Zone Defense Check-in: The Laundry and Linen Cupboard

On Zone Defense in March, we organized the linen cupboard and laundry areas.

Zone Defense Check-in: The Laundry and Linen Cupboard - On Zone Defense in March, we organized the linen cupboard and laundry areas.

So, here we are at our monthly Zone Defense check-in. If you’re just tuning in, you know that we’re facing off against clutter and disorganization. Time to get this place ship-shape, folks.

A few weeks ago I explained my goals for getting a laundry game plan in action. We’re settling in on a system that is working for our family in this season of life. My kids are old enough that they can take some responsibility for their own clothes. The kids do their laundry here.

I decided about a year ago that I wanted the laundry room to be a place where you went to get things clean. Not a place that constantly needed to be cleaned. I set up a laundry schedule for the fam and instructed the kids on how to wash their own clothes. Finally a laundry system that worked and didn’t leave the laundry room a disaster zone.

You wouldn’t know this based on the before pics I took.

Zone Defense Check-in: The Laundry and Linen Cupboard - On Zone Defense in March, we organized the linen cupboard and laundry areas.

It was a basic disaster. Sorry that I don’t have a wide angle lens to catch it in all its glory. But, a few weekends away, folks unpacking every which way, and a few weeks of generally falling off my game resulted in a mess.

The linen closet, which I clean once a year in March — ha! — was no better.

Zone Defense Check-in: The Laundry and Linen Cupboard - On Zone Defense in March, we organized the linen cupboard and laundry areas.

We have a spiral staircase/turret that our upper hallway raps around. This is the view from the other side.

And from closer up:

Zone Defense Check-in: The Laundry and Linen Cupboard - On Zone Defense in March, we organized the linen cupboard and laundry areas.

I emptied out the closet completely. There was all kind of interesting things in there, but mostly linens.

Zone Defense Check-in: The Laundry and Linen Cupboard - On Zone Defense in March, we organized the linen cupboard and laundry areas.

I have no idea how everything got unfolded, but that’s what happens when you turn a blind eye to children making their own beds. I purged a lot of things. And refolded a lot of sheets.

We keep a spare set of sheets for each bed in case of emergencies, like the stomach flu. But I realize now that the chances of all eight of us having a bad stomach flu at the same time is probably ridiculous. I could unload some sheets.

I also told the kids that when they change sheets, they should wash and reuse the same set. If they don’t, if they use a fresh set and leave a clean set to be folded, I will make them watch my video on how to fold a fitted sheet five million times. And they will have to fold the sheets.

Can I get an amen?

Zone Defense Check-in: The Laundry and Linen Cupboard - On Zone Defense in March, we organized the linen cupboard and laundry areas.

That looks better, doesn’t it?! The Minion got to stay.

Zone Defense Check-in: The Laundry and Linen Cupboard - On Zone Defense in March, we organized the linen cupboard and laundry areas.

I removed everything from the laundry room that I don’t use and consolidated the cleaners in the sink. I never use the sink. I don’t know why. But, it holds the cleaning supplies.

Zone Defense Check-in: The Laundry and Linen Cupboard - On Zone Defense in March, we organized the linen cupboard and laundry areas.

Last year I labeled the washer and dryer with use instructions. This month I added the laundry schedule, so we don’t forget whose day is whose.

Another new change is that I stopped buying liquid laundry detergent. Back in November when I participated in the Ultimate Healthy Living Bundle, I got two free boxes of Dizolve laundry strips. 

Zone Defense Check-in: The Laundry and Linen Cupboard - On Zone Defense in March, we organized the linen cupboard and laundry areas.

These things are awesome. One strip per load and there’s no chance of any kids spilling. There’s less hauling involved and these strips can easily be packed for travel.

(This is not a sponsored ad in any way. I just really like the product and have since purchased more.)

Since the laundry room cupboards are also my holding spot for clothes to donate, it was time to clear out those areas.

Zone Defense Check-in: The Laundry and Linen Cupboard - On Zone Defense in March, we organized the linen cupboard and laundry areas.

Combined with all the excess from the linen cupboard, there’s a fair amount of stuff to send off to a happier home.

It feels great to have these spaces a little better organized.

How are things in YOUR linen cupboard and laundry room?

