Busting Through The To-Do List: the laundry room & garage

After the instant gratification of my unexpected mini-makeover in my master bathroom, I have decorating on the brain and am itching to get to my first really big project in the new house: the "library" (living room/office).  So, as promised, before I begin that project, I am first tackling several areas around the house that I've dubbed "clutter hot-spots", as I mentioned in my recent To Do List.  

Well, my friends, I can check two of the four off my list.  And I started out right: the garage.  Here is the garage before I started:

OK, let me explain.

Alright, there is no explanation. It was a mess.  A dumping zone.  And a total mismash of "stuff" that needed to be organized.   Before going in, I decided to separate the stuff into three piles: (1) stuff to stay in the garage; (2) stuff to go in the basement and (3) stuff to go in the house.

The garage would store the kids' outdoor toys and beach toys, the yard work equipment, the car equipment and the furniture projects du jour (at the time it was the Adirondack chairs, which are now done and the console table, which is primed but not yet painted).  The basement would hold our Christmas stuff, all of my tools and all of the paint (I'm going to DIY a workbench and the basement is going to be MY WORK AREA! - all caps necessary because this is my equivalent to a "man cave" or "mom cave").  And finally the stuff that went in the house were pieces that the movers just put in the garage because I didn't know where to put them right away: the chair in the living room and the cabinet for the laundry room.

Once I moved out all the basement and house stuff, I organized the garage items.  I bought two resin storage shelves from Lowe's for about $40 each (they're made of recycled plastic and hold 700 pounds each! they also mount to the wall of the garage for safety).  I was going to get a steel shelving unit but it was expensive and looked like a bear to assemble. These units were super easy to assemble (no tools!) and are really sturdy.   Digression aside, I used one storage unit for the yard stuff (gasoline and chemicals on the top out of reach of the kiddos) and the other unit for the kids' toys and sporting equipment.  I tried to keep all of the stuff on the one side of the garage so we could start parking a car in the other side.  Though, my furniture plans are in the way of that now.  Here are the afters (though these are certainly not "final" after pictures. I still have a lot of work to do in this space, but it's much better than before!).

Next up, the laundry room.  This was another clutter hot-spot in the house and it hardly took any time to get a handle on.  Here is the before:

I moved the empty baskets and bins in the basement.  I'm sure I will fill them soon enough.  I also moved the big green bin of lightbulbs in the basement, too.  I moved the ironing board upstairs to the one hall closet, along with the iron. And finally, I moved Coco's litterbox to the far side of the bench, so it isn't one of the first things greeting you when you walk into the laundry room from the kitchen. Here is the after of that area:

The other side of the room, which unfortunately I don't have a "before" picture of, had a tall metal cabinet, which I filled with paint and cleaners. I moved that cabinet in the basement and brought in the little cabinet that I scored from the Habitat for Humanity ReStore last January (and still have not painted).  I'll eventually paint that, add hardware and legs and a cool countertop.  I'm going to hang the shelf over it, though right now the shelf is, uh, on it.  I want to hold off hanging the shelf until I work on the room, because my plan is to add board and batten all around the space, so I will want to do that first.

Here's one last shot of the laundry room, which is the view from the kitchen and den.

Yay! Two spots down and two to go.  All I have left is to get a handle on the kitchen desk area and the craftroom/closet and I can get to work on my first real decorating challenge in the house!  Stay tuned!

See you swoon,


  1. Yay for de-cluttering! It's always satisfying.

  2. um shanna - are you putting CARS in your garage? I noticed they weren't listed on the things that will go into the garage.... :)

  3. Patti, yes, we'll start parking my car in the driveway once I donate a bunch of doors to the Habitat ReStore. We both agree that we want to keep one car in the driveway though.


  4. Doh. We'll start parking my car in the garage I meant to say! I have a case of the Mondays on a Tuesday.


  5. Go girl! We need to do some spring, ok summer cleaning ourselves!

  6. I love de-cluttering. Great job!