I am an elementary school media specialist (librarian) and a new mom. My daughters (born 12/27/2010 and 6/27/2013) are teaching me all kinds of new things every day. One thing they have taught me is that sometimes, there just isn't room for much else besides learning. If you're not sleeping, eating, talking, blogging, or whatever, it might just be because you're TOO BUSY LEARNING!

Friday, June 27, 2008

Summer Organization Project #2: The Laundry Closet

Having conquered the spice shelf and (lack of) pantry situation in my kitchen already this summer, I moved quickly on to Summer Organization Project #2: The Laundry Closet. While it really wasn't that bad to begin with, I knew I could use the space more efficiently and effectively, hence the project. Here's the old space:

This is right after my husband and I got our brand new pretty washer and dryer (Thanks, Ty!). I had originally wanted to take the shelf out and stack the units on the right where the washer is and then re-do the shelving to create a pantry-like space, since the laundry closet is in the kitchen. However, neither the dryer power cord nor the vent would reach that far, so we ended up with this alternative set-up. I like it fine, especially since I have room to leave the washer door open to air out (quite necessary for front-loading washers if you do not wish for them to smell of poo) and still close the closet doors. My plumber suggested that I get pedestals for the units, which basically stands them up higher and gives them a storage drawer underneath. That would be fabulous except that I already paid a crapload for the actual machines, and the pedestals cost a pretty penny as well. I was pretty sure I could get my space organized (and make use of vertical space) for practically nothing. And I was right.

The vertical space between the machines and the shelf turns out to be a great thing because I can hang wet stuff from the shelf on hangers, rather than putting a drying rack out in the house somewhere for a whole day with my bras on it. I was a little worried about how stuff would dry in the dark closet (mildew? gross.), but so far, it's been fine. And the top of the dryer actually works as a shelf for laundry products. Someday, I'll find some nice fabric bins to use to hold the stuff, but it works fine without them too. The washer moves around a bit too much on spin cycle to hold much on top, but a laundry basket can sit on it with no damage.

The real vertical space problem was with the shelf. There's a good amount of space between the shelf and the ceiling, so how can you maximize the space? Ladies and gentlemen, milk crates and dish tubs are two of mankind's greatest inventions. Behold....

Just pop a couple of milk crates onto the shelf, and you have instant stackability. Now, when I want my toolbox (which is frequently during the summer), I just slide it out of the crate, and everything else stays in place. Before, I had to unearth it from the stuff piled on top of it. Infrequently used stuff can go on top of the crates. If you have a bunch of little junk (vacuum cleaner bags, light bulbs, etc.), they can go in a dish tub on top of a crate. This works great for summer/winter rotations in clothes closets too. In summer, put the shorts and t-shirts in a crate and the sweaters on top. Swap them in the winter. If you want your closet to look cute, WalMart has some pretty stylish crate-like solutions that don't look nearly as cheap as they are. See?

And finally, for the Grilling Man, here's the grill corner of the newly-organized closet. I ended up with enough space to move this stuff out of the kitchen cabinets (more pantry space!) and into the laundry closet. Grilling tools can be affixed to the shelf rod with carabiner clips. (We had a couple of freebies leftover from an outdoor store sale event.) Here is also where all the ammo for Ty's veritable arsenal ended up, once again getting it out of the kitchen cabinets. The boxes contain my limited seasonal decor (other than Christmas stuff, which lives under the bed).

On my wish list for the laundry closet: over-the-door ironing board hanger if such a thing exists, wall-mounted broom rack for the corner by the dryer, fabric bins for the top of the dryer.

And now, having written this post with detailed description of my laundry room as though anyone is really that interested, I feel a little bit dweeby. This is probably along the same lines as learning Klingon so as to communicate secretly with other Trekkies, only I'm an organization geek instead of a sci fi geek (really, I promise). Oh well. Leave me a comment about your mad laundry room organizing skillz, or just ask me a trivia question about Star Trek because let's face it, I probably know the answer.


Emily said...

Now, uh, when are you coming up to do our laundry room? Please? Pretty please?

Actually, it's not so bad, except it's an alcove off our hallway right outside the master bedroom, so there's NO WAY to hide it. And if you have a light-sleeper-type man, you can't let your clothes dry during the night.

Sonja Foust said...

I actually did my laundry room this weekend too, although my space us a lot smaller than yours. I finally got a 3 bin sorting hamper and installed a rack for hanging. (Repurposed an unused shower curtain rod.)

M.Brayfield said...

Walmart has lots of lovely over the door hanger thingies. I thought we had one just for the ironing board, but looks like we just used a couple of regular ones and put them close together. Living in an apartment anything that can come down easy is great.