Friday, January 18, 2013

Laundry Room Overhaul

So, Christmas Break for teachers is what gets us through September-December. It's like the beaming BP sign that brought about tears for me one time as I was lost in no man's land with my gas light on and certain I was going to run out of gas and be murdered by a crazy half scarecrow half demon. True story. Anyway.

This holiday break brings about a collective sigh of relief. Time to rejuvenate. If you know me, you know I can't hold still for long. Unless I'm sick. Then I lay on the couch like the pathetic wimp I am begging for chicken soup and crackers.

So when morning broke that first day of my break, I was elated to turn my focus from my little wriggling buckets of hormones to something that has been dying for just as much attention: my laundry room.

*Insert scary music here*

I tried to pretty it up with some leftover decorations from my sister's couples shower. Didn't help.

Thanks hubby for ripping the door frame off to fix the door and promising to put it back. Almost 2 years ago.

Just. Yuck. And blah.
Who would want to do laundry in a room like that?! Don't get me wrong- I'm very thankful we found a house with a laundry room instead of a laundry closet. Very thankful. But it's hard to be motivated to wash, dry, fold, and repeat a billion times if you have to do it in an ugly setting.

So I fixed it.

So. In. Love.
I started by taking everything out of the room and taking down the piddly shelf. I then wiped everything down with a damp rag and vacuumed up the tons of lint everywhere. I'll get to the source of the lint problem in a second.

Because the room is narrow and long and it was only me, I couldn't completely move the washer and dryer out to paint. So I commenced a painting tango with the two. I carefully unplugged each and as I went to remove the flimsy lint vent coil thing it tore into about a thousand pieces. Okay, more like three. Seeing how crazy cheap it was I realized that it was the reason there was always lint building up all over the laundry room. The dang thing was letting the lint escape instead of sending it wherever it's supposed to go. I was thankful to my creative side, because otherwise we would have never found this little problem.

So after a quick call to the hubs to tell him to pick up a better lint thingy I began painting. I started with my accent wall. It's the same green paint (Ace Hardware's Gleeful Green in Satin) we used in our kitchen- so not only was it free, I also feel like it would make the house more balanced colorwise. The top was easy since all I had to do was stand on a chair to cut in (paint the top and corners and sides with a brush) and then roll it. When I got down below the washer and dryer I debated just stopping since no one would see that it wasn't all the way painted, but I was feeling ambitious and knew it would bother me forevah if I didn't. OCD. That's me. So my technique was to scoot the dryer out as far as I could while leaving the washer in place and getting behind the dryer, and then pushing the dryer back enough to not touch the wet paint but to make room to push the washer out. Then I painted behind it.

Next were the walls on either side. Boogers. For this I had to push one machine as far forward as I could get it and the push the other one as close behind it as I could to open enough space to paint. For the rest of the walls I used the same paint we had in our living room and hallway (Ace Hardware's Crushed Peanut in Flat. I don't like flat paint but I couldn't get this color in eggshell. Le sadness.) So again, not only was this paint free but it also kept the house cohesive and balanced in color.

After all the hard spots were done, I painted the rest of the walls in that tiny room. Josh is going to have to repair the drywall and door frame at some point, so rather than stress about it I just globbed a bunch of paint over it to at least camouflage it some.

When the painting was done and dried, my first priority to putting the room back together was adding more storage. I removed the small wire shelf and filled the holes in (pretty unsuccessfully- I need a course in spackling. I suck at it.) before I painted. Using some gift cards I received from some students at school for Christmas (Holla! They're so sweet) I purchased a larger shelf of the same brand from Walmart. I would have loved to have built some custom wooden shelves or even purchased some cabinetry, but we're on a pretty tight budget so one of these days when we're more settled and established (and better at buying/spending/saving) I'll probably add some sturdier shelving more pleasing to the eyes.

Thank goodness hubby was home by this point because I was out of juice. He swept in to save the day (like his does so often. love him so much) and put the smaller shelf closer to the washer since it would house the detergents and stain removing accessories. He then (with my expert guidance) installed the larger shelf I purchased above the smaller one. Right now it just holds extra stuff and pretty things, but I'm thinking down the road it will be great for holding laundry baskets with kids' clothes and such. Or maybe I'll leave it pretty and convince Josh to build a stand that can hold baskets underneath the machine:

So once the shelves were in place I put my (after summer clearance) Michael's drink containers holding our detergent and softener on the lower shelf. Next to them I put a little chalkboard painted bucket I got at Target for $1. On it I wrote "Check Your Pockets!" because it's where I put random things- ahem, bobby pins Andrea- that I find in our pockets. Next to it is a container from Goodwill that's holding clothespins. Not really functional but completely adorable. Next to it I put a basket that I got from Big Lots for $1.29 that holds our stain removers, Febreze, and dryer sheets. I love the basket because it's shaped like the old wire baskets that are industrial looking, but it's black plastic. Good look, cheap price. Win-win. 

The top shelf houses another Big Lots basket with extra detergent. I got the turquoise/teal basket at Dollar Tree and covered everything except that little rectange with tape and a grocery bag and then spritzed it with some chalkboard spray paint I had already. Bam! Lint container (Lint is good for starting fires- we use it in our fireplace, so it doesn't go in the trash)!
The extra space above the dryer is perfect for hanging clothing that has to air dry. 
Once I worked out all the functionality kinks, I began makin' 'er perty. 
I used a Goodwill frame painted with chalkboard paint and a dollar tree frame to house two cute Scripture prints I found here.  

The flowers were another Michael's after summer clearance steal for like 75 cents. I also rehung the lanterns from Ashley's couples shower, but I tossed the garland. It was all tangled and stressing me out.

I printed one of my favorite pictures of Josh and I and hung it in a frame I got for Christmas from my seester. 

I love it because it's the last thing I see when I leave and the first thing I see when I get home. :)

Lastly are my two favorite crafts. Using a planter cork board I found in the garden section at Walmart for around a $1.50 as well as clothespins and a mirror from Dollar Tree ($2 all together) I pinned the clothespins around each and hung them up with Command strips. Easy peasy. The mirror is like a baby sunburst mirror, but with clothespins (cheesy laundry theme. Love it) and the cork board is perfect for those rogue socks that are lost without their mate.

The Laundry printable is another Pinterest find, but I forgot to pin it and now can't find it again! I printed it but it was too small for the frame so I just cut out the edges and stuck it up there with some decorative tape I got at Michael's. 
Budget breakdown-
Paint- Free! (on hand)
Shelving- $15 (technically free, gift cards used)
Baskets, buckets, etc- about $5
Hangers- $1
Frames- $1, gift, on hand already
Clothespin crafts- $3.50
Everything else was already on hand
Total: $25.50
Holla to save a dolla y'all! Not only do I love using what I already have and repurposing- it makes my husband very happy to come home to something so drastically prettier and more functional and better overall and yet so cheap!

So I am now in love with my laundry room. There it is; never thought I would say it. It was a lot to accomplish in one day but I was determined. Now the only two rooms that have not been touched with my DIY madness in our house are the spare bedroom and the bonus room. Maybe they will get tackled during Spring Break (another 'light at the end of the tunnel' for teachers. ) or Summer (the ultimate 'light at the end of the tunnel for teachers!). 
Before & After- aka :( & :)

And you can ask Josh- laundry is SO not an issue now. :D
Also- Josh bought an aluminum hose lint thingy at Ace Hardware that has been a million times better than the flimsy thing we had before. It took him a while to get it attached, but there are no longer layers of lint in the laundry room. Lovely alliteration. ;)

Next post is gonna be about some serious organization that happened over the break. Can't wait to share!

Until then,

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