A little lipstick on a laundry pig

I want a laundry room that looks like this:


Or this:


Or this:


But that is not the laundry room I have, and as long as we live in this house (which we anticipate will be forever unless we win the lottery), it will never be.

We used to have a first-floor laundry "room." It was in the middle of the kitchen. It had to go because I'm never really done doing laundry and having clothes hanging around the kitchen is weird and a little gross. So we moved the laundry to the basement and created a pantry.

The unfinished part of the basement, which is where we put the laundry because that's where it made sense to put it from a plumbing and electrical standpoint, is rather dungeonlike.

So instead of what you see above, this is what our laundry "room" looks like, well at least until a month ago or so.


Now that's what they call putting it all out there. Since we are perpetually doing laundry, we adopted the "pile" method of sorting. After the one millionth time of tripping over a pile of laundry (tripping is one of the more frustrating things you can do, I've realized), I declared that something had to be done.

So I had Mr. Much More Patient do a little building. I told him I wanted one set of four laundry-basket sized cubes, and one set of two. And I told him to build them as cheaply as possible. If there ever was a project that qualified as putting lipstick on a pig, this is it.

He built my cubes out of oriented strand board which doesn't look or paint up as nice as MDF but apparently it is considerably cheaper. He had all the cuts made at Home Depot to keep things simple. Then he set them on a frame of 2x4 to get them off the ground a little bit, and I trimmed out the face with some 1x2s.

Then I hit it all with the sander, just to smooth things out a little and raided the paint closet for primer and paint. Lipstick for the pig, you know.

The four-plex got a couple coats of a chartreuse I picked up in the mistint section of the hardware store awhile ago, but then I thought that was, well, too much, so I put a thick stripe of a peacock color (BM Waterfall) in the middle. That turned out to be relatively pointless because you can't see it with the laundry baskets in there.

The Impatient Gardner -- laundry organization


Each cubby gets its own laundry basket for clean laundry, one each for me, Mr. MMP, towels/bed linens and miscellaneous stuff like dog towels and rags. That way you just take the entire basket to where it needs to go to be put away and it is already pre-sorted (and Mr. MMP has no excuses not to put his laundry away). I had him make the cubbies quite tall so the laundry baskets are easy to get out even when they are really full.

The Impatient Gardner -- laundry organization

In the two-plex tower, I painted the inside a mix of all the blues I had left. Most of them were colors I tried to paint the new bathroom, but a few other projects were thrown in there too. I even threw in every sample pot I had laying around that was any shade of blue. I bet I got rid of at least six cans of paint during this project. It felt great.

The Impatient Gardner -- laundry organization

Each of those cubbies gets a basket as well and those are both for dirty laundry. Originally I said that the dark basket was for darks and the white basket was for lights, but who am I kidding, I'm just happy if it gets in any basket.

The new system is working so well. I haven't had a pile of laundry stacked on a table or on top of the machines, or dirty laundry piled up on the floor since we put it there.

There is even a space for all the laundry products on a silver platter. So fancy! Actually this is one of several aluminum platters I have that my mother-in-law has given to us with a note that says, "You never know when you'll need a platter." Turns out she was right. Oh yeah, now we're talkin' swanky.

The Impatient Gardner -- Laundry on a silver platter

I'd love to find a cute, brightly colored rug for the space and maybe even something crazy like an actual light fixture instead of the bare bulb (getting wild now!).

So there's my lipstick. What do you think? It might not be the most beautiful laundry room, but it's at least tolerable now.

Make sure to check back later today for the low-down on some of my laundry room essentials

17 comments :

  1. this is my most favorite blog post ever. thank you for the giggles and also that is a fantastic makeover.

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  2. I love the second picture....awesome laundry room. Your makeover is well done too, my friend!

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  3. Oh you sorted laundry the same way I do!! Piles on the floor!! My laundry room is too small to have these cubbies, otherwise I would be stealing this idea!! Love the chartreuse. Well done!!

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    1. The piles are so frustrating, aren't they? And they get really scary when they are looking you in the eye!

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  4. Much better and love the honest Before picture! How about a Dash & Albert indoor outdoor rug with bright stripes? Also a rolling rack for hanging clothes?

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    1. A brightly colored Dash & Albert rug would be perfect! I keep trying to find a sale on them, although that rarely seems to happen.

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  5. *slow clap* It looks fantastic. I wish that I had one of those bright and airy laundry rooms too but mine is basically a dark hallway between the living room and the garage. We have the same laundry basket.

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    1. I think that only people who live in newer houses have really great laundry rooms. They just weren't a priority when they were building houses until recently.

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  6. my very useful husband SO enjoyed throwing a coat of dark grey leftover boat paint (nonskid even? no...) from a deck job on the basement floor. i thought he was nuts - what a silly thing to paint - but i loved it and made him run out to buy MORE for concrete and not fiberglass and it really spiffs up the place like crazy.... until, that is, the fancy rug is on clearance.

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    1. When we bought the house the floor was painted a nice gray color and it looked so nice for an unfinished basement. All of that paint has peeled up or worn away since. It really does make a huge difference but the idea of having to clean and move enough stuff to actually paint the floor makes me a little sick to my stomach. Nonskid is an interesting choice, though! :)

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  7. It is so nice to see someone with a beautiful laundry room like me! If you are ever bored and want to give more details on how Mr. Much More Patient assembled those cubbies I could see if Mr. No Patience would attempt to make me some!

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  8. This is inspirational, Erin! Our laundry room is off of the eating part of our kitchen and you have to go through it to get to the restroom. I'm getting some ideas for how better to do things in my own laundry room from your solution!

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  9. So intimate. So personal. So for our family only. Few people will ever see it (outside of blogworld) but you have made beauty for beauty's sake and I love it. Jo @ Let's Face the Music

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  10. Haha, this post was hilarious! I love the 'censored bar' over the unmentionables. It really does look better, just adding the bright colors on the shelves makes a big difference. I have a tiny laundry room so all my laundry gets piled up in the hall outside, where we walk over it for about a week until someone gets sick of it and puts it away, at which point I do laundry again and throw a huge pile of it in the hall. Not so efficient...

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