I'm very excited to share that my first project in the Master Plan is complete! I'm happy with the way it turned out, and also happy that I was able to stay in line with my monthly budget for these projects. (By the way, decent bins are pricey!)
(Note: I created a new page - the "2011 Master Plan" tab at the top of this page - where I will add links to all of my projects as I go through the year. It's the one-stop shop to see everything I've done in one place!)
As was the plan, the first step was basically taking everything out of the room and determining whether it would stay or go. I tossed out only one garbage bag, but several other things (like the drill, a box for the space heater, etc.) migrated out to the back house*.
*For those who don't know my house, it came with a large outbuilding in the back. Large, as in: it holds a one-car garage and a one-bedroom apartment. It's certainly not in any shape for anyone to be living in it right now, and the garage isn't functional either, but it works just dandy to store things like lawn equipment, Christmas decorations, and other unimportant and seldom used items.
Once I had the excess stuff gone, I took mental inventory and started figuring out how I wanted to put it all back in, and then began the quest for appropriate containers. I'll now begin the "before and after" portion with descriptions after the break...
Here's what you see looking directly into the laundry room:
Before, the bottom shelf was a jumbled collection of various laundry and cleaning supplies, some which were used frequently, and some less so. I corralled the frequently used cleaning supplies into a caddy with a handle so that it would be a lot easier to just grab that and go. The less used and extra cleaning solutions are in a bin at the far right, out of the way. In between I added stackable bins for the various swiffer pads and duster handles. On the other side of the bin are the laundry supplies and another set of stackable bins with rags and smaller laundry supplies like lint rollers and stain remover.
The top shelf previously housed a large plastic bin full of all sorts of random items: hooks, extension cords, gift wrap, some product manuals, and more. Some of its former residents moved to the trash, and the rest got divvied up into the lovely blue baskets I found. Tom helped me out by making the lovely labels. Now it's a lot easier to find exactly what you're looking for when you need to find a (fill in the blank). And it looks nicer, too. :-)
This is a continuation of the top shelf along the side of the room. A lot of the items on this side moved to the trash or the back house, and the bins continue along the side. The toolbox stayed, but even that was opened and organized.
The back of the door was formerly home to brooms, but those relocated and now the ironing board and iron have a home off the floor. The step stool was slid on the side of the washer, out of the way. The ironing board also got a mini makeover with a new cover. :-)
The corner was previously havoc, with all sorts of nonsense on the floor. Now the only things on the floor are the vacuum and drying rack (my old one from college was replaced with a new, sturdier model). The three remaining mops/brooms are all hung up, and I added the fabric compartments to hold things like grocery bags and a flashlight; things that are used frequently (or that you don't really want to hunt down if your power goes out). I'm guessing we'll find more uses for this as we go...still a lot of open sections!
I also have some extra containers now: the large bin that is now empty, and a couple stacking bins that were leftover. I'm sure these will get used somewhere else in the house as I keep going.
And there you have it! It is SO much less stressful to go in there now than it was before; it's a big relief. Overall, this room was fairly easy to tackle since it's small, so it was a good place to start. Easy enough to do but big enough that it's made a definite impact. It's given me the confidence I need to go into a more daunting room next month...the office.