Monday, September 20, 2010

Laundry Room Magic

Our laundry room still wouldn't be called a pretty place, but if you had seen it two months ago you would say it is looking amazing these days!  I think we got at least 2 dump loads of filth and garbage out of this room alone.  And the window that was sooooo caked with dirt and cobwebs that you couldn't even see outside is now sparkling clean and I can keep an eye on the kids playing in the yard while I'm folding laundry.
This is the right side of the laundry room. 
Yay for having a deep freeze again for my freezer cooking endeavors!
My drying rack gets used for delicate items and this is also where I hang my ziploc bags with clothespins for drying.  Potatoes go in the tater box and recyclables in the garbage bin. 

After reading this amazing book and being inspired by the super-organized Duggar family's idea of a family closet, I got to thinking that I should try to make a "family closet" in our laundry room. I also enjoyed this vlog from Stephanie on her family closet.

There was a shelf already in this room that wasn't being used, which was a perfect place to start.
I got a bunch of washtubs from the Dollar Tree to hold the kids' clothes.  As they grow, their clothing will be too big to fit in these small tubs, but hopefully by then they will also learn to fold and put away their own clothing, eliminating the need for all of their clothes to be in the family closet.

Since Josiah and I have a very nice master bedroom closet upstairs, our "family closet" is just for the 3 little kids downstairs, all of whom have had trouble with scattering clean clothing about their rooms, and have had a hard time keeping their closets and clothing tubs orderly. I was also letting the clean laundry pile up too high on the folding table because of that extra effort required to get the clothing to the appropriate bedroom.  I don't mind washing or folding laundry, it's putting it away that I hate!

I have one basket for Katrielle's stuff, which is just a holding pen for it until it is taken upstairs to her dresser in our bedroom.  Each child has a sock bin and an undie bin, there is a swimsuit box where all the kids' swimsuits are kept, and the boys each have a shirts and pants box.  Ali's main clothing boxes are under the folding table and contain skirts, shorts, and pants in one, and shirts in another.  Sweatshirts, dresses, church clothing, etc. hang in their closets in their bedrooms.

Now that all of the kids' regular clothing is in one spot, it is soooo much easier for me to keep on top of the laundry and keep it put away where it belongs.  And it is UNBELIEVABLE how much cleaner their bedrooms are as a result!  It saves me so much time and energy not having to run piles to different rooms and not having to rewash clean clothes that were thrown in the hamper by kids who just assumed they were dirty because they were on the floor.  Now Jer doesn't have to ask if he has any clean underwear (because Mama hasn't gotten around to putting it away in his room) and we don't have to dig through piles and baskets to find clean socks.  Getting the boys dressed each morning is a snap as everything is in one place and Daddy doesn't have to be confused over which socks belong to which boy (since the tubs are now labeled with names).  The kids' laundry is quickly sorted as it goes straight from the dryer, to the table, to the bins.  Pajamas still go in the kids' rooms; Ali has a hanging closet organizer that holds hers and each of the boys have a shallow plastic tub under their beds filled with pajamas ( undies...I don't fold =).
The left side of the laundry room.  A shelf near the door holds my iron, dustbuster, laundry soap, Oxiclean, a Stray Socks box, and cleaning rags.  God provided this wonderful washer and dryer set for $200  for us this summer when I happened to mention in front of someone at a yard sale that we were looking for a set.   They work great!

In the future I hope to have Josiah install a hanging bar above the washer and dryer that can be used for hanging dresses and blouses immediately after they are pulled from the dryer.  We will probably also do a lot more cleaning and some painting and freshening up down here, but at least for now, it's a very functional room for our family!


Thia said...

You've written a lot about how the clothes get spread all over. I didn't have this problem until recently and was actually going to ask you how your system was working; I think you boxed a bunch up? Anyways, so with this family closet, do you have to get the kids clothes every time they need a change or do they go get something themselves. Just thinking that my kids all need a clean shirt sometime during the day and I'd hate to have to be the one to run for it. But something needs to happen here because my second daughter loves to take her clothes out, but not put them back.

stamplady said...

Heidi constantly scatters and changes everday, I recently put all of her clothes in the top of her closet, she gets one set in the morning, and has to come and ask me for more (if she gets wet, or something)- it has cut down on mess TREMENDOUSLY. My friend put her daughters dresser in the closet and a lock at the top of the door for the same reason!

Lesley said...

I also HATE putting laundry away. The clothes are washed, dried, and neatly folded and then they sit for way too long in piles in our room. It drives me crazy. I'll have to think about your family closet idea, although I don't know where I'd put it at the moment.
For now, there is a lock at the tip top of the girls closet where they can't reach it, and that has helped cut down on clothes messes tremendously! Especially with Kayley would would go through five outfits a day if she had access to her clothes. The girls can get their own socks and underwear out of their dresser but they don't have access to anything else. It's kind of a pain to have to get their clothes all the time, but it's better than them dragging tons of outfits out each day.
You're so organized and it's inspiring! I think your laundry room looks great!

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