Around the Home: Laundry Closet Makeover

See how Tracy of Shutterbean transforms her Laundry Closet! Check it out on Shutterbean.com

We finally updated our laundry room closet!  This small narrow space was driving me absolutely BONKERS because it was so disorganized and cramped.  We all had some bad habits of shoving stuff in that corner when we didn’t want to deal with it. Actually…it was mostly me.

When we first moved into my childhood home, we used my parent’s washer & dryer (washer from my childhood!) until they stopped working. We bought ourselves front loaders and stacked them in this little closet instead of having them side-by-side. We wanted to put shelving in and paint the inside but didn’t have enough momentum so I put a super cheap IKEA shelf from our old house in the small/narrow space and called it done “for now.”  Shelf was too narrow and a poor use of space. It’s gone and a new organizing system is in place. Let me show you!

Here is the BEFORE:

See how Tracy of Shutterbean transforms her Laundry Closet! Check it out on Shutterbean.com

I started with a plan in my journal. Whenever I start a project I think of the questions that need answering like:

What goes in a laundry closet?

That way I can figure out what containers I need.

What colors would work with this space? 

So I can easily spot the colors I’m looking for on my shopping trips.

How will I use this space in ways I haven’t already?

Will it be a place where I iron? Does there need to be a section for just stain removal? Can I make something else in my life better by moving things around?

A lot of measuring went down. Measurements made it onto several pieces of paper and not my notebook.

Figures.

Around the House: Laundry Closet Makeover. Check out more on Shutterbean.com!

Here’s more of the before. There’s that rickety shelf thing I got in the IKEA return section.

The bag up on the top holds clean rags. It almost always falls off.

There’s a plug outlet cover missing and just outside the frame there’s an overflowing laundry basket on the floor.

If you look closely, you can see that brown sock wedged in the laundry detergent.

So THAT’S WHERE THAT SOCK WENT.

Around the House: Laundry Closet Makeover. Check out more on Shutterbean.com!

We removed it ALL! And then we moved out the washer & dryer and painted the closet.

Around the House: Laundry Closet Makeover. Check out more on Shutterbean.com!

I shouldn’t say WE painted the closet. Casey painted the closet while I went deep into container swapping and labeling mode.

Around the House: Laundry Closet Makeover. Check out more on Shutterbean.com!

This year, I partnered with Seventh Generation which means I switched to using ALL of their cleaning products in our home.  We started using Seventh Generation Free & Clear line of laundry detergent and I’ve been quite pleased with the results.  Their laundry detergent packs are made for sensitive skin without dyes, synthetic fragrances and artificial brighteners. They’re super convenient if you don’t want to deal with pouring out and measuring liquid + powders (hello, My name is Tracy and I spill things) and work in both hot and cold temperatures.  They’ll also give you peace of mind when you have little children around because they’re EPA certified as a safer choice for laundry care.  If you have a front loading machine like I do, fill it up with clothes and put the pod IN with the clothes. You don’t want to put it in the detergent compartment or else it won’t dissolve. It’s as simple as that.

I wanted to put everything in new containers so that things would look more cohesive and organized when I pass by the laundry closet. So, here I am labeling everything with sticky labels.  They’re not perfectly lined up but I really like that. I think it adds character!

Around the House- Laundry Closet Makeover on Shutterbean.com!

Let’s show you some progress shots.

Closet was painted a darker gray. Color- Bottlenose Dolphin by Valspar.

Casey installed an Elfa system from The Container Store. YAY, CASEY!

Around the House: Laundry Closet Makeover. Check out more on Shutterbean.com!

At first I thought we were going to go with a clothes rack but it looked kind of awkward and I figured it would be a waste of space if there was nothing hung up, so we changed plans and put two small top shelves on top and two deeper shelves on bottom.

This is before we put the second smaller shelf in.

Around the House: Laundry Closet Makeover. Check out more on Shutterbean.com!

TADA. I told you the space was narrow! Kinda awkward to take pictures in.

Around the House: Laundry Closet Makeover. Check out more on Shutterbean.com!

And here we go…here’s the AFTER!

Around the House: Laundry Closet Makeover. Check out more on Shutterbean.com!

I put all of our rags in a metal basket. The basket now lives on the top shelf with extra detergent.

Around the House: Laundry Closet Makeover. Check out more on Shutterbean.com!

Here I am listening to a podcast while folding towels! AMAZING.

Around the House: Laundry Closet Makeover. Check out more on Shutterbean.com!

But then I thought…HEY! I have one of those magnetic container things. Let me put my phone in it and stick it to the washing machine. To my surprise, it acted like a speaker, making the podcast even louder.  Now I know where my phone is!

Around the House: Laundry Closet Makeover. Check out more on Shutterbean.com!

Besides their Free & Clear detergent, I really enjoy Seventh Generation’s  Natural Laundry Soap in Blue Eucalyptus + Lavender. It’s a very light floral scent. Makes stinky boy socks smell fresh!

Around the House: Laundry Closet Makeover. Check out more on Shutterbean.com!

All of the laundry detergent packs fit in that canister! Now when I do a load, I just grab a packet and stick it in the wash.

Because I wanted everything on this shelf to be white, I pulled off the label from Seventh Generation bleach bottle and labeled it with the sticker letters. I also put the baking soda in its own container (which I use with vinegar for stains + deodorizing old towels) as well.

The graphic designer in me is pleased greatly by labels.

Around the House: Laundry Closet Makeover. Check out more on Shutterbean.com!

Now we have some space left on this shelf to do some folding.

Around the House: Laundry Closet Makeover. Check out more on Shutterbean.com!

