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Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Tuesday Tip

Spring Cleaning!  In order for me to kick off spring, I must officially say goodbye to winter.  For me, this ritual starts in our laundry/mud room.  It begins with washing and putting away all the coats, hats, scarves and gloves.  The room immediately looks and feels brighter with the white wainscot now more visable after removing all the dark coats cluttering up the hooks!

After everything is washed or drycleaned, and the coats are relocated to a storage closet.  The wool coats go into a canvas hanging bag, and I toss a few of those little cedar balls in the bottom and zip it up.

The hats, scarves and gloves are stored in lined baskets.  I put a dryer sheet in the bottom of each basket and then fold everything so it is ready for the next season.  During fall and winter I am quite happy if things are thrown into the baskets or on the hooks and do not land on the bench below! I use my favorite dryer sheets to line the baskets.  It makes everything, including the room, smell so good!  Here's a little peek into my basket:

This small room is the main entrance for our family.  It's also where the backpacks and shoes land, where the dog eats, where the family calendar and note board is kept, and yes, where the mud gets tracked in and the laundry is done!  Keeping it super organized is a necessity.  Every spring is a reminder to sort through things and freshen it up a bit to keep it looking nice.

One of the ways this can be accomplished is to consider how everyday items are used, such as detergent! There are so many options for beautiful, inexpensive, practical dispensers.  In all likelihood, you already have plenty of options to choose from in your own home.  Just think outside the box....or jug!

I prefer powders.  I don't like dealing with heavy jugs and endless drips.  I have front loading machines and this just really comes down to preference.  For a lively dialogue about powder vs. liquid check out iVillage's Garden Web home forum on this subject.  I also prefer my storage to be open.  Meaning no tops or lids.  Nothing to unscrew or lift off.  Did you know the average person spends 5-7 hours per week in their laundry room?

Another reason to make things attractive and convenient!  A quick scoop out of these crocks and I'm ready to push the start button.  Also, if you don't have a counter across your machines, (one of the 2 things still incomplete in this room!) cover them with a large white towel.  It will keep the surfaces from getting scratched as well as act as a little noise buffer.  Plus, it just looks fresh!

I'll try anything to avoid keeping unsightly boxes and bottles out.  Here is what I have found works best for me over the years:  Crocks, one large for detergent, one small for laundry booster, an oil pouring bottle for fabric softener and plastic scoops to avoid chipping the rims.  If you really want something pretty, try a palm sized clam shell from your last trip to the beach!  My daughter found 2 that are purple and white that we use in the summer.  The green fabric softener is a new scent I thought I would give a try.  I also added the tray this past weekend.  I am hoping that certain members of the household will take a hint of where I would like things left!  Happy Spring!!!

images coursety of CountryHome, Southern Accents, flicr and A&A


  1. Such great tips! My mudroom and your mudroom are eerily similar, right down to the type AND color hangers in the closet, white bead board, lined baskets, cubbies, etc. My laundry room is a work in progress right now (yours is gorgeous!) but again, we both share a fabric skirted sink! However, over here, its wise to wait until mid April to put away all the winter stuff...I've been burned, or rather frozen before!

  2. Everyone is talking about their laundry rooms lately and showing how pretty and organized they are. I definitely need to work on mine. I am a very clean an neat person on the parts of the house that everyone sees, but the poor laundry room, which isn't very big, seems to be an unorganized mess. I painted it a year ago and don't like the color and that is one thing I will have to do again. I do like your idea of powder instead of liquid. I am tired of the drips, too. Love your crocks and the plastic scoops.

  3. You are definitely neat and organized. I am currently sprucing up my laundry room and finding containers for my soap too! I love the idea of using the tray and the crocks for your powder!

  4. I wish I could say this was all the motivation I need to get my laundry room going! It is definitely a good start! We had a joint mudroom/laundry in our last home and I wish I could say it was this organized - I'm sincerely impressed! Now our is connected to our Master which is great but also requires more decorating than I had bargained for :)

    Great tip as usual! Marija

  5. Crocks for detergent?! That is genius!! As is using an oil pouring bottle for fabric softener! So beautiful AND functional...I love it!

