Monday, April 16, 2012

The Laundry Room Dilemna

I need to be brutally honest with you right now.  My house is far from perfect, and I don't do a very good job at keeping it clean.  But having a messy house stresses me out.  I am constantly in this conundrum between not having a clean house, and really truly desiring for it to be clean.

I tell myself that my house is constantly messy because I have no time.  But let's be honest - mostly my house is in the state it is in because I am lazy.  If I constantly kept up with it, I am sure that my house would look better and I would feel better.  But I put off cleaning until it gets to the stage where it is so messy that I have to clean it, but I never want to.

Don't believe me?  This is what I am looking at right now:
Sorry for the blurriness, I don't know what I was thinking when I took this!

But although my laziness is a major culprit in this issue, I think there is another culprit that is equally to blame.  Ever heard the saying, a place for everything, and everything in its place?  I could live by this motto.  There are some things that have a specific place to go, and I have an exceedingly easy time putting these things away, because I don't have to rummage around and find a place for it, or throw it somewhere only to have to deal with it later.

So I am going to be trying to organize my house piece by piece to ensure everything does have a place.  And I am going to bring you on my journey with me.  I will need your help in order to decide how I should organize and decorate these spaces!  Every Monday (hopefully), I will have a new organizing blog post.  Sometimes it will be projects I have done, and sometimes it will be projects I am thinking of doing and need your help with.  So please, join me and help me organize my life!

There are a couple of other factors that affect these projects as well.  First, as I work on these organizing projects, I will be primarily home with our beautiful daughter, so I rarely have long periods of time to devote to a project, but rather I can only work on things in short intervals (usually while she naps).  Secondly, Dave and I do not own the house we live in, we are renting it.  Our landlords have given us a ton of freedom to do with it as we please, but we definitely do not want to be sinking a lot of money for very little return.  Finally, we are on a tight budget.  I have a limited amount of money set aside every month for 'home improvement', and so anything I do needs to be extremely cost effective!

The Laundry Room

The first area that I have decided to tackle is our laundry room area.  Our washer and dryer are in a dark (hence the awful photos) corner of our basement, slightly out of the way.  The washer and dryer are pretty old, but have worked well for us.   I have also been hanging some of our clothes on the line to dry in order to save electricity.  This works well, but means I need to be even more organized in getting them out to the line, and bringing them in before I forget about them and they are rained on.

There are two shelves above my dryer.  These shelves have been, for the most part, pretty cluttered.  They held my laundry detergent(s), bleach, stain remover, lightbulbs, some cleaners, our iron, our steamer, some dryer balls, dryer sheets, and lots more.  Recently I switched to using soap nuts as our laundry detergent.  This has worked well for us, it means that I am not worrying about what chemicals I am washing our clothes in, and it also means that I can use the same laundry detergent to wash all of our laundry (Ella's diapers, her clothes, our clothes, bedding, towels, etc).  It has decreased the number of bottles I need to have available at all times.

This weekend I cleaned those shelves off.  I forgot to take a before picture, but I hadn't touched the top shelf when I took this picture.  Just take the mess on the top shelf, multiply it exponentially in your mind and you have what the bottom shelf looked like.

I got four glass jars for the bottom shelf, and two small baskets for the top shelf.  I had originally bought the baskets for 7$ a pop at Zelllers, only to find almost the exact same ones at the Dollar store for 2$ - so I returned the ones from Zellers and saved myself 10$.  The glass jars that I got were 2$ each as well (I miss when everything at the Dollar store was actually 1$).

Bottom shelf - Soap Nuts, Baking Soda, Borax, Soap Nuts
I am not done yet though.  Half of the mess from the shelves is still on my dryer.  I need to figure out what to do with the following things:

1) Bleach.  I want to put this in a soap pump container.  Does anyone know if this would destroy the container?  It would be nice to be able to just squirt a couple drops into the washing machine when I need it!
2) Stain Remover.  I am not quite sure how to hide this one - it is a bright pink bottle, so I might just have to live with it!

The blocks in blue are going to appear very soon.  I have some nice frames that I am going to frame these instructions in and hang up!

Your input

This is where I need your help.  If you have any insight about the following things, leave me a comment:

1) What to do with my bleach
2) What to do with my stain remover
3) How to further organize my little bins (note the one on the left isn't really organized), and it will get pretty messy if I leave it like this!

You can also help by voting in one of the polls!

1) Vote on whether I should paint the back wall of my cupboards, leave it bare, or paper it so it will look like this (not necessarily this paper):


2) I want a place to store the laundry that I don't wash all the time, but that I need a place for when they are dirty and I get new ones (like dirty towels, dish clothes, table clothes, hand-wash only clothes, etc).  Should I use a wooden system like this one:

Or a hamper system like this one:
Thanks so much for your help in advance!  I can't wait to hear what you all think!  You can vote in the polls in the right sidebar!



  1. My goal is always to do as little as possible for the same result, so I would a) leave the shelves bare. I don't think painting it would make it look much nicer and the likelihood of getting some sort of soap or water stain on the paper is high so it might not look good for very long. And b) I would go with the hamper system. Again, much easier, and Walmart even sells hampers that come in three or four sections, though it is like $50.

    Again, that is because I go for maximum output with minimum input.

  2. Also, I respectfully ask you to "shut your face" because your living room isn't hardly messy at all. That is all.

    (I'm allowed to say this because I'm your sister.) ;)

  3. I vote for the wooden one, I like the creative use of laundry baskets that can be moved to fold, sort etc. Looks like this is a DIY building project for Dave + you could paint it!

    PS Your house looks pretty clean to me. (:

  4. I seriously miss when everything at dollarama was a dollar too, they almost need to change their name...

    I say you should wallpaper the back with a vinyl wallpaper. It wipes down easily and I think is a bit more durable than paint.

    As for the bleach, i'm not sure if a pump bottle could handle it. I remember back in high school I thought it would be an awesome idea to keep a small bottle of nail polish remover in my bookbag. I found a small plastic container and put some in it and within a week it had nearly eaten through the container. I guess if you try it, try a super heavy duty plastic bottle - or maybe you can even find a glass one? At least then it would only eat through the pump mechenism and not the bottle itself.