organizing the house, part 3 - the laundry room



Oh hello.  Shall we move on to the laundry room?  Mine used to be in the garage so this is a step up for me. And even though this is the tiniest laundry room I've ever had it is my favorite.  It's got everything I need to satisfy my laundry addiction and room for all the other essentials that keep this place clean.  It is embarrassing to show all the nooks and crannies of this house and admit that I have a laundry addiction, but some of you are very interested in these things.  But I'm also fascinated by this kind of ordinary thing too. Fair warning, there are tons of links to products in this post but I know you like specifics so I was on it this time. And just for the record, no one is paying me to say these are the products I use and like.

Lets start with my favorite laundry products of the moment.  The Laundress Wash and Stain Bar.  If I were rich I'd buy every single product this company makes.  All I've tried so far is the stain bar and also their Wool and Cashmere Shampoo.  Both have convinced me that my life is better because I'm now using them.  I'm totally kidding but really they are good. The stain bar gets out pit stains like nobody's business and the wool shampoo makes my sweaters so soft and it is supposed to aid in the prevention of moths.  I purchased them before I got the bright idea to pay off our mortgage early but they should both last me about 4 years so I'm ok with it.  I use the Mrs. Myers Lavender Dryer Sheets to freshen drawers and musty old suitcases. I've never actually used them in the dryer but I bet they work well.  Mixing these rather high end products with my .99 store detergent seems to be doing the job.




The room is so small that I can't get far enough away from the wall I'm trying to photograph so you'll have to see this little wall in 3 parts.  This shelf area is what I use for all the linens and is also like a catch all closet.




When you lift the skirt you can see my iron.  I don't own an ironing board, I just use a towel and a counter top.  A basket of these type of cleaning cloths, there is a plastic tub that hold all the little tools you need inside like measuring tape, light bulbs, etc.  That old bread box holds gift wrap and ribbons, plain Epsom salts and a wire basket for dirty clothes. Pretty exciting, I know.



Next shelf up...toilet paper, bath and hand towels and 2 boxes.  One box contains medicine like aspirin and band aids and the other one holds thank you cards and greeting cards.




Then the very top shelf hold all the vases that will be getting filled with roses soon, very soon.  OMG, the rose garden is full of hundreds of buds ready to explode. (!)



Squeezed in between the shelves and washer/dryer is where I keep my broom and this Quickie floor duster.  I've had it for 6 years and it still works great.  After I sweep then I just mist the duster with water and go over the hardwood floors.  It catches all the dust and then I just toss it into the laundry.  We clean the tile floors on our hands and knees with those bar mop towels and plain hot water. I say we, because Larry isn't afraid of household chores and has always, always pitched in.




If you turn around this is the other side of the room.  That cabinet holds Larry's grooming accoutrement's.




I'm so so glad we were able to create a second bathroom for this house.  One bathroom, two people, no bueno.

Not bad considering this is what the room looked like when we started...


This photo is taken the day we took ownership while standing in the office facing what is the laundry room/bathroom.  It was originally a closet on the left and a teeny tiny room that held only a toilet.  You could barely close the door when you sat down, that's how small it was.  You can count 4 doors in this tiny space before we took down the wall separating them and created this room.

Oh and in case you were wondering, the washer and dryer are made by Frigidaire.  They are part of their gallery series.  The set is 6 years old now but are like brand new still.  I rarely use the dryer, preferring to line dry everything but when I do I'm always amazed that everything dries so fast.  It's all very energy efficient and I highly recommend them.  Plus they fit well in a really small space if that is an issue for you.

Okay, so what am I missing that I should be using?  Do you have any favorites?  Someone left a comment on the white slipcover post about a product called White Brite that I'm dying to try. Have you tried it? Lemme know.





138 comments

  1. I love laundry too. I find it sort of fun and fulfilling in the same odd way I find polishing silver. I love your laundry room. Especially your toilet paper storage. A wire basket is perfect! I'm going to steal that. I like to make infused vinegars and baking sodas to use in laundry. I grow a lot of herbs so I just use whatever I have. It makes my salon towels smell so good and not perfumey.

