Laundry/Mudroom Progress

I need to take Claritin D more often.

It makes me organize. It’s like me + Claritin D = organizational soulmates.

Of course, when it wears off I’m all…



But for the first few hours, I’m like an organizing, calorie-burnin’ machine of hyperness.

After organizing No Man’s Land, the craft closet and Lucas’s room, I had every intention of taking a little break. Then, I caught The Black Plague (or maybe that’s just me being dramatic) and thought I was dying.  So, I took a Claritin D out of desperation and went from a useless lump on the sofa to the flippin’ energizer bunny for about 2 hours time before the germies caught back up to me, rendering me once again completely useless.

In my drug-induced haze, I decided to tackle the laundry room. I’ve never posted about this space before (aside from a few pics in our house tour), so let’s start from the beginning(ish). After we moved in, I painted our beige walls with a blue-grey Oops paint and then snapped this picture….

But, there was a problem (Imagine the following scenario with the top shelf ONLY like in the picture above.)…


The original shelf and cabinet were way too tall for my vertically-challenged self (and that’s me on my tip-toes, ya’ll).

So, we DIYed two additional shelves by having 1×10 unfinished shelf boards cut down to size at Home Depot. I primed and painted everything with leftover trim paint left by our builder. We used cute ikea brackets for the middle shelf and cheapo L brackets on the lower to allow us to get the bottom shelf as close to the washer and dryer as possible (they’re low enough that you can’t see them easily anyways)….

This get-up worked much better for us, but over time, the room turned into this…

Just full o’ crapola.

That nasty looking stuff in the large beverage dispenser is old laundry detergent. Once upon a time ago, I decided to be brilliant and poured my detergent in there. I’d seen the idea on Pinterest, and thus, figured it HAD to be genius. Alas, not so much. Turns out the detergent we use looks completely nasty. People often asked (with expressions of poorly-suppressed dubiousness) what the urine-looking substance in the jar was. Then, after a while, the detergent started to separate. I wonder if it’s like hydrogen peroxide where it loses it’s potency if not sealed from light or something. Now, I know that laundry detergent comes in opaque containers for good reason. Thus, ours will forever stay in the store-bought jugs. And Pinterest is not always right. It was a noble try, though.

Instead of being a grown-up and cleaning out the jar in a timely manner, I decided it simply pretend it didn’t exist by hiding it behind closed doors. Gosh, I’m gross. So, it was time. I finally cleaned out the jar thoroughly and freed up a ton of glorious cabinet space.

I went through all the baskets and rid ourselves of unused junk. Most of the stuff just really needed to be put back in their respective rooms. The laundry room had pretty much become a catch-all drop-zone of laziness. Then, I gave everything a thorough wipe down with my water/vinegar spray. I even went so far as to magic erase the smudges off the washer and dryer. Spic n’ span. Oh, yeah.

Then, I put stuff back in ways that made much more sense.

Now that the cabinets were clean, I had room for detergent, bleach, etc, so they’re no longer out in the open. I decided to reuse a short glass cylinder for storage of smaller items instead of a basket because, as previously demonstrated, I’m short.  And could never see what was in the solid basket that was in there before, so I figured clear storage would be best.  I left most of the top shelf empty for when we restock paper towels.

Here’s a full view of the newly clean space….

One basket now stores sidewalk chalk, bubbles, water balloons and other outdoor toys for Lucas, one basket holds batteries, and a third holds things like sunblock and other odds and ends. The top baskets are empty for growth.

As far as I’m concerned, leaving the decor as-is isn’t an option.  The differing brown tones kill me. I’ve said various versions of this statement in SO many other posts…. Mismatching brown undertones is one of my biggest pet-peeves and it’s an ongoing issue in this house. Our last house had a very Tuscan color scheme with browns, taupes, greens, reds, etc. and we had a huge mudroom with floor to ceiling shelves.  I’d purchased tons of baskets to organize them, which is why I have SO many baskets leftover in various tones of brown. I refuse to buy new ones because that’s just a waste, so I’m reusing what I’ve got.

Now, I’ll let you in on a little secret… I’ve already made the decor changes.   I’ll have another post up soon with details.  I just didn’t want this post to reach novel-length, so I decided to split it in half.

To round out our mudroom tour, we have my DIY pear art (the inspiration for which I got here) that I completed pre-blog, along with some fun paperclip hooks that I found on clearance at Target.

On this tiny wall, I simply hung an old mail sorter with hooks for keys, sunglasses, wallets, etc.

For the most part, our laundry/mudroom works really well for us. I’d like to figure out some shoe storage solutions in the future, though. And possibly some hanging storage behind the door to the kitchen (not shown) for brooms, mops, etc.

