Saturday, August 09, 2008

Laundry/Dressing room - aim for efficiency

Well it started out with a thread on the Large Families board on EB, specifically relating to this particular household(click on their 'home' pics)... anyway, if you go to their site and manage to scroll through the slideshow, you'll see their laundry room. That's what got me thinking - no, not about having that many children haha but more about their Laundry room. Rather than take the washing out, hang, bring in when dry, fold and sort, then distribute to the various rooms... why not do it this way and save a heap of time?

Add to that one of the Mums on the LF board started with tubs for each of her children...
I thought what a great idea and wanted to combine these two ideas... So bit by bit... Also, to mimimise my frustration at the children's clothes I had so neatly folded and put in their drawers only to be found all muddled up later on, I decided they could put their own clothes away, with help for the littlest of course. That way the answer to 'Mu-um... where's my....' would be 'in your tub' and/or in the wash/on the line and/or wherever you left it last because it's not in the washing!

Then a few people asked for pics and I explained that while I was rather pleased with the practical-ness of our 'laundry'... I was somewhat not happy with the aesthetics lol it's a far cry from the lovely laundries we see in reno shows (we're working on it tho, slowly lol).
Anyway, decided to put aside my... doubts lol about pics and share what we had achieved and how it worked.

Of course, with #5 arriving in Jan, we'll need to reshuffle where things fit, but generally I like where it's at in there. It's a MUCH nicer spot to be. Really only needs a coat of paint, a tidy and 'finishing off', plus something or other for the window... when we did the kitchen reno we contemplated putting a door to outside, where the laundry window is now, since the line is ~right there~ outside the laundry window... but the amount of plumbing in that wall was enough to put paid to that idea! So bear with me on the non-magazine look of it, and just take the practical. Click on the pics to be able to read the writing on them. We have an oddly laid out house but the pic on the left will help if you need to 'map' things in your head.

Directly copying and pasting my post in the LF board now:
we initially had a rack in the laundry for the school shirts and good clothes - once washed the were hung directly from the machine - no getting lost in the clean washing basket they were always there. And I was thinking boy if only we could do with more than just school shirts..!

This pic on the left is the 'left side' of the laundry looking in from the doorway. We have tubs one each for the children with names, I fold the washing into the laundry basket as I bring it off the line, into the laundry, 'dish out' the clothes the the relevant child's tub and when their tub is full (or beforehand) they come and empty it - littlest one needing a hand of course. The new Baby's clothes will go directly on the (yet to be installed) shelves which will be on the right hand side when you walk in.

The other thing is there is no more/less 'Mum where's my..?'
because the answer is usually, 'in your tub, in the wash/on the line or on the floor where you left it' haha so they're not waiting for me to sort and put away the washing iykwim.

We also tore out the old useless linen cupboard, and via Freecycle, found the inside of someone's BIR - top shelf and clothes rail thing - so all the blankets etc go on the top shelf and the clothes all get hung - shirts, good clothes, school etc esp the stuff we wear all the time, work clothes etc.

Also, there is a small set of drawers for underwear, bathers, etc that the kids share and on top of that goes their school bags and footy bags - clean footy gear and boots go right into the bag so that come Sunday morning there's no/less 'frantic' hunting for stuff. The drawers are divided up as well, so it's easy to see where the boys and girls stuff goes, as well as a super-easy pyjama drawer that really once the clothes are in, anyone would know who's pyjamas are what.

This pic on the left is the 'middle' of the laundry when looking in from the door way - I am looking to install a 'workbench/countertop' above, to make it easy to reach things and to make better use of the space. Also in the laundry is the nappy bucket (we dry pail so no soaking), nappy stash (mostly fitteds and covers, but a few AIO/pocket and we're trialling prefolds this time), change table mat (which lays on top of the washing machine when in use), washing machine, dirty clothes sorter, trough and a shoe rack, which we admittedly need a 2 storey one off, and we don't really have that many shoes. There's a small basket that the school shirts and kids socks go in so I don't have to HUNT for them to wash them, and the bag for swimming. Swimming gear gets hung straight from the shower onto the small rail in the bathroom. Clean towels go straight from the clean folded basket in the laundry into he swimming bag, where the goggles and swim passes are also.

Oh and did I mention we have a tiny laundry? lol
Floor space before we did all this was lucky to be 1m x 0.5m square, now it's about 1mx1m square wink.gif in floor space so we have actually made *more* room, fitting more in there and making it 'work' better iykwim

oh and that's just the start of the nappy stash! lol

The pic on the right is the 'right side' of the laundry when looking in from the doorway. The kids main clothes drawers are directly opposite the laundry door, (so behind me while I'm taking these pics from the door way) in the hall there (we have a wierd house layout see floor plan) so they only have to go a couple of metres to put their stuff away. They all share one room and besides the drawers being closer to the laundry by not being in their bedrooms, there's not room in the bedroom anyway wink.gif The hat rack (an aptly 'grown' brang with 'arms' from the park across the road lol) and 'coat rack' (IKEA, about $5.95 each) are on the wall opposite the kids main drawers in the hall outside the laundry.
Admittedly the drawers in the wide hall beside the laundry aren't 'pretty' and a lovely waist high unit would be nice but ah well make do with what we have yk

Towels are stored in the bathroom, on the shelf above where the wet bathers etc drip into the bath... the mop hangs there too after use and since our bath is out of order as the taps are siezed (old old plumbing lol) it's no consequence really that the mop drips in the bath iykwim.

Sheets are in the bottom drawer for the kids and in our wardrobe for us - we have builtins in our room so that's where the bulk of our stuff is. BIR in the guest room, but we long ago removed the BIR from the room that B1, J & Z share. FLYlady also recommends storing the clean sheets between the mattress and base on the bed - they are right there when you need them - no need to search for which sheets for which bed AND somewhere (BH&G? or Flylady) the tip was store the mathching flat and fitted sheet ~inside~ the matching pillowcase so always have a 'set' on hand.

And finally on the right is where the proposed (recycled timber) shelving will go so I can house the rest of the nappy stash (the above pics are mostly NB and small nappies) - for the OSFM nappies as well as for the Baby clothes.

So this is a combo of LF inspiration, FLYlady and 'that' Large Family, and I LOVE it - washing takes far less time, is less onerus and much much more organised. And yes now I fold right from the line bc when I sit the basket on top of the trough, I just assign the folded items to each pile. Items to hang are laid flat in the basket and hung right away. In summer, I often hang the hanging stuff still-damp straight from the machine - dries in no time and much less wrinkly, and not as stiff as it would be from hanging outside on a summer day (our lines are all under cover but still they get hot under there as they are near the roof).
biggrin.gif HTH and yep it's very worth it!


Donna xo said...

Well done hunny! OMG you've done an awesome job!

I've found that I don't have enough baskets/draws, and that's why I am always in a pickle. Hopefully I'll have that sorted soon enough, and I will be all spiffy and organised like you!!

well done!!

D xo

Kristy said...

lol aww thanks Donna! You'll be sorted soon enough - then we contemplate the other rooms in the house together *wink* Today the laundry, tomorrow the... ! :D

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