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    1. oh goody. maybe you can share some of your recipes on your blog? lets trade a haircut for a facial?

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    2. Yes! I will. I'll have to wait until I have fresh herbs to work with. If I took a picture of my herbal baking soda now, it would just look like ants in baking soda. But if your lavender is still blooming away, try it! The baking soda grabs all the essential oil right out and it's such a light scent. You get a lot more fragrance from the vinegar. Just white vinegar infused with lavender/any herb for a few weeks.

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    3. Oh please do share how to make your infused vinegars and baking sodas on your blog! Can't wait :)

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  2. Lovely laundry room Janet....wish I could be as tidy and organised as you!

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  3. Your laundry room makes my laundry room look like a hot mess. I love the sink and faucet you chose, beautiful.

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    1. thank you. i had about 1 hour to pick a sink out so i'm pretty pleased with it too.

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  4. You did a beautiful job creating this space. That before picture is frightening; I'm not sure that I would have been able to visualize a lovely little laundry room instead. Well done!
    I wonder if you would be willing to do a couple of posts on camping? I've never camped before; but I would kind of like to...it seems like such a peaceful, simple, and inexpensive way to enjoy nature. How would you advise the beginner camper? Especially when said beginner is on the mature side of life? I've read that camping is one of the best ways to bond a family, and I guess I'm wondering if it does the same for a couple? Thanks a bunch!

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    1. i think i'll ask larry to join me on a camping post. he's an expert in that area. i'm along for the ride so to speak. :)

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    2. I do hope you do one on camping! Always wanted to try. First attempt 32 years ago consisted of hot weather, bugs, and rocky ground. I was NOT a happy camper - so to speak. But as we can't afford regular vacations and I enjoy nature, I want to try again.

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  5. You laundry room is divine! You are the first person I know that claim they have an addiction to laundry....me too and all my family tease me about it. Mother used to say soap is cheap so there is no excuse to be dirty! I must check out the Laundress products....am saving for Paris but a stain remover might be missing in my arsenal of tools!
    Love the second bathroom too and you are so talented when it comes to organization....need to clean out my vase cupboard today after seeing your shelf.

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    1. leslie i used to work with a gal who was raising her 2 boys alone and she always looked so nice. she was on a v limited budget and always told me that soap and water were cheap and there was never an excuse not to look nice each day. that always stuck with me. :)

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    2. I read the Little House series to my kids as they were growing up. What struck me is that her mother would iron those calico dresses after washing them as they headed out west. They may have been going to "uncivilized" territory, but they remained civilized. Loved that!

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  6. You inspire me every single day! :)

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    1. thank you dianne. you readers inspire me. :)

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  7. Lovely, Janet. Your whole house is, but this is really special to me … like most women, kitchen & baths are the most important rooms. Have to say my favorite piece in the whole house is that wooden handled wire basket that stores toilet paper! I once asked you about it because I longed for one. Your rooms are always soothing, inviting and I believe that goes a long way in one's well-being, and surrounded by roses to boot … you are a fortunate woman!

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    1. thank you and i agree. if the kitchen and bath don't run well, nothing will.

      ahh, so you know i found those 2 baskets while hiking in a field! i still love them.

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  8. Your laundry room is charming. I especially like the black hook on the door and the striped ticking curtain. You have such a touch! I love, love to do laundry too, although I have a very rudimentary set-up -- a washing machine in a 2nd floor utility closet in our small townhouse. I don't have a dryer. Drying racks from IKEA work great!

    Isabella

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    1. thank you. i need a drying rack for indoors. i keep looking for them at yard and estate sales, i'm bound to find one there...

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  9. Ditto Fiona - wish I was as organized as you - especially in such a small area. White Brite is Great!! I have given it as gifts, no kidding. However, you are very natural in your approach and WB has a rather strong smelling dust when you pour it - they tell you not to inhale it on the label, fyi.

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    1. good to know about the white brite. it sounds so good but a little scary. i may have to check it out for the sake of the blog. :)

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  10. My family have always used towels and counter tops too. I don't iron at all, ever.

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    1. i'm with you. i iron about twice a year.

