Doing the laundry is inevitable, and something you get to do several times a week or even daily if you are lucky. Why not make the laundry room a space that is non-toxic and enjoyable to be in. Your laundry room does not have to be a dungeon!
A few years ago, we added onto the back of our house. My husband and I did everything ourselves except the foundation, framing and sheet rock. It took us A LONG TIME! There are still a few things to do in Phase One, but needless to say, I am so excited to have a new laundry room!
One of the biggest reasons we added onto our home, was to bring the laundry room upstairs. Although it was great exercise going up and down the stairs, it became less efficient and time consuming, and a downright bother. When I was designing the laundry room, I took some serious thought into what I wanted.
As you can see, I had all the details drawn out. I spent hours on Pinterest, going through my magazine clippings and researching to find out the most efficient way to use the small space that we had to work with.
I love home tours. Not only do I enjoy seeing the structural details, I like seeing how the people LIVE in the space. So I thought it would be fun to bring you into my home, room by room and let you see how we live, what products we use, and perhaps share a few helpful tips.
Let the LAUNDRY ROOM tour begin
Raised washer & dryer stand
I am going to start with one of my favorite features in my laundry room. I love having the washer and dryer up high enough that it doesn’t’ break my back pulling the laundry in and out of the dryer. We looked at all the options for washer and dryer stands and they just didn’t appeal to me, and were a lot of money. My husband and I did a lot of sketching and designing and this is what we came up with. This stand is really sturdy and gives me room to store two laundry baskets underneath.
laundry basket sorting
I recommend having a laundry basket for each category of laundry: WHITES, COLORS, TOWELS & SHEETS, and JEANS. This helps to keep thing organized. It is a good way to stay caught up with your laundry. If the basket gets full, it’s time to do a load of laundry.
One thing that has helped me stay on top of my laundry, is to do a little bit everyday (or almost every day). This way I it doesn’t pile up and get overwhelming. I know this may not work for everyone. Some like to just take a day and do it all. Whatever works for you.
non-toxic laundry soap
I like to keep the laundry soap accessible and close to the washing machine. I found this unique glass container at a thrift store years ago. It is perfect for holding my non-toxic powdered detergent.
Have you ever checked into what is in your laundry soap? Your laundry soap may smell yummy and fresh and it may be getting your clothes clean, but it may be VERY TOXIC. Most commercial laundry detergents have ingredients in them that are very harmful to your health.
Because of “trade secrets,” manufacturers are not required to disclose what’s in their detergent, so the ingredient list is usually vague and not very helpful. Conventional laundry soap generally contain the following:
- synthetic detergents, which are often made of petrochemicals
- phenols (established endocrine disruptors, of which BPA is the most notorious)
- fragrance (which usually contains phthalates)
- optical brighteners, which are often made from benzene, a definite carcinogen
- bleach, which contains chlorine (an environmental toxin–and possibly a carcinogen and endocrine disruptor)
- phosphates, which break down minerals and render detergent more effective, but with harmful environmental ramifications
You can read more about these ingredients here.
I hope this was enough information for you to ponder about, and hopefully nudge you to find a more safe way to clean your clothes. There are a lot of options out there that do a great job. I have been using non-toxic laundry soap for many years and have tried several brands. I wasn’t real impressed with any of them until I came across County Save. This is good stuff.
I recently tried a few other things that I have been real pleased with. Have you ever heard of SOAP NUTS? I hadn’t until a little while ago. I will post more details about these little gems soon, but I really like them!
Back to the tour
I also keep a container close by with baking soda in it. This and white vinegar are great to put in with a load of towels. It keeps them fresh and clean.
I also keep a few essential oils on hand as well. If you put a few drops of oil on a washcloth and then place it in with your clothes your laundry will come out smelling fabulous!
If you have room for a sink, do it.
Having a sink in your laundry room does come in handy. Those times when you need to soak something, or wash something really dirty, it’s nice to have it out of the way and not have to use your kitchen sink.
You can see the soap nuts in the cute little glass container on my dryer. (Can’t wait to post about them).
The container to the right of my sink, is homemade non-toxic foaming hand soap. It is VERY simple to make using castile soap and essential oils. I show you how to make it here.
Putting your clothes on hangers as soon as they come out of the dryer will save you a lot of time and grief. Having a place to hang the clothes once they are on hangers is really convenient.
My husband made and installed a handy clothes rack that attaches to the ceiling right by the dryer. This way I can take the shirts out of the dryer, put them on hangers and hang them up until I finish that load. The ceiling rack is made of galvanized steel. It is nice and sturdy and modern looking.
I recommend putting the hung up clothes away in your closets right after you have hung them up. Don’t let them accumulate until you have a huge load of clothes to put away. This will only cause overwhelm, and add clutter to the room.
Dryer balls made from wool yarn or felted wool sweaters work really well to save on drying time. They do help reduce static cling somewhat. I show how to make them here.
Basket for mismatched socks and delicate clothes
The basket on top of the washer is for socks without a match and for delicate clothing. When the “other” sock makes its way through the laundry, I know exactly where its match is. When there are enough clothes accumulated for the delicate cycle, I do a batch.
If you have windows in your laundry room, freshen things up with a cheery window treatment. The fabric window valance I have shown in the picture was really easy to make and it didn’t take a lot of fabric or time. I show how to make it here.
Long before we finished the laundry room I found a used ironing board cabinet for sale. I bought it and it sat in the garage for about a year before we were ready to install it. I love it. The ironing board is hidden, it’s easy to pull out and put away. It doesn’t take up a lot of room because if fits right between the studs in the wall.
Who doesn’t love IKEA? I could spend hours in there, well, I do actually. On one of my visits I was browsing and came across this awesome fold down table. I think it is made to use in small kitchens where you don’t have a lot of room.
When I saw this, a light came on in my head. I knew what I needed it for, my laundry room. I wanted to be able to fold the laundry in the same room, but there is no room for a table. This was the perfect solution. It works like a charm. When it’s not in use, I simply fold it down.
While we are talking laundry, here are a few other posts you may be interested in.
There you have it. I hope you enjoyed the little tour of my laundry room.
Even if your washer and dryer is tucked in a closest, or it is in the basement; there are simple, inexpensive things you can do to optimize the space and improve the aesthetics. It really does make a big difference in your desire to do laundry. I can honestly say that I don’t mind doing laundry and actually find it quite therapeutic.
Transform your laundry room into a place where you like to be. Doing laundry can be enjoyable, if you choose.
Start with little things and do things that are doable. (Remember, my laundry room took 2 years to complete). Make it a journey and do it with a smile!