the laundry room - week five - keeping the home fires burning


Thanks for joining me for another installment in our housekeeping series this time on Laundry.  It feels good to be tackling areas of my home that I have been ignoring or putting off for awhile.  These projects happen in real time so it seems like this may become a every other week series instead of weekly. 

"When I was a girl, every week my mother and I folded sheets together in a brisk dance, moving quickly and always turning the folds in the same direction. Periodically she would give the sheet a good sharp snap, which would jerk my end out of my hand if I didn't hang on tight."  Cheryl Mendelson

My mother in law was the queen of doing laundry. She was meticulous in how she sorted, spot treated, prewashed and washed her clothes. She had a laundry line in her garage that she used for most of her clothes and quite a few of my father in laws shirts. She said tumble drying clothes was hard on them plus she bought her clothes to fit and didn't want them to shrink. I remember stopping by on ironing day and witnessing the art she made of the chore. She loved her clothes.

My mom is the same way. She cared for my dad's shirts with such love. Due to his failing health towards the end, his skin was very sensitive to anything scratchy so he tended to wear the same soft worn out button down shirts again and again. Even as they became thin from washing over and over, my mom would iron straight seams in the sleeves (sometimes daily) so that they were ready for him in the morning. To this day if she wants to relieve stress or worry, she irons.

I wish I was brave (or secure) enough to show you my laundry room in the true before stage but I fear that if you saw the mountain of dust bunnies and slimy soap scum I encountered I would be run straight out of blogland.  This was definitely a bigger job than I originally imagined.

Our home was built in 1954 and I believe the original laundry was set up in the garage.  Somewhere along the way it was brought into a downstairs bedroom closet, a fact that I am very grateful for.  It is just wide enough for the washer and dryer so any storage is going to be on the two shelves above the machines.  I added a small shelf just above the dryer to place the laundry soap on for convenience.  We used to keep it in a basket on top of the dryer but it became a place for lost laundry to accumulate.  Hopefully, the open shelf will force us to find homes for everything right away.

I also added a hook for the ironing board (yes, I know I need a new ironing board cover) and nails to hang my dusters on.  I splurged and bought three matching cloth baskets to house toilet paper, dry cleaning supplies and disposable plates, cups and silverware respectively.  I already had the striped basket and placed all my market bags and canvas totes into it.  The top shelf is still empty and I will decide what to store up there as I organize other areas of my house.

This little laundry area makes me smile.  Now as I tend to my husbands clothes everything is right within my reach.  It is a pleasure instead of a chore.

It is not much by pinterest laundry room standards but it works for me.  The trick will be in keeping it this way.  I have added it to my regular rotation of quarterly cleaning so hopefully when I clear the shelves in another three months it won't be as big an undertaking to put it all back together.

It's amazing how each of these housekeeping posts is peppered with love of family.  This making a home business is all about caring for others as well as ourselves, isn't it?

Now it's your turn.  I would love to see your real life laundry rooms and hear your laundry tips.  If you have a laundry room post, either old or new, why don't you add the link to your comment?  That way we will all be inspired to keep the home fires burning together.

xo, Patty


  1. This is the first time i saw such a clean and decorated laundry are. I'm living in apartments and i have to use common laundry. i wish i could decorate my laundry area, when i could buy a home.

  2. I bet you don't even mind doing laundry now - or maybe not as much. It looks so clean and orderly. I did laundry this morning and have hubby's jeans drying on the hammock.
    (No clothesline - hehehe)

  3. Patty,
    The laundry room is on my ever growing list of to do projects. I really don't think you really want to see it in its state now, for sure I don't want to show it.
    Ours seems to be the drop of place of any kind of cleaner possible among other items.
    Yours looks very orderly and clean. I know you must feel good about getting this chore checked off your list. I know I will when ever I get it done.
    Have a great day!

  4. My laundry area is in an unfinished and messy basement, so no link from me, Patty. You've created a very attractive and functional space for doing laundry in your home.

  5. No I showing you my laundry you think I'm daft!! It is so covered in everything that a farmer brings all the shelves of shoes and boots that he 'will wear again'...and the basket of 'stuff' that needs ironing someday.......!!

  6. I again with pembrokeshire lass - NO WAY am I showing you my laundry room. For one thing I don't have a laundry room. It is in the garage and that is my ever growing horror!!! I need a day/weekend to pull every blessed thing out of there and sort into three piles, goodwill, dump and return to garage. The problem is I NEED the goodwill & dump pile to be huge and the return to be teeny tiny! Do you get the picture why I am not showing any pictures?

    Love your laundry room!!! So organized and you can get to your machines, Oops! did I give away another problem of mine!

    Enjoy the rest of the week! Jugs!!

