The Perfect Laundry/Mud Room Cleaning Closet

January 19, 2018

I mentioned earlier this week that I've been an organizing fool lately. It's been fun to figure out how our spaces work and what functions best. I purposefully waited to do this because I didn't want to put in all this work to find out later we didn't use the everything like I thought. Of course it will still change over time, but for now I'm thrilled with how it's coming together!

Our laundry/mud room closet was a doozy. It's my favorite in the house. (Do normal people have a favorite closet?)When I shared our mud room/laundry a couple months ago, I told you I was most excited about the closet we added in the room. A closet JUST for cleaning crap. Hello! 

But it quickly became our dumping ground, which I was OK with knowing I'd get to it eventually. Here's how it looked the night I started:

It held tons of stuff but wasn't functional at all. You can see one of the vacuums (I keep the other one in the basement where we have more carpet) lived outside the closet which isn't dreamy at all. 😂 There was obviously no room for it. We had quite a few things I wanted to fit in this closet:

  • utility stuff like batteries and light bulbs
  • cleaning rags, sponges and the like
  • cleaning supplies
  • vacuum, brooms, swiffers, etc. (we have a lot of these because I use one for different needs)
  • ironing stuff -- boards, (we have large and small ones) and iron
  • wrapping items like paper, bags, ribbon, etc.
  • carpet cleaner machine
I quickly realized not all of this was going to fit, more on that in a minute. 

Here's another look at what we were dealing with:

Good times!!

As I do anytime I start an organizing project, I took every single thing out of the closet. First goal is to purge what we don't need anymore. 

This is where it got hard for me. I mention the Konmari method every time I organize something, because it changed my life for the better. I've gotten VERY good at letting go of things. Very good. But I discovered I have a weird thing with cleaning supplies. I couldn't let go of them!

And look how much we had!:

What in the world? Here's one thing I've learned since moving in this house -- from this point on like items will live together. At the last house I had a cabinet I built in our laundry room that held all of our extra cleaning supplies and paper items. 

When we moved I was appalled at how many cleaning supplies we had, because they were out of site, out of mind. Keeping them down in the basement in a cabinet I rarely opened didn't work. We bought more of stuff not knowing what we had. 

I used to use mainly one cleaning brand exclusively around the house -- I have concentrate I would mix up. I don't know why I got away from that and we ended up with so many bottles of stuff, but I know a big part of it was not having it all in one spot. 

I've learned people! No more. But I stood there literally frozen in front of it all, having a hard time letting it go. I kind of smacked myself out of it (figuratively) and went back to what I learned with the Konmari method -- do I LOVE the product and (my addition) does it work well? 

I was able to start going through items and first decided what I didn't even like. I had a lot of carpet cleaning stuff and I've only found a couple that really work well. The rest went away. 

I had three cans of a cleaner that were filled in various amounts. I kept the one that was the most full and donated the rest. If I never used it -- it was in the donate pile. I was able to whittle it down to a third and stuff we actually USE. Actually a third of that is just empty bottles I plan to use for the concentrate.

Another item I struggled to let go of (and it is so silly) were cleaning rags. We had WAY too many. They multiply in dark closets. And again it was hard for me to let go of them, which is just weird. I stood there thinking, "Why are you being weird about this? They're rags!" Again, I got myself in gear and sorted through them: 

Overall I didn't get rid of much other than rags and cleaning stuff. One thing I easily put in the donate pile was the bag of vacuum attachments that I've kept for eight years and never used one time. Gone!

It was more about figuring out the space than anything. I started on the side where I hung the ironing boards and iron:

The little board on the bottom is for shirt sleeves. It's awesome. The smaller one is a favorite and I use it more than the large board. It's from IKEA and is great for quick items. I also use it when I'm hemming drapes with fusable webbing

One of the biggies in here was the wrapping stuff. I really wanted it to live in this room because I'm usually running out the door with a gift and needing a bag or tissue paper. More often than not I'd stop and buy something. I thought about organizing it out in the open (we have a large wall over the folding table I could have used for this). 

But I really didn't want to have it out -- I want to keep the room clean and streamlined so I preferred it tucked away. I looked into all kinds of ways to do this (I was out of floor space) and then came across this pegboard and components at IKEA:

It fit perfectly on the wall and it holds a ton! I have gift bags of all sizes, tons of tissue, tags and banners, tape and then ribbon and pens and random stuff in the hanging bag. LOVE this thing!! It is great:

And it's completely out of the way. I wanted to keep my wrapping paper in here as well but was out wall and floor space. So I grabbed a couple of these plastic jobbies from IKEA as well (we use one in the pantry for plastic grocery bags) and hung them on the back of the door. 

Not gonna lie, it pained me to put holes in the door. But they are solid wood so I can (fairly) easily fill them if I ever decide to move these:
You can see how I built the big blackboard here!

Those holders are only two bucks each, but if you don't have an IKEA near you, you can get the plastic bag dispensers online here.