  6. Your gloves look so sweet in their hibernation basket! Thank you for the tips, I should do more to replace containers. This has left me feeling a bit sorry for myself though, as I don't have a laundry room, or a dryer (I would get a two in one if I wasn't renting). Like a lot of Londoners I have the problem of clothes hanging round on rails in lounges and bedrooms to dry. It is amazing how even highly expensive flats round here have this problem. The only solution I have seen is to go for a place with an extra bedroom just to hide them. Outside London you get what we call a utility room but generally much less of one in England I think.
    I am really impressed with your making your laundry room so lovely though. I'm going to keep the inspiration in my head for my hopefully future laundry room!

  7. Really nice post... i have to start storing my sweaters because in Florida they can get moldy!

  8. I would do laundry any day for you, just to dream that my own laundry room could look like that. Can you blame me for wanting to live vicariously?

  9. How nice. I keep our laundry powder in a big blue crock and liquid items in bottles makes washing so much more bearable.
    Happy Spring!
    Ness xx

  10. I am sooo done with the drips! Might give powder a try once again!

    Beautiful inspiration for spring!

  11. you are brilliant....crocks, clam shell scoops, nests for gloves. rebecca this is beyond beautiful.
    may i suggest a trade?
    my husband will do projects and you come help me with my utter disarray!

  12. You are completely inspiring! Not only is your laundry/mud room beautiful, but you have so many wonderful ways in which to make it functional at the same time. Love the idea of putting detergent in pretty containers. Happy spring! Trina

  13. love your scoops rebecca!!! when i am able to walk in my laundry room i'd love to do this!

  14. ps- gorgeous laundry room!!! so jealous!!

  15. Happy Spring, indeed! My goodness your room is amazing! We have no "mud room" (as I called it growing up) and I miss it dearly! The oil cruet for fabric softener is pure genius.

  16. Oh I need a laundry room like that! I might actually DO my laundry!

  17. Wow - this makes me quite embarassed about my current laundry room, but inspired to make my next one great.

    My current laundry room is upstairs, not anywhere near the hats or gloves - it is a simple, functional laundry room, not a mud room. In my next house, I will have a workhorse laundry room upstairs, and a mud room/dog room downstairs that happens to have laundry machines - it will be used for pool laundry, dog laundry, and kitchen laundry.

    One thing I was wondering - do you think that I need to have the washer and dryer on the same wall as the sink? It is a small space (maybe 7' on the wall). My architect drew the plan with the sink opposite, and a friend said to put the w/d/sink all along the same wall. I kind of think I might want to have some counter space near the sink, as this is where we will be feeding the dog, maybe art project clean up. I was thinking that a broom closet on the wall where the w/d are located would be good. Keep in mind that this will be an auxiliary laundry room.

    Very, very inspirational post! I never even really thought about putting away coats and gloves and such for the winter, believe it or not, although this is such a smart idea.

  18. PS - just saw an ad for Method pump detergent - 4 pumps cleans the whole load. Intiguing - avoids the drips, stores easily and neatly (it is 10x concentrated).

    With the humidity in the South, I am a fan of liquid.

  19. Wow! Your laundry room looks lovely -- I have all sorts of visions for mine, but alas I should probably hold off on realizing them until a few of the more "important" rooms get checked off the list. That said though, I love the canisters and bottle you use for your essentials -- so much better than plastic jugs and an easy and inexpensive switch!

  20. Marvelous!
    There comes a time each year, in the springtime, when all I want to do is plant flowers and clean house!

  21. Wow, you have a wonderful laundry room !!! 5 stars, mine is -5stars...

  22. Great tips & I love all the laundry styling, makes doing all the jobs so much more pleasurable. Enjoy your weekend! AX

  23. Lucy-Love the term hibernation basket!

    Debra-I would love a trade!!!

    TTI-I will email you...

  24. Would you share the name and manufacturer of the wall paint color in the top photo (with the metal buckets on the shelf and the fold-out wood drying rack)? ~ Sparky

  25. Oh dear. You have simultaneously shamed me and inspired me! My laundry room is one big ball of lint with drippy Tide bottles lining the shelf. I never thought it could be any different...

    Came here via your sweet, sweet comment on my blog, but I'll be sticking around a bit. Love your blog!



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