  7. OOPS again, can't type or proof read - I met HUGS!!! not Jugs, hee-hee!

  8. I love all the storage you have there. Looks wonderful and clean and neat. It is the hardest room for me to keep straightened. Everyone dumps stuff in the service porch all the time. Okay I will link up my post on how I keep up on laundry for six.

  9. I love to iron too and if you can find a Rowenta iron on sale it will make ironing quicker and easier. I love that it steams as you iron and is big and does a fantastic job. I recently bought mine at an estate sale and the difference between my old iron and the Rowenta is remarkable. I hang most of our clothes to air dry too and only recently purchased a dryer for towels and such.

  10. Oh wow! You did such an amazing job with your laundry room! This is really inspiring!
    Thank you :)
    ps and don't worry, NOBODY would post a pic of the "before" room! ;)

  11. Looks great! You have inspired me to get off my butt and finally post the pics from my laundry room redo (2 years ago) But not for a couple of weeks. Going bye bye for a little bit. :) Kit

  12. Patty,
    What a great job! I also like the pictures you hung in there. Little touches like that make it easier to keep uncluttered.

  13. Hi Patty,
    It looks like such a nice and organized, cheerful space! My laundry room is off the kitchen, and the location is fine, but I sure do wish I had a sink in there. Oh well, we can't have all we want, can we now?
    This book you quote from has piqued my interest!!!
    XO Kris
    PS Rowentas are fabulous irons, as mentioned. I have had two, but this last time I tried another brand and will certainly be going back. I guess I didn't want to spend the money, but they are so worth it. Next time I will!!

  14. I just did a post this morning about my laundry room. Hope you'll stop over and take a look!

    You have a lovely area to do laundry :)

  15. Oh goodness! I have work to do!

    I have worked overtime that past few days hitting some great sales to fill our pantry back up after the clean sweep I did last week.

  16. I think your laundry area is charming. Mine is nothing special, but seems to get the job done:) Of all my chores laundry is my favorite, I think it is the line drying that makes it that way. Great space you have there:)

  17. Love your laundry room..So neat and organized...Do you really do your laundry there???

  18. My laundry room is the dungeon of the basement...that is WHY I hate to do laundry! up the stairs down the stairs..2 flights!
    Yours is cute and neat!

  19. I have my dryer atop the washer in a tiny hall closet. Not ANYTHING you would want to see, believe me. The door wouldn't close (remember I live in a 78 year old house) and so I took it off early on and made a desk out of it. NOT showable at this point!

  20. We called our laundry room the "icky room" when we first took on the work of our farmhouse. I love the sensibility of laundry rooms...such hardworking spaces. Thanks for sharing all your great practical, organized AND great to look at and thus work in!

  21. I can't imagine what it loked like before, but it is so clean and neat and "crisp" now like clean laundry. Love the wall color too.
    As much as I enjoyed seeing your laundry room, I enjoyed the stories of your MIL and Mom even more. I am one of those crazy ladies who loves doing laundry. I even still iron our cloths. I love having a pole like yours to hand clothes on as they come out of the dryer.
    Even in our RV, I am blessed to have a laundry area. It isn't organized or cute, but it works. You have inspired me to do a little work on it.
    I did find the link to my laundry/pantry room from my house. It was a little emotional for me to see, but thought I would share it anyway as I don't know if you were following me back then. I was hoping to see other links from others too.

  22. I love this post...all the little family mentions were so nice. I especailly loved hearing about how your mother cared for your father's shirts...I can even imagine how soft & thin they were. My father-in-law had shirts like that. They were his very favorite ones.
    Your laundry room is've made such great use of the space. My daughter has a laundry space very simialr, in her new condo. I've already sent her a link to this post...I know she'll love your ideas!

  23. Patty,
    Oh, my goodness...I have a laundry closet here on the Prairie, as well!!! I L O V E to iron! I taught myself the Summer I was 10 years old. I began with my Dad's handkerchiefs, then moved to the cloth a few weeks, I was ironing my Dad's blue uniforms and before the month was MoMa's white starched Beautician uniforms! Many years later, my Aunt visited from Texas and told my MoMa I had missed my calling in life..."she should have been a laundress!" I've added my link for my laundry closet make~over...but you'll have to scroll to the bottom, as it is in the kitchen. I am still enjoying each weekly post on housekeeping!!!

  24. My laundry room is also my furnace room and pantry. It is so crammed with stuff that I can't get to the walls to paint, which it desperately needs. It is a cobwebby, dusty, messy, disaster area!

    I love your clean and organized space!

  25. I love your housekeeping series. I ordered the book shortly after your post about it but . . .

    Sadly the print was just too small for these old eyes and I returned it. So ...

    I will gather all my tips from your posts. Thanks.


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