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    2. Are you two trying to KILL ME???? I iron everything! How else does all your folded stuff look flat?xxxx

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    3. Thinking it could be humidity related. Guessing by the lovely tropicals in the FF garden you have a fair amount of humidity which would necessitate more ironing. Just like hair. That's my excuse. But it's also possible I'm just terrible at folding.

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    4. It think Stephen would be perfect person to come on our next garden tour! He sounds adorable. Janet your posts are gorgeous ! You have such a great sense of humour lol xx

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    5. thank you annie. i agree. in fact i think he'd make a great tour leader. can you imagine?!

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    6. A little trick I love to prevent needing to iron in the first place: Start with a washed and dried clothing item such as a shirt. Hang the shirt on a hanger on the shower rod over the bath tub. Take a laundry sprayer ($1.00 at Wal-Mart), fill with water, and evenly spray a light coat over the shirt. Let dry for a few hours. This even works on wrinkly cotton. You first air dry. Then spray and spend a minute to smooth out the wrinkles with your hand. Then let air dry. You do NOT need those fancy products that are advertised to accomplish the same thing. If I had not tried to do this myself, I never would have believed it would work like it does. I guess it's time to donate that ironing board...

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  11. My laundry pair is in a cupboard in the kitchen in this small house -- my biggest gripe is that there is no utility sink for gardening and chores (stupid builders). We would have to re-configure the closet to remove the cupboards; install a stacked washer-dryer and add the sink ..... so ..... not in the budget! LOVE your laundry/second bathroom -- your style and grace show through in every inch!

    Cheers! Jan at Rosemary Cottage

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    1. i hear you jan. we have a stunning soapstone sink in the basement that i'd love to put somewhere to be useful and admired. i just haven't figured out where yet. prob never will. :(

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    2. Could you put the sink outside your side door? Is the an overhead there?

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    3. no it would never fit there. the only place would be if we ever added an outdoor garden room. that would be nice but not likely in the near future.

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    4. Janet, my best friend acquired a lovely soapstone sink that wouldn't work in her house so she moved it outside and, although it doesn't function with water, she turned it into a wonderful potting bench. It looks terrific and is always a conversation piece. I'm sure I can dig up a picture if you're interested.

      Wendy

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  12. Wow, your laundry room is lovely! So organized and pretty. I was without a W/D for years in So Cal due to apartment living but here in FL, the apartments either come with them or with hook ups. Being able to do laundry in my home is such a thrill for me!

    I've never heard of White Brite but I'm going to look into it. One blogger adds some Oxy Clean to the cycle when she washes her slipcovers, she said it works great.

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    1. thank you victoria. i used to use oxy clean when the boys were little but have drifted away from it. this white brite sounds interesting though. :)

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  13. I am so glad to hear that you are a laundry addict! I thought I might be the only one. When my last washer bit the dust, I tried one of the front loaders but sent it back because, while it used less water, the loads took forever to finish. I typically do many small loads rather frequently as I don't like things to pile up and I live alone. I finally found someone who sold Speed Queen products and got a new set from them. Those machines are fast.

    You have motivated me to get my little laundry area streamlined. It's also the landing deck for the back entrance into the house. Yes, clutter can accumulate. I'm on it now....thanks to your example!
    Diane

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    1. thank you diane. i didn't know that about speed queens. ours was more of a space issue than anything. it had to be stackable.

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    2. I love my Speed Queen so much. I just bought my second Speed Queen washer (after 20+ years), but the dryer is still going strong.

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  14. Janet, You are killing me. I can't decide what I like best. Your laundry room or Larry.
    I love a man that pitches in.
    pve

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  15. This is soooo inspiring! I just want to purge my home and make it clean, simple and elegant - like yours!
    When you moved into your home were your children still living with you? If so, I'm wondering where were their bedroom(s)?

