But now...things are different! Week three of my slow home challenge had me tackle the laundry room and pantry, and I am super excited about the results! I told you it was going to be a tough one for me, and it definitely was. This particular space in my home really proved to be a true test to my dedication in this challenge (it took a lot more time than I would have liked to get it to where I was content). Yet, at the same time, it also gave me a great opportunity to dig deep, to really try and harness my inner creativity so that I could create a room that was efficient, designed well, and easy on the eyes as well. I used to thank God that there was a door I could keep closed...now I'm thinking of removing it altogether.
Without further ado...The Before and After photos:
The Laundry Room...
Ack! I'll admit I'm a little embarrassed to even post these pictures, but hopefully my doing so evoke
the kind of ohhhs and awes I'm hoping for when you see the next photo!
A bit better, wouldn't you say?! Of course, I am slightly biased, but to me it is a gazillion times better. Ahhhh, I'm just going to sit and stare at it for a minute. Go on, scroll back up again to see the uglyness it USED to be. Not too shabby, eh?
In addition to providing better organization, I also added some decor to the room to help give it a more personal feel, and to help it feel like another "room" in the house, not just an ugly utility room. I found an old, weathered, long piece of wood in our garage that now fits nicely along the top of the washer and dryer. I placed some glass jars, shells, etc... upon it for display. I also hung some nature inspired art I'd put together last year: simply framed, dried ferns.
I ditched (not litteraly) the stacking blue (and pink for Jules, of course) buckets where we stored the kid's shoes, cleaning cloths, and vegetable bin, and traded it in for this old wooden crate. I stole it from my own kitchen. Yup, sure did, and I think it serves a much better purpose here.
I can't even tell you how good it feels to walk into this room now, and have all of that wonderful floor space. Before, most of the time we'd find ourselves having to make a path way through all of the kitchen laundry on the floor, the large bag of dog food, and all of the other random "stuff." It was a nightmare to try and bring the laundry basket in here to start a load, I'd literally have NO place to set it down. Now, I feel that the floor space in this room is truly representative of the slow home principle that encourages "clear, unobstructed circulation" throughout the home's overall pathway.
I shifted the washer and dryer a few inches to the left so that I could have more room for brooms and mops, etc...and also for the recycling bin that used to practically block half of the room's entry. As much as I'd really like to have some fancy, shmancy cabinets above the washer and dryer, it's just not in our budget right now, so instead I improvised, and added these curtains-which I made from material I had on hand.
I moved this chaulk board from a wall in the kitchen where it was hardley ever used, except as another place to display the kid's artwork. Now, it's become a fun place to jot down pantry items that need restocking.
I installed brackets in the ceiling and hung the curtain rod from heavy ribbon. I think down the road I might swap the ribbon out for some type of lighting chain. It felt really good to "shop" in my own home, using what I already had available, rather than going out and buying more stuff.
In order to better utilize all of that wall space above the washer and dryer, I stacked a few bins on the shelf and transferred all of my cleaning cloths here. It's also nice that I can hide all of those unsightly cleaning supplies behind the curtain.
This is one of the two items I purchased for the remodeling of this room (Ross, $4.99). I really needed a place (besides the floor) where I could toss damp kitchen towels and cloth napkins from each meal. This basket is coated, so any moisture won't ruin the wood, and it's size is just right for its intended purpose.
And the Pantry....
Before: The unsightly and unorganized mess. And remember that hanging mesh thing, that upon further consideration I discovered to serve little if any purpose? Now gone.
Cleaning out the pantry and re-organizing it, was quite the project, but I'm so glad I did it. Sadly, I discovered that my disorganization in here was causing us to be wasteful as well...Dry goods that were returned to the pantry in haste, were often not closed properly or stored well, and therefore ended up being disposed of before necessary.
I also added two good sized storage bins to utilize all of that wasted space on the floor of the pantry. The top one is now a great place to keep the kid's snacks for school and so on. They love being able to go in a choose whatever they'd like, and I like that they are now better able to help pack their own lunches. The other item I purchased is that small wire rack that is seen hanging from the lower left pantry shelf. Now we can easily access foil and such, without having to search endlessly for it through a sea of cracker boxes.
So there you have it. I have to say that so far, tackeling the laundry room in my slow home challenge has given me the greatest satisfaction. I feel great about the changes I made, and truly feel that now, the overall room is a much better reflection of a slow home space. It's efficient, walkable, and although it serves several purposes, it now does so in a truly beneficial way.
Simply put, I love it.
If you're following along and partaking in this challenge on your own, how did your laundry room/pantry do-over turn out? I'd love to hear about it!