I WISH I could re-do that laundry room, (you would love the before picture) but I am certain that would offend and upset my mother-in-law(both the photo on the internet and cleaning it. I have visions of beautifying the space, dusting, decluttering, containerizing and organizing everything. I have considered braving the project when she is out of town as a welcome home surprise. Then I remember when we first lived together and my then-boyfriend said I could have a cabinet in the bathroom, so I organized under the sink, to have space to clear out said cabinet and she was very upset, not at me, at him. She was just offended and said she would have cleaned it out.
So I cannot re-do the laundry area. Only in my dreams.
Instead, I will share with you
My Laundry Routine:
I almost NEVER have piles of laundry, unfolded or folded around my house. Im not saying I keep up with the laundry, Im just saying I usually put it away right away. And I have a decent system for dirty laundry.
I carry a basket down and start/switch the laundry. If there was anything in the dryer, I fold it after starting the next load. If there was something in the washer, I move it to the dryer. Our dryer needs usually 20 extra minutes, and rather than going back up to the loft just to come back down, I waste some time in the house. I play with Annie, go through my mail, read a magazine, talk to the in-laws etc. To keep me in the laundry mood, I usually fold whatever came out of the dryer, or if there are any of my in-law's unfolded clean baskets (this doesnt seem to offend her, she will sometimes take out our laundry and fold it if I dont get to it in time) I put away what I folded if it belongs in the house, normally towels, (my MIL usually gets her clothes out right away to prevent wrinkles) I dont put away their clothes.
After about 15-20 minutes, I add time to the dryer, set an alarm on my phone and go up to the loft. As soon as I walk in, I put away any of my laundry. If Im on my last load, or if I found other things to do for 20 minutes, I will need to fold my laundry first. I DONT SIT ON THE COUCH. If I were to sit on the couch, I would probably fold the basket into piles, and then stay sitting on the couch while the piles sit around. I would lose my momentum and decide to deal with the clothes later. The stacks would get messed up, clothes would get unfolded. Instead, I take the basket directly into the room where it goes (either bathroom or bedroom). When the alarm tells me, I go switch the laundry. Sometimes we have dinner and watch TV with the in-laws on laundry day, so I switch the laundry, but dont have to go back and forth to the apartment, I simply put all the laundry away before bed that night.
In the bathroom:
Clean, unfolded laundry in basket -> folded and placed directly in towel cabinet (socks were also in this load, they got a stack on the counter)->Empty basket! The kitchen towels are also often mixed with the bathroom towels, so I make a stack for them on the bathroom counter too.
Since we roll the bath towels (makes it easy to grab one and supposedly they take up less space), its much easier to put them away after rolling than have a stack of rolled up towels that like to roll over and fall of the stack.
In the bedroom: I open the drawers, shove t-shirts, socks and underwear to the back of the drawer (straightening any that need it), to leave space up front for newly folded items, and leave the drawers partway open. I fold and hang everything, putting each item away as I go, (with the exception of my underthings, which are across the room from the rest of the clothes storage, and hoodies which hang in the coat racks, I make a pile for them on the bed, and put them away as soon as everything is folded and away).
NO PILES ON THE COUCH OR FLOOR OR TABLE!I don't fold my sheets when I wash them. I just wash them early in the day and leave the bed naked until they're dry and make the bed with them (I get to enjoy that fresh laundry smell better this way). I do have an extra set of sheets in my linen chest, in case something comes up and I cannot finish the laundry, or whatever.
How I store dirty laundry:
I used to have mis-matched tall hampers and short baskets in both the bedroom and bathroom. When we had company over, I would hide a basket of dirty laundry in either the bathtub, the office or the bedroom. That got annoying and didnt look nice when company wasnt coming. So early this month, I had some fun money in my budget (is it sad or awesome that I bought laundry baskets with "fun" money?) and bought 2 hampers that matched one I already had. They have lids and the handles are much easier for carrying down the stairs than any of the others. They're tall, so they don't take up much real estate in my bathroom.
Feeling like I aught to do SOMETHING for Day 10's challenge, I finally made labels for the basket lids. I don't worry about keeping the baskets straight, just the lids, and they stay in the bathroom when I take the laundry down to the house. I went to Avery.com and made labels (I wrote a tutorial here)
A peel and a stick and ta-da:
I also have a hamper in the bedroom, it gets sorted into the bathroom hampers whenever its full, or on laundry day. Another small basket in our bedroom holds the clothes that we have worn but will wear again, usually just jeans, hoodies and bras.
No big awesome transformations, I wish I could give you a glimpse into my brain and all the beautiful ways I would re-do the in-laws laundry room, you would love it.
For some real life awesome Before and Afters, check out DAY 10 at A Bowl Full of Lemons