Wednesday, May 18, 2022

Laundry room tidy up...

Earlier this month I wrote about May being laundry month in the book The Simple Home by Rhonda Hetzel, and how it inspired me to get into my own laundry and give it a tiny makeover in order to create a more efficient space. 

Our laundry is very small, with three doorways (into the kitchen, hubby's study, and the backyard) and two windows. There are no cupboards, or worktops, for things like storage, sorting or folding laundry. When we first bought this home late in 2018 I had no idea how I would manage with such a small space and no storage or work areas, but bless his heart, my husband installed a set of wire baskets in the only available space, under the small louvre window.

During his three weeks holiday break he worked like a trojan in the yard and house, removing old internal doors, painting new doors and installing them, clearing garden trimmings, chipping pruned tree limbs, installing a third permanent pump and well trough which also needed extensive pipe work (especially after the recent heavy rains)...and on it went. Meanwhile, I made my way through various rooms in the house to deep clean, and when he saw me pulling apart the laundry to clean and refresh everything we decided to add another wire basket to the three already installed, and that one small thing made such a difference to the space. I'll show you a few before and after pics of the space and how much nicer it has become to work in.

The wire baskets BEFORE...a cramped corner wedged between the study door and the back door.

AFTER...a prettier corner with better organisation.

Have to admit that plants make a huge difference to any space. We have over 40 indoor plants throughout the house and by the end of this week there will be three more.
Even adding a plant to sit on top of the indoor vegetable scraps bucket (below) lifts that sad laundry corner into a more welcoming space.

On the other side of the laundry, which is lodged between the back door and the wide kitchen entrance, live the washing machine, dryer, and the laundry sink. The only way I could make more space here was to add a rolling craft caddy and park it in front of the sink, which genuinely made a big difference to storing things I use every day.
Here's the BEFORE...

...and AFTER. 

Not a lot of changes, but more of a reshuffle of a few things due to the extra wire basket in the other corner, and also a declutter of excess cleaning products which I no longer use. The cordless vacuum has now been removed to the rubbish bin as it completely died last month (perfect timing as hubby bought me a wonderful new Miele vacuum for my birthday in February), and I no longer needed two baskets on top of the machine, or to store my extra washing powder there. Adding another plant in that space once again lifts the overall space.

Years ago, I was watching a video by Aunt Ruthie (Sugar Pie Farmhouse) and she was in the laundry, prettying up the space. She showed how she used a pretty china teacup as a scoop for washing powder and ever since then, that's what I have been using. 

Whilst refreshing the laundry I realised there were more ways to 'pretty things up' other than my usual go-to of plants and a tea cup. We use Colour Catchers in our wash because as there's only two of us at home we don't have a lot of washing, so I usually wait until I can fill the machine (all colours and whites) and throw a small square of the colour catcher sheet in with everything. 

I had this beautiful trinket box gifted to me by Wendy many years ago, and thought how pretty it would be to store my little squares of colour catchers! 

I used to just tear off a bit from the Colour Catcher sheet for each load of washing, but last week I cut one Colour Catcher sheet into 24 little squares, and popped them into their new pretty container.

It's so economical too! On the box you are instructed to use one whole sheet for a load of washing, but I assure you just a tiny square is all you need to do the job. 

I still don't have a nice bench to fold washing, and I never will, but that's okay as I can use the dining table or our bed for that task. 

I enjoy all aspects of washing - the sorting, soaking, washing, hanging on the line, taking off the line, and folding everything on our bed or at the dining table. I even enjoy ironing! Do you? 

If you'd like to read a Laundry excerpt from Rhonda's book The Simple Home, she shared it on her blog a few years back and you can find it HERE

What is your laundry like? Have you thought about ways you can freshen the space or make it more efficient to work in?

Increasingly as the year flows on, I am becoming more and more contented with life, with my home and even my limitations. There's really no way to hold back age, and it's only natural that some things become a little more difficult to manage the way we used to. At first I felt frustrated by the 'new' limitations of my body, but as the months go by I am delighting in the slowing of days, and the renewed interests I have in reading, crochet, writing, gardening, HOME - more so than I had when running Elefantz Designs full time. 

I also love to clean and declutter, so one day a week is especially put aside for that purpose. Though the home itself is cleaned and maintained daily, I choose one room or area per week to give extra attention to. Last week was the laundry. 
The week before was all the kitchen appliances - coffee machine, dishwasher filter, microwave, cooktop, removing the oven door glass for a good scrub, and pulling out the fridge to clean behind and under. 
I have four new wire baskets to add to our second pantry later this week (which sits against one wall of my husband's study) and shall be able to store all the canned goods in a more efficient manner, by date and size and content. 
Next week I hope to (finally) make curtains for the kitchen window, plus the small laundry window, and perhaps the small window in the dining area. It all depends on whether I find the right fabric - but I'm not going to buy just any fabric in order to achieve my goal. I must genuinely like the fabric and be sure that I'll be content having it on display in my home for many years to come. Otherwise, I'd be throwing money away if I rush and end up not liking what I get.

