Mail: carrie@chaosordered.com

Laundry Room Transformation

The laundry room project that I dreamed up two years ago finally came to fruition, and I am positively giddy! We knew when we built our home that it had one closet on the main floor to hold our coats, guest coats, and cleaning supplies. When it was just two of us, that seemed manageable with some creative use of the extra wall space in the unusually shaped closet. Fast forward to one dog and two kids later, and that closet was a hot mess!

Yikes!

Yikes!

There was never enough room for bulky winter coats, and the brooms and mops were constantly falling out of their holder. I knew that if we replaced our washer and dryer with the stack-able kind, it would free up enough space in our tiny pass-through laundry room to create a utility closet. The trouble was at that time, our washer and dryer were in good working order and it seemed wasteful to splurge on a new set. Since then, they got less and less efficient until we finally bit the bullet when it was taking nearly 3 hours per load from start to finish.

Before we got started, I took a few minutes to assess the current laundry room setup to consider what was working and what could stand some improving. Here’s the result:

The Good

  • Dedicated spot for iron and ironing board
  • Place to hang clothes to air dry
  • Closed storage for unsightly rags, laundry soap, and pet supplies

The Bad & The Ugly

  • Utility tub cluttered with supplies
  • Cleaning supplies stored in 3 separate areas: laundry room, 1st floor closet, under kitchen sink
  • Dirty laundry piles collected in sink and on bench outside laundry room
  • Buckets and re-usable bags littering the floor
image

Cluttered Utility Tub

The Before Shot

The Before Shot

Out of Control Bag Pile

Out of Control Bag Pile

Then I got to work measuring and researching in order to take this utility closet from idea to reality. After some Google-ing, Pinterest-browsing, and a trip to Ikea I was armed with some great inspiration and a clear list of features to try and squeeze into this small space.

The Inspiration

Valet Hook - Better Homes & Gardens

Valet Hook – Better Homes & Gardens

Door Organizer - My Sweet Savannah

Door Organizer – My Sweet Savannah

Curtain  Rod Clothesline - Everyday Organizing

Curtain Rod Clothesline – Everyday Organizing

The Challenge

Create a laundry room solution for our small pass-through to meet the following requirements…

  • Cabinet, tall enough to fit brooms, and about 30″ wide
  • A place to air-dry clothes
  • A bin or basket to create a dirty laundry holding area, positioned low enough for Mischief and Mayhem to reach
  • Plenty of closed storage
  • A dedicated spot for the iron and ironing board
  • Something to corral the sink-top clutter

The Solution

This transformation begins with Ikea kitchen cabinets re-purposed for laundry room use. Layered on that are some organizing helpers from a variety of sources.  With a little planning and careful measuring, I was able to work in every one of my requirements to create a laundry space  tailored to meet our family’s needs. I am absolutely loving how it turned out!

 

Reconfigured Laundry Space

Reconfigured Laundry Space

Pull-out dirty laundry bin

Pull-out dirty laundry bin

Air-Dry Hanging Rails

Air-Dry Hanging Rails

Utility Cabinet with Grip Clip Broom hangers

Utility Cabinet with Grip Clip Broom hangers

Behind the door Wire Organizer

Behind the door Wire Organizer

Magnetic Organizer  for sink clutter

Magnetic Organizer for sink clutter

 

The ironing board holder (not shown) went right back in the same spot, since there was just enough room next to the cabinet to fit it. The reusable bags are hanging from an oversized 3M Command hook on the back of the door leading into the main living space. The broom holder that was mounted in the closet was not holding our collections of brooms and mops very well, so I replaced it with sturdy individual grip clips in the right size for each handle. I moved a magnetic organizer that was sitting unused on the kitchen fridge right next to the sink, stuck to the side of the dryer. It holds the odds and ends that used to clutter up the sink, keeping them within reach but tidy.

Wondering how the wire rack from the before doubled in size for the after? The bottom section was sitting unused in basement storage. I brought it up and moved both pieces to the small wall behind the door, where they fit perfectly. All cleaning supplies unrelated to dishes have been consolidated to the laundry room, so there is now only one place to go to find what you’re looking for. (This is the point in this post where The Hubs is hoping this will inspire me to help out more with the cleaning!) I snatched a few adorable wire baskets from World Market. There is one on the floor which holds the dog’s leash. A pair of larger ones sit on top of the dryer. One holds towels and a basket of rags, the other a pile of hangers to use with the air-drying rails hidden behind the door leading to the garage. I used our double-hang closet organizer as my guide for placement, and hung the lower rail at 40″ and the upper at 81″.

