Laundry Room Overhaul: Step One {The Befores, Cleaning Up and The Plan}

Let me start this by asking that you not judge me once you see the before pictures of our laundry room that I’m going to share today. It’s pretty bad, and it’s taking some courage on my behalf to post these but only because I know that the after is going to be SO much better, so the befores are totally necessary. Thank you in advance for your understanding :)

Our laundry room is gross. Like, really gross. Before Ryan and I moved in, my parents had been renting to male college students for about 4 years. Male college students. For 4 years. They obviously didn’t care what their laundry room looked like, they were probably just happy to have a washer and dryer in the house. When we moved in last February, there were so many more things that I wanted to fix up besides the laundry room. It wasn’t even close to the top of the priority list. Now that the rest of the house is coming along, I decided that it was time to tackle that nasty basement laundry room once and for all. It also doesn’t hurt that fixing things up will help my parents down the road when we leave and they want to rent to a young couple like us or sell the place. Dad paid for the paint, so I don’t mind doing the work :)

So without any more stalling, here are the befores. These are also worst case scenario photos. It isn’t always this messy, but a lot of the time it is. Just keeping it real.

This lovely sight greets you from the doorway:


Then this is just to left of that:


And a bit more to the left again:


These shelves are behind the door:


And if you’re eating right now, you may want to put your food down….a close up of the awful utility tub:


A lot of the dirt and nastiness in this room was existing when we moved in. We just kind of threw everything in here that needed to be stored somewhere and that was it. The sink doesn’t really get used for anything, but the washing machine does drain into this sink so that probably explains a lot of the grime. I live with a man who plays several sports that results in dirty, sweaty, stinky gear that needs to be washed (as evidenced in the above photos where you can see the piles of dirty hockey and baseball uniforms).

As the first step in Project Laundry Room Overhaul, I cleared everything out and gave the room a pretty good cleaning. I swept up all of the dust bunnies and stray cat litter and then wiped down the washing machine and dryer as well as all of that lovely wood paneling and the walls. I also scrubbed that utility tub like it was my job. Pretty sure I sweated out 5 pounds just on that sink alone.

So here are some after cleaning photos and my plan for the room!


So in this corner, I’m going to move the cat litter to a slightly smaller pan that will fit under the sink. I’ll pretty up the bottom of the sink a bit, I’m thinking something like this. That wire thing that you can see hanging from the wall up in the corner there was stretched from one side of the room to the other and was being used as a place to hang dry stuff on hangers. I’m planning on moving it closer to the washing machine and putting curtains up on it and hiding all of the stuff behind it that was previously just out in the open. I also want to do something prettier with the shelf for the laundry detergent, but that’s not as high on the priority list. That metal railing will also be going out to the curb since it’s been replaced with a wooden one so I’m not sure why it’s still hanging around.



Those wood slats that the dryer is sitting on are unfortunately necessary since the concrete floor is really uneven in that corner. I’m going to paint them white probably to make them blend in/look a little cleaner. Not ideal, but it’s the best I’ll be able to do there. I’m also going to put up curtains over those shelves to hide the fuse box and the mess of cables.


This corner is just to the right when you come in the door, and most of it will be the storage area hidden by curtains, but I do want to mount a drying rack to the wall so that we still have a place to hang dry things.


And I just had to include a picture of the much cleaner sink. It’s not perfect, but it looks a lot less likely to give you tetanus.

All of the brown paneling will be primed and painted white, and the upper walls will be painted in Behr’s Tide Pools.

If we owned this place and were going to be staying longer, I would totally move the appliances out and paint the concrete floor. Since that’s not really easy or something I’m willing to do when we’ll only be living here for another year or so, I’d like to put some colourful rugs in front of each machine, or maybe a larger one in the middle of the room. I also want to add some laundry room themed art work of some sort somewhere.

So there’s my nasty laundry room and my plan for fixing it up. I’m not going to bother setting a time limit for myself on it, because I probably wouldn’t end up sticking to it anyway. I am planning on starting the priming and painting over the next 2 days, so we’ll see how far I get on that!

Who else has a gross laundry room? Why do basements have to be so yucky most of the time?

8 Responses to “Laundry Room Overhaul: Step One {The Befores, Cleaning Up and The Plan}”
  1. twistnpout says:

    OHHHHHH I can relate. But I was os sad not to see after photos. Please post them as soon as you can. :)

    • Steph says:

      I decided to do this as more of a real time makeover, so I’ll share the process as I go along! I’m hoping it won’t take too long, I really want to see the after too! :)

  2. Catherine Caple says:

    Hi Stephanie! Two things – I’m coming to Natalie’s shower and you and I are going to have fun with your invitation because I can clearly see you like to DIY stuff up the wazoo! Be careful about changing the litter pan – kitties don’t like change. Because it will be going under the sink perhaps you could leave the lid off. My cats won’t go into a litter pan with a lid – I figured that one out the hard way!

    See you soon, Catherine

    • Steph says:

      Hi Catherine! I’m definitely looking forward to working on those invitations with you! I have some ideas so I just want to run a couple of things past Ryan and then I’ll send over my “inspiration” pictures to you.
      I’ll definitely keep that in mind when I move the litter. Lola tends to be fairly easy going about changes, and she’s always been fine with going in a box with a lid. It’s just so big and bulky! I’ll try something new but if she has issues with it I will of course accommodate her picky feline ways :)

  3. redagapeblog says:

    Our laundry is disgusting…..not sure why. Probably because we spend so little time in there and we can just shut the door and not see the mess. Looking fwd to the after shots.

    • Steph says:

      Hahaha what is it about laundry rooms?? Sadly we can never actually shut the door on it since the kitty’s bathroom is in there. At least cleaning and prettying it up will make me less embarrassed of the door having to stay open!!

  4. Oooooooooh I can’t wait to see what you do here!! My laundry room is SCARY! No walls, no ceiling. Just think of the possibilities for all of the spiders to make their webs… YUCK!

    • Steph says:

      Why are laundry rooms so gross a lot of the time!? The progress is moving pretty slowly in there, not going to lie haha painting is just not my favourite thing AT ALL, and there’s shoddy wood panelling which is a huge pain to paint. Hopefully I’ll have it finished soon!!

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