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  16. such a useful post Janet. You mentioned a product which is supposed to prevent moths. last year i had an awful issue with them, the first time ever! the critters ate both my Irish sweaters, one I purchased in Killarney a few years ago and the other was a gift from a dear friend .Bummer! any tips? I did try putting lavander which I grow on my patio but is wasn't very useful sorry to say.
    Darby

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    1. that happened to me 2 years ago. i don't know why either. i've read that no clothing should be stored that is even slightly dirty. meaning, if you wore a sweater once and it's still clean, it still has body oils on it so now i will store all my sweaters (prob in the next 2 weeks) away totally clean on shelves lined in lavender paper and washed with the laundress wool/cashmere shampoo and for extra measure a lavender sachet in the drawer. the only other thing under consideration would be a cotton bag that zips closed. fingers crossed for us both!

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    2. cedar works: we lined our shelves with cedar....

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    3. i'm wondering if little bags of cedar chips would help? that would be easy.

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    4. Our closet was lined with cedar when we bought the house, great moth repellant. Bed Bath and Beyond carries all kinds of cedar stuff for drawers and closets.

      Linda

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    5. Yes, I use the cedar blocks or bags of cedar when I store my sweaters in a bad. It has always worked for me.
      Lynne

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    6. just bought a kit from amazon with bags of cedar, cedar pieces to hang in the closet and various small pieces of cedar. thanks for the input .
      Darby

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    7. Moths. I have inadvertently become an expert on moths and I am afraid to have to disabuse you but lavender, cedar and all those things you read about over and over on the web...don't work. Museums, especially those with significant textile collections, have become experts...and let's just say that I have spoken with them, had my moths speciated, and researched the life cycle and what does and does not work. Here is the brief version:
      1. moth pheromone traps--ok for detecting that you have an infestation but will not cure the problem. Some authorities actually worry that you will attract moths from outside the house into your home
      2. chemicals--whatever you think about the health risks, the bad news is that this won't work either. Basically you cannot get to all the places the moths have laid eggs--they tend to lay eggs in places like the subfloor that they reach via tiny spaces between the floorboards or skirting boards.
      3. Cold--also won't work. It has to be extremely cold (like northern Canada) for months or else one has to cycle from extreme cold to heat multiple times quickly. Not really feasible
      4. Dirty clothes vs clean clothes--maybe the moths prefer dirty clothes but I am here to assure you that they will snack on freshly dry cleaned wool and cashmere.

      So what does work? HEAT. Insect proteins are denatured at high temperatures. What this means is that you can rid any clothes of possible moth eggs (remember--if there are holes the larvae have already hatched and done the damage; there may be more eggs but also be concerned about the clothes that have no holes...so far) by heating. 100% mortality is achieved by <2 days at 100'F or 1 day at 102'F and 4 hours or less at 106'F (tests done at 70% humidity). Carefully heating the material or structure to 60ºC (140ºF) for 40 – 60 minutes will kill eggs, larvae and adults per this website http://www.nps.gov/nero/science/FINAL/SAGA_IPM/2%20-%20SAGA%20IPM%20PLAN%20APPENDIXred.pdf . A home dryer will get to about 130'F on the medium setting and 160'F on high. And sweaters that are dry will not be harmed by heat. Another option on a hot day is to pile the woollen clothes etc into a car parked in the sun and allow it to bake.

      And assuming that the moths have infested your home (once you have significant clothes or rug damage they have) then it is possible to superheat your home. Some commercial companies do this but it is actually possible (when it is hot outside, ideally well above 80'F) to do this with the use of central heating and a large number of carefully placed propane heaters and fans. It is a big undertaking and you need to monitor it closely (and sleep somewhere else) but it works.

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    8. Wow! Great information. Who knew? I've used the little stickey houses to attract moths and have them
      fly in and find fly paper and they can't get out. I've also thought it attracted outside moths so I stopped using them. I thought heat encouraged the larvae to progress; that has been my experience, but I can see I've been wrong. Thank you for sharing your knowledge and insight.

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    9. thank you anon for sharing your experience/research. i had read that freezing garments would work. who knew it was heat? thank you again!

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    10. Moth eggs and larvae have survived in furniture left in unheated barns over the winter in cold climate, so a few days in the home freezer probably won't work (but of course people might think it worked if the garment did not have eggs in the first place).

