Posts tagged ‘Laundry Room’

Pretty Practical

I am on a constant lookout for new ways to stay organized. Owning a piece of property will bring out Danny Tanner-esque habits that one never knew existed. In previous residences, I never put much time into storage and de-clutter because the lease expiration date was always looming in the distance. I was always thinking of moving. Knowing that I will be staying where I am now for several years, I have no qualms about improving the space. Really, organizing is just a way of making a space easier to keep clean. Who doesn’t love that?!

Better Homes & Gardens really gets me. They know what I’m about. That’s why they’re always sending me emails with new storage ideas. Of course, some of the slide-shows they send me are a complete waste of time, especially when they fore-go instructions for a measly “Find a decorator in your area” link. But every relationship hits rough spots. They always make it up to me with flowers (I’m talking beautiful centerpieces in my email).

I can’t possibly use all the ideas given, especially with my 20 sq. ft. pantry/laundry room/coat room, but I can sure as heck pass the good ones along. Think of me as a weed whacker. I cut through the unsightly disaster to bring you beautiful, inspirational ideas for your home.

This small red laundry caddy was once an entertainment center, before the days of wall-mounts. A can of paint, a few screws, and a metal pole later: stress free laundromat.

Lazy Susans are not just for picnic tables anymore. I have 1 in my fridge for various sauces and condiments. Everything is within easy reach, refusing to be forgotten about to the point where it no longer resembles its original state. Seriously, these things have saved me so much money. I can’t tell you how often I used to make my grocery list, jotting down an item I already have because it has been relegated to the back of the fridge. AND..they’re under $10! Make sure to get one with a raised lip to avoid sliding.

I LOVE this floating ironing board. I, myself, use a steamer for all my wrinkly garments, but if I had an ironing board, I would definitely mount it to something. If you’re new here, I love things that float. Floor space is very valuable in a condo.

Along the same lines…

Most of us have those few articles of delicate clothing that won’t hold up in the rough and tumble of the dryer. We’ve all seen the fold-up drying rack that gets propped in the middle of your bedroom/ living room/ kitchen, etc overnight until your clothes are dry. Or worse, if you’re like me without such rack, you resort to draping your clothes over pieces of furniture. You should see our place after laundry day, it’s as if our bedroom closet spit up.

But this little treasure is out of the way even when in use. I don’t hang my wet clothes like shown here, for fear of them losing shape, but all the wooden bars are perfect for draping articles over. These are somewhat pricier than their cumbersome counterpart, but given how much I hate waking up to wet clothes in the living room, I’ll spend the extra $30 on the floating variety at Amazon.

Moving on..

I am a fan of glass containers. I have several on my vanity for hair ties, make up brushes, earring studs, etc. I have 1 in my laundry room as a “lost & found” for quarters and such that fall out of our pant pockets during the wash cycle. I also have several under my bathroom sink for shaving necessities, chapsticks and the like. They are very affordable…as low as $2 at Walmart, and can come in all shapes and sizes to meet your needs.

Always remember that practicality can be pretty. Guests may not see your laundry room, but that does not mean you should neglect it. With simple solutions like these, you’ll be looking forward to laundry day before you know it! Wash on!

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The pantry just doubled my kitchen space

Remember the before. Cluttered, messy, disorganized, and every other word that implies we moved in and threw everything in here that didn’t have room elsewhere.

The during:

The Present:

The shelves are from Lowe’s. It was (2) 9 ft shelves for $20 each, cut into several 2½ feet shelves. The brackets were $2.50 each.

 

The laundry basket is from Home Goods: $25. The shelf that is now resting on it will be mounted a foot higher and will hold laundry detergents. The towels will decrease in quantity and the lucky ones will be mounted on a shelf above the coat shelf seen below. The 3 drawer component is from Lowe’s for $12. Plenty of storage for a lost & found (whatever falls out of pockets in the washing machine), plastic bags, toilet paper, workout gear, umbrella & miscellaneous. I’m still looking for a space for the weights and yoga mat other than the floor.

Enough room for the 2 of us to hang our coats plus more for company. The scarves are kept above the coats and the 3rd shelf will go above the scarves with about 2 feet of room for the towels.

I’m still interested in painting this room to give it some more character, but I don’t want the white hardware to be obvious. It’s not exactlt high priority but I daydream about colors here and there.

