Thursday, 7 August 2014

What do you get the woman who has everything? Home makeover!

My mom celebrated a birthday a few months back, and I didn't have any ideas for a good birthday gift that wasn't just adding more clutter.  I wanted to give her something thoughtful and special, and the one thing that came to mind was redoing her laundry room.  Ever since she and my dad built and moved into their house 8(!) years ago, the laundry room has been a bit of a disaster.  The builder's beige walls needed some jazzing up, and the stock white wire shelving (which are so impractical for storage, and really, who wants to stare at their cleaning products?) needed replacing.  Their laundry room is also their entrance from the garage, so it is the first thing they see when they walk into their house; this needs to be a welcoming, clutter-free space so they aren't burdened with visual stress upon entering their home.
Before: Disaster shelf
Before: clutter breeds clutter
Lack of organized storage space = messy corners
The first thing that had to go was the shelf.  We went through every bottle, and tossed all of the almost-empty dregs of bottles that get pushed to the back and forgotten because the shelf is so inaccessible.  All cleaning supplies that were bought in the hopes they would be great and weren't got tossed as well.  Things that got dumped there "temporarily" and got lost in the shuffle got relocated to their proper place.  We found some baskets that made for great storage for small vacuum accessories and rags.  Then we got that shelf the heck out of there!  Good riddance to poor planning! (I have no idea why those stupid wire shelving are so popular in newly-built homes - I think they are so useless....I guess they are probably cheap, and that's why builders use them?)

After clearing out the room, and moving the laundry machines into the middle of the tight room, my sister and I set to work painting the walls a nice, peaceful sky blue.  Two coats in, and the change was amazing already!  The blue was so much fresher and more pleasing to the eye than the boring beige that used to be in there.  Mom was worried at first about the colour choice, but did warm up to it as things started settling into place.

The next day, with the help (aka: he led the show) of my dad, we hung some IKEA shelving on the walls.  We used the BESTA collection, complete with the coolest doors, a beautiful wavy white, that went well with the blue walls.  All the cleaning supplies and vacuum parts and rags found new homes in the cupboards.
After: cupboards are a huge improvement
We moved the washing machine and dryer closer together so that they no longer had a gap between them, and used the extra space on the side to make a broom wrangling station.  I picked up a broom caddy to mount to the wall that can hold all the brooms, mops, and dust pans.  We also wall-mounted the Dyson vacuum, so it no longer needs to be propped up in a corner.  More organization=less mess!
After: broom caddy
We also installed the IKEA Grundtal drying rack over the laundry tub.  This drying rack is great, because it can collapse against the wall when not in use, which means the area looks tidier.  I also tossed her old mismatched collection of hangers, and replaced them with matching white ones.
After: washtub area
 The last step was to put the finishing touches in place.  I picked up a blue sign that says "Home" hanging from a clothesline with clothespins (fitting!) from Walmart, and I found the most beautiful set of wall hooks at Winners that feature white roses.
After: wall decor
Then came the big reveal!  My mom loved the change, and the space is so much more welcoming and calm.  My goal was to reduce clutter, remove the eyesores, and just make the space more organized and clean looking.  I truly believe that clutter breeds clutter and neat breeds neat.  A tidy space makes you want to keep it tidy, whereas a pile of junk encourages you to just keep adding to it.  After completing this weekend project, my mom was much happier with the room, and that makes me happy.  I think this made a great birthday gift!