We enter and exit the garage through our laundry room, and it opens onto the intersection of our kitchen, family room, and front hall. It’s a space I see many times a day, not to mention when I’m doing the 12 loads of laundry our family manages to generate a week. It’s new and improved function and tidy look bring a smile to my face each time I pass by. Our patience in holding off on this project until we could do it right was rewarded with a dramatic laundry room transformation!

The Materials

 

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Comments (7)

  1. Leanne
    July 14, 2014 at 8:38 am · Reply

    It looks awesome Carrie!!! I need you to come over and helpe with mine. You’ve inspired me to get a little more crafty with my organization skills!

    • Carrie
      July 14, 2014 at 6:39 pm · Reply

      Thanks, Leanne! It was so exciting when the room came out like the vision I had in my head!! Definitely would love to help you get started, too. It’s amazing how quickly a space can get cluttered with little ones underfoot! I swear my family’s stuff breeds like rabbits 🙂

  2. Molly
    March 2, 2015 at 10:07 am · Reply

    Carrie,
    We are redoing our laundry and this is exactly the layout we are trying to do. I went to ikea website and did not find the same cabinets. Do you know if these are still available or what the similar replacement is?

    Also, where are your water and dryer vent hookups? Directly behind of the washer/dryer?

    Thanks for the help. I have to try some of you recipes too, they look good.

    Molly

    • Carrie
      March 2, 2015 at 10:13 am · Reply

      Hi Molly! I’m pretty sure that the cabinet is still stocked at Ikea. I will look it up and post the details for you. Our dryer is electric, and the outlets as well as the water hook up are located directly behind the washer and dryer. The dryer vent is behind the large cabinet. It isn’t as deep as the washer/dryer so there is room for the vent hose. We cut a hole in the back of the cabinet and inserted a removable access panel so that we can clean the lint out of the vents. You can pick up an access panel for a few dollars at any home improvement store.
      Happy Organizing!
      Carrie

    • Carrie
      March 3, 2015 at 10:57 pm · Reply

      Ok, Molly…after a quick trip to Ikea.com I have confirmed they have discontinued the doors we chose, but have several other alternatives in white (as well as other colors) for cabinet frames almost exactly the same dimensions. Check out these items:
      SEKTION High Cabinet, Bodbyn off-white
      SEKTION Base Cabinet for sink + 2 doors, Bodbyn off-white
      SEKTION Wall Cabinet + 2 doors, Bodbyn off-white
      These cabinets are a smidge taller than the ones we used, but as long as you are dealing with standard 8′ ceilings or higher, you should be just fine.
      I HIGHLY recommend visiting or calling the folks at IKEA to have them put together a custom parts list (called Article Numbers) for just the parts you need. For example, on the tall cabinet we omitted the wire baskets and added a 2 pack of 24×24″ shelves. We also customized the door heights on the base cabinets and added a false drawer panel. The folks in the kitchen area made this VERY easy, and it was worth the 2 hour drive from my home to the nearest IKEA.
      Good luck with your project! I hope you stop back and share your progress with us. Don’t forget you can post pics in the comments section 😉

  3. Molly
    March 4, 2015 at 8:29 am · Reply

    Thanks, Carrie for the speedy reply and answers to my questions. I will certainly go visit ikea and talk with the kitchen folks so I can get exactly what I need. I don’t need the wire baskets either.

    The electrical and vent information is useful as well. I am trying to save a little money by having to move as little as possible. The access panel is something my husband had talked about and I will show him the picture.

    I do have two more questions.
    1) what is the depth of the stacked units from the wall? I can see you left some clearance behind them to access the water hookups.

    2) if the pantry is not flush against the wall to allow the vent, is it free standing or do you have it anchored somehow to the wall? And what is the depth here as well?

    Thanks, again!
    Molly

    • Carrie
      March 8, 2015 at 10:00 am · Reply

      Hi Molly,
      We did leave clearance between the wall and both the stackable washer/dryer and the cabinet. The washer and dryer are 9.5″ off the wall, and the cabinet is 7″. We also anchored the cabinet to secure it to the wall using anchor straps, like these:
      Safety 1st Furniture Wall Straps

      Carrie

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