Back to the Challenges! #10 Laundry Room Organization

Warning this post is long, has lots of pics, and I ramble a lot.

My laundry room is also my office where I work full time as an online Customer Service Rep and in-game support for a game company (including online games). I work 6:45pm til 3:15am which I've been doing for 3 years now, so the family and I are used to it now. I've moved my desk from the bedroom to the kitchen to the laundry room to the living room and back to the laundry room. I considered moving to my master closet, but decided it wouldn't work.  So, this is it, until more kids move out and I have a whole bedroom to turn into a proper office, this is where I'm staying...  So it needs to truly function as double duty and it's a very small space considering.

Of course just HAVING a laundry room is AWESOME since in my last house I lived for 20 years with a washer and dryer in the hallway and I hated it. The problem with this laundry room was that it had nothing to help keep it organized.  No shelving or cabinets or anything. Just a weird hallway leading back to this little square room just big enough for the washer, dryer, my desk and my chair.  So, I had to really get creative with how things work in here. It's still got one more project to be done before it's totally finished, but for now it's good. Just needs organization.

This was the "peek"  photo I posted last week about how bad it was and why I was dreading doing this space. Fortunately, the challenge on A Bowl Full of Lemons gave me backup when I went to my Hubby and asked him to install a shelf above the washer and dryer.

This is the laundry sorter I had always dreamed of having. It's piled up with stuff and full here, but oh it makes doing laundry SO much easier.  I used to not have anywhere to hang clothes. I'd fold everything, then take it to the right bedrooms and then unfold and hang the stuff that had to hang. Usually it just stayed folded. :(
There's all sorts of stuff piled up there. The wicker and wire rack is the perfect size for the canvas cubbies.  Each kid has a color coded cubby and as I fold their clothes, I put them in their cubby.  Then each night they're supposed to come get it and take it to their room, put their clothes away and bring back the empty cubby. Corina, my oldest had a purple cubby on top, but she took it when she moved out. That pile on top is her stuff I've found and washed since then.

The pile on the dryer in the top photo is a mix of summer clothes, give-away stuff and some Christmas stuff that needed washing. Plus the laundry room is kind of a dumping ground for "stuff".
I've always wanted to get a shelf over the washer and dryer to put stuff on so I can keep the top of the dryer cleared off for folding clothes. And finally hubby said yes, and was off work yesterday!

We went to Lowe's last week and looked at all the wire shelving options, and I really liked some of them, but they were really expensive after getting the brackets and all that stuff.  We'd built wooden shelves in the girls' room in the old house, so I decided to look at their wooden shelves.  They were crazy expensive too, and some were just that presswood crap.  So, I decided to go check out lumber, and struck gold!  This project would have been even cheaper if I'd been ok with 12" width, but I really wanted 16" wide. The piece of pine (I think it was pine heh) 6 ft x 16" was $15 and the little wood pieces we used as supports were $1.50 for two 20" long pieces which we cut off at 16" and used the other 4" pieces that were cut off as the middle supports on the back.  So, this whole shelf cost less than $20. That makes me very happy.

Hubby thinks it's a little high, but I can put stuff up there the kids can't readily access if I need to and I don't have to worry about hitting my head on it when I'm doing laundry. It works fine for me.

I keep the detergent and softener in a plastic tub so any spills or drips stay in the tub and not all over the shelf or washer and dryer. The washer's new (never even peeled off the blue protective liner thingie lol). It's the first actually new appliance I've ever owned (actually we did buy our deep freezer new 20 years ago heh.) The dryer's a nice one with lots of bells and whistles, but it died this week, and I think it's the motor.  Thankfully the tax refund should be here in a few weeks and I can buy a new dryer. Yay!  Not sure what we're doing til then though.  There is a laundromat just down the street with free wifi.  Guess we'll be hanging out there a lot heh.

This is a bag Rhiannon decorated at a museum camp one year when she was little.  It holds clothes pins.

I got a new purple cubby at Kmart where they're on sale for just $2.50 this week! Now that's where I put my and Christopher's folded stuff so I can easily carry it to our room. I had the kids come get their hanging clothes and I put away ours. I was hoping to have the sorters empty when I took this but laundry has kind of shut down with the dryer dead. The pink and black bag hanging there is full of cute scarfs that came on the girls' tshirts etc.

In between the cubby rack and the laundry sorter is where I keep the mops and brooms etc. I used to have a great wall hanger for them, but there's currently not room for it right now. There should be again soon.

I plan on moving the rolling laundry sorter to Rhiannon's room for her clothes so she doesn't have to share the closet with Faelyn. She could fill the closet with just her stuff. Then I'm putting up a wire shelf with a hanging bar and a new 3-bin sorter under it.  That will eliminate the problem of the bars on the side of the current sorter that get in the way when walking into the laundry room now. Just need to wait til tax refund comes. Not long now.

I just love how the space looks so much bigger now.  I used to dread going back into that dungeon-like hole.
 KC likes that the laundry hasn't all been done.

 The space is kind of cozy now. :)

 That little red box (actually a lid) behind the monitor is now where I put small things that need to be charged since I keep a couple of chargers plugged in here. They used to just get laid on the washer or fall on the floor. This is much better.
Thanks to one of the first challenges being the top of my desk, it's pretty clean and since I had to organize it (and copied Toni's Mobile Command Center), I have kept it free of clutter.  Papers have a place they go as soon as they come in.  I don't have to pile it up and try to decide what to do with it later. There's a file for everything.

So, there's my newly cleaned (mostly) and reorganized laundry room. I still have plenty of room for storing extras of things. Now I can stock up on detergent when it's on sale and I have coupons! Yay!  I've got room to store the stuff to make home made detergent too, so I can start doing that again. Love that! There's room for lightbulbs so I can stock up on those too. We seem to only buy them when we need 2 or 3 and then use them all.

Thanks so much to Toni at A Bowl Full of Lemons for the inspiration to get it done!