Laundry organisation project – before and afterAug 03, 2020
In most homes, the laundry tends to be a bit like Cinderella – works blimmin’ hard, but doesn’t get a lot of acknowledgement in the household pecking order. Well, this Cinderella laundry got all dressed up for the ball, and boy-oh-boy did she look fine!
The room is actually a bathroom/laundry/linen closet combination – with so many functions to perform, it is easy to see how it got a little dishevelled. The project turned into 95% organisation, and 5% decluttering – the brief from my lovely client was to:
Make everything fit on the shelves, and
Make it easy to maintain.
Gotcha - let me work my magic!
The first thing to do was pull everything off the shelves and create categories. After the de-shelfing, I had 15 categories… Time to transform the space into a lean, mean, functional area in this busy, family home.
I came prepared with a selection of products (see note at the bottom) that I knew would work with the pre-measured shelves. Because the household includes two gorgeous toddlers, I wanted to keep the cleaning and bathroom products out of reach, but contained so it was easy for Mum and Dad to grab what they needed. The Taurus G Cube 30L crates (https://www.thewarehouse.co.nz/p/taurus-g-cube-clear-30l/R1588397.html) were perfect for this – rugged enough to hold the products, with handles to make “grab and go” nice and easy. I used smaller Taurus Insert Cubes (https://www.thewarehouse.co.nz/p/taurus-insert-cube-white/R1961434.html#q=taurus+insert+cube&start=1) for the bathroom products – using an opaque container keeps intimate items out of sight but still easy to grab.
Along the top shelves, I added three pull-out Taurus Trays (https://www.thewarehouse.co.nz/p/taurus-tray-for-60l-organiser-clear/R1965492.html) to make it really easy for infrequently used items to be pulled down, when needed. Because the family would need to use a step-ladder to access them, putting items in trays means nothing gets pushed to the back of the shelf and “lost”.
I also used the Taurus Trays to store linen sets (one tray each for winter linen and summer linen) – this family stores their linen sets inside a pillow case which is a great way to keep everything together within the linen closet. I folded hand-towels into a Taurus Tray, and rolled facecloths into the same tray, storing them vertically so they are easy for the whole family to find and grab.
This family goes through a lot of beach towels (lucky ones to have a spa to enjoy in these wintery months) so the key was to find a way to store these towels so that they didn’t get unruly again. The magic trick here is to add structure to the shelf, which I did through introducing a wire basket (https://www.briscoes.co.nz/product/1048691/ltw-large-basket-stacker/). The goal here was not to try and squeeze all of the towels into the basket – the goal was to fill the basket with towels and then use the rigidity of the basket to keep the rest of the shelf tidy… It acts like a divider on the shelf, which means that the towels stored outside the basket will keep tidier long term, than they would without any structure on the shelf. I repurposed an existing basket for hooded kids’ towels, so that parents can easily find a snuggly towel for the little ones without rootling through the whole collection.
I used a combination of rolling and folding for the towels. There are more beach towels than bath towels, so in order to fit them all onto one shelf, I rolled them. The bath towels were folded and added to the shelf with the tray of hand-towels and facecloths.
I added a storage caddy (similar to this one: https://www.mitre10.co.nz/shop/sterilite-divided-ultra-caddy-h-226mm-w-337mm-d-451mm-white/p/296049) for the laundry products. Anything laundry related (included the iron, lingerie bags, dryer accessories and so on) was added to the caddy, so that the family can simply pull the whole thing out to find what they are looking for, rather than shuffling stuff around on the shelf and getting frustrated at the lack of space.
The final piece of the puzzle was to label all of the trays, crates and cubes that I used – I wanted it to be really easy for the family to find what they were looking for, and put away again after use. I like to think that adding a label is like issuing a tiny instruction for everyone to follow – magically, once a label is on a box it is easier to put things back where they belong. The space above the washer/dryer tower is now free (yay for no more rattling of the stuff on top when the dryer is doing its thing!) and overall, the laundry feels less cluttered and will be easy for the family to maintain.
Now for some real talk: I provided my lovely client with a quote about 2 weeks before we found a time we were both available on the same date for the project to kick off. At the moment, stock can be hard to find at the usual suspects (Kmart, The Warehouse, Briscoes and even Mitre 10), which for me meant the hunt was on! After visiting several different outlets, I had everything I needed to take care of this project for my client. I’m sharing this glimpse “behind the scenes” with you because I don’t want there to be this false illusion that all I do is organise. There’s a lot to it, like product research (finding the right products to fit each unique space) and product acquisition (even if that takes trips to 4 different branches of The Warehouse!) – then of course the setting up and organising. So if you’re thinking about organising a space in your home, don’t forget to factor in the other “unseen” aspects of the project … and if it all feels too much, you know who to call to help you out!
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