There is no need to suffer with a disorganized laundry room. And who said the laundry space couldn’t have a little style, too?
Monica and Jess co-author the East Coast Creative Blog, where they dispense advice and ideas for do-it-yourself projects, home decorating and more.
Monica’s laundry room is more of a laundry closet– tiny, with no frills, but it’s functional. The problem was that it was chronically a mess. She needed to bring some order to the space, so it was time for a laundry room makeover. As you’ll see, with some paint and wooden crates, she created a laundry space that’s organized, stylish and a pleasure to work in.
She also has some clever tips on what to do with the solo socks and random change you find in the washing machine.
Let’s look at where we started with my laundry room makeover. Yeah, this is the embarrassing part!
It can’t get much worse than this folks. And I promise you I didn’t make this look messy just for an extreme before and after.
This is how my family lived for about five years. It was so disorganized! Whenever the kids had a sleepover and needed extra blankets for a friend, the entire pile would fall down on top of them. Every. Single. Time. I actually could make tossing blankets on the pile into an Olympic sport. You should have seen the fist pumping going on if I tossed one up without the pile falling. I would have taken home the gold!
Since I’m being brutally honest, I’ll also make a confession here: I don’t do the laundry. My husband does.
I washed the clothes for the first years of our marriage, but he wasn’t a fan of my process:
- Put clothes in the wash
- Forget about them for a day
- Put in dryer 48 hours after starting
- Run two cycles in the dryer because they got wrinkled all over again
- Move to laundry basket
- Live out of laundry basket
We decided it was best for our family of six if Daddy (who’s way more organized than Mommy) took over laundry duty. He does an awesome job and actually puts all my clothes away, too. (Sorry ladies, he’s taken!) So, as I was planning on making over this laundry space, I knew it needed to be organized, functional, and kinda manly. It had to be inexpensive, too. My husband didn’t want to spend a lot on a room that only he spends time in.
I decided to revisit an idea I wrote about on East Coast Design–using wooden crates to create built-in shelving. I also wanted to try out a way to decorate the appliances using an unexpected material.
Materials for the laundry room makeover
- Craft crates
- Peg board
- Purebond plywood
- Behr paint (Mushroom Cap)
- 3M electrical tape (green)
- Purdy paint brushes
- Porter Cable compressor and nail gun (totally optional, hammer and nails work too, but I love my nail gun! You can also rent a nail gun from The Home Depot’s Tool Rental desk.)
We cleared out the clutter and removed the builder grade wire shelf. I’m a huge fan of reusing what you have, so I cut the wire shelving down and added an extra shelf to our kitchen pantry.
I also decided that the mountain of blankets needed a new home, so I picked up some plastic storage bins at The Home Depot and packed them up. They’re now down in our basement neatly organized.
After clearing out the room, we got to work painting. I went with Mushroom Cap from Behr; it’s a tannish taupe color.
My husband is not a fan of how much grey we have in our house (every room pretty much), so I went with this color for his “man cave-laundry room”.
While the paint was drying, I worked on a project I was so excited to try! I recently saw the talented sisters over at A Beautiful Mess recommend using electrical tape to decorate the outside of appliances, and I knew I had to give it a whirl!
Electrical tape is your safe option because it can handle heat and also still looks great! I went with a double stripe pattern on one and little square shapes on the other. My washer and dryer look SO fun now! In total it took me about 15 minutes to give them a complete facelift!
Wooden crates come unfinished- that means they’re reasonably priced, and you can completely customize them yourself!
I went with a flat, black paint, but you could whitewash or stain them too for a totally different style. Painting your crates will take some time and a few coats. If you have a paint sprayer that makes the process a lot quicker. (You can rent a paint sprayer from The Home Depot.)
Install your crates as shelves.
Determine the layout of your crates on the floor, before installing them on the wall. This way you’re sure what direction to put them and you know they’ll fit! I did a combo of horizontal and vertical because it fit better and looked cool.
To install them, I used my nail gun and just popped a few nails into the back of each crate. I did make sure a few went into studs for strong support.
You don’t need a nail gun to do this–a hammer and nails would work just as well–I just did it the speedy way. It took us about five minutes to hang the entire wall of shelves! If we had gone with cabinets, it would have cost us a lot more money and been way more complicated to install.
I had already stained my plywood (which I had cut down to size for free at The Home Depot) and painted my peg board my wall color.
I placed the plywood across my washer and dryer to act as a shelf for folding and storing supplies.
I hung the pegboard on the wall to hold all kinds of household items. We keep a lot of tools out in the garage, but simple items like scissors, screwdrivers, duct tape are nice to have handy. I also hung laundry items like stain remover and a lint roller. We never could have found those items in the mess we had going on before!
Pretty it up a bit! I didn’t even think that adding style was going to be an option, but by removing the blanket mountain I found I had TONS of space!! I put my fabric softener and laundry soap into fun containers I had and put laundry clips and dryer sheets into penny candy containers.
This is a step that the hubs won’t care about, but come on- did you really think I could do all this work without a little pretty? If you’ve gotta do laundry, at least it can be pretty, right?!?
I also put in some effort to let him know just how much I appreciate him!
I made a printable which I framed, and then made an entire wall of pics and notes for my main man. The pics are from his annual trip to the Adirondack Mountains to go cliff jumping (crazy man). I also wrote him a bunch of silly little notes. I figure I’ll swap them out each month as a little surprise. I attached them on the wall using washi tape.
One other thing that will be helpful is the shelf of missing socks! The Sock Monster resides at our house, and we always have mismatches! Using a clothespin, I just attached them to the bottom of one crate, and now we’ll know when we’ve found a match!
You might also notice my change jar. It’s a place where we can collect all the money we find from the wash. I leave a lot of money in my pockets. Maybe we’ll go out for ice cream or something with it.
You might be wondering where my sheets all went. I found the best solution ever!
When I fold my fitted sheets they look like one big ball of fabric. So instead, I used some leftover striped fabric cut into 15-inch-wide strips, and I did my messy sheet fold job and then just wrapped the fabric around it. Instantly it hid the messy folding and made the sheets coordinate with my laundry room! SCORE!
You could use any fabric to hide your sheets. This might be one of my favorite tricks to date!
Let’s take a quick look back at where we started… Holy Cow, what a mess!
And where we are now! Woohoo!
I love that this completely makeover and built-in shelving really didn’t require me to build anything! It was simple, cost effective, and will work for our family so much better!
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