My Laundry Room Is Happy!

As I’ve mentioned before, I have a close friend who describes my decorating style as cheerful. She’s right. I like color and a certain brightness to the rooms I live in. They make me happy. Did I show you my very unhappy laundry room? It’s very, very sad.

I’ve finished updating the laundry room today.  Here’s one of my “after” pictures and then details of what I did during this process of changing the look and feel of this little room that I enter daily.

I knew that red and black would change the way the celery colored paint would look, and I went looking for an inexpensive piece of fabric for a window treatment. I found a black, white and red fabric at Hobby Lobby for $9 per yard. I had a 40% off coupon so that brought it down to $5.60 per yard. I bought 1 and 1/2 yards.

Here’s the fabric..

We had created a  storage problem because we stored tons of lightbulbs in the cabinets above the washer and dryer. It was Little Debbie to the rescue again as Mike picked up empty Little Debbie boxes at Sam’s Club and I painted them, hot glued ribbon on them and used wide-mouth canning lids and scrapbook paper for labels. With the ribbon, I have about $2 in each box.  What a deal! I have attractive storage for the bulbs and easy-to-access storage for laundry and cleaning supplies.  I couldn’t be happier.

I used four boxes.

I decided to keep trash bags out in the open where they are easy to find. When we have company, which is fairly often, sometimes they’ll ask “where do you keep the trash bags?” Now, I can just point them to the laundry room!

Living 17 miles from a grocery store,  I’ve learned that white vinegar can handle just about any cleaning job and it’s a good thing to have for laundry, too.   I’m keeping it on hand in one of my canning jars.  Same with the clothespins.

My husband made this small distressed red shelf.  Love it.  I also keep clothespins in it. I like a plant in every room–that inclues the laundry room.

I had these red plates which I’d bought many years ago.  I’ve never used them.   When I was thinking about the laundry room and the need to have some brightness in there, they came to mind.

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I had to wait for several days to put the plates up. I use an adhesive backed plate hanger for hanging plates, and I haven’t found any place in Bristol that carries them. I ordered these from Amazon on Thursday and they arrived today (Wednesday). I was so excited when the mail arrived with them…you’d think someone mailed me gold!

The ribbon, fabric, spray paint and spraypaint were all that I purchased. I like using what I have on hand, as it inspires me to think “outside the box” (or in this case…in the box). My sweet mother, Vivan Barker, always said that “necessity is the mother of invention.” Mother was right!

Thank you for reading RiverCliff Cottage. If you care to comment, I’d love to read your thoughts!

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Little Debbie Boxes Laundry Room Organization

It’s Saturday evening and I am parked on the couch…too exhausted to go to bed.

Today was the Mendota Heritage Festival, and while I planned to make a Barbie doll cake, I did not get it done. While I planned to be present at 10 am to help with the Health Fair, I did not get there until 11 am. While I planned to help with hotdogs from noon until 2 pm, I was told I wasn’t needed and I gratefully went home.

I worked very hard yesterday on multiple things. I cleaned house,spent time  reorganizing and refreshing my laundry room, doing laundry and worked on organizing our master bath. I also sat down and glanced at an article on the internet  entitled “Ten Tips for an ADD/ADHD Person To Keep A Clean House.” How did they know?

I do get the house clean, but I admit to doing it differently. I drag everything out and then I put everything away. I move along 3 or 4 things…and once in a while, they all get done!!

I took a good look at my laundry room this week. It’s very dull and boring. I haven’t paid any attention to this room. Ever.

After a good hard look, I made a list in my head of what would help this room. Here’s the result: (1) The paint is called “Celery”. With the white window treatment, white cabinets, and white washer and dryer, it looks institutional, yet I do not want to repaint the room. (2) I think red and black accents might help the room. (3) I have not been using the cabinet space well. The cabinet was full of lightbulbs instead of laundry supplies which were sitting on the dryer, etc.  I know..it’s crazy but it just happened…we did not intend to buy a gazillion different bulbs.  But we did. 

The first thing I went to is my Little Debbie Box inspiration.   While we do need to keep lightbulbs within easy reach, we don’t have to keep them all within easy reach. All but the minimum amount of lightbulbs will go in boxes above the cabinets.   By painting and embellishing the boxes, it will also  introduce black and red into the room.

Here’s the Little Debbie box in the before picture…

As I mentioned in prior posts, Mike picked up the Little Debbie boxes at Sam’s Club. I send him in to buy one thing but also to get a box or two to accompany the purchase! Feelin’ sooo smart!  The boxes are the perfect size….here they are..

The black and white polka dot ribbon on the boxes is an interesting story. I purchased my first ribbon in a three-yard spool at Hobby Lobby for $3.99. I didn’t have a set plan so I only bought one spool. I love ribbon and keep it on hand. Never know when a ribbon emergency might come up. Once I got moving on this idea, I needed more ribbon, and I found a comparable ribbon at Walmart for $2.99–same size and quality. The difference was price and, more importantly–the ribbon from Walmart was made in Pennsylvania while the ribbon from Hobby Lobby was made in China. Gasp! Walmart became my New Best Friend. It took two spools to do all four boxes. Because I don’t have a lot of money right now, I returned to what I had on hand to label the boxes which was wide-mouth canning jar lids and scrapbook paper.