And below we have two shelves for laundry baskets + a small garbage can for lint or candy wrappers I find in my husband’s pockets.

Around the House: Laundry Closet Makeover. Check out more on Shutterbean.com!

So many plastic laundry basket handles break on me so I invested in some metal mesh basket/drawers.

I printed out the words Clean/Dirty on printer paper & laminated them and attacked them with string on the baskets.

The “boys” bathroom is right next to the laundry closet so there’s no excuse now to have dirty clothes on the bathroom floor.

Around the House: Laundry Closet Makeover. Check out more on Shutterbean.com!

And I put up a little sign that both Casey and Cooper will see when they leave the bathroom.

Around the House: Laundry Closet Makeover. Check out more on Shutterbean.com!

OK. WHO IS EXCITED TO DO LAUNDRY NOW??!!

This girl.

Around the House: Laundry Closet Makeover. Check out more on Shutterbean.com!

Sources:

This Laundry Closet Makeover post was produced in partnership with Seventh Generation. As always, all opinions are my own. Thank you Seventh Generation for helping make my laundry experience more enjoyable!

 

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  • Monica B.

    So this IS amazing. We live in the city and there are 3 very small closets only, 1 for each very small bedroom, and laundry is an out-the-door c-h-o-r-e, chore. BUT, I’m pondering how can this translate over to one of the closets, and kitchen where supplies are kept. Gotta try the laundry detergent packs! I love this! Happy Washing!

  • Tracy

    ah love this! I am currently in the middle of planning my own laundry closet makeover, now all I need is a day off work to get the painting done! This might be a stupid question but is moving the washer and dryer a big deal? My husband and I are NOT handy, and I’m not sure if the machines are something you can just unplug and move.

    • Tracy

      Casey and I moved them by ourselves. You have to be careful about unhooking everything before you removed them. Since our stackable washer and dryer can’t just be pulled out because it won’t clear the frame, we had to take them off the stack and lower the bottom feet to remove them from the closet. Getting it all even after you put them back is kind of a challenge too. I left that part of the job to Casey though 😉

  • Jane M

    Well done! I just love a home improvement and this 1 for me is so visual! Laundry and all! YAY!

  • Rebeca

    You’re such a pro at organization, Tracy. Such a great use of a small space! My washing machine is in the kitchen, which is common over here, but I kinda wish I had a separate space for it.

    • Tracy

      I’ve always wonder what it’s like to do the laundry in the kitchen. I was always curious about it when I traveled to Europe.

      • Rebeca

        The annoying parts for me are having to drag the laundry basket downstairs and the the space all the laundry stuff takes under the kitchen sink (which I clearly need to reorganize!). That said, my boyfriend usually takes care of laundry, so I don’t have to deal with it that often. 😀

  • Lori

    You make doing laundry look good :) Love your transformation of the space!

  • Libby

    This is awesome. We moved into a new house this summer and the laundry room (my first one, ever!!) is just a cave in the basement. It’s the best I’ve ever, ever had. But I have laundry room DREAMS!! I’m pinning this to my “Someday Maybe” pinboard. 😀 <3

  • Ace

    This gives me serious laundry closet envy. As a NYC-dweller I think it will be many years before I have my own washer/dryer in the house but this gives me goals and aspirations! <3

  • Sarah St

    I just received some dryer balls, and I see you have some too. Do you like them? How do they compare to the dryer sheets? I have yet to use them, but I want to switch over.

  • Catherine McCord

    Can I borrow Casey for the day? 😉 This looks amazing! Great tips!

  • K

    Looks wonderful! My washer and dryer are also housed in a small, narrow closet, but mine are side by side with a shelf above. Last February I went on an organization binge and cleaned it all out. I now keep all my empty hangers in my laundry closet – I used to scrounge around in my closet every time I washed blouses and pants and now they’re on hand. I LOVE those wool dryer balls. I haven’t bought regular dryer sheets in about eight months. They were pricey, but worth it!

  • Meaghan

    I love this!!!! The cup adds in our laundry room are organized all wrong (shelves aren’t tall enough to hold anything). This is exactly what I want them to look like. Thank you for sharing!!

  • Laura (A Beautiful Plate)

    Omg! I would want to do laundry every day. Seriously, your organization posts make my inner OCD/organization freak so happy.

  • Rachel @ Rachel Cooks

    What an awesome makeover! I love Seventh Generation dish soap – I’ll have to try their laundry products!

  • Anne

    Your before picture looks a million times better then my laundry room does now.

  • Elizabeth Zeller

    Love your organization skills – your laundry area looks GREAT >> I do use Generation Dish liquid & love Lavender Floral & Mint Variant. Have also used their Liquid Laundry Detergent. My question is what is Linen Spray (is this a product of Generation)? Also, someone mentioned the balls in the dryer products and asked if better then the sheets. I am not familiar with these either – could you explain? I intend to try the Generation Laundry Packs in the near future – now that I have read about them.

    • Tracy

      The dryer balls are great. They are wool and you can put essential oils on them if you want your clothes to smell nice. They essential beat your clothes to soften them…and they make towels and sheets super fluffy. The linen spray is from the Container Store. I decanted it in that bottle. I water it down with distilled water and it’s what I use instead of something like Fabreeze to freshen up our clothes. Hope that answers your questions!

  • Lynda

    The tab for this is the linen closet organization, yet it goes to the laundry room. Your laundry tab also goes to the laundry room. Can you please fix this and put the linen tab under here? I really wanted to see what you did with that as I need to organize mine BIG TIME! Thank you!

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