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Organized laundry room

This just might be my longest post to date!  SO many pictures to share of my mom’s laundry room makeover!  What a project.  Ready for this?  Grab a snack.  :)

My mom’s laundry room has built-in cabinets along both walls so this room also acts as a storage room for miscellaneous items.  Over time it has become a catch all and my mom felt so overwhelmed by the mess it was becoming that she just continually put off organizing it.  I decided it had been put off long enough!  This was what was staring at me when I arrived at the scene on one side of the room.

Here is what her laundry room looks like now!  But the best part is the inside of the cabinets…
Upper cabinets.
Lower cabinets.  (Some are even empty!)
Ahhhh.  Much better.
Let’s break down the three upper cabinets.
Because I’m all about the details.  :)

The left side of the room is my parents coffee station.  My mom has a thing for coffee mugs and can’t resist buying one when she finds one she loves.  I made her get rid of half of them!  New rule is that if she buys one more she has to get rid of an old one.  I adjusted the shelves so that there was more space on the top for larger travel mugs.  A much better sight to wake up to each morning!

This next cabinet is for CD and other miscellaneous storage.
My mom has empty cupboard space now!  Such a good feeling.
The cabinet closest to the washer/dryer is for laundry supplies.
Time for a peek of what’s happening inside the lower cabinets.

The far left cabinet holds art supplies for the grandkids.  It had seen better days.

I used simple blue baskets from the dollar store to corral all of the markers, crayons and pencils.  The two white bins my mom already had I used for art paper and art supplies.  The nice thing with this set up is that the kids can just take the baskets they want to use right to the table.

A few toy snakes were thrown in for good measure since this is where the boys like to keep them.  :)

The middle bottom cabinet is completely empty and the last is for my mom’s Tide storage.  Clearly she likes to stock up on things when they are on sale.   :)

These are the cabinets on the other side of her laundry room.   They look lovely!  Until you see what was lurking behind them.  These cabinets were seriously so bad!  I felt a nervous twitch coming on every time I opened them.

Can you believe that’s the same cupboard!?  My mom has a lot of party supplies because she is always entertaining so I decided to set aside one cabinet for paper plates, utensils, cups, etc. 
 I love storing things in colorful buckets.  Just makes everything look happy.  :)
Now when people drop by she’s ready!
The top section of this cabinet holds bigger miscellaneous items my parents wanted stored in the laundry room.
The next cupboard over also started out a little on the scary side!
And now?  Nice and clean.  This cupboard is going to hold my mom’s wrapping supplies but since I made her get rid of everything she wasn’t using or loving, there isn’t much here right now.  I’m ruthless when it comes to the purging part of organizing!
I labeled a few containers and the rest I’ll label as she fills them up.

Top cupboard holds light bulbs.   Now it will be much easier for my parents to see what they already have.

Here comes the last cupboard!  I’m getting that nervous twitch again…

I decided this cabinet would be mostly used for cleaning supplies.
My mom had multiples of several cleaners so I lined each of them up.  Now she can take the one in front and see how many she has left before she buys more.  I told her she is absolutely not allowed to buy more until she is down to one left.  My dad and I always tease her that her cupboards look like a trip down the cleaning isle at Target.  I don’t think she’s running out of anything any time soon!
Inexpensive buckets from the dollar store work great to hold various items and add a fun pop of color.
It’s especially nice having the sunscreen all together and easy to find!
Pulled out this little bucket multiple times today.  :)
Martha Stewart labels make it easy to categorize supplies and dishcloths, etc.
Peek of what’s inside some of the buckets.
Lots of empty buckets to label and fill so things don’t get out of hand again.  (Fingers crossed!)
Once the cabinets were all clean and organized I had to finish the room by tackling the four drawers.  Late one night after everyone was in bed I laid a couple of towels on the living room floor and dumped everything out.  I wiped out the drawers and then started categorizing everything.  I was so enjoying organizing and watching a movie that I didn’t even realize I was up until 2:00 am!  But my parents were thrilled to wake up to this the next morning…
These drawers make me so happy now!
School supplies (we are a family of educators – there is never a shortage of pencils!) and a few tools.  My dad has most of his tools in his garage but it’s always nice to have a few inside as well.

I’ve always loved having a drawer just for batteries.  Such a smart thing to have on hand!  Then my mom’s sewing drawer.  Like me, she doesn’t sew much.  Just the essentials.

These blue organizers were three for a dollar!  Love how streamlined they look.
Whew!  Are you still with me!?  Like I said – what a project!  Rooms that get out of control like this are so overwhelming.  It’s hard to know where to start.  My advice is to just start.  Don’t even think about it.  Just start taking things out of cupboards and purging and sorting.  No doubt life will get in the way, but just keep chipping away whenever you find a minute.  The feeling you’ll have once it’s done is so worth it!  My mom and dad keep wandering in and opening cupboards and drawers and just smiling.
Making this one of my most gratifying projects to date.
xoxo, Erin
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50 thoughts on “Organized laundry room

  1. Ahh, this post took me to my happy place! :)
    I’m pregnant and totally nesting. Every closet and drawer is slowly but surely getting organized. And anything that needs scrubbing is getting scrubbed! I joke that Comet is my pregnancy craving. ;)

    Your mom’s laundry room is beautiful!

