The Best Laundry Room Ever…

We have a new laundry folding/storage cabinet and it makes our laundry room the best ever!


As you may recall, a few months ago we decided to join the 21st century in terms of washing clothes.  We got a new washer and dryer


because our 20 year old dryer, sadly, broke down.


The new, front loading, stacking set was a great decision for us. The clothes are actually cleaner (the research said this would be true – I didn’t believe it). Things dry really, really fast (again, the research said this would be true – I didn’t believe it). These things are really pretty (I knew this to be true from the beginning – no research needed). The variety of settings has been a plus (I thought simple was better – I was wrong – I love all the different options). I love the stainless steel tubs (because I love stainless steel). Finally, Tad has become the laundress at our house because the washer and dryer are so great (which makes me totally happy)!

Because Tad is so excited about laundry these days, he was on board with a new folding/storage cabinet for our small laundry room. In fact, Tad took on the role of lead designer of this new piece of furniture. He measured multiple times, he got my input on storage suggestions, he contacted the woodworker, he met with the woodworker, he revised the drawings, he changed the drawer dimensions a few times, he measured again, he ordered hardware, he followed up on the progress, he stopped by the closed woodworking shop and peered in the window a few times when we were out walking the neighborhood, he was here when it was finally delivered.

Being that it was a custom built piece of furniture, it took a while – maybe, 3 months. I think it was supposed to only take 8 weeks. Tad had hoped that it would get here in time for Christmas. The wait was worth it though. It is really lovely.

Here we are before the cabinet…


Here we are after…


Again, before…


Again, after…


Being that the laundry room is directly adjacent to the bathroom, the laundry cabinet was designed to match the bathroom vanity – in materials and style.


The walls in the laundry are not square so there was an uneven, sizable gap between the top edge and the side wall.  We had hoped for a built in look. The gap did not fit with the built in look we were going for. So, the woodworker was back within a day or two to cover the gap and create that built in look we wanted. A few trim pieces, some silicone,


and a day later we had the built in look.




The storage that this laundry furniture provides is significant.


Here is the shelving before moving stuff to the new laundry cabinet.


Here is the shelving unit after moving stuff to the laundry cabinet – leaving a couple of empty bins and a bunch of open space.


Now, for the finale! According to Tad, the best part of the cabinet is the top, pull out, folding shelf…


So, in summary, we are very happy with our new laundry cabinet :)


This is the story of how we got from here…


to here…


You think it would be pretty straightforward?

No. Not at our house. Things are never simple around here.

It all started with me bragging about the fact that our washer and dryer were really old – like 20ish years old – and that they had been great. Almost too great. I was saying that I really appreciated how reliable they had been and even though I had been thinking about the new high efficiency things out there, I just couldn’t justify tossing out perfectly good appliances.  Though, “perfectly good” may be a bit of an exaggeration. The washer got the job done generally, but did occasionally leave weird flakes of debris all over the place. The dryer also got the job done – eventually – just the dry time had significantly increased over time.  Otherwise, though, things seemed good.

The very next day – things went awry…

I was at work. Tad was home doing laundry.  The washer did it’s thing. The dryer was dead. Tad called me, “Hey, the dryer is broken. Should we get it fixed or get a new one?”  I chuckled to myself, “Really! What a coincidence! I vote for new.” I was thinking, “Yay! I can finally get the laundry room completely checked off my To Do List!” I have big plans for the Laundry Room – and it is mostly dependent on a new front loading washer and dryer. I also like to check stuff off my To Do List, as you may already know.

So, Tad headed to the laundromat – and began researching new appliances while he waited for the clothes to dry – at the laundromat.

Laundromat – kind of a funny word.

I got home from work and was all excited about my future new laundry room – side by side high efficiency front loading washer and dryer, a folding countertop over the appliances, pretty backsplash, beautiful built-ins…

Then, Tad broke the bad news to me.  Front loading washers and dryers are significantly deeper than our current top loading set. This means that they would stick out 6 inches beyond the edge of the door opening  into the bathroom. Tad thought that was ok. I did not.