I would also love to cover the water heater but I don’t know how safe that is nor do I know what I could cover it with as I’m not fond of cheap canvas-like curtains as room dividers. And luxurious, plush curtains wouldn’t really go here…

Moving forward on the pantry plans

My previous post about turning my laundry room into a pantry really got the ball rolling. It was something I’ve been thinking about since we moved in, but kept putting off for financial reasons as well as time consumption. Here are the ‘before’ (and current) photos, followed by a blueprint for the ‘after’:

It doesn’t look this bad all the time. With the transition from summer to fall the laundry has been flooding this room (although I can’t say the floor is always spotless either). The problem is we don’t have a laundry basket yet. It sounds like there would be a simple solution to this, but we also don’t have a place for it. I like a hidden hamper. Our rooms are too pretty to be spoiled by a basket of dirty clothes against the wall. Under the bathroom vanity would be possible, but that creates a new problem for my beauty products.

This room probably seemed like a great idea during the planning stages. It’s a small condo, so presumably for 1 or 2 people, room is only needed for a coat rack and extra linens. But this is our only storage in the unit.

We do have alot of towels, unnecessarily. We’ve acquired many over the years and why throw out a bath towel? We have the essentials for storage: baskets, shelves, hang bar. But we lack the necessities for change. I’m going to need to buy several more shelves for my plan, which are pretty inexpensive at the local Lowe’s.

These shelves proved satisfactory for a while (an old Walmart 9 cubby unit with the verticals removed). But if I plan on storing food and wine and opening up room in my kitchen for more gadgets and barware, a major change needs to happen. Here are the “blueprints”:

I have 4 feet across to work with, 2 feet in depth, and 9 feet in height. I plan on using the left for a pull out laundry basket with a shelf on top for detergents and fabric softeners. The coat rack and extra linens will also be on the left. The right will leave room for wine, food, winter accessories such as hats and gloves, bath tissue and paper towels, and workout gear. The bottom right will be a small shelf used as our own “mud room.” If room allows, we will also keep our biggest gadgets in here: a popcorn popper, juicer, and Magic Bullet blender. While browsing Lowe’s aisles last night, I discovered that RubberMaid has an interactive tool on their website where you can design your dream closet, and print out the shopping list. It doesn’t provide as much custom configuration as I would like, but still a neat tool for others. I will be making another trip to Lowe’s tonight and hopefully buying what I need this time.

The Laundry Room…Potential pantry?

 

No this is not my pantry (www.womansday.com)

 

Our laundry room is a great feature of the condo. I love having the washer/dryer out of the way. I also love having it so close to the bedroom. In our last place we had to trek down to the dark, cold basement late at night when the urge would rise for clean clothes. We also have room for guest linens, extra towels, workout gear, and other necessities that would fall under “miscellaneous.”

But I long for a formal pantry. We don’t have much cabinet space in our kitchen, especially given my addiction to excess barware and gadgety appliances. Besides the fridge, we only have 1 cabinet for food, and it’s below the breakfast bar. Needless to say, groceries are often forgotten about until they are rotten.

Just in these 3 top cabinets, I keep: every day drink glasses, beer steins, pint glasses, wine glasses, champagne glasses, martini glasses, brandy glasses, margarita glasses, martini shaker, coffee mugs, plates, bowls, smaller bowls, smallest bowls, really I could go on. I would love to have a section in my imaginary pantry for barware. Those slots that are installed onto the bottom of shelves that hold wine glasses by the base…that would be ideal.

Plenty of shelves for dry foods and snacks are a must. I also can’t forget about all the existing things in there. I need to keep room for: laundry detergent, weights, yoga mat, broom, mop, sneakers, winter coats, umbrellas, toilet paper, paper towels. Maybe even a pull out hamper? Ugh! This is definitely going to become a major project. Did I mention the space available for these shelves is one 5 foot-long wall about 2 feet deep? The ceiling, however is higher than average at about 9 feet.

This is beautiful and if I keep room on the right for a small coat rack and the mop and broom, this is about all I have width for. I, however, feel like I have much more to store than pictured here. A winery just opened up down the street. Although I tend to finish a bottle before having time to store it, a small wine rack would be nice. 39 bottle capacity is wayy too much for me. Maybe I’d just keep the top left, enough to hold 5 bottles. Perfect for unexpected company. Pots and pans are covered so I don’t really need space for those in here. The more I analyze this pantry from closet world, the more I realize it’s only the size that first attracted me.

 

 

 

 

More suitable pantries pictured below:

 

Just my style, but no room for anything but food

 

Wine storage!

The pantry on the left in beige is from http://www.closettailors.com

To the right with wine storage, http://www.paradiseclosets.com

The yellow pantry that looks reasonably priced, I found at merrymousse.blogspot.com

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