Everyone has that room, right? The one which you don't speak of and quickly close the door on ... after throwing in various items of no fixed abode. Winter coats, summer jackets, random shoes, odd socks, letters to be filed, old toys waiting to be taken to the charity shop, bags, plastic bags, bags for life, tote bags, seven half-used bottles of the same kitchen cleaner, and precious ornaments purchased from sunny isles which seem to turn to tat the moment you land on British soil. Items which have passed being important in your life or used on a daily basis but you're not quite ready to deal with or find a new home for. Well, now you know why my house always looks so tidy; it's because all of those things have been hidden in our laundry room never to be released in to the home proper again.
Don't believe me? Well, here's the evidence (crammed in to a collage in order to alleviate the horror which six individual photographs of all that mess would inflict upon you).
It's only a small room but it's made even smaller by being full to bursting with random stuff. Admittedly, some of it does get used (or drunk, in case you were eyeing the many boxes of Corona) quite regularly, but looking through the cupboards and under the piles of old clothes, I found bits of paper from when we first moved in over two years ago. Bits of paper which we didn't really need to keep hold of then, never mind twenty eight months later. Shocking!
However, with a bit of a nudge and a gift card from HomeSense, I've spent the past few days (and nights) decluttering, disposing, and delving in to cupboards and baskets in order to turn our laundry room of doom in to a bright, beautiful and beautifully scented space. It wasn't a joy to do but it's most definitely a joy of a room now it's finished and I can actually find things in there and walk around without tripping over an old broom.
Here's what it looks like now. Tah dah!
It feels like a completely different space, now. Organised, slightly more spacious and completely clutter-free. All of the gorgeous storage baskets, buckets and tins were from HomeSense. I love how they're quirky, cute and still oh so practical. You certainly wouldn't think you'd entered the jumble sale from hell, anymore, would you? To coin the phrase that was drummed in to me during my many years spent in car manufacturing, 'a place for everything, and everything in it's place'. And it seems that my favourite place for everything is an exceptionally pretty blue tin. Nice!
If you're ready to tackle your very own room of doom, here's how to make your laundry room lovely in ten simple steps.
1. Don't leave the clutter building up for over two years. It gets to the point where it feels unmanageable. The answer is not to shut the door on it all, but instead, tackle it every few months.
2. Pack away seasonal items. If you're not going to be using something on a regular basis, find a home for it in a wardrobe. Vacuum pack bags are brilliant for bulky items like winter coats.
3. You can never have enough storage ... of all shapes and sizes. Stock up on baskets, buckets and tins, especially ones which slot inside each other so don't take up too much space when not in use.
4. Buy versatile storage ... things that can do more than one job. I adore these little plant pots. They're so pretty and perfect for storing items like pegs, straws and name tags but also make lovely pots for herbs and flowers (obviously).
5. Decant things in to pretty storage baskets. I might only be talking about the tonic for my gin but it looks so much nicer in a little white basket than in its original box.
6. Make sure that things you use every day are easily accessible. I've put kitchen and bathroom spray within easy reach and any duplicates or products we don't use very often, on a higher shelf.
7. A functional room doesn't have to be an ugly room. Dress it with your favourite posters, prints or postcards. I'd completely neglected mine but it's so much cheerier in there with this happy, orange print on the wall.
8. Even everyday items can be used to add a pop of colour. Choose tea towels, cloths and brushes which match your colour scheme.
9. Pop in a reed diffuser to add a lovely, constant smell of fresh laundry. There's a reason why manufacturers don't produce a smell called 'clutter'.
10. Always have a cup of tea to hand ... preferably in a mug that matches you décor - there's no shame in that.
So ... what are you waiting for ... off you go ... let the spring cleaning commence!
This post was written in collaboration with HomeSense.