Our laundry room is tiny. It's really just a short hallway from the garage into the house with an alcove just big enough for a side-by-side washer and dryer. We've also tucked our broom into the corner behind the garage door and keep the ironing board against the wall. There's one shelf above the washer and dryer where we can store things. But even though it's tiny, it sees a lot of traffic! We're coming and going to our cars and of course doing all our laundry.
As a result, the shelf in the laundry room had become the catchall for all laundry-related things and other random stuff due to this thought pattern: "I'm not sure where this should go. Probably the garage but I don't know where in the garage. And I don't really feel like going all the way out to the garage anyway. I'll just put it on the laundry room shelf!" That's why, when I cleaned off the shelf, I found: a can of paint, a tape measure, parts for our drip irrigation system, and over-sized trash bags for lawn waste. Plus, our collection of re-useable bags was getting unwieldy and threatening to take over the whole shelf.
Here's what the shelf looked like before (apologies for the yellow photos, no natural light in there):
Here's everything removed from the shelf - mostly stuff that shouldn't be there! And we really don't need two dustpans.
I went through our reusable bags and decided to pare way down. The rest of the bags I'm keeping tucked away in a closet to use as Goodwill donation bags. I chose two sturdy bags and filled each with about 5 reusable bags and two reusable produce bags. This way when we head to the store we can just grab one bag on the shelf and it will have all the bags we need for the shopping trip.
Now, in addition to the reusable bags, the shelf only has laundry-related things: detergent, non-chlorine bleach, stain treatment, lint (i.e. vizsla hair) rollers, and the iron.
I also added a small stick-on hook under the left side of the shelf for the one dustpan that we need.
The broom and ironing board are still tucked against the opposite wall.
I also added a great little bamboo organizer that my mom bought me in Austin from the fabulousTreeHouse store. TreeHouse is like Home Depot but everything is eco-friendly!
It's hanging on the left just as you enter the laundry room from the main part of the house. It's perfect for keeping track of keys or setting out a letter or paperwork that we need to take with us.
It's definitely much nicer to walk through an organized laundry room when I get home, and I can immediately hang up my keys. So glad this organization project finally got done. And just as I thought, it really didn't take long to do. Getting started it always the hardest part!
P.S. If you're needing motivation to organize, Tracy has some great home organization posts on High Straightenance!