Laundry room makeover

I think the key to living in small spaces is being able to re-examine your space, over and over again, and be willing to change it up. (It's why I'm constantly rearranging furniture, and pulling that table from the other room to use here in this room, or using that dresser here because it fits better or suits us better for this season, or... you name it: the options are endless.)

Our three girls share a small room.  We've got two twin beds and a trundle (that is always pulled out) and there is not much additional space.  We had a bookshelf and two dressers in their room and Adelia's clothes were in bins beneath her bed.  It was all rather squishy.

Then there is our laundry room, which is a fairly large room (for our home) and where I have my sewing stuff and where we keep our printer.  The laundry room had also become a sort of catch-all for All Other Random Things (gift bags, yarn, photo albums, bins of clothes the kids have outgrown, bags to consign, a chair that no longer fit in our playroom, etc).

A few weeks ago I decided to clean up the laundry room and get rid of stuff.   In preparation for that, I was talking to Mark about it (Where do you want me to put the chair that's in there?  Where else can I move the shelving?) and suddenly an idea occurred to me: What if we moved the girls' dressers and clothes out of their room and used our laundry room as a changing room?  That would solve our other problem about the girls' room being too crowded!-- and if I'm going to be cleaning anyway, I might as well rearrange the space!

So... that's what I did.  We ended up deciding to move ALL the kids' clothes in there, boys and girls.  We bought some closet shelving (one for hanging up the clothes, another for my sewing area) and some bins, and this is what we came up with:

The bins at the top have labels like: CONSIGN, KNITTING PROJECTS, YARN, FABRIC SCRAPS, and PATTERNS.
Bonus for Audra (and us, since she changes 5x a day): she can now reach her dresses!
(To the left: our printer, then sock and pajama bins for each of the boys, and on the bottom are shelves containing some of Adelia's clothing.)
My sewing table now also doubles as a folding table.
My sewing area all tidied up, which should inspire me to sew again, right?
Now that we have all the clothes (except ours) in one room, there is no more carrying hampers of laundry from one level of the house to the other, nor are there hampers of clean laundry sitting on my couch waiting to be folded.  (!)  All of the washing, drying, sorting, folding, and putting away happens in that one room. 

Also, to cut down on time spent sorting, I made a new laundry schedule:

Monday > girls
Tuesday > towels and sheets
Wednesday > boys
Thursday > daddy and mommy
Friday > girls
*Saturday > one load of boys clothes
*recently added, because the boys' dirty clothing was piling up fast

Now- why I didn't have that system before (only certain "groups" of clothing on certain days), I don't even know.  But it has been WONDERFUL in terms of cutting waaaaay back on time spent sorting.  It's sort of revolutionary to me- still- to only be dealing with girls clothes on Mondays: only sorting, folding and putting away girls clothes!  And!-- their dressers are just steps away!  I LOVE IT!  We all do.  It's been such a blessing already.

[Credit for this brilliant idea goes to my friend Amy, who moved shelving and clothes into her laundry room years ago.  If she hadn't done that I don't think I ever would have even considered our laundry room as an option for housing clothing, too.]

11 comments:

  1. There should be at least 50 readers who comment on what a brilliant idea this was! And you did it!! And it looks AWESOME!!! I am super happy that it has simplified and blessed your life, too!! And you finally posted pictures!! I love it!! Great job Stacy!! :)

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    1. Ha! I *almost* titled this post: "This one's for YOU, Michelle"--- because you're the reason I took these pictures! :)

      Love you!

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  2. Brilliant idea! I love the part about washing, folding and putting away with out going anywhere. I was trying to see how thst could work here. Our laundry room is in a hallway, with the freezer and second bathroom.
    I now have a basket in the freezer for each kid and us. So I do wash fold and then put it their basket and then they have to put it away (I end up doing it for the boys most of the time). To save room in the boys room I put their clothes on the shelves in their closet in little buckets. This house has nice size closets in each room which is so nice.

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    1. Yes. It's been such a blessing. I love it that you have baskets in the freezer!-- talk about making spaces WORK for you! ;) Great! Nice sized closets are *wonderful*. Not that I would know. :)

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  3. Dear daughter ... what an ingenious idea!! It looks great and I'm so glad that it is working!! I love how you are always thinking creatively on how to use your limited space. I'm wondering what you have hanging above your sewing area - are those buttons on that little clothes line?
    Can't wait to see what creative sewing projects you put your hands to!! I just showed dad pictures of your project and he was so impressed and is wondering if I might get inspired ...(:
    There are just a few lingering piles (like advertising flyers and coupons) that I need to organize someday ...

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    1. Thanks, mom.

      Those are just little colorful cut-out-of-felt circles that I embroidered around- to make a bunting out of years ago. I found the circles in my cleaning and thought I'd display them again because they're so cheery!

      :)
      Love you.

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  4. Nice layout. I hope it makes doing the clothes easier.

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  5. Hooray! I love genius moments.
    Your brilliance inspired me as I read it-- our printer can't fit in the kitchen (well, it does but I hate having it there) and the room where I had it previously is too far away. But the laundry room is right there! Thanks, Stacy!

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  6. i've been purging and organizing for a few weeks ... we have 2.5 more until our packers show up. then it's anywhere from 2-3 full weeks without ANY of our stuff. *it'll be a true lesson to our whole family that we can, indeed, survive without most of our things.

    a pretty laundry room is at the top of my list in our new home. and a family closet would be a HUGE bonus!

    it looks great and so functional, Stacy. great job!

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