As we’re nearing the middle of March, the weather is becoming warmer and the days are becoming longer. (YAY!) I don’t know about you, but I was completely fine with losing that hour if it means we’re one day closer to Spring! Spring really is just around the corner and with that comes the excitement of opening up the windows and letting the fresh, Spring air in. And for a lot of us it also means Spring cleaning. Spring cleaning always seems like such a daunting task. If only I could take a stay- cation from work and get everything done instead of having to break it up over an extended period of time. But most of us don’t have that luxury, so it’s best to work on it over time. Spring cleaning doesn’t have to be stressful, you just need to go in with a game plan. I am a huge list maker. I have terrible ADD so a list keeps me on track for the day otherwise I get easily distracted. When I make my Spring cleaning list I usually have a small panic attack just seeing all of the things I want/need to get cleaned and organized. It can be very overwhelming, but I have found that if you break it up and do one or two areas of the house at a time it’s much more feasible.
To me Spring cleaning isn’t just about cleaning and organizing, it’s also about re-thinking my decor, possibly switching things up, or decorating a space I haven’t yet gotten to. This year I have decided I am going to start with my laundry room. Most people don’t think the laundry room is an important area of the house to decorate or keep clean. I know that was my thinking for a long time. “I have doors that hide everything in there, I’ll just keep it shut and no one will have to know what a mess it really is.” But then I thought, I spend a good amount of time in that room (not by choice, but necessity) and I know many of you, especially with children, spend a lot of time in there as well. So why not decorate your space and make it a place you can learn to love? The functionality of the laundry room is the absolute most important thing before making it look pretty, but I have found that by decorating my laundry room and keeping it neat and tidy that I don’t mind the time I am spending in there and I find that I am more productive.
My laundry room.
I get asked a lot if my house is always so clean. Absolutely not! I wish it was. To prove it I took this before picture. Just keepin’ it real.
Before I started decorating my laundry space, I cleaned it all out. I took everything out, wiped down my machines, threw away old cleaning products, cleaned the floors, etc. You want to start with a clean canvas. There are many storage options for the laundry room. Most of the on base laundry rooms that I have seen usually have a wire shelf across the top for extra storage, like mine. I used to have a hodge podge of different baskets and plastic storage containers on my shelf and that was the first thing I changed. I wanted all of my storage containers to match. When you have cohesion in your space it makes everything look more organized and is more aesthetically pleasing to the eye. Like I said, there are many many different options for storage containers. I chose to purchase these baskets from Target.
I liked how deep they were because I could fit more in each one and they fit the shelf perfectly. You want to make sure you’re maximizing your space to the best of it’s ability. The baskets I chose were a little on the pricey side but they are very durable and sturdy and easy to wipe out if something were to spill. So I didn’t mind spending a little extra because I knew I would have them for a long time. I also like that they have handles. It makes it easier when I go to grab something I need. The best places I have found storage containers are Target, Wal-Mart and The Dollar Tree. Don’t underestimate The Dollar Tree, they have some pretty great stuff in there for organizing, and you can’t beat the price! I also really like Home Goods, TJ Maxx and Marshalls, but it’s hard to find baskets there that all match.
Here are some organizing ideas from Pinterest.
I keep all of my cleaning supplies in my laundry room. The ones I use on a daily/weekly basis I keep in a Thirty-One bag, that way it’s easy to carry around from room to room. This makes it much easier for me than trying to juggle 8 things around the house to clean. (You can also use a caddy!)
For the cleaning supplies I don’t use very often, like carpet cleaners, wood cleaner, etc. I store up above in the baskets or in my linen closet. It’s important that when you’re organizing that everything has a place or home, that way it’s easy to find it when you need it. I can’t tell you how many times I couldn’t find something because I was so un-organized so I would go out and buy a new one. I would then eventually find the old one and end up with doubles of things, therefore wasting time and money.
I made my laundry room sign using an old sign I had purchased from Home Goods many years ago. I just painted it with chalk paint, sanded the edges a little and used decals c/o Hobby Lobby! Always remember to shop your house before going out and spending money. There might be something there you can use or up-cycle!
Another great idea for storing your cleaning supplies is by using an over the door shoe organizer.
