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The new laundry room carries a fun little secret: all of the ugly crap is plainly accessible, but not really something you see when you look into the room.

Granted, a great deal of the time, there are distractions — like when I do an entire load of red things…

But, for the most part, my makeover project has given me something I’ve always desired: a laundry room and a system that works.

When I first revealed the room last month, one or two of you guys commented that you wanted to know if the picture was just the “pretty” version where I took out the more unsightly cleaning supplies and styled it sans clutter-y stuff. Because, you know — we home bloggers sometimes do that.

But those of you who have been following this blog long enough probably already know the answer: I’m both way too lazy and way too incompetent unprofessional as a stylist to pull that kind of stunt intentionally. I mean, I’ve literally blogged about bug poop before. Poop.

So, the answer? It was actually yes and no. Mostly, no. The only thing that’s normally in the room that wasn’t in the picture at the time was a bottle of bleach, but that’s because I was out. The rest — detergent pods, the lint trash can, the dryer sheets — it’s all there!

Here’s how it breaks down (note: some links contain affiliates):

Dryer sheets — you see that decorative basket on the counter? I picked it up from World Market on clearance a while back, but it’s juuuuust big enough to store dryer sheets in. Granted, I have to toss the box in order to put them in this container, but it adds a fresh linen scent to the rest of the room since the basket isn’t airtight, which is win/win for me.

Forgive the cell phone pics. My DSLR broke and I’m still learning how to use the big professional replacement one that intimidates me.

Laundry pods — I’ve been using laundry pods since I first bought the new washer and dryer, and this ceramic container (pictured below) has been where I stored them both before and after the makeover. I bought the container from Goodwill and had originally intended on using it for plants like I did with the others along the window shelf, but since it also came with a lid (of which, I actually would like to darken with a little bit of my favorite wood restorer to match the countertop), the pods fit in nicely without being seen.

Lint trash — one of the better upgrades in the room from how it was before is kind of lame in its simplicity. Before, I took a poorly executed DIY rope project and had used it as a trash can for a couple of years.

The problem with it was that it was WAY too large for the purpose of throwing away lint (I do have a lot of it because of Charlie’s shedding, but it was still too big). It took a lot of lint to fill this thing, and the end result was that until a trash can is full, I’ll totally ignore it. So, when room makeover time came, I decided to switch to something smaller and more easily hidden.

The laundry room’s layout is kind of an L-shape; on the other side of this wall is the downstairs powder room, leaving a tiny wall that faces the washer and dryer but is not directly visible from the doorway. So I devised a new plan, taking a few pieces of scrap molding left over from the photography equipment stand in my office. With a little wood glue and some paint, I fashioned a small lip that would act as a hook of sorts, and screwed it onto the wall at about knee height (low enough that any items that were hanging to dry above would not touch it).

Then, I took a small container I found from a shopping spree at my BFF and hung it on the wall (the small lip on the back of the container hooks right onto the makeshift spot I created). It blends in with the white wall color easily, has just enough storage for a few loads of laundry’s worth of lint, and can be dumped out in no time flat (with the rope basket, the lint would cling or get trapped, requiring two hands to clean it out, where this requires only dumping it into the kitchen garbage). Easy solution to an annoying problem! It’s directly across from the door to the dryer, so whenever I empty out the lint trap with each load, it’s right where I need it but not in the way. And sure, I could make it more decorative (for a time, I considered a possible washi tape project), but I prefer the plainness since it makes it more invisible.

Lesser Used Items — things like dry cleaning bags, refill bags and boxes of laundry supplies, etc. are tucked away in the room too, but since I don’t need or use them on a weekly basis, they are stored in the baskets I keep on the top shelf.

So, there you have it: a small number of tweaks, but they have (surprisingly) led to a laundry room that I manage to keep looking spiffy and clean virtually all the time (that red laundry pic you saw up there is mid-folding, but I wanted to keep things real!).

In a future post, I’ll expand a little more on the topic, but I’m kind of surprised at myself lately: I, the perpetual and always-joking-about-not-cleaning slob, might actually be making this house more organized for the long haul.

A house that is finally turning into a home after years of labor: who’da thunk it?

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  1. once your back yard is complete, or its bonfire season (which ever comes first) lent makes THE BEST fire starters. we save ours in a bag, then I wad it up and dip a little side in sentsy wax, to hold it together, let it dry and put it in a bag … then when its fire-pit time, I light one of the “lent bombs” and it works like magic.

    1. Great tip! I used to make them in Girl Scouts! Only, Charlie’s hair smells pretty terrible when it’s burning, and a LOT of the lint produced these days is either her fur or synthetic fabrics (which I’ve read aren’t really good for you to create lint starters with). I will, however, save some after a load of cotton towels and include what comes plentiful in this house — sawdust!