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Thursday, July 7, 2011

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Old House, First Update: The Laundry Room (Of Course!)

Sure, cloth diapering is great for the environment and can be quite economical, but it is also really fun. And, if we're being honest, how great do our little bambinos look in their adorable fluffy bums?! In my opinion, the extraordinary cute factor coupled with the huge cost savings and the tiny bit of trash we now have to take out every week, certainly makes up for the little bit of extra laundry that cloth diapering adds to our weekly routine.

Having written about laundry before, some of you might recall that I have four children (3 in cloth), 2 dogs, and a few fish. We've got A LOT of laundry going on over here. All. the. time. We bought this house almost two years ago and the laundry room right beside the kitchen was a dream come true. Who cares if there was a 40 year old 80 gallon hot water heater sitting smack dab in the middle of that tiny laundry room space? Not having to trudge into a basement to do laundry was worth just about any inconvenience associated with this beat-up old room. I didn't mind a bit that I had to stuff and re-stuff steel wool into the holes around aforementioned hot water heater to prevent lovely little chipmunks from trying to visit us to steal dog food. Really. I didn't mind at all. Not one little bit. (Ok. I am totally lying about that last part. Not a fan of rodents or rodent prevention tasks.)

In spite of the convenient location of the laundry room, I knew that my dream would be to update that space as soon as I possibly could. Sure there are other rooms that probably are equally, if not more, deserving of our attention. Our master bathroom, for example, is carpeted and the tub is a death trap, but really, no one will ever see it and I can always shower at the Y. So with that laundry room dream in mind, I approached my husband, shortly after the birth of our fourth child, and provided him with the basic math facts about how much money we would saving by starting this baby from the get-go with cloth diapers. What better use for that cost savings than updating my fabulously scary laundry room! Either my graph paper charts were irrefutable or my husband just took a lot of pity on me, regardless, he agreed to the renovation.

Many, many months later and my laundry room update is in full swing. The 80 gallon hot water heater is gone, replaced by a tankless water heater residing outside!! A sink, counters, and cabinets now grace the space with plenty of room for my diaper soap and dryer balls - no longer relegated to a basket perched precariously on top of the dryer. There is no more access to scary little critters from the great outdoors, and I even have a drying rack on the wall to air dry covers, pockets, and wool as needed. Although I have completely negated all cost-savings that we would ever see from using cloth, the environmental benefits remain. And, even if my years washing cloth diapers are limited, my years washing piles upon piles of laundry certainly are not. The laundry room is so nice now, I might even set up my laptop and a coffee pot... at least until we can get around to updating the rest of the house.

By ... Erin Brighton, Charlotte, NC (Writing about projects that add to her laundry piles at

1 comment:

HeatherCurleeNovak said...

OOH! we have an old house too and the washing machine died not long after we moved in. We bought a FRONT LOADER (yes I took a college level class to learn how to do dipes in it) but still have a clunky old dryer. (I actually wrote about that for a NPR station...gotta look for that!) (Oh! it is at and it is titled "WANT" under my name to hear or read it)

I just posted something on Cloth Diaper Zen you might get a kick out of.

Thanks for this site, thrilled to be part of the following.