The next day, we went to some appliance outlet store to measure a few washers and dryers ourselves. I think we were hoping that the specifications posted online were wrong?  It was verified that front loading washers and dryers are, in fact, too big for our space. So sad.

It took a week to recover from my dashed laundry room dreams. Tad, on the other hand, forged ahead. He was on a mission, now looking for the best top loading washer and dryer. He didn’t care about my broken laundry room dreams. He was just excited about the continued hunt. He subscribed to Consumer Reports online so he could thoroughly research every possible option. He made a call to the place where we got our refrigerator and vent hood. They had some top loaders that the sales person said would be an excellent option for us.

A week after the dead dryer incident, we made the trip to check out the top loading washers and dryers. We listened to the explanation of all the options. I decided on a Speed Queen set. It was almost exactly like our old set – sturdy, simple, white. Tad still wanted a front loading set. His research convinced him that was the best option. The sales guy was also less enthusiastic about the top loading washer and dryers than the front loading ones. We were standing there in the appliance store sadly looking at a stacked front loading set – which the sales guy said was the best. We were each trying to convince ourselves (for different reasons) that there had to be front loading washer and dryer out there that would work for us. Then, it dawned on me…

Why hadn’t we thought about it before?

A front loading set could work for us – if it was stacked – in the corner – away from the bathroom door – so it wouldn’t stick out into the walkway!

I suggested a stacking washer and dryer to Tad. Tad and the sales guy kind of looked at me like – well – I had just suggested something visionary. It was weird. Anyway, Tad seemed kind of excited but still a little skeptical. We left without purchasing a washer and dryer. Home we went, did a few measurements, and decided that a stackable front loading set would definitely work!

Back to the drawing board for Tad as additional research was in order. Another visit to a different appliance store. A little more research. A decision was made.

Here is where the story gets a little crazy.

We had hoped to order up the appliances and have them installed in a day or two because it had been two weeks since we had last done laundry, but no.

Tad made his way back to the appliance store to make the purchase. Their computers were down, preventing the purchase of our washer and dryer that day. The next day the computers were up and the purchase was made. The delivery was scheduled for a few days later. An end was in sight, or so we thought.

The day of delivery arrived. I was at work. I am always at work for these events. I got a text and picture from Tad – the old washer and dryer were gone and the new ones had arrived. Yay!


Then, a followup text arrived. We would not be doing laundry that day. They didn’t bring a stacking kit with them.  Bummer.

They scheduled a followup installation for 3 or 4 days later.

This time I was at garden club. Tad called me and proceeded to tell me that they showed up with an incomplete stacking kit this time. So, still no working washer and dryer.

They rescheduled for 3 days later.

Installation day arrived,again. We hoped that the third time would be the charm. I was convinced that we still wouldn’t have a working washer and dryer that day. Things seemed kind of jinxed at that point. Tad was more positive about the situation, “What could possibly go wrong?”  he asked. The delivery guys showed up. Tad jokingly said something like, “You can’t come in without the part…”  They did not have the stacking kit, but we did let them in anyway. Their orders said to just stack the washer and dryer – not bring the part. I laughed. Tad lost his mind. Long story short, the delivery guy offered to go back to the warehouse, pick up the stacking kit, and come back that evening to get the washer and dryer stacked and in working order – finally. I left because I had a babysitting commitment. This time, I actually thought we would have a working washer and dryer when I returned home – because what could possibly happen at this point? We had the appliances. The stacking kit was verified to be in stock. The nice delivery guy was coming back to help us get this done.

Nope – it did not happen.

Tad called and broke the next bunch of bad news. The electrical cord and vent ducting for the dryer were too short. Seriously. Oh my gosh!

Longer vent ducting was easily procured from the home improvement store. The electrical cord was a different story.

