Is your laundry room a cluttered eyesore that you would like to ignore? Do you throw things in there, try to avoid the piles of clothes everywhere, close the door, and pretend it doesn’t exist? My laundry room is the exact same way (and I have pictures to prove it), but I’m determined to make it a cheerful, welcoming place!
Your laundry room doesn’t have to be a dingy, dreary mess! You can transform it into a happy, cozy space with a little elbow grease, ingenuity and creative thinking. Follow along to see how I am taking my laundry room from drab to fab without spending a single cent!
Look, I get it. Very few people enjoy doing the laundry, and often our laundry rooms feel utilitarian because honestly, who goes to their laundry room to hang out? (OK, actually as I was writing that I remembered that I watched an interview with Joanna Gaines and she says she does her writing in her laundry room, but that is not the world I am currently living in. I’m just glad to be able to walk into my laundry room without falling over something. But no more tripping hazards, friends! Today, we make a game plan for laundry room transformation!
Step 1: Assess the Needs
Before you even pick up one single object to put back into its proper place, take a good hard look at your space. The mess or disorganization has a story to tell you, but you have to listen (and look) closely. Ask your laundry room (or yourself, if talking to the laundry room is too weird):
- Where do pile ups occur? (What kind of basket or tool could I place in an easily accessible way to contain the chaos?)
- What is in the laundry room that doesn’t belong there? (Would this item make more sense somewhere else?)
- Are items grouped appropriately, not scattered around the room?
- If something is left out all the time, could it be left out in an attractive and convenient way?
- Do I really need all of this stuff? Who do I know that might make better use of it than I am? (Purging is often half the battle.)
From the picture below, you can see that a lot of my problem stemmed from not putting stuff away. It’s not hard if you make it a habit, but it’s a beast if you let it get out of control.
Step 2: Devise a Plan
After looking carefully at my laundry room, I came up with a series of action steps and small projects I could do to alleviate some of my pain points. A list of steps is very helpful if you are like me and get easily sidetracked or overwhelmed.
Here’s how to do it:
- Sit down with pen and paper (or digital note-taking device) & write down everything that you would like to fix in your space. At this point, don’t worry about how feasible it is, just identify your pain points (places or things that don’t work well in the space).
- Once you have your pain points written down, scour the internet for inspiration and potential solutions. For example, one of my problems is that we don’t have a place to air dry clothes that can’t go in the dryer, so I looked through Pinterest, Houzz and did a general “Laundry Room Ideas” search on Google to see how other people handle their air-drying in their laundry room.
- If you’re trying to not spend money on your makeover (like me), shop your house for potential problem solvers. In my case, I found a few tension rods in a closet that I am going to try to mount over the laundry sink to provide a place to hang clothes to dry.
- Once you’ve got some projects in mind that you want to try, create a sequence. Figure out the best order in which to tackle these projects. (You could also add a deadline to each action item to help you stay on track.) If you easily lose focus (see me raising my hand here?), a step by step list will be immensely helpful. You will never be at a loss about what to do next. Following this list will take you all the way to the finish line!
Step 3: Work Your Plan
OK, So you’ve identified your problem areas, looked for inspiration and creative solutions on the internet, and come up with a step by step plan for tackling your room, one project at a time.
Now you are ready to begin!
I have a confession to make: I am easily overwhelmed. Because I know this about myself, one of the steps I do not take that many organizers advocate is emptying the room. If I pulled everything out of the room at once, I would probably curl up in a ball and leave the giant mess I’ve made to languish for a few weeks before I summoned the mental energy to go after it again. What works better for me is to divide my room up into zones. I tell myself, “OK, Susan, you’ve got 15 minutes to address the cabinets above the washer and dryer.” Then I put on some music, set my timer on my phone, and get to work. As much as possible, I take things to their proper place as soon as I touch them, even if it means multiple trips all over the house. I fully recognize that this is an inefficient way of handling the declutter/purge process, but it works for me because if I get interrupted or have to stop working for whatever reason, I have a very minimal amount of chaos to return to. This is a strategy I read about in Dana White’s book How to Manage Your Hone Without Losing Your Mind (Amazon Affiliate link), and it makes a ton of sense to me. I heartily recommend that book to you if you are not a naturally organized person; she has a ton of great tips that I’ve incorporated. My house is still not clean, but it’s better, and I feel better equipped to deal with it.
Step 4: Make Scheduling Time for Your Project A Priority
All the planning in the world won’t help if you don’t take action. Almost everything else in your day may seem more urgent than your oft-put-off laundry room clean up, but try to carve out 30 minutes to an hour each day to work your plan. Keep the ball rolling, even if you cannot give it nearly the amount of time you’d like to.
Almost every project you start takes longer than anticipated to complete it. Be patient with yourself and your very full life, but also don’t give up.
How do you eat an elephant? One bite at a time. How do you finish an overwhelming project? One small step at a time.
If you followed the few simple bits of advice above, you have what you need to get started. and even if you don’t end up with the laundry room of your dreams, you will definitely come out better than you began. Most of what I needed to do in my own laundry room was simply to clean up, but framing it in my mind as a Laundry Room Zero Dollar Makeover made it seem like a lot more fun.
Step 5: Document Your Progress
Sometimes you forget how far you’ve come if you don’t stop and take a few pictures along the way! Maybe you don’t want to show the world how messy your laundry room was (it is embarrassing, but it’s also highly motivating), but you could take pictures to print out later or share just with your family and friends.
If you enjoy journaling or scrapbooking, you could make a little book or binder just to document your home renovation projects. Or you could start a blog or an instagram account just for your home decor projects. Social media can sometimes be brutal, but usually it is a great place to get feedback and inspiration from other like-minded home decor enthusiasts.
What room in your house could use a little freshening up? It’s amazing once you dive in how much you can accomplish just repurposing things around your house or using up the rest of a can of paint on an accent wall. My step by step list has twenty steps! Yikes! But I know I can do it if I just focus on one item on my list at a time.
And you can too!