My oldest children know how to do laundry and because most of the supplies are within easy reach, they've become great assistants.  About two years ago, we started making our own detergent and a year ago we made the plunge into DIY cleaning supplies, as well.  Not only is the space organized, but I feel like our carbon footprint is less and my kids appreciation for being good stewards of the environment has grown.  We no longer make piles of things in this room and with the exception of laundry day, this is how it looks 90% of the time, proof of a system that works!" 



And to make this feature a little sweeter, here is the before and after we all love.


Although she started with a blank slate, she really maximized what space she had.  First, paint paint paint!  Always a room game changer and the aqua blue Kathryn selected is fresh and joyful.  In these smaller laundry areas, it is always important to think vertically with shelving or cabinets above the washer and dryer.  The open shelving allows her to quickly access items, while baskets keep the clutter concealed.  I love the ironing board rack on the back of the door {doors are always an extra space to maximize storage opportunities}, and also love that she installed a basket on the wall for everyday supplies.  The tile flooring is beautiful yet also practical for a room that is not only used for laundry, but as a passage to the garage.  And how great are those labels and stain removal charts that Kathryn created?  It is always a bonus when you can create free additions to your organizational projects with a little creativity.

A giant THANK YOU to Kathryn for sharing her sweet updates and her super smart tips for keeping a tidy laundry space.


ATTENTION!!  Want to be featured in a Reader Space edition?  Have an awesome organizing story to share?  I am looking for projects that have made a positive impact to your life, big or small.  They can be anything from an organized drawer or cabinet to an entire room.  Please submit your story and photos to iheartreaderspace@gmail.com, and I would heart to feature them right here on the blog!!  Photos should be high resolution and unedited.  Please include a description of the project, including any costs, inspiration, and how it has changed your life and routine for the better!  Oh, and no worries my friends, we will NEVER judge "before" pictures because that just wouldn't be nice!  Only love goes on at this blog!

22 comments:

  1. I'm curious; why did she switch from a front-loader to a top-loader system? I know I felt we just had to have a front-loader when we bought our house, and I regret that decision almost daily when I'm loading my laundry into the washer and it's falling right back out. >.<

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    1. Kristen, our front loader washing machine died on Cyber Monday and the cost to repair it was the same as a new one. So...we made the plunge. Plus, the mildew was always hard to control because I wasn't able to leave the door open because the room serves as a pass-through from our garage to the house. I LOVE the top loader.

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  2. I would love a printable of the laundry symbols! :)

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    1. I would love one too! Ltmanns@gmail.com

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    2. Christine, here's the link to get them! http://teamwhitaker.org/2014/06/laundry-art-on-the-cheap/

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  3. Very nice! I love that it's a "real" laundry room with an entrance to the garage and everything... just like mine! ;) I couldn't help but notice that she switched from a front load to a top load washer. I've noticed more people going back to top loaders. I am curious about the reasons. We have a top loader that is still going strong after 13 years, and I hope it never quits! :)

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    1. Jenny, I mentioned to Christine (above) that our front loader died and repairing it was the same to replace it. The top loader allows me to leave the lid open between washings since the door to the garage didn't allow for that with our front loader. I am loving our top loader!

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  4. What a lovely space! Thank you for sharing these :)

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  5. This is a great laundry room! Thanks for the inspiration. I currently have no laundry room, just a washer and dryer in the garage. We are in the process of planning to build a finished room in the garage so that I don't have to sweat just to wash clothes.

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  6. Thanks for the feature, Jen, and especially on my birthday. How fabulous!

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  7. Love this laundry room and that blue! Do you know specifically what the paint color is called?

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    1. The paint color is Kingston Aqua from Olympic. Happy painting!

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  8. Love this -- definitely gave me some inspiration to fix up my plain laundry room! Especially the aqua paint job!

    I've been told front-door washers tend to build up mold faster compared to top-load washers. Could be why she switched?

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    1. It was part that and part the washer died and the repairs equaled the cost of a new one!

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  9. That laundry room looks amazing! Love that blue color!

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  10. If you have any outside space, please do consider hanging your washing out to dry on a line. No need to pay for the electricity for your dryer and so much more environmentally friendly

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  11. So fresh and fun! I definitely wouldn't mind doing laundry in there...as much ;) Love that daily basket for easy access too. Great job, Kathryn!

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  12. Do I spy Jen's glass cleaner sticker label? Love this laundry room!

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  13. I love this! I will be moving to a new apartment soon and we will have a laundry room, a pantry, and storage closets for the first time ever. We are super excited and are always looking for ways to organize them when we move in.

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  14. I really love the blue color. They say its relaxing.... Really nice

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