We initially thought we could just change out the electrical cord for a longer one, but quickly discovered that you can’t just go to the home improvement store and pick one up. Apparently, a longer electrical cord is against code. But, you can order a longer electrical cord online. So, what’s with that? More research ensued. Should we return the new washer and dryer and just get the top loading set? Should we have the electrical box moved up on the wall to accommodate the short (code compliant) electrical cord? Why is the longer electrical cord against code? Online research did not help with the code question. Tad asked a couple of guys at work who are electricians. We briefly debated our options once we had all the information. It wasn’t much of a debate. We opted to go with the longer electrical cord option because we wanted to keep the front loading washer and dryer, we didn’t want to spend the time/money/energy to get the outlet moved up, and we decided the code thing was, in fact, not a fire/electrocution/safety issue.

The new, longer cord was ordered. It was overnight shipped. Tad changed it out.

Finally, a working washer and dryer.


They work great! The washer uses significantly less water than our old one. The clothes are noticeably cleaner. The dry time is half the time of our old dryer. The capacity is huge (the sales guy says that you can wash up to 27 towels in one load – should you ever need to) but small loads can be accommodated (with the “small load” feature). The tubs are stainless steel (as opposed to painted – no rust stains on the clothes). They are quiet which is important to Tad (and I have come to appreciate the quietness as well – our old washer sounded like a jet engine taking off). They are pretty. And – they glow in the dark!


The story doesn’t end here.

Tad has been wanting to change the outdoor dryer vent for something more streamlined than the current bulky plastic one we have. Done and in working order.


Still, the story is not over.

We don’t have any folding space now and the corner is kind of ugly.


Good news, though. A custom storage/folding furniture/cabinet piece is in the works.  It is supposed to arrive within 8 weeks.

There is still hope that my To Do List will have a completed Laundry section in the near future.

More to come…

Wool in the laundry…

I would prefer not to use fabric sheets in the dryer mostly because they contain chemicals that are likely not good for us.

I like to use natural stuff when I can.

I also like to track an occasional package as it makes its way to me cross country – when I can’t find the desired item locally.

So, that brings me to my new wool balls for the laundry.


They kind of look like art for the dryer, don’t they?


Art makes everything better – even laundry.

Anyway, I had gotten some dryer balls a few years back that were advertised to decrease laundry drying time and soften clothes.


These spiked balls are plastic and worked pretty well, but are now falling apart. I have been finding the little blue plastic spikes in the dryer, in pockets, in socks, etc. It has been time for a new plan or at least some replacement dryer balls for a while now. Though, I wasn’t wanting to replace the plastic with more plastic.

I first saw wool dryer balls at a local store in my neighborhood. I was interested, just not ready to buy that day. I went back a few weeks later with the intent to buy, but they were all gone. I was told that they wouldn’t be getting any more in – at least for quite a while. I had made up my mind that I was getting wool dryer balls. When I get on a mission, there is no stopping me. I was on a mission. I wanted wool dryer balls. I widened my search locally for wool dryer balls. Believe it or not, I could not locate any wool balls to buy!

So, I turned the mission into a DIY my own wool balls.  I searched the internet for instructions, suggestions, etc.  I found many good DIY wool ball instructions.  I started compiling the list of supplies I needed to make the wool balls, only to discover that the cost to DIY was a bit pricey in comparison to the already made, ready to throw in the dryer ones.

In the interest of time, effort, and money – I decided to order up the ready made 100% wool dryer balls from across the country. And, I got to track my package as it made it’s trek to Colorado. It was an exciting week.


As soon as these little wool balls arrived, I threw in a load of laundry.  I am happy to report that I do think they actually work as advertised – and they definitely work better than the plastic balls.  They are supposed to decrease laundry drying time and soften clothes in the dryer for 3 years. Time will tell.

Now – about static cling.

The wool dryer ball people say that the balls don’t eliminate static cling. So, they recommend 2 metal safety pins attached to an item in the dryer to eliminate static cling. After one load of laundry, the safety pin thing appeared to work great. After a few more loads of laundry, it doesn’t seem to work 100% of the time in completely eliminating static cling. I will say, though, that I think it works as well as a commercial dryer sheet.

Who knew.

Well, I guess, we all know now…