    Thanks for sharing!!!

  2. By far my favorite post of yours also. There is a feeling of bliss when everything is organized. I am sure your sweet mom is so happy with her newly organized laundry room.

    I do this at my daughters house. I will go in her kitchen or linen closet and just go at it. She loves when I do it. Her husband just smiles and shakes his head. Thank goodness he loves me so much. ;) They know me well. They are happy with the end results though. I love organizing. I think we should go into Business together Erin. Oh the fun we would have. :)

  3. Those cupboards would make me smile too!

    You did a great job, and I’m inspired to sort out my party supplies.

    I have my twins’ party on Sat and I’ve bought nothing because I have so much stuff from years past = YAY!

  4. Enjoyed this post! These are the ones that are really inspiring. You did a lot of work; looks wonderful! I agree with previous poster. You could have a side-career of professional organizing.

  5. First of all your Mom’s laundry room is awesome with all that storage space! Secondly, you are a great daughter. You use your talents to bless others and I know your Mom was so blessed to have that big job done. It looks fantastic!

  6. Love it! It makes me happy just looking at it. You did an awesome job! So if you are ever in Minnesota please stop by…:)

  7. I love all her storage! And I love how you arranged it all. It looks great. It feels so good when everything has a place.

    Tell your mom that I’m a Tide lover, too. Nothing else is as good.

  8. Nonny – some of it was located to other places (games went back in the game closet, etc.), some of it she gave away (wrapping paper, school supplies – stuff she knew she wouldn’t use), and some of it was just garbage! A lot of it was put back. I just took packages off of everything and organized it better. :)

    Kathy – I’ll tell her! She’ll love hearing that. :)

  9. WOW! This is absolutely amazing! Thank you for all of the before and after pictures!! It looks like it was a HUGE job, but I’m sure you enjoyed doing it!! I’m sure your mom is happy too!!

  10. Erin – wow, I love this post! Very inspiring. I am organizing my newly built (in our previously unfinished basement) laundry room next week so this gave me lots of ideas! Sadly, I don’t have quite the cabinet space or room your mom does but I will incorporate this on a smaller scale! :)

    She does have a lot of multiples, that’s interesting how people’s minds work! Nothing wrong with having extra on hand! I sit here and type this right now as I have a load of laundry to do and no Tide for the past 24 hours! If I was your Mom this wouldn’t be an issue! :)

    Great job and the drawers seriously made me gasp. Beautiful!

  11. Erin, you are amazing! Having unorganized cabinets & drawers can cause so much stress, and the thought of organizing them causes even more stress. Imagine how much comfort you brought your parents by taking charge of their laundry room! I am sure they are just thrilled!!! This post just makes me smile so much! I just love the great job you did, and you made the cabinets “happy” with the colorful buckets & bins! You are the BEST!!

  12. Amazing job, Erin! Clearly I need you to come do my place. I can help anyone else purge and organize, but I can’t purge my own place. I’ve gotten marginally better, but I just seem to lack that gene. Organizing part of things I am good at though. :). A word of caution, if the sink springs a leak, the tides could end up a big mess. I learned a similar lesson the hard way. Just something to consider if she has extra space in the other cabinets.

    I love her laundry room and all those cabinets. I dream of such storage. Literally. :). Your organization of the space is wonderful.

  13. Please come visit me in Texas!!! You would LOVE my house– it’s a dream come true for someone who wants to organize someone’s things! LOL I LOVE it when people help me organize. I’ll cook for you– that’s my gift. I’ll send you back with a month of freezer meals. :)

  14. the cluttered cupboards kinda gave me anxiety! lol

    your mom has the perfect set up tho… she covers watching the kiddos while you organize! sounds like a great trade off!!

  15. That is so inspiring. I dream of having a chance to organize a space that has become overwhelmingly clutter. Alas, I continually purge and organize my house and have no spaces like that ;-)
    However, you gave me an idea to use at my kids upcoming birthday’s!

  16. Amazing, as always! I read your blog when I am feeling uninspired. It gives me the (perhaps false :) ) hope that my house can be as clean as yours is one day, if I just clear out and organize one drawer a day!

    Just a note: Please be careful storing loose 9 Volt batteries where the ends can touch other batteries. It can start a fire in the drawer. A bit of electrical tape across the ends of each will prevent this. Better safe than sorry!

  17. Hi Erin,
    This is my first time here.
    You did an absolutely magnificent job of organizing every single thing in your Mother’s laundry room! Truly a pleasure to behold, with everything tidy and in its place!
    (claps, cheers, thumbs up)

    Also saw a prior post of yours with a gorgeous gray and white ceiling, and your daughters’ blue and purple rooms, which I loved!