Tell us in the comments and feel free to leave a link if you’ve blogged, facebooked, or instagrammed your progress. Hashtag #zonedefense if you like. Read the Zone Defense archives if you’re just now joining us.

In April we’ll be organizing the living and entertainment areas of our homes. Get ready to organize and deep clean the living areas, entertainment areas, and the stuff that takes up space there. (Oh dear! That means I have to deal with all those movies and school supplies, doesn’t it?!)

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Comments

  1. I LOVE the laundry strips as well! I saw them a few weeks back in one of your posts and ordered some up. They are great! I wish I had a laundry set up like yours. My machines are in a little unfinished nook in the basement

    • That’s what we had growing up, only in the garage. I do count a dedicated laundry room as one great blessing. It seems there was an era of home building that forgot them. The houses we’ve lived in as a family were all built in the early 00s and they’ve all had laundry rooms. The trend must have come back.

  2. Awesome job on your clean up. I am in the process of decluttering or spring cleaning. Question though. the laundry strips are 13 for 64 loads, I am a family of 9. I have laundry everyday. So my questions is how is this cheaper for me? I can use Purex for a fraction and get more loads per bottle. Thanks.

    • It might not be. We have so many allergies, skin sensitivities, and aversions to smells, that I’ve had to buy a certain kind of laundry detergent for years. When I did the math (I also had a coupon for my first order), this penciled out as cheaper for us in comparison to what I was buying, even on sale. The convenience factor of not having to look for sales or go buy soap has also been a benefit.

      • I hear that in the convenient factor. :) I am always welcoming new ideas and ways to live cheaper that’s for sure. thanks for the reply.

        • The point that I forgot to mention is that typically the cups on the liquid stuff are too large and folks end up using more soap than they need to. With the strips, it’s premeasured. You can even use 1/2 a strip for a small load. So, I think we waste less this way.

  3. I just ordered those laundry strips. I plan to send some to college with my daughter next fall. This year she lived on the third floor of her dorm (no elevator) and of course the laundry room was in the basement. Much easier for her to carry down a strip or two than to haul a heavy bottle of detergent up and down several flights!

  4. Thank you for your before pictures! It’s so refreshing to see someone being real on the internet. :). And glad to know my house isn’t the only one that gets that way sometimes.

  5. Jen Fitzpatrick says:

    It’s so nice to see someone else has areas in their home that look just like mine! From reading your posts the last few years, it is just now dawning on me that I need to get my kids helping me more. (Yes, I’m a little slow…..I’m calling it mom brain! :) )

    I’m going to be setting up plans on how I can get this done and stay sane at the same time, because I know there is going to be some complaining……I mean wonderful sounds! :)

    • It took me a long time to get the kids doing as much as they do. I realized, to my shame, that part of that was because they were boys. Had my first four kids been girls, this would have all happened sooner. Not saying it’s right. Glad I realized it before it was too late.

  6. May have to try the strips. As it is it feels like I go through a 32 load bottle of detergent a week. My third is in charge of family laundry(17). It’s definitely interesting when you have two older ones who also do their own. So like you the laundry area is scheduled. We may be undergoing a change of schedule again since the oldest starts a new job( and Please God let it be just the right mix of pays the bills, not too stressful, and not so mundane or aggravating that he wants to quit within 6 months and lasts a year. Let it be something that allows him to balance a life with a job and allows him to save for school and travel. A-men.) Sigh. Whoever thought that things get easier as kids get older clearly did not understand the complexity of dealing with young adults.

  7. Thank you for being real here. And great job! I so often feel that I’m the only one who doesn’t have my house together all the time. We don’t have that much space for linen storage so every bedroom (boys’, girls’, parents’) has one underbed storage bin for a spare set of sheets which works for us. I am slowly working through spring cleaning and freshening up the house with a reminder list on my phone to spur me on to complete the many areas which need attention. Your post has inspired me to get going on marking one more area complete this morning.

  8. I am fascinated by those laundry strips! I’ve never heard of such a thing. Can they be used in a front loader??? If so, I’m buying some immediately! My 5 year old loads the clothes in and pushes all the right buttons to turn our machine on, but I’ve never let her put in soap — that would be a disaster. If she can put in a strip, that would be awesome!!!

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