Today it is time to tidy up the sewing room, and complete a housewarming cushion for my daughter Kezzie who recently moved to Tasmania with her family and has just found a nice house to rent by the sea. I've used sections of a block from Anni Down's quilt pattern, Gossip in the Garden, and added my own layout and borders in the bright colours my daughter likes. I just know Kezzie will love it, as she does anything I make her. 
The hand quilting is finished now so all I need do is add the backing and fill with a cushion insert.

But first, tidying of the sewing room. 
Soon I plan to make a number of fabric, vintage lace and vintage button packs for sale in my Etsy Shop, plus a few kits for some smaller projects as I am so often asked to supply these items.


The winner of our Oven Mitt Kit Giveaway has been drawn. Congratulations Mary-Louise!
I have emailed you and Xanthe (who sponsored this giveaway prize) so all you need do is reply to that email with your address and she will post you a beautiful oven mitt kit!

In the garden I spent yesterday morning pruning rose bushes and citrus trees as we're only a couple of weeks away from winter. The roses above are my last for a while, but how glorious they are, and their sweet fragrance fills the room. 
Even though it is almost winter, our days are still hot and humid. I am praying hard for a real cooling to arrive soon, the kind of cooling that we all need after a nine-month summer...the kind of cooling that slows you, makes you want to brew hot chocolate, wrap yourself in a pretty cardigan, pull on warm socks, and sup on hearty bowls of minestrone soup with thick slices of freshly baked bread covered in real butter. Yes, that's the winter I long for. 

Final thing for today is what I'm reading. This time it's actually a devotional journal. 
"My Utmost for His Highest" by Oswald Chambers is a real favourite of mine - oh, how he can speak right into your heart and draw you closer and closer to the Lord! Now I have it in a yearly journal format, with the devotional on one side of the page and room for journaling and reflection in the margin.

It's simply beautiful, the book itself and the words within. 
I purchased it through Amazon Australia here but you can probably get it at most online bookstores or your local Christian book shop. 

What are you reading at the moment?

Okay, best be off and get into that sewing room. It was sorely neglected during my husband's three weeks at home, but I do enjoy tidying up in there and reorganising as a new season approaches, so I am not complaining. 

God bless you and keep you safe in His loving care,

Have you seen the June designs for my "Let's Stitch Again" pattern club? 
Pop over HERE for a look!


Joanne said...

Hi Jennifer,
So fresh and bright and organised ! Looks great!
Thanks to someone sharing their idea on Internet/youtube I learned a great hack/idea for the rolling cart. When putting it together put the top basket on upside down so taller items can go in the middle basket and a larger tray can go on top. It's on my to do list for the Summer :)
hugs, take care,

Lin said...

Your laundry room looks very nice and a useful space - my washing machine lives under the kitchen worktop! Pretty cushion and I hope you get some cooler weather soon - things are just warming up nicely here and we are getting some much needed rain. xx

Anonymous said...

Just a thought from Canada, if you close off the door to the study would you get more wall space in laundry room? Just another project I know.

Kim said...

Thanks again for the inspiration to beautify. Today will be filled with baking projects - banana bread and cookies for two funeral dinners, but I really want to tackle my sewing corner and beautify it. You've inspired me to set aside one day a week for decluttering. I think Mondays, which used to be homeschool co-op days, will work nicely. I can't really beautify our laundry room yet since it is in the currently-being-remodeled basement. Soon, hopefully.

lejmom said...

Love your writings..

Another comment from Florida, USA-- the before and after of the laundry room was fun and pretty! Another idea: can you move the washer and dryer all the way to the right wall, and then put the rolling cart between the appliances and to the right of the sink? Then cut a board or acrylic to place over the sink to use as a folding area? I couldn't resist the suggestion :)

Have a beautiful day! Jane

knitster said...

My Utmost for His Highest is one of my favs. My dad gifted me a copy Christmas in 1996 and I still read it daily. Seems every year I read it I find something new to ponder. I wish I had a sink in my laundry room but then it is off the kitchen, so....

Jenny of Elefantz said...

For Anonymous -
No, I cannot close off that door as it is the only door into the study. This is a very small house.

For Lejmom -
That won't work. The rolling cart is wider than the space would require. Also, the hoses for the washing machine would not reach the sink; and we'd have no access to the power points if the machines were against that wall.

