Tuesday, June 18, 2013

Project: I wish I had a Laundry Room

Our home was built in the mid 1970's and we live in New England.  Instead of a fancy laundry room, we have a washer and dryer on a platform in our unfinished section of the basement.  It's dark - not super dark, but dark. Lots of creepy-crawlies live there despite my monthly frenzies with the shop vacuum.  There's a shelf that hangs above the washer and dryer that has rings of spilled laundry detergents of one kind or another, a rough folding table, and a dusty garment rack I had inherited from my best friend a few years back.

I do a lot of laundry.. Well, I should do a lot of laundry.  I end up letting it pile up before attacking it, but I really should do a load a day to keep up with the laundry demands of my family.  I began making my own laundry detergent and oxy clean a few months back and it's really paying off.  I decided now was the time to make my laundry area more friendly like a laundry room is.

Here is my very messy (simply not tidy at all), dark & dusty laundry area in the basement.  Notice the barely used shelves (mostly because they have gunk on them), the piles of things on the folding table...

Here's a close up of the shelves - I'm glad I have them but boy are they a mess! (I know, I am making this out to be a lot worse than it is).

We made a quick trip to Wal-Mart and found these awesome laundry baskets (they have great handles that don't dig into my fingers), and I grabbed some happy shelf paper (this is the one I picked).  I had some leftover indoor paint in the garage and found some white.

Step 1

Move the garment rack over to near the dryer.  I then used some multi-surface cleaner to get the dust off and clean them.  I hung unused hangers for myself, my husband, the boys and the baby all on the garment rack.  I put my awesome new laundry baskets on both the bottom and the top of the garment rack to keep them easy to access and close to where the clean laundry will need to go.  I cleared off the folding table and put things on the shelves where they belonged.  I took the old wall paper off the folding table and washed it.  Then I moved the things off the shelf (can you tell this was done over a couple of days?) and washed that.  I gave it a day to dry since I had given those shelves a good washing.  While I was at it, I used the multi-surface cleaner to wash the washer and dryer.  I also washed the top of the fluorescent light fixture so there was as little dust as possible hanging around my soon-to-be-awesome laundry area.

Step 2

I painted the shelves, the sides, the inside, the top and the bottoms of each shelf I could reach.  I also painted the sides of the folding table to brighten it up a bit.

Check out how CLEAN it looks! How nice and friendly and inviting!

Step 3

I laid out the shelf paper on the folding table.  I did this in large sheets and smoothed it down.  I also laid down shelf paper on each of the shelves so when the laundry detergents leak, they will be easy to wipe down.

What an awesome difference!

I found some absolutely adorable printables online. Two are from One Good Thing by Jillee, and this one from Better Homes & Gardens.  I printed them and used clear shelf paper to secure them to my folding table.

There you have it!  Small home upgrade - no longer is it "washer/dryer in the basement" it is officially "Laundry Area in the Basement".  Huzzah!

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