      Cycling heat/cold will work. Sudden changes in temperature from cold to warm can cause clothes moth mortality. In the Handbook of Pest Control, Arnold Mallis (1982) suggests that “if articles infested with clothes moths were refrigerated at 18°F for several days, then suddenly exposed for a short time to 50°F, and then returned to 18°F, and finally held permanently at about 40°F, all moth life in them would be killed.

      But I have found that straight heat is the fastest and most reliable.

      I truly hope this information is NOT of use to anyone on this forum because it can drive a person to distraction to think they have dealt with the problem only to find out "they,rrrrre back!". They tend to be quiescent in the winter in cold climes so one can be lulled into a false sense of security until spring rolls round. Good news for those in very dry climates (like Colorado or the desert areas)--no moths. They need some humidity.

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  17. you are so awesome! i've been going to the 99cent store since you posted - it's changed my life. really. why over pay? any who, loving these organizing post. thanks for sharing! btw, you should get paid for these links! i have no idea how this business works, but you should get paid. xox

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    1. i do make a little if you click on the ads below each post but i wish i made more!!! lol

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    2. As a thank you for all the info and enjoyment I have gotten from reading your blog over the years, I'm making a commitment to clicking on the ads.....something I would never normally do.

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    3. I'm going to click, too! Seriously, you should look into it, Janet. I bet the 99cent store had an increase in revenue from you. Side note: my 99cent store had asparagus when I was in there last week. And I've been buying my butternut squash there, too :)

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    4. you two are funny and please click only if you are interested in the ad. it really is just pennies so it doesn't make a big difference. but thank you for your moral support!!!

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    5. Pennies add up, just ask any Dave Ramsey fan--"snowflakes" soon turn into snowballs!
      Laura

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  18. Janet,
    Love the post: Did your washer/dryer come from Sears?

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    1. thanks. no, we bought it from a small independent retailer.

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    2. Just curious, did you purchase extended warranties? Is your detergent for front loaders, HE? Thanks

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    3. no, didn't purchase the warranty. they told me to just use a little less of my regular detergent and it has worked well.

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  19. I love your laundry room! It's so tidy it pleases me no end. The Laundress products are excellent but you're right so expensive.

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    1. they are but so far i think they are worth it.

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  20. Wonderful post, as always, Janet! I am in the middle of my spring purge, so seeing your medicine supplies in their wonderful minimal state is helping me toss stuff I should as I clean my closets!

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  21. Love this Janet! Once we redid our laundry room I was so happy! It is ale assure to do laundry!

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    1. Damn auto correct! I meant to say it is a pleasure!

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    2. i believe that wendy. i know it changed my attitude towards it. :)

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  22. Janet, it is just plain amazing how you transformed that whole area. I love your little laundry room and all the decorating touches! My laundry area unfortunately is in the garage and it's a trek down the stairs. (outside) If I know there is rain on the horizon I try and get all my laundry caught up so I don't have to shlep it back and forth in the rain. :(

    I can understand your excitement about the roses, mine are starting to bloom a little. On top of that a Fiddle Leaf fig that I have had for over 2 years had not grown at all in a VERY long time. It appeared healthy but then I realized about 6 months ago that I was probably under watering it and started doubling the amount. (I was afraid of root rot) Suddenly a couple weeks ago all of these green shoots appeared and now it's growing like crazy. I am beyond excited!!! I thought I had a black thumb or the plant was a dud.

    Linda
    xo

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    1. oh that is so exciting re the fig. i've always wanted one of those but heard they are hard to grow. thrilled for you!

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    2. I think the main thing is that they get enough bright light and fed regularly and need to dry out in-between waterings. I also have a Ficus that had the leaves turning yellow and dropping. I asked at a nursery what the problem was and they said it was dehydrated. I think that is when I clued in that I needed to give the Fiddle Leaf more water too!

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  23. I get such inspiration for paring down and keeping only what we need. I love your laundry room and bathroom. Thanks for all the tips and specifics, I appreciate that.
    Karen

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  24. Love your laundry room. I wish I had that much room! I can't say enough good things about The Laundress products. They are all very good. They seem costly, but they are very concentrated and a very small amount cleans a large load. It took me a while to get used to putting so little in the washer. I became hooked about 4 years and I won't use anything else. I also feel they are better for my septic system since I use so little detergent.