In any case, I’d say this organizational stint was a success being that Joey’s first statement upon seeing it was “Wow!  Who knew our mudroom was so big?” (Itsnot. Butthanksbabe.).   🙂

So, what kind of organization projects have you guys got going on?  Any mudroom revamps?   Anybody else enjoy the effects of Claritin D? 🙂


Lucas’s Room: Organized (Woot! Woot!)

Words I never thought I’d hear our 3 year old say:

“I have too many toys. I want to give them away to the other boys and girls.”

Say, WHAT??

Over the past few weeks, Lucas had stated this proclamation multiple times to both me and Joey. And both of us just stared at him open-mouthed as we wondered who this little guy was and what he’d done with Lucas.

Now, don’t get me wrong… We agreed. The kid was up to his ears in toys. And like many kiddos, he really only played with a few consistently. But, then he stated, “I wanna give ALL my toys away.”

Um… (Insert look of doubt)

So, last weekend, we took him at his word and Lucas and I got going….


I asked him to put all the toys he wanted to give away into a large cardboard box, and the rest stayed in his toy box. We slowly weeded our way through his entire toy box until we were finished.  I actually found myself stating “You sure you wanna get rid of that?” numerous times.  But he was on a mission.  And incredibly decisive about the whole matter.  So. Strange.

Color me shocked when this is where we ended up at the end of the process….


Give-Away Box

(And just to clarify the size of this box… It surpassed the height of his bed, although it may not look like it from this angle.)


Toy box

I moved his dress-up clothes here from the closet since there was so much space.  The foam battle ax was the first gift that my brother gave him, so I made Lucas keep it, though he doesn’t play with it often.

I’ll admit, I held back a few extra toys that I guessed he’d ask for eventually. I hid them in baskets in his closet to reintroduce as “new” later.  And I plan to leave the “give-away box” in the garage for a good month or so just to make sure that he doesn’t ask for anything before we donate them. But, I was so proud of our little guy. He really seemed to know what he was doing. For the small amount of items he wanted to keep, he had good reason for keeping them (“I keep stuffed soccer ball because Mac gave it to me.”, etc.)

Also, no need to think our little man is deprived of toys. The ones he plays with day-in and day out usually end up here….


Or here…


(And, yes.  That’s still my reindeer print in the collage wall… Just when you thought our house was de-Christmassed! Haha! I maintain that Christmas in July is totally a thing. As well as Christmas in every other month. 😉 )

Other remaining toys (various puzzles, arts and crafts, Legos and train tracks) are stored in/on his Expedit units…

IMG_6401 IMG_6400

And in the basket beneath his Map table….


Ignore the race track… I’ll get to that in a sec.   It’s kind of funny… Part of me thinks it’s really freeing to walk into his room and not be accosted by a giant pile of toys.  The other part feels slightly sad because it’s sort of empty in there now.  Though, weirdly enough, Lucas seems to be really happy about that.  I’m still scratching my head a little on this one, but I’m not complaining either.

Since we were on a roll, I also made major headway in his closet. It started out looking like this…


And after some purging of clothes that no longer fit, and organizing his remaining toys, we ended up here….


I FINALLY have enough room in there to fit his giant race track.  I was secretly hoping he’d want to part with it (it was the ONE and ONLY toy I truly hoped he’d give away), but much to my dismay, it’s staying.   Before, it had to live out in his room on the floor because it was too large for anywhere else.  I was constantly tripping over it, it fell apart on a regular basis, and Lucas didn’t really play with it often enough to make it worth it.  But the kid just willingly gave up the majority of his toys, and he wanted it, so it stays.   But now… It’s in the closet.  Heehee! (Glee) 

And since I’m sort of on a toy rant anyways… do any other parents out there wonder why Melissa and Doug puzzles have no lids??  It drives me absolutely batty. Those pieces get EVERYWHERE. Ugh. But Lucas loves them. So, they stay, too. And let’s face it… They don’t devise crippling plots like the foot-torturing Legos.  So, they’ve got that going for them. Which is nice.

Anyhoo, other miscellaneous and out-of-season items went up high in various baskets and containers in his closet, and the only clothes remaining are ones that fit him well (These are only “dressier” clothes… his other clothes are in the dresser).

I’ll be honest…  I’m half expecting him to reconsider and ask for all his toys back tomorrow.  It’s been about a week so far, though, and he’s only asked for his small Dusty “Cropgrover” (aka: Crophopper) figurine, which I fetched for him.  He hasn’t so much as mentioned the other toys even though the box is located in plain view in the garage.  So, I guess we’ll see.

For the most part, I think he’s pretty excited about it…


And yes, we only take pics in our pajamas.  I swear I dress him upon occasion.  😉

So, that’s one more organizing task marked off the list!  Woo-hoo!  Slowly but surely, Casa de Spragins is getting whipped into shape.