Monday, November 1, 2010

"loads" of fun

I guess the "new hot thing" in houses is to have an upstairs laundry room. I'm not impressed by it, in fact I think it is dumb. I know it is great for some people and it cuts down on lugging laundry all over the house, but honestly, my thighs could use the workout I would have gotten having a laundry room on the main floor. There are a few reasons why I can't stand the upstairs laundry room, one of them being I tend to do all of our laundry late at night because I'm cheap and for some reason think that if I do it late at night, it will somehow be cheaper. I don't know if this is true, but I like to think it is... perhaps it comes from years of living through California's Rolling Blackouts.

Doing laundry at night in an upstairs laundry room sucks because it is So. Loud. while you are trying to sleep. Thump thump thump thump rattle thump bang rattle thump bang bang kerchunk kerchunk kerchunk thump thump thump. The Army makes my husband wear these uniforms and PTs that could probably be considered weapons in themselves. The zippers and clasps on those things sound like anvils rolling around in the dryer drum. Annoying. And if either the washer or dryer are slightly off balance, the entire house shakes like you're blasting off into the stratosphere. There's no point in trying to level pictures, you can only hope they will return to their normal position on the next spin cycle.

The other reason I don't like the upstairs laundry room is because it keeps me accountable and I HATE THAT. There's no hiding the massive pile of laundry that needs to be washed or folded. Every time I walk up the stairs it is like having two huge eyes staring me down saying, "HAHA! You thought you had a moment of peace! PSYCH!!" Bite me. And then there's that whole lint and dust thing. I really don't think it is healthy to have your bedrooms be connected to or near the laundry room, with all of the dryer lint flying around. Not to mention the occasional bleach fumes and toxic hazmat quality stank that can come from your husband's workout clothes that have been left in his car for 3 days during the summer... not that that has ever happened in this house...

Our laundry room isn't so much of a "laundry room" as it is a "laundry closet" that happens to reside directly at the top of the stairs. When we chose this house we didn't exactly measure to see if our washer and dryer would actually fit in the laundry closet. I thought it was just a given they would fit, but when you have 6 people in the house including 2 babies who are cloth diapered and a husband who changes his clothes 4 times a day, you need a mammoth size washer and dryer. And laundry closets don't come in mammoth size. I ended up with a laundry closet that had to have the doors opened at all times, because there was no room for them to close. And that meant that every time I walked up the stairs, there were those 2 big eyes staring at me and a plethora of neon colored bottles and boxes with HUGE BOLD brightly colored wordage SCREAMING at me. And that was not going to work.

I needed to do a laundry room makeover, and fast. So I made a plan and dragged M 3 hours away to IKEA and roughly $100 and some sewing and painting time later, I had a pretty awesome laundry closet that I was not scared to look at and that actually made me kind of *gasp* enjoy?? *gasp* doing the 2.5 loads of laundry I do each day.






The baskets were plain wicker looking and kind of yellow and it didn't really work with the yellow of the walls, so I painstakingly painted them using acrylic paint to match the washer and dryer. Then I decided that was kind of boring so I found some cute fabric incorporating the colors of the rest of the house and made some basket liners. Then because there wasn't enough going on, I decided to make some "pictures" for the frames because I couldn't find any prints that I liked. I wasn't sure what I wanted to make but I just kind of went with what came to me. I did the flowers first, using coordinating fabric to the basket liners. Then I decided I needed a tree and who doesn't love owls, right? So I made an owl too. Each piece is individually cut and then hand sewn onto flannel using embrodery floss. It was pretty easy, if I do say so myself. They aren't perfect, but I highly doubt anyone is going to be getting that intimate with my laundry area, except for me so no one will really ever see the flaws. 


One thing I knew for sure was that I didn't want to see any plastic bottles or scoops or sprayers. So I bought glass jars and bottles to hold all of the detergents and powders. I use a lot of different types of detergent, depending on what I'm washing. I wasn't comfortable putting the more potent chemicals into the glass so because I rarely use them, I put them under my bathroom sink. The extra powders, dryer sheets and stain sprays reside in the baskets on the top shelf and then tiny basket on the "counter" holds all of the junk that is found in pockets and what has become my secret cash stash.




If we weren't renting this house, I would have gotten a counter top that could be anchored to the wall but this will work for now. It is a table top from IKEA and cost like 30 bucks. I would have also put a wooden shelf above, instead of the wire shelf, but this works. It isn't gorgeous, but since it was already there, I have to use it. It is handy for hanging cloth diapers and other hang dry items though. And for that, I painted a bunch of clothes pins to match the baskets... thank you, insomnia, for giving me that kind of time. The only thing left to get are some wool dryer balls, which I am seriously coveting but can't quite justify getting, just yet. Even though I reeeeeeeeeaaaaaaaaaaaaaaally reeeeeeeaaaaaaaally want some... I must exhibit some kind of self control every now and then.

So there it is, my cute little laundry area. It is kind of excessive although potentially unimpressive comparatively, but it makes me smile and that is really all that matters, dontcha know?

9 comments:

Margaret said...

okay, you rock. you really do. can i send you a picture of my laundry closet and you can tell me what to do to it? the problem is that half of it is my pantry so it's destined to stay ugly....

i don't know how you find the time to do all that you do! the pictures are beautiful, the baskets are awesome, and i am drooling over your washing machines!

you might live in a crappy town, but your laundry room is amazing!!!

beaudstarr said...

I love it! And I thought I was clever for sticking my Shout and bleach into a left over plastic spinach container. You win. :-)

Ruth said...

Oh man, I can't imagine where you find the time or creativity for this(Now I have no excuse!). It's beautiful and gives me some very practical motivation. Those needlepoints are so cute and send it over the top. Despite moving a lot, you sure know how to make a home. :)

Moore Musings said...

This is adorable!

Vanessa said...

I am so jealous of your creativity and motivation. We've been at our house over a year and there is no spot that looks as awesome as your laundry room does. Color me green with envy.

EntertainingMom said...

Looky at you... really now... puttin' all us other people to shame. Art work over your washing machines? This is just too much!

Erika said...

This is lovely! (I came from the Rockin Green newsletter/laundry room contest btw.) Since you obviously don't mind making stuff, did you know you can make wool dryer balls? I made some, pretty easy though not as pretty as the ones you linked to. :) I just googled it and came up with several sites with directions. You probably already know that, since you are way ahead of me on every other laundry front, but I just thought I would share...

Joanna said...

Thanks, Erika! My good friend made me 4 dryer balls and I just finished making 8 more-- They are super easy to make!

I'm trying to decide if I want to cover them w/ roving and needle felting to make them prettier, or just make some more straight from the roving. Too many decisions to make!! ;)

Thanks again for the compliment!

Anonymous said...

OMG I don't know how you can do it with 4 kids and being an army wife. You put me to shame. I'm determined to clean up and organize my house and stop bitching about hubby not putting into work!

I would LOVE to see more of your organization and cleaning tips! Please do share!