Zero Dollar Laundry Room Makeover

One of the benefits of my basement hoarding is that I have frequently have enough supplies on hand to complete a weekend project without spending any additional cash.  This is particularly important for any communal areas I tackle: as an apartment renter, I don’t want to spend much money on a space that isn’t “mine.”  But this is our home and small, inexpensive improvements can make it feel even more so.  (Our landlords, I should note, are enthusiastic about all of my projects and they, regularly and hilariously, defer to me on decisions regarding the property. Jarrod jokes that I’ve been deputized.)

Laundry Room

This laundry room area has always felt unnecessarily grungy.  That little storage nook was full of unused products and left-behind items, including this baseball, which was signed, twice, by a previous tenant — who is a full-grown man.  It’s pretty endearing, really.

Signed Baseball

A few simple changes made our laundry area look much more finished.  I know this Before & After isn’t going crash Pinterest’s servers (for one thing, I didn’t use chalkboard paint or white vinegar), so I’ll just dive right in.

Before:

Laundry Room

After:

Laundry Room

Before: the unfinished wood was difficult to clean – not that anyone had ever tried.

Laundry Room

After: I unearthed a few peel-and-stick vinyl tiles from our landlords’ trash pile, which will be much easier to wipe clean.  I centered the middle tile and then trimmed the other tiles to fit around it.

Laundry Room

Before: You know that episode of 30 Rock where James Carville says “Cajun style!“?  Whenever I see half-assed jobs like this, I say “Landlord style!”  There was no need for this shelf support to be so huge, and there was certainly no need for that many screws.

Laundry Room

After: I cut a cheap garden stake to use as a shelf bracket and stained all of the wood to match.

Laundry Room

Before:

Laundry Room

After: A few wood trim scraps, caulk and white paint makes the shelf and moulding look much more finished.

Laundry Room

Laundry Room

I scrubbed the sink and put out hand soap and a towel.  I washed and painted the back wall and hung a clock.  I also had some Flor carpet tiles from our previous apartment that I used to cover the concrete floor – when you accidentally drop an item of clothing, it’s nice to not feel like you have to wash it again.  (Side note: while I don’t love their hard/unfinished edge, reconfigurable Flor tiles are great for frequently-moving renters.)

Laundry Room

Before: Once more, for comparison.

Laundry Room

After:

Laundry Room

A small victory! My next post will bring us back out of the basement, I promise.

Basement Storage Organization

Regular readers of this blog (thanks for that, by the way!) are pretty familiar with our apartment’s rather minimal aesthetic.  It’s now time to head downstairs and reveal what lurks below, in our enormous basement.

BasementMess

Whoa.  This is what happens you have virtually unlimited storage space. It’s an embarrassment of riches.

BasementMess2

From the few episodes of Hoarders I’ve seen, “That could be useful!” seems to be a go-to hoarding justification.  I get that.  Sentimental?  Don’t care. Pretty?  Sure, I’ll keep a few pretty things.  But useful?  I want all them things.  Get in my basement, potentially useful things.

BasementMess3

Thanks to a major Craigslist score, all them useful things are now organized on some amazing heavy-duty storage shelves. These are the utility shelves of my dreams. $15 a unit!

Basement Storage Shelving

It’s possible that someone could find more happiness on Craigslist for $45, but it probably isn’t legal.

BasementStorageShelves

BasementStorage

BasementOrganization

I have a potting station, by the way: it’s a $5 metal shelving unit and a tabletop the previous tenants left in the basement.  I keep potting soil in an IKEA SORTERA bin.  This station is proof positive that I’m turning into my mother.

PlantingStation