Day 3: Handy, Dandy Gadgets

My laundry room before

It is amazing how certain things inspire us: the gleam off the kitchen faucet after being polished, the sweet scent of Mr. Clean, or…the feel of George, Abe, and Andy in your hand. 

As I sat pondering the state of my laundry room, I began to remember my early teen years and the handy, dandy gadget my mother used to help save space in our lovely, yet very tiny, home. It was an over-the-door ironing organizer. I’m pretty certain that handy, dandy gadget had a Tupperware© stamp on it somewhere, as in that day (some odd 30 years ago) Tupperware© was the go to for all things simplified and organized. Our kitchen paid homage to the pop and seal king, with lids, containers, stacked, and stuffed everywhere! I honestly don’t remember if we even had drinking tumblers that were not made of some form of plastic.

But, here we are, three decades after the glorious 80s and the decade of decadence, trying to figure out what on earth to do with those scrunchies, LA Gear high-tops, and anything Ronco©. It’s time to let go of everything we bought to keep up with the Jones’s and embrace a life free of, well, stuff. As well as drawers full of mismatched Tupperware© lids for bowls long last melted on the stove or tossed with unrecognizable contents.

Back to that handy, dandy gadget. As I sat pondering the state of my laundry room, I began to wonder if somewhere in this universe, an over-the-door iron organizer still existed. You see, the cord from my iron was dangling precariously over my washer, where my cans of sizing and spray starch kept falling over (and thus a spray nozzle running away), sat alongside my longtime friend, the ironing board with the Christmas tree skirt hung after its run-in with the new puppy and immediate washing back on New Year’s day. To put perspective: this coming Monday is Valentine’s Day.

We won’t go into the items sitting on top of the dryer that have been there since the day they were installed (in 2009).

So, I logged into my laptop and did a quick search, and sure enough…everyone carries them. With one caveat: Online purchase only, not sold in stores. Sigh. But I could appreciate the investment of only $9 (free shipping to the nearest store). It does not end there, either. On that same lovely page was another laundress’s dream come true: A wire shelf that fit right on the top of the washer! Yes, more storage space for a mere $12!

My laundry organizing nightmare was starting to come to an end. Problem was, I had not even walked into the room yet. Plus, this is about minimizing, and buying more stuff isn’t minimizing. Or is it. I mean, this is supposed to make life more simple, right? I’ll get back to you on that one.

The process of simplifying and organizing a laundry room has a lot to do with identifying the purpose of the room.  If your laundry room is like mine, it has also become one of the *hiding* spots in your home when an unexpected guest comes to visit. I’m pretty positive that things my new puppy has shredded in the past month does not count as having purpose in the laundry room. It was just a quick get away to hide the corpse of whatever she had sunk her teeth into.

My laundry room after
There were treasures and not so pleasant surprises in my own laundry room. Such as the two power cord attempts to match my dryer to the dryer outlet in my laundry room. The extra duct I purchased for the dryer, and miles and miles and miles of wire hangers from probably the Nixon era. But, the thing is…they were all items I no longer needed. I know somebody else could use those power cords. I know that I can recycle those hangers. As I removed each item, I felt freer and freer from being tied down to so much stuff. Plus, the added bonus was that I no longer dreaded going into my laundry room.

And, I also found those vacuum bags I could not find the night before. Which brings me back to those handy, dandy gadgets I mentioned earlier.

It is so easy to jump into reorganization by buying all the newest and greatest organization items before you start, but all too often you find yourself with just more *stuff* you don’t know what to do with. I will still buy the ironing organizer only because my laundry room is so small and narrow. I need the space it can provide that I don’t have right now. It is simplifying my life by making it easier for me to even go into my laundry room.

That’s the whole goal of simplifying: Making room for the things that matter.