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Monday, November 12, 2012

15 days to a simpler home: day 9 - laundry room

Who likes to do laundry?  It's probably not the worst chore in the world, but it's still not great.  So, making this room cheerful and clean is important!  Even if you just have a laundry closet, you can always paint the inside of the closet to achieve this feel.  In our laundry room, we painted it a light airy green color, paired with crisp white trim and cabinets.
I highly recommend folding your laundry as soon as possible when a load is done.  Keeping baskets of clean laundry from piling up will save you a lot of time.  To do this, have a place to fold (like the top of your washer/dryer), and a hanging bar in your space.  We picked up this hanging bar for about $6 at Home Depot, and it was very easy to install.
Quick Tip:
Do you have a front-loading washer? Does it sometimes smell really bad after a few loads? Do you clean it regularly? Ahhh...lightbulb!  I use a mixture of 1 part water and 1 part white vinegar in a spray bottle, and a paper towel (or rag) to wipe down our washer after every use (I do this on Fridays, after all 2-3 loads are done).
Because of the way these machines are designed, water and other guck can get trapped in a few places, and if you don't wipe them down and air them out, mildew will grow and make your future loads smell bad. Here are the places to be sure that you wipe down with this mixture:
 And, don't forget the inside of the door!
Then, most machines have some type of latch to keep the door slightly open to allow your washer to air out without someone accidentally closing it. Ours looks like this, and I keep it open for a few hours/overnight to air out. It's very easy to do, only takes a minute or so, and makes a big difference!
Keeping just the essentials in your laundry room helps to keep it simple, and makes chores easier. We have a single cabinet that holds just the basic cleaning supplies: furniture polish, windex, a sponge, water/vinegar mix, and the detergent (the multi-surface cleaner is under the kitchen sink).  We also keep dog treats, lightbulbs, vases, and the iron in here.
 Extra cleaning supplies that I don't use on a regular basis, I keep in another cabinet, so this one is not cluttered and is kept simple for day-to-day use.

Another great thing to have in your laundry room space, if you can, is a utility sink.  This is a great place to wash delicates, or other items that require special care.  It's also helpful for washing paint brushes and rollers.  When we moved into our house, there was a cabinet space all set for a sink to be installed, just no sink.  But, we found a great deal on one last week, and just need to install it.
It's under this cabinet where we keep the extra cleaning supplies I was talking about, as well as the watering can.
Since it's just the two of us right now, we don't have a lot of need for extra baskets in this room right now.  But, for a lot of you with families, this is a very important part of a laundry room.  Making space for baskets for your kiddos to sort their clothes into (and learn how to do laundry!), will make life so much simpler for you!

A few other items that I also keep in this room are a place for change left in pockets (aka my cute piggy bank)...
...and a trash can for lint and other trash.
For us, our laundry room also serves as the mini-mudroom in our house.

Having a laundry room/space that you actually like, and enjoy being in will make doing this chore so much more enjoyable and easy.  Here are some other inspirational laundry spaces:
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Read the Other Posts in this Series:

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