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    1. thank you gale. it's funny that you are jealous of all the room i have. in real life it is SO small. must look bigger in photos. good to know you are a Laundress fan too. I swear a bottle is gonna last me years!

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  25. I hate laundry but love your laundry room! I am SO cleaning mine out this weekend! And what a good idea to have just 3-4 vases to use in the spots where they fit best. I'm going to get rid of all those florist glass ones now!

    Janet. Seriously--Ralph Lauren should hire you as a life and style consultant. You are living it--beautifully and simply!! Adore!

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    1. i used to hate it too dannie but here i love it for some reason. you are killing me with the rl comment!!!

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    2. Or Martha Stewart ...your posts are great . I love receiving them .....so much cheering and inspiration ! We are having. Garden tour reunion

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  26. love laundry and love your laundry room! I use the dryer for everything I am far far to busy to waste time hanging stuff out, I need it dry in 30 mins max! Can't wait to see your roses J xxxx

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    1. haha. my things dry faster on my line than they do in the dryer...no kidding!

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  27. Janet Hi , I love White Brite and currently am hoarding six bottles of the stuff , afterall I wouldn't want to run out now would I?
    Karen

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  28. Hi Janet, thank you for all of your organizing posts. They are helping me so much and I love them! I just purchased a Wash & Stain bar, next I'll get the Wool and Cashmere Shampoo. I was wondering how you like your bamboo blinds?

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    1. thank you deni. i love the bamboo blinds b/c they add an extra layer of insulation from the cold and the heat. they are just cheapies from Lowes. :)

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  29. Looks wonderful, Janet. You're so organized! I don't have a laundry room but I do have stacking W & D in a closet. I often hang stuff to dry in my room. It's kind of messy but what can ya do? I think you just gave away your secret to a long lasting marriage.,,"Larry isn't afraid of helping with household chores and always pitches in."

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    1. thanks lisa. sometimes i have laundry hanging in the bathrooms too. i can be messy but like you say...whatcha gonna do? :)

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  30. I am loving this series! It has inspired us to organize one room at a time and it feels wonderful! We downsized seven years ago and have never regretted our decision to do so. It is so "freeing" to get rid of all the stuff we don't need.

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  31. You certainly created a sweet, efficient little laundry room/second bathroom! After reading of the cashmere wash here, I purchased some for myself. And I do really like it. My sweaters have never been better. I also, am a fan of Mrs. Meyers lavender laundry detergent. I save it for our bed linens. Coupled with line drying, the scent is heavenly. The sink you had an hour to choose, is perfect. I love it. I had open shelves made for our laundry room after falling in love with Catherine's from A Country Farmhouse. They are pretty and very functional. I am greatly enjoying your organizational tips. You inspire me more than you know.

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    1. thanks kathy and it seems we both do the same with our laundry. the sheets are heavenly after the lavender detergent and line drying!

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  32. I remember the feeling that I would get when I'd come home from work and find a fav magazine in the mailbox.
    I was always so happy and would sit down in my comfy chair with a beverage and happily flip through the pages.
    What new decorating tips or cool ideas would it hold?!
    That's how I feel now when I see that you have written a new post.
    Someday my messy house will have just enough. :D
    Thank you!

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  33. How do you like your washer and dryer stacked? I would like to do that with mine to save space. I too live in an old house where closet/storage is an issue.

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  34. Thank you for sharing this post. I was wondering due to your lack of closets, where you stored your linens, but thought that was getting just a little to personal to ask. I am so impressed by how much (in a good minimal way) you have stowed away! Great job on the laundry/bath space during your remodel!! xx

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  35. Lovely! Just as soon as I think I've purged and simplified as much as I can, you show us another beautiful room and it makes me feel like walking around my house with a box of garbage bags. :)

    Our laundry is in the creepy old basement....another thing I'm looking forward to in GA - no basements. Maybe I'll have a pretty little space off the back near the close line. maybe...hopefully.