There were a couple things I didn't end up putting in here and those were light bulbs and batteries. I put the extra metal shelf (also from IKEA -- bought them when we moved in for $13) in the garage by the door. So we can easily access them when needed. I was thinking of what we reach for most -- I grab cleaning supplies way more than light bulbs. 

Here's how it came together:

Everything has a place and I love it!! And I'm loving the double doors. It's so nice to be able to open them both up and have full view of the closet. We have them in a bedroom upstairs too and although they take up floor space, I really like them. 

Do you spy the outlet? I had one added so I can charge that little vacuum. It's great for little messes and quick cleaning in the kitchen. I just have to find the charger now. ;) 

Here's what this side was pared down to:

I use (affiliate) those Sterilite bins everywhere. (You can see them in the linen closet here.)

Not bad considering this is where I started (I had two shelves on that side before)!: 

It is such a lovely feeling to open a closet and find exactly what I want! AND it's even nicer to have a place for items we used to just throw in there. ;) 

These are my two biggest tips when purging and organizing -- even though it's a pain sometimes, taking everything to ONE location really does help. You see the multiples you have and it's easier to let things go. And think hard about what you love and use. It helps me focus! 

Have you been working on closets? Cabinets? Under the sink? Tis the season! 

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  1. Those IKEA grocery bag holders are $13.44 on Amazon! Think I'll look elsewhere, maybe Bed,Bath and Beyond.

  2. The closet looks crazy organised comparing the before and after photos! It's amazing what a little cleaning up can do! ❤️

    Charmaine Ng | Architecture & Lifestyle Blog

  3. Major closet envy! We have started going through our closets and love how the "after" feels! I have an idea for the gift bags hanging on the peg board. I bought a larger one that I love the look of and put all the other bags in it. They are still easy to get to and it's adorable!

  4. I was reading through the part about wrapping supplies and was thinking, "Oh, she needs to get some of the shopping bag holders for her wrapping paper!" but you were already there :) I got a couple of them two years ago and had the same intention. I finally pulled them out of the closet in November and put them together to sort my wrapping stuff because we were having family come for Christmas and I wanted a wrapping center that was easy for everyone to use and access. Best thing ever! Mine just stand on the floor in a storage room in a little nook that works well, but I love that you can hang them or stand them. The advantage of standing them is being able to pick them up and move them to where you are. Love the closet and organization!

  5. I love getting rid of things and organizing, one of my favorite home projects (is that an OCD thing? lol). Just reading about yours and seeing the pictures made me happy! Your new organization system is awesome, I see a trip to Ikea in my future.

  6. WHOA! That's amazing! I just recently had to redo all of my closets because they were so crowded. I dont know how i even let them get like that every year, ugh!

  7. About 2 years ago I purged all the cleaning stuff in my laundry room. I can see everything I have and spend less $$ on duplicating. We have pantry shelves in there too and it's off the kitchen. When I visit my daughter, I reorganize her pantry on day 2 - it's our first thing to do

  8. I have a favorite closet as well! 😊
    That IKEA pegboard looks awesome. Thanks for the inspiration!

  9. Could you take the shelves from the frame in the garage and add them to the frame in the closet? Your shelves seem far apart currently, and then you could store everything inside. Looks lovely though, I need a closet like that.

  10. I make most of my cleaning supplies. I keep a bottle of disinfectant, mirror spray and all purpose cleaner under all of the bathroom sinks. I also keep a toilet bowl brush in all of the bathrooms. I know it's unattractive but it makes my life easier. ;) The only thing I carry around with me when I clean bathrooms is wood spray to wipe down all of the cabinets, a bunch of rags, paper towels and a grocery bag for trash. Since I did that, it feels so much easier to clean my least favorite room(s) in the house. I got the book Simply Clean by Becky Rapinchuk. It's simplified my life. This isn't a hint that you need to clean; this post just got me thinking about it. ;) Closet looks amazing and what a great idea to put the plug in there. Genius.

  11. Love the idea of using the plastic bag holders for giftwrap! I always buy long wrap and none of the containers work for that. I am currently working on purging the whole house and getting rid of stuff feels so good! As far as cleaning supplies is concerned, I've been making my own for years. I run out and just make more. No need for all those gross chemicals. A useful tip: write the recipe on a label on the bottle to make it a snap for anyone to make refills:)

  12. I can't seem to find that pegboard on the Ikea website. Could you share a link or the name please?

    1. It's called Skadis but now that I search it I can't find it on the US IKEA site! So odd. It was in the organization area and had a bunch of doodads that went with it. If you have a store nearby I'd go in to look for it. Or call maybe?

  13. I have a ton of cleaning supplies that i bought but then didn't like. They are just sitting in my closet. Do u dispose them down the drain? I am hesitating thinking it wont be good for the environment. U mentioned that you donated the half used cleaning supplies. Does goodwill take them? I think mine doesn't.

    1. I donate to a local women's shelter! Call around -- the humane society may take them as well?

    2. If you can't find a place to donate to, your city or county likely has hazardous material collection (either on certain days of the year or at a regular collection site yearround).

  14. I can't seem to find that pegboard on the Ikea website. Could you share a link or the name please?



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