Monday, November 7, 2011

Monday Motivation: Purging and Organizing The Laundry Room

Last April, I posted about my laundry room mini redo here and here.  The redo held up well and  the laundry room has been easy to work in.  I've rearranged my cabinets a few times - once in canning season to accommodate all of my canning paraphernalia and once during the holidays to accommodate my extra holiday supplies.   Supplies that aren't needed are moved to the "party pantry" temporarily.

Here's what my laundry room looked like before:

And then after:


And after:

There are two views because there are two doors in the tiny room (I know, what was the builder thinking!)  One door is from the hallway and one is from the kitchen.  The best part is that it is very convenient to the kitchen.

If you are planning to clear out your laundry room and organize it, here are some ideas to get you headed in the right direction:

1.  Remove any clean laundry sitting around.  If it is ready to be put away, then do that.  If it is clean laundry that needs another step (like mending or ironing), then place it out of the way so it doesn't get dirty during the purge.

2.  Set up a staging area near laundry room.  Because laundry rooms (or closets) are usually very small, it's best to remove items from the area while you're working on it.  You can use a table or even the floor.  Set up:
     a.  1 solid colored bag to contain trash
     b.  1 box or bag for items to be donated to a charity or sold at a yard sale
     c.  1 box or bag for items that need to be given to someone
     d.  1 box or bag for items that need to be moved to another room of the house (for instance - the hammer that needs to go to the garage)
     e.  make an area for each category of items you'll need in the room (cleaning supplies, pet supplies, tools, food, picnic supplies etc.)

3.  Starting at the door, go around the room picking up one or two items at a time.  Place each item in the proper category and/or bag.  Remember that items you have not used in a year should seriously be considered donate-giveaway-throw away.  Every extra item that stays in that room is a potential speed bump in your laundry race.

Let me say that again - Every extra item that stays in your laundry room is a potential speed bump in your laundry race.   

4.  Now is the time to fix or update any areas that need work.  Paint?  New lighting?  Shelves or cabinets?  If everything is staying the same, then give everything a good cleaning.  Move out the appliances and clean behind them and under them too. 

5.  Go back to your staging area.  Working with one category at a time, put the items away as close to where you'll use them as possible.  (Example:  laundry detergent near the washer, dog leash near the door)  Place frequently used items on shelves within your reach and infrequently used items up high or down low.  Heavy items should be stored on lower shelves for safety.

6.  If possible, try not to store anything on the floor to make it easier to clean.

7.  After every item is in place, turn to your bags and boxes of items that are not returning to the room.  Place the garbage in the outdoor can or dumpster.  Trust me - you don't need your family going through it!

8.  Place the donation bag in the back of your vehicle to drop off this week.  If having a yard sale, place bag of items with other yard sale items (since we've been going through the whole house this year, I bet you have a hum -dinger of a yard sale pile by now). 

9.  Go though the "belongs somewhere else" box/bag and return items to their proper place.  Do not leave in the box/bag to put away later.  I know from experience that the "temporary" spot will become permanent.  I'm just sayin' - do it now!

So, are you game?  Email me if you run into any problems and I'll talk you through it.  Now, I've got to get to my ironing pile.  It's nearly as tall as I am. 

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