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The house that I live in now was built in the 1860s and there are a lot of quirks to living in a home this old. The floors aren’t always even, there is coal storage areas in my basement, and there are rooms with no heating ducts, as well as other architectural oddities. One of these (and one that is quite common in my area of Western New York), is that there was no dedicated laundry room when the house was built (for obvious reasons – no washing machines or indoor plumbing). Washing machines are quite often in basements, but if you’re lucky, you find a house with a renovated upstairs laundry hookups, which my house does have.
The downside is that it is itty bitty. When I lived in Oklahoma and Texas, my houses had fairly largely laundry rooms with lots of storage. Here, not so much. My laundry room is off the side of my kitchen, by the stairs down to the basement, and doubles as a pantry, and most of the time as a mudroom. Itty bitty space + lots of stuff = a HUGE mess. As I looked into my laundry room at spring cleaning time, I knew something had to be done to make this space more usable and functional for my family. I’m cringing to show you, but check out the before….not good, right? But the after is AWESOME for us, especially for such a tiny space!
So I’m going to take you through how we accomplished this transformation from a space you really couldn’t walk in to a functional laundry room!
- Binge on Bins
You’ll notice in the “Before” shot that I already started with vertical storage – which is key in a small space – but I had my pantry items just sitting on the shelves. By organizing them into bins, I saved almost two full shelves to give things off the floor and off other surfaces in the room. And that laundry basket on the bottom shelf – full of the kids’ sports gear, also rescued off the floor. By combining bins and vertical storage, I was able to free up more floor space, which is key to making it a usable room.
2. Use the Space You Have
Wall space is a bit tight in my laundry room, so I relocated our mops and brooms to an organizer near the basement stairs – it’s out of the way, and clears out that precious floor space.
3. Make it Easy For the Kids to Help
Before, there were laundry baskets EVERYWHERE, which left my trunk (which doubles as storage) unusable as a folding station. It also let the kids get away with dumping their baskets and letting mom sort it out. So we switched to two (vertical, of course) laundry baskets for lights and darks, so the kids can help with sorting. This makes tossing a load of laundry in a lot easier – as well as easier to see when it’s starting to pile up!
4. Find the Right Detergent
The top of my dryer in the before picture was crowded with laundry supplies – cold water detergent, sports detergent, softeners, stain remover…on and on. I wanted to find a detergent that would work for all temperatures of water, was great on stains, smelled awesome, and was affordable! So I headed to Sam’s Club, where I was able to pick up a bottle Member’s Mark® Ultimate Clean Liquid Laundry Cleaner in Fresh Scent.
Member’s Mark Ultimate Clean Liquid Laundry Cleaner fit what I was looking for in a detergent – it delivers great brightening and whitening at any temperature, and is tough on stains. It’s also HE compatible, and is an awesome value. Plus, it smells great – my daughter’s sports gear came out very fresh and it did a great job cleaning a load that I had left sitting for too long.
One of the things that I really like about Ultimate Clean Liquid Laundry Cleaner is it’s no-mess dispenser. It does not drip, which is great for keeping the top of my machines clean and makes spot treating for stains super easy. The dosing cup makes it really easy to measure for the size of your load as well.
You can only buy Member’s Mark Ultimate Clean Liquid Laundry Cleaner at Sam’s Club – if you aren’t a member, check it out – there are so many great deals on products that last my family a LONG time, so give it a try!
What are your laundry room organization tips? How do you think Member’s Mark Ultimate Clean Liquid Laundry Cleaner could make your laundry days easier?