Laundry Room: The Price Was Right

When I started planning the laundry room project, I knew that I had bigger plans for this space – but could not justify a budget to make that vision happen right now.

That said, I knew I could make this a more pleasant place to work in without a guilt-inducing budget that would leave me paralyzed with indecision when the opportunity to take this room up a notch comes along. Looking at how it turned out, I’m feeling like hanging a “Mission Accomplished” banner above the doorway leading into the laundry room. But I really don’t want to spend money on that; I still want a new washer/dryer set someday.

But, since talking dollars isn’t something we do very often around here, let’s take a break to pay homage to the importance of commerce – courtesy Joel, Liza, and choreography by Bob Fosse (parents, consider yourselves warned):

Back to the laundry room, I used as much of what we already had just sitting around to make some of the changes, which was a very big factor in minimizing costs. I also leveraged coupons and sales where I could on the items that were going to take a few dollars. So, what was the final cost? Here’s a breakdown of the items bought:

  • Wall Paint: $70 for a gallon and quart (using a coupon at my local paint store; I had primer, brushes/rollers, dropcloths and tape in supply already.)
  • Embroidery hoops and fabric for wall art: $15
  • Glaze for table legs: $12
  • Paper Towel holder: $10
  • Frame for laundry cheat sheet: $9 on sale
  • Sewing basket: $17.50 after coupon
  • Chalkboard storage bin: $7.50 on clearance
  • Craft paint for chalkboard bin: $5, including foam applicator brushes
  • Spray paint for thread organizer: $4 (I had leftover primer from the school desk project)
  • Antique washboard: $15
  • Clothespins for glass canisters: $9
  • Antique handkerchiefs for window treatment: $7.50
  • Galvanized steel bucket with cover to hold fresh kitty litter: $18

Total investment: $199.50

That number is not small, but the fact that this little project stretched out over a few months and projects were tackled kind of ad-hoc instead of trying to make a transformation over a weekend definitely mitigated a sense of “budget impact” like some meteor was screaming towards our checking account.

(That thud-like sound was most likely my husband falling out of his chair while reading the bottom line amount. Either he was amazed at the overall thrift of the project, or can’t believe I blew 200 bucks on a room where dirty clothes go to get clean and where cats go to do their business. I’m choosing to remain positive and assume he’s amazed at my thriftiness. Because, in all honesty, when the time comes to swap out old appliances for new, that amount will look more like a friendly neighbor wrapped in a zippered cardigan and sneakers.)

Worth it? Oh, yes. At the start of the project I wasn’t sure how happy I would be with the results – if I would find myself really wanting to run out and buy new appliances and keep going, or if I would be saying “that’ll do.” This project, I’m saying “that’ll do.” I’m not feeling the urge to start figuring out when we’d make the laundry room into something that perhaps warranted the word “suite” instead of “room.” I’m very happy, and look forward to using this room as it is. And that’s the sign of success.

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