    Can't wait to see all your roses. We had snow this morning! xo

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    1. thanks sarah. i think your new place will be perfect in every way!!! so excited for you.

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  36. I'm really enjoying this little trip around your house. It's lovely and serene and I am in awe of how little you have stored. When you downsized from your larger home did you have to get rid of many things or were you always this pared down?

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    1. i've never been a maximalist but i did have to pare down tons to fit in here. and it's still ongoing...

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  37. The Laundress is fabulous, sometimes you can get it at a discount with Jcrew promotion codes! Love it!

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    1. really? that's good to know. i notice with the amazon link i posted the cashmere shampoo is $4 less than what i paid through their website.

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  38. i'm an organization hound. LOVE IT! so it's always fun to see how others do it who are organized too.
    i live in a 525 square foot apartment. which i also love.
    my tiny 'laundry room' is just big enough for my washer and dryer (if they ever go belly up i want a stackable like yours)
    and my brooms... one big one for sweeping my balcony... and a small one for the kitchen floor and entrance tile.
    my problem is my small bins for things i recycle. right now they sit on top of the washer and dryer.
    have to move them when i do the wash. one holds mixed paper. the other cardboard. the other ... plastic and glass.
    i go once a week to recycle but still. wish i could think of a better solution for them. any ideas? what do you do?
    another great post ajj !

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    1. thank you tammy j. our recycle is included in our trash pickup. i have a teeny tiny trash can under the sink for real trash and everything else goes into the recycle bin or into the compost pile.

      Delete
  39. Janet--I am doing a seminar soon about simplifying and downsizing and how to do it beautifully. May I use your website and photos to show the participants how comfortable and welcoming minimalism can be? Thanks in advance!

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  40. Love seeing this never-seen-before area of your house! A ticking stripe skirt -- we must be on very similar wavelengths. It's fun to see the shelves above it -- exactly what I plan to do in our kitchen. Do you mind if I ask how deep your shelves are? (Since you've got that tape measure handy?)
    Camille

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    1. hi camille, the shelves are 9.5 inches deep.

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  41. You got the most photogenic & minimalistic laundry room in the world! Beautiful! I really like the way you hid some not so pretty items (like the iron) under the skirt. The toilet paper rolls in the wire basket look quite happy in there :)

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  42. Janet- I want to get a sofa, 2 chairs/ottoman like yours. They are on sale (still $$$) at Pottery Barn right now. Did you get yours with the down or the polyester fill? I think the white only comes in the basic Twill...is that like yours? Do you think these are worth the $$$ over the Ikea Ektorp? Thanks!

    Suzanne

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    Replies
    1. mine have poly fill cushions. i believe my slipcovers are cotton. i think the twill are more $. not sure though.
      my opinion on the pb vs ikea is that the pb is def more comfy for curling up in. the ikea is in L's office and he takes naps on it. :)

      it's hard to say that the pb is worth that much more money but for comfort it prob is.

      we were able to purchase ours with accumulated amex points. it took close to 20 yrs!

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    2. Janet---
      What is under the slipcovers? Is there just foam and batting? The couch itself isn't covered with any fabric, correct? I had heard it was harder to remove the slipcovers from Ikea's.

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    3. no the sofa body itself is covered in something like off white muslin. altho it is prob a poly blend. ikea slipcovers are a tad tighter than pb.

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  43. Love your house tour. Been reading your blog for years and it just keeps getting better ! Are we going to get to see your basement as part of your house tour? I think seeing that might make me feel better about some of my closets with too much stuff in them !
    Connie

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    Replies
    1. thanks connie. hmmm, do you really want to see that again? it's super hard to photograph.