Paint. Paint is always a great option when decorating your space. It make the most impact and is relatively inexpensive. Unfortunately, it’s time consuming and we have to paint it back to it’s original color when we move. If you choose to paint this room I think I would do something a little more bold than just a solid color unless you plan on going bold with your accessories, then I would keep it simple. I chose not to paint my laundry room. It just didn’t seem necessary to me.
I love the striped walls in this laundry room.
Adding color and prints. When choosing how you want to decorate your laundry room, take into consideration buying storage baskets with a pop of color or a bold print/pattern. This is especially important if you are going to keep your walls white. When buying my storage baskets they had the option of white, which I considered because I think white looks clean, but up against the white walls it was just going to blend in too much. So I went with the gray. I think it gives a great contrast to the white walls and for those of you that don’t know me, that was pretty bold for me! Here is an example of the impact a bold print can have on your space. I love how Meghyn used the patterned storage cubes (and her ironing board cover) as her focal point for the room. It catches your eye immediately! I also love how she used the “Wash” and “Dry” decals above her machines.
Decals are a great way to add some temporary decor to your space. You can find decals just about everywhere now of days. The Dollar Tree, Target and Hobby Lobby to name a few. I found a large selection at Hobby Lobby and they’re on sale! Decals are easy to put on and even easier to remove when it’s time to PCS.
Another super creative idea, and probably my favorite, is using washi tape or decals on your washer and dryer. This is such great way to add a bold look to the room and it’s so easy to peel right off if you decide you don’t like it anymore or you want to switch it up!
Laundry signage is a great way to fill wall space if you have much of it in your room.
I bought this sign from Hobby Lobby as you can see from the picture above! I also bought this mini wall trash can from IKEA. I needed a trash container for my lint and didn’t have much space for one, so I used this instead! Consider any and all space saving products when working with a small space.
More wall decor that I had lying around the house just waiting for a home!
I love the idea of using drink dispensers for your laundry detergent! It looks so much nicer than the bottles of detergent and it’s much easier to use.
Do you guys make your own laundry detergent? I do from time to time and love how much money it saves! Here is a recipe for a liquid detergent.
I like using these glass canisters (c/o Target) to store my dryer sheets. It just makes it look a littler prettier than having a box lying around. You can also use these to store your dry laundry detergent (Here’s another recipe for dry detergent!) or for any accessories you may have. I also used a tray to house all of my supplies which helps with keeping everything organized.
My linen closet. I wish I had a before picture. It was a hot mess! I decided to buy all new towels because my old ones had seen better days and I wanted them all to be the same color. (I purchased mine c/o Costco. They have a great selection of really nice towels and their prices are awesome!) When things are uniform in color it looks much more neat and organized. I also did the same gray baskets as my laundry room to tie it all together and because I love them! I purchased a lot of these storage baskets. I also use them in my closets and my pantry.
More tips on how to organize your linen closet.
It’s so easy to feel overwhelmed when starting the Spring cleaning process, but rest assured, it’s a process for everyone! My tip would be to first start a list and go room by room, writing down all of the things you want to get accomplished. I also like to get on Pinterest and get ideas and inspiration there. After you’ve cleaned one room then start the decorating process. I need a clean, organized space before I can start to envision how I want to decorate it. Remember, just take one space at a time!
(Here is a link to my Cleaning/Organizing board): http://www.pinterest.com/kristin2404/cleaningorganizing/
About the Author:
Hi, I’m Kristin. Army wife, midwestern-er, hairstylist, lover of all things decor! I am currently residing in Maryland with my husband and loyal canine companion, Oscar. We have lived here for 8 years, which in Army time is basically forever. I have worked full time as a hairstylist for the past 10 years but spend any and all extra time trying to make our base housing feel like a home! For all the military wives out there, you know, the struggle is real.
My love for decorating started when we were first stationed in Maryland. Our wedding gift from my parents was to furnish our first home together…Willow Leaf Lane. I was amazed how much a little paint and a million trips to Home Goods could make! (Oh, did I tell you we have 3 Home Goods just in the immediate area?! SCORE!) After a few years in that house we decided to try living in base housing. 6 years later we’re still here! I dream about the day we have our “forever home” and I can do all the modifications I want! But until then, I will work with the white walls I was given.