Deb E said...

I always treasure your blog postings! You're making all sorts of wonderful changes to your home that will making it easier to 'age in place' as the years come...which is the same thing my husband & I are doing, also. Have you thought about putting up a macrame hanger for your red pot so that it gets some light & is easier to see & enjoy? I remember making dozens of those in the mid 70's (and still have my books & patterns!) and it really makes a difference. Plus you don't have to lift the pot to get into the container underneath. Everything looks so nice, it must make you very happy in the mornings to see all the cheery color and tidiness throughout your home.

Jenny of Elefantz said...

Deb E -
I actually have many pots already in macrame hangers that my friend Rosie has gifted me, but I would not use it in that spot. Thanks for sharing an idea though! :-)

Suzan said...

Dear Jennifer,

I don't know if this is helpful but Koorong has a sale over the next two or three days. This might help some ladies save a little.

You are so inspiring.You are a dedicated homemake and I read your blog with interest. I love how you pretty things up and add little splashes of colour and wise sayings to you home. I do struggle with keep things in oder etc. I am beginning to believe I may have ADHD as it never gets any easier. IT is s such a strong trait in my family.

Even though I don't live as far north as you do I am ready for the humidity to be gone. I hope. you have the winter of your dreams.

God bless you and keep you.

Debby in Kansas USA said...

I had the same thought! It's a good height and just enough space. It looks great. My laundry room is small, too. It's the walk through between the kitchen and garage. With the w/d and 2 doors, there's no floor space. I do have a shelf, but it's a tough reach and getting tougher!! I would love to have a window!

Angie in SoCal said...

The laundry room turned out spiffy. I see you used some of the ideas from Fairyland Cottage. I'll have to think about going to some yard sales to look for trays or boxes to use in decluttering. Your daughter is going to love that cushion. Blessings!

Ondrea said...

It is quite frustrating having to organise things in an awkward space but you have managed to work out a better way for yourself. You are so blessed to have your on call handyman lol. He does such a great job inside and out . I still need to raise my washing machine on a platform for easier drainage of the little water reservoir which is right at the bottom with nowhere to place a container to catch the water. The quilt looks very cheery and you have done a wonderful job handquilting such a large project.

Lori said...

Such a lovely little laundry room, Jennifer! We, too, have a very small one. We just moved to our new home, downsized from 2500sf to 1400 sf. But the laundry room was a real challenge! There are 2 small walls, 1 wall has the door to the backyard and the last has the air/heat unit. But my wonderful son and husband put up cupboards above the washer and dryer and then as additional shelf under those. Every useable space is taken! I wish I could show you pictures ;0) I, too, love organizing. You have done a very lovely job! And isn't it so satisfying? We are still in boxes and I am chomping at the bit to organize our craft/library/office room (it has many functions!). But, awaiting someone to purchase our piano so that I have room to start. Patience is definitely a virtue. Love all your beautiful roses and the gift for your daughter. Bless you!

Diana Stitching said...

I live in the UK, so like most folk here, I don't have a laundry room at all. I also have a tiny kitchen, so only have space for a front-loading washing machine under my kitchen counter, and no space for a tumble dryer (but I hang my washing on the line outside anyway). My washing powders etc reside in the cupboard under my (again tiny) kitchen sink, and my ironing board is in a cupboard upstairs in the bedroom, along with a folding wash basket. However, I also have one less room to keep clean and tidy! So, swings and roundabouts. I enjoyed seeing your laundry room, and how you arranged it.
Our weather here is lovely at the moment, warm days and rainy nights, just perfect although it won't last. We are hoping the weather will be nice for the Queen's Jubilee next week - we have two public holidays on the Thurs and Fri to celebrate xx

Tammy said...

Dearest Jennifer I would love to first say Congratulations to Mary-Louise! on winning the giveaway. And to say how much I like the changes you and Mr. E made recently in redoing the laundry area... And I love the cushion you are making for Kezzie. I know she will treasure it. It is absolutely gorgeous. I love the fabrics and colors. I so need to pull a bunch of things out of my laundry room and I need a small shelf to go in it to reorganize some thigs for sure. Its getting rather crowded in there. I have been busy learning to make kombucha a fermented tea that is supposed to be very healthy.. And have made a couple batches of it now. I love it. husband not so much. The kids won't touch it I am reading a new to me book by Klaus Kaufman called making Sauerkraut and pickled vegetables at home...May you be blessed each and every day my friend....

KingsailK said...

Thank you so much Jennifer I so enjoyed reading this and winning my prize I can’t wait.I posted a thank you earlier ,my husband had to reset it foe me .I hope you got it .Many Blessings MaryLou