My laundry room is also my pantry and message center and is just off our kitchen. Our house being over twenty five years old doesn't have mega space for chores that used to be housed in a basement so it wears many hats. I felt very fortunate when we built this house that I could do laundry without having to trudge to the basement lugging piles of clothes up and down the stairs.
The small counter next to my stack-able washer/dryer combo is where our phone is, (yes we still have a landline in the house compliments of ATT) our doggie treat jar and a small lamp because the room is windowless. I've now added a big container of powdered laundry detergent.
I started making my own laundry soap after reading an email from a friend. Its so easy to make and lasts a long time with just Mr. Bruce and I in the house. The "recipe" couldn't be simpler, although it did take some hunting in our local store to find what I needed but only because it wasn't where I thought it would be.
1 Box Borax (if your not at least 50 you've probably never heard of this)
1 Box Arm and Hammer WASHING Soda
2-4 Bars of Soup, I use a combination of Ivory and Felsnaptha (again you may not of hear of this one but I find both in my local dollar store). According to the recipe my friend sent you can use just about any good cleaning hand soap.
You grate the soap and then combine with the two boxes of powder and you've got a darn good washing detergent. One to two tablespoons is all you need to add to a load of laundry. Is it any better than what you buy on the shelves at the supermarket? I haven't a clue but for some reason I just like the pleasure of mixing this together myself. Weird but true.
It does make a lot so I went searching in my dish room for a container to hold the soap and knew I wanted something that would sit on the counter and not look like a plastic container left over from a gallon of ice cream. I came up with this large glass container that I got at Home Goods last year, I added an old silver tablespoon and stuck in a tin star just because and I think it adds a little punch to an otherwise dull counter.
When I was growing up Monday was "wash day" in our neighborhood. My mother insisted on using her old wringer washer even after my dad bought her an electric one. I can still see the laundry hanging on the lines in the backyard of all of our neighborhood homes. I still hang some things out in the summer and it always stirs a memory of fresh clothes straight from the line.