Last year, Mr M and I decided to look for a house with a bigger garage. Not more bedrooms, not more bathrooms, not a bigger kitchen – just a bigger garage. Silly, I know, but we needed more storage without having more house to clean and maintain. After looking around for months we realized we couldn’t give up our wonderful cottage with its perfect layout, privacy, quiet neighbors and friendly street.
So what was the answer? The answer was maximizing the space we had to ensure that we used every inch in the most efficient way possible. After all, when I watch design shows on TV, most of the time people wouldn’t need a bigger house if they had a place for all their “stuff”. We found out we were those people, even if we didn’t go on TV to find out.
One of the first places we looked was the laundry room. Not because we were going to solve all our problems by adding storage there, but because it was a small project to get out of the way while planning some larger projects. Also, we could move some of the smaller “junk drawer” type items from other rooms which would help in organizing those rooms. You don’t need to have a large laundry room (we don’t), and you don’t need to have a new washer and dryer (we don’t), and you don’t need to have a ton of money (do what fits your budget). You just need to get started making your home what you want it to be.
Below you can see the before and after photos of our laundry room. It is not the biggest room (I couldn’t even get a straight photo because there’s only 5 feet between the washer and the wall across from it) and it is a pass through from the garage to the house so it gets a great deal of use. It was definitely not an attractive place to be when doing laundry so we made some minor changes (all cosmetic) and now I actually look forward to doing laundry, finding a lighbulb, gathering my cleaning supplies, etc. How did I make it happen? Read on….
Here’s what I did to accomplish this project.
Before I started, I asked myself what my goals were in complete with this laundry room redo (I love goals). Basically, what did I want the laundry room to be when I was finished?
- I wanted it to be organized so that it saves me time – time doing laundry, time finding supplies for projects and repairs, etc. I hate looking for stuff – I’m an everything in its place kind of gal. Saving time is so important as time management is my jam.
- I knew I also wanted to make it pretty. After all, if you have to do laundry, don’t you want to enjoy yourself as much as possible while doing it?
2. SET A BUDGET (and stick to it)
This project should not break the bank. Set a budget and stick to it. If you don’t have a budget, just organizing all the items you have will be an accomplishment and make your life easier. The dollar store has more items than you would think (in December, netted ribbon to make wreaths was $1 a roll versus $5-$15 at craft stores). Plan your DIY project around a time when the items you need are on sale (organization items are on sale in January, summer items are on sale in June, etc.). Use coupons, discount cards, etc. Work your magic to stick to your budget.
3. PLAN YOUR PROJECT
Now that I knew what I wanted to accomplish and how much I could spend, here’s what I did next:
- I removed everything that wasn’t nailed down (except the washer and dryer). I even removed the two cabinets that were not permanently installed. After all, I couldn’t make a plan without knowing what I had.
- I sorted everything that came out of the laundry room (and anything else I gathered) into categories so I knew what I had to organize (laundry stuff, craft stuff, cleaning items, repair items, etc.
- I cleaned the laundry room thoroughly. This is when I would have painted, but the laundry room had just been painted due to a plumbing leak so need to paint. Hooray!
- I shopped for supplies (staying on budget). Now that I knew what I needed, it was time for shopping to complete this redo.
- I found an inspiration piece that really showed me the direction I was headed. It was peel and stick wallpaper I found on sale on ebay and, because the packaging was damaged, I got it for a steal. The best thing is I have loads of the wallpaper left over for other projects.
- I also went to Home Depot to find some new hardware for the cabinets (the old ones were white plastic which did not fit my inspiration piece at all).
- I shopped at a time when I knew storage items would be on sale (this is where planning ahead is important to save money), and I found the perfect storage solution. The gray and teal woven tubs are plastic which makes them easy to clean and will hold up to the moisture of a laundry room and the gray fabric ones on the top shelf can collapse if I no longer need them (plus I don’t like to be too matchy-matchy). I saved 5% by using my Target red card (no, I don’t get paid for saying this – I love saving money). You probably don’t need this many bins, but the less clutter I see, the more I like it.
4. Put it all together!
- Removed the hardware on cabinets
- Installed the peel and stick wallpaper
- Put the cabinets back into the laundry room (in the middle of the shelf)
- Cut and installed two small shelves (out of a shelf I already had) so I could stack things (what a great use of all the available space)
- With all the essentials in place, put the items in the new storage bins and place in the laundry room. This took me a little bit of time to ensure I had everything in the right place (laundry supplies above washer and dryer), floor care/plumbing/pest control up high (don’t need them much), light bulbs above the laundry supplies so I can reach them when necessary. Basically, I put the items I use the most in the easiest to reach places and the items that I only use occasionally less accessible.
- Add finishing touches (the picture I purchased at on clearance), glass containers I found at a garage sale and some flowers I used for a previous craft project.
Yes, this project took some thinking, planning, budgeting, shopping and time to complete, but it is worth it. I will be saving time in the future doing laundry, NOT looking for things, and enjoying the time I do spend in this small, but efficient space. I completed this project on budget in one weekend. Not much time spent for the huge reward of having this wonderful space!
Below you will find some other pretty laundry room makeovers for more inspiration. Click on the pictures to check out their websites and for more photos on their wonderful laundry rooms. They inspired me in my laundry room makeover!
I hope you start tackling small projects around your house so that you love your home even more. Remember to accomplish your goals, work within your budget and make the best use of your space. I’d love to see your photos an hear about your “makeover”. So shoot me an email at Melanie@MakingLifeMoreLovely.com and let me know that you were inspired and are Making Your Life More Lovely.
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