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  44. Janet, do you hang all your laundry outside, year-round? I do realize that you live in Southern California, so maybe this is possible. Living in Wisconsin makes this all but impossible! Although I have heard of people hanging laundry outside in snowy climates (not for me). Since you're not using your dryer to speak of, just wondering where you go with all that wet laundry?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. yes, i try and hang every single load and hate it when i can't. as long as it's not raining it gets hung. even in the cold. :)

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  45. Janet-
    I am wondering-do you wash you tile floors only with hot water? No soap?
    I also have been looking for a mirror like the one in your bathroom. Do you know where you purchased it?
    Dawn

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    Replies
    1. dawn we only use hot water.
      those extension mirrors came from restoration hardware. :)

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  46. I am so thankful I have laundry to do - it means I have clothes to wear. I am so thankful to clean the litterbox - it means I have two loving kitty cats. I am so grateful to wash dishes - it means I have food to eat. I am so thankful to clean bathrooms and floors - it means I have a home. I try to remember this when I work all day, come home and get grumpy about housework. Some days it works and some days I'm just too worn out to do anything. Your blog is an inspiration to simplify and streamline and hopefully make it all a little easier. Thanks

    Teresa In Nashville

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    1. thank you teresa. i think the same way. first thought when i wake up...so grateful for a warm bed to sleep in.

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  47. LURV your laundry room! I have a small laundry/bathroom combo too, and have been stuck for quite some time trying to figure out how to make it look not-yucky. Thanks for the inspiration, you've given me a great kick-start. BTW, have you tried DIY laundry detergent and softener? I'd Googled DIY LAUNDRY DETERGENT; there are boatloads of sites with similar ingredients (baking soda, washing soda, borax and (unscented) soap; some use oxyclean and scented crystals. I've been using it for a 18 mos and its fantastic! Our clothes get washed for pennies a load and with 4 of us that's quite a savings (2 are young boy dirt-magnets). We just got an HE washer this week after putting the old one out of its misery; I've just done several loads with this detergent and it still works great! Good for the environment, good for the clothes and great for the pocket. For softener, I use...white vinegar! 1/4C in the softener section and presto, chango - works like magic (and no, it doesn't leave your clothes smelling like salad dressing 8~). Thanks again for your great inspirationS~

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    1. thank you. i have read lots about making my own detergent but never have. right now i'm good with the .99 store brand and i use vinegar to help brighten my whites. you are making me want to give it a try again...:)

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  48. I also have a small laundry area between my kitchen and garage. It never occurred to me to replace my current w/d with a stackable ones in the future. I have longed for more floor space. How do you clean behind them? I love your blogging style!!

    Thank you,
    Mary

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    1. thank you mary. they are not heavy and slide easily. much like a refrigerator does.

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  49. Your house is so lovely! I've recently started using Charlie's Soap for washing clothes: inexpensive, inoffensive and it gets things nice and clean without the "petrogarbage". Only one Tablespoon is needed per load, so it creates less waste. I'm a convert! Read about it here http://boingboing.net/2014/01/31/home-hacking-review-charlie.html

    ReplyDelete
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    1. thank you ellen and i'll check that out now!

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  50. Hi Janet, I know you want to pay off your mortgage in 5 years. I don't know if you're making double payments or
    paying extra on the principal, but the best way is to pay down the principal. Talk with your lender to see if there is a restriction or penalty for paying off early, if not, apply your extra money to the principal. You probably know this already,
    but maybe other readers can benefit from this information. Your blog continues to be an inspiration. I hope young couples read your posts and see they don't need a 4 bedroom 5 bath house to live well.
    Best weekend to you, Kathleen

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  51. On a different topic, since we keep suggesting things for you to write about: would you care to discuss how you went from being a Thrifter par Excellence to minimizing shopping? I can see how one would stop shopping full price or sales--since there are clear financial implications--but it seems different when you are finding Burberry trench coats at Miss Doris' estate sale. Prior to your mortgage reduction campaign, it seems that you had really limited your shopping. How did you convince yourself to skip (or at least not buy) at miss estate sales, and thrift stores? do you miss it ?

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  52. Thanks for sharing your home with us, every corner is perfect and I long to live as simply as you do.
    I think we're all intrigued with you because you live with so little and it's hard to get to that point.

    Betty

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  53. Regarding Mrs. Meyer's dryer sheets... I use them in my dryer and they work wonderfully!

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  54. Having read all the comments I do not think that I can top them,but do want to tell you once again, your blog is THE BEST!xo

    ReplyDelete

kindness is never out of style.

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