Saturday, February 27, 2010

28 Day Challenge- Laundry room for $2.76

From RAGS To RICHES on $2.76
Don't believe me? 
Just take a look!
This is my before. And let me just say, there are LOTS of things I wanted to do in this room from the VERY first moment I knew it was mine. Here is my dreamlist
1. Laundry does itself, from washing to putting away
2. I wanted a lower shelf and a bar installed (those slotted shelves are annoying for hanging!)
3. I would love to have a side shelf at my level on the left.
4. I want to put a piece of wood or something flat across my washer and dryer to make a "folding space"
5. Hooks for storage!
6. Super cute bins for storage

Now for reality...this isn't going to happen...because we don't have the money to throw at my space (my fault, I didn't budget accordingly). So, I decided to utilize what I had available. I shopped my house and this is the END result!

(The corner to the left of the door, my sock bag and tote bag for downstairs dirty/clean clothing)

 And the hook on the back of the door!

1. What do I want the purpose of my room or area to be?
             I wanted my laundry room to be functional (the prior owner was an WNBA worker and about two feet taller than me, so that shelf is soooo impractical!). I also wanted this place to make me happy. In our older home, we had about two feet of space between machines, you couldn't even open the dryer if the washer was open OR open the garage door or kitchen door if you were trying to do wash and that washroom made me HAPPY, I LOVED THAT PLACE--Why? It was organized, it was simple, it was pretty and it was FUNCTIONAL! I had craft supplies, cleaning supplies, wash supplies and NO ROOM, but it was organized! So, this room needed to be organized, functional, clean and have something bright and pretty!
2. What do I need in or near the room to serve that purpose?
A clear space to hang the girls clothes and our clothes, organize socks, easily reach my detergents and stainfighters, and a place to fold and sort clothes before they are put away. I also needed clearly labeled, but PRETTY and CHEAP containers.
3. What can I remove from the room?
Items that don't belong (the drying rack from the dryer that came with the house, storage bags, baby storage items, etc) or should have been put away a LONG time ago, like all those clothes, socks and linens!
4. What problems do I see with the room?
Shelf is too high, no place to fold clothes, no containers or clearly defined boundaries, no place or method to match socks, no place to hang my bag of socks waiting to be matched (you know, all the white ones that have to be matched when you are sitting down, not the ones that scream, "Hey, I have Dora on me, here is my match".) or my bag that I use to carry clean dishcloths downstairs and dirty ones upstairs at the end of the day.
5. What organizational tools might solve those problems?
A new shelf, a board of some sort to lay across my washer and dryer, a sock line, hooks, containers for bulk or multiple items and storage, a pole for hanging clothes on, basically my dream list
6. What habits need to change to solve the organizational problems?
I need to get better at putting clothes away after they are hung up, match my socks better, appreciate my machines better (I LOVE those machines, they make me happy and sing sweet songs instead of BLARING alarms when the load is finished. It's the little things in life.) use containers to sort my cleaning supplies
7. What kind of a budget do I have to work with right now for storage solutions?
Budget, try Zero dollars, it was a last minute project, and as much as I like the idea of adding paint, a shelf, etc. I really didn't plan well enough in advance. So this is what you can do just by shopping your house!
8. What kind of a timeline is necessary to organize the room? (28 days!)
Okay, I didn't know about this until much later than 28 days...I also got caught up in life...and this room has been the bane of my existence, and only led to me being further and further overwhelmed by life...sooo I spent a week catching up on laundry (yep you read that right, a week...but again I'm admiting that life has REALLY been getting to me). Although, can I just say that this room has provided me a small part of my life that I can attack with a plan, gain control, and keep control. After laundry was caught up, I organized and I'm excited to start keeping laundry under control!
9. What is my plan of action?
Do my laundry
Clean the room (I windex-ed/wiped down the machines, washed the floors, and cleaned out from BEHIND the machines)
Empty it
Find my storage solutions
Sort the items emptied
Put the ones that don't belong in their appropriate homes
Label the boxes in the appropriate containers
Use what I "shopped" for in my home and find my solutions to my problems!

10. Who can I ask to help me with this?  (working with a friend can be fun, productive and encouraging)
Kaelyn- She helped me with the containers
Ryan- Really encouraged me and gave the appropriate/needed response to the room!
Now, the problems I fixed in this space were done for pennies on the dollar. My storage bins started out as these:
Yep, those are old diaper boxes and wipes boxes! And there is TONS of room left on that shelf, and wrapping paper (from leftover Christmas Sales...although it doesn't look very festive) to make more of these boxes for future storage!  I have one for bulk items (extra detergent and stainfighters), Stain fighters and Bleach, and Needed baby storage items.
Kaelyn helped wrap and label!
I made the sock line using yarn and paper clips (didn't have any clothes pins) to help me match my socks more easily!

I wrapped the shelf that had been sitting under our sink to match, and installed it at my level so that I could easily reach my detergent and frequently used stain fighter.  These hooks cost 2.76 and were my ONLY purchase. The small blue/green bag is used to hold unmatched socks that would require concentration to match (white/black/etc) and the pink polka dotted one is carried downstairs each morning to put clean dish towels away and carry dirty ones upstairs.
The third hook is put on the back of the door to hold the drying rack for our is RARELY used! And I cleared the tops of the machines off and covered in white shelf liner to provide a space to fold and sort! The girls clothing goes on the left of the sock line (which serves as a boundary) and our clothing goes on the right.

I really enjoyed this project and the feeling of accomplishment I have gained from it! I am so excited to repeat this in other areas of my home. Perhaps, I'll manage to have a beautifully organized home before our newest addition arrives in August!

If you want to see what other spaces have been attacked and organized...go to I'm an Organizing Junkie to view her 28 Day Challenge Participants


Our Cozy Little Book and Art Corner said...

I LOVE it and I'm going to start on mine tomorrow! thanks for the post and the inspiration :)

I'll let you know how mine goes!

Brandie said...

I'm excited to see how yours turns out!

Sorry that mine is so long, had to answer some questions to qualify to never know!

Family Style School said...

Wow!! What a great accomplishment! You have inspired me. I really love the sock line, that is a great idea that I will be implementing!