    Have added you to my blog list:)

  18. Thank you so much everyone! Your comments made my day. So sweet of you all!

    Lisa – meals for a month!!? Oh my word – seriously would take you up on that one in a heartbeat! :)

    Gigi – I’ve never heard of that happening! Thanks for the tip!

    Constance – thank you so much! So nice to “meet” you and I’m thrilled you are a new reader. :)

  19. Ahhh! It looks so great!!! It makes me want to visit the dollar store and then go through every cupboard and drawer in our home. Thanks for sharing. It looks like you are enjoying summer :) ~gina

  20. I have a confession to make. When we moved into our current house, I stashed a bunch of stuff in our laundry room and thought, “I’ll come back to organize this soon.”

    That was SEVEN years ago, and it’s still a jumbled mess. This post may be the inspiration I need!

  21. Love, love, love this! Thank you for taking us from twitchy to pure bliss in just one post : )

    A quick question – do your parents resist when you have them purge things? My mom has me help her organize, but she is reluctant to get rid of things and I am reluctant to make her, so we can reach a stand-still sometimes. Any thoughts?

  22. Why does she have 3 measuring tapes???? :) And like 7 boxes of Tide??? I cracked up when you showed that picture and then when you showed a picture of opposite side cupboards and there was another box of Tide!!!

    Looks amazing, Erin. Love the colorful buckets.

  23. Great job and so inspirational!
    From the first picture I saw of your Mom’s house I just loved it.
    Would love to see a home tour of her house sometime if she will allow it :)

  24. This is beautiful and inspiring!

    For those of us who are not innate organizers, I would love a post with photos of the steps of the process. Not as glamorous as the before and after, but so helpful! Everything from sorting, purging (garbage, recycling, donating, giving, hazardous waste…), finding all those perfectly sized and correct number of buckets and bins (do you measure everything, bring a list, visit multiple stores?), and then deciding where/how to put everything back.

    I love your posts that show you undergoing decorating decisions, too! It’s helpful and comforting to know that people don’t just throw it all together like magic. There’s actual trial and error. I can’t even put together an outfit which is really the same skill as putting together a room. Just on a larger scale.

    You’re pretty awesome!

  25. Wow, it looks amazing! I love that most of the baskets and such came from the dollar store, makes this replicable for me too :) Your parents must be so happy to walk in there and have everything in its place and looking so pretty. Good job!

  26. Oh Erin. We are twins. I totally related to the last four drawers part of this post. It has happened to me so many times. I love organizing and I love the thrill of those organized spaces when done. P.S. Your mom is my twin too. I LOVE FOLEX and have multiple bottles as well. Sigh…

  27. This is SO timely!! We just got a new washer, dryer, and chest freezer- which meant us reorganizing the layout of our laundry room. We decided to do a full over haul, and starting on the painting this weekend, and then redoing cabinets later this week— I really had NO idea how I was going to reorganize all my “junk” until I saw this!! Thank you!! I will be making a trip to the Dollar Store tomorrow with the kids!!

  28. I Love your blog! I saw that you did a garage organization a while back and I was hoping you could help me! I am married to a carpenter who has a TON of Screws, nails etc. Can you tell me where you got the shelf or bin unit that you used to get yours organized?

  29. Thank you so much everyone! LOVED all of your sweet comments. You are all spoiling me. :)

    Betsy – that was the exact same situation my parents were in with this laundry room!

    Lucy – my mom is pretty good at letting things go. I have that problem with my girls! My advice is to not be reluctant to make her! A lot of people need that push. If she doesn’t love it or really use it – it can go. :)

    Thank you Steph! I will have to do that at some point!

    Anonymous – wow! Thank you so much! Great idea for a post (the step by step process). I will do that at some point for sure! Thanks again for your sweet words. :)

    Yea Charlotte! So glad this post helped!

  30. Okay, how did I miss this???!! Must have been while I was rushing to finish up Katie’s room before she came home. Finally got pics taken and posted. Love, love, love. You are a girl after my own heart. If you lived closer we could do some serious organizing damage. LOL I once had a dear friend/neighbor who fell on hard times after a nasty divorce…envision a 3500 square foot house that looked like it was on an episode of hoarders. A friend and I told her we would come help (at the time we had NO idea what the house looked like as no one had been invited over in quite some time, we now know why). Where to begin? Just like you said…just start. In the end many things got purged, donated, sold, trashed. And, she was able to sell her home, downsize and has since kept a very organized home. I love all the bright cheery colors you used. And, have been meaning to tell you that I admire the fact that you are taking your time filling your new home rather than rushing to get it all done only to regret decisions later!

  31. You are hilarious, I just love your blog. That ‘after’ picture of the drawers with all the blue containers and the pencils all facing the same way just cracked me up. (I do the same thing).

    Thankyou and keep it up!

  32. I am about to tackle my utility room and was looking for inspiration. I have followed you for awhile but have only just seen this. I bet your parents were happy, I would be if mine turned out as tidy as this. I feel much calmer when things are tidy.

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