Here’s another photo…there are actually four boxes but to capture all four in a photograph, I would have to climb out the window!

 

I got totally inspired while doing this project…so much so that I willingly washed the windows yesterday while doing everything else!! Mike did the outside but I did the inside at the same time. Normally, I would have found an excuse NOT to wash windows but my laundry room redo was making me so happy that I didn’t mind doing the windows. Color in a room is so important to the way you feel when you’re in the room. At least for me.  

I’ve made a curtain for the window and added a few other touches which I’ll show you on Monday or Tuesday. I’m waiting on a gizmo to arrive in the mail to hang these bright red poppy plates in the room.

Finally, we had the Mendota Heritage Festival today. If cakewalks, quilts, baskets, original artwork, hotdogs, soup beans, baked bread and learning about the Mendota hawk count is more important than Fashion Week, the price of gasoline, or who had the best political speech, then this might be the place for you. It sure is the place for me.

 

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Checking Off The List!

Did you have a great Labor Day?   It was overcast and rainy in Mendota, so we stayed inside.    Actually, we celebrated by going to my favorite place!  Lowe’s!  However, we didn’t get there.   We ended up at Home Depot.  I feel so dirty…slutty…for stepping out on My Love like that.    However, I wasn’t driving and had no control.    Forgive me Lowe’s!   You are my one True Love. 

I am not a list maker. I didn’t make a real list today, but I made a virtual list! I always have a list in my head. Today’s list went something like this…

1) Walk
2) Shower
3) Get more chalkpaint
4) Scrub porch
5) Finish organizing guest bedroom closet
6) Take stuff over for the September 8 Washington County Volunteer Fire Department’s yard sale…

I did them all, almost. I didn’t get the yardsale stuff delivered, but I have a good excuse as I’m still adding things to it.

Here’s the closet as it looks right now. Remember, this is Phase I.   I know it’s not over-the-top impressive but I am pleased with the progress.

If you are totally unimpressed, please remember my starting point…

It was a wreck.  I opened the door and that little pile of fabric fell on the floor…kind of like it jumped to its death due to its terrible living conditions.   I’d just shoved it in there in a busy moment.   Sorry.

I now have two of the Little Debbie boxes all painted up with ribbons  in the top of the closet. If you did not read last night’s post talking about the Little Debbie boxes  you may do so here.  These were so easy.  I’ve got some flannel linens in one that are so bulky that they do not fold well, and the other one that says “Bingo” houses prizes I’ve collected for a future Mendota Cemetery Bingo.   Before, they were just stuffed here and there.  Embarassing.  Do other people have closets that look like this?

Whew…while my list was not long, I’m tired tonight.   Tomorrow I’m going to take 15 items to Whitney’s Closet in Kingsport for consignment (15 is the most without an appointment that I can take over for review). I’ve also go to start working on my Barbie cake for Saturday’s Mendota Heritage Festival.  And a zillion other things!

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Little Debbie to the Rescue

As I go through the house cleaning, freshening and “taking my house back” after ignoring it for quite a while, I have been mortified at what I’ve allowed our closets to look like. It’s going to be a process getting them to look as I picture them in my mind.   By next spring, I’ll have the closets looking perfect, but this will happen in phases.    I’m losing weight (three weeks at work and it was a bit of a setback) and at some point I’ll be culling my wardrobe. However, until that happens, I’m hanging onto most of my clothes. Next spring I will be ready to get rid of things (translate..sell them on consignment) and that will be the time that I really organize my closets.

Meanwhile, I have to get them in some order. Here’s the painful truth…

Shame. 

So…Phase I begins.   The first thing I did was take quite a bit of the things out of the closet.   I tried to group things together.  There was the fabric stash…and there were sheet sets…and there was just stuff.

I didn’t want to buy more baskets and bins, but I needed  additional items to put “stuff” in.   I remembered some boxes Mike had brought home from Sam’s Club.

And here’s the inspiration for using the box…I’m just following the directions…”recycle”…


I decided to paint the box with chalk paint.

I’m going to do more of these boxes and I want to use something other than chalk paint.  However, this is the only thing I’ve got at the house. Living so far from a store makes everyone in Mendota very resourceful.


I like ribbon and buy all kinds of it when I see it for a good price. I knew I’d be able to use this somewhere in the bedroom.

I took the ribbon and glued it to the painted box with a hot glue gun. This is my prototype…I wanted to have an idea of what this would look like. I have so many ideas that are failures! Because I was anxious to see if it would be something I’d like, I just eyeballed putting the ribbon on the box. If I do another one, which I will, I’ll be a little more precise.

Here’s what it looks like in my closet. I added a bow and wrote “linens” on the side so I’d remember what is in the box.

I’m continuing to work on the closet and will share some pictures later in the week when Phase I is finished. Hopefully, I can work on it and some fall decor projects tomorrow, but I know that Mike has a really great job in store for me scrubbing the porch. Such as sweet guy.

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