On her Blog, Sonia shares her ‘ fabulously flawed attempts at being the perfect mum to 3 boys and the wife of one very patient man….A beach loving, Martha Stewart wannabe with an addiction shopping and vodka and gin cocktails…. She says she’s a complete clutz who attracts chaos and mayhem like vodka attracts lime…..and she likes to laugh….alot!

Because sometimes it’s the hiccups in life that are the most fun.

Armed with elfa and some super storage solutions, Howards makeover team joined forces with Sonia from Life, Love & Hiccups Blog to whip her laundry into shape.

The Challenge

Anyone with a large family knows that the smooth running of a laundry is fundamental to a busy household. With three young boys and a husband, no one knows this more so than Sonia.

Let it be said, that pre-makeover Sonia was very organised but her laundry presented ‘limited space’ and ‘next to no storage’ challenges. See how we helped convert her laundry, into an amazing space that Sonia is incredibly proud of.

Interestingly, when we stopped and really broke down the issues, the solution didn’t just focus on her laundry. A supreme solution was created by adding a family distribution station in the utility room next door where the ironing was being done….

What did you need your laundry makeover to achieve? What was your brief?

To make it a more open space, more room and functional storage and to make it a nicer place to be in. You spend so much time in the laundry and it was ugly! I hated being in there! Functionality and aesthetics were key to making it nicer.”

Solution 1.

The Distribution Station.

With space a fundamental issue, we created a distribution station in an adjoining room to the bathroom and laundry.

The laundry was so small with no less than three doorways, that it was really a transit room that needed to be kept as clear as possible. The heavy duty part of the system therefore was created in the next door utility room which was previously a play room, in the form of a distribution station made from Swedish designed elfa. As Sonia so nicely explains, it was the turning point in the way they now use the space and it’s a system the whole family can use.



We didn’t actually realise that we needed a place to hang uniforms until after Cathy came over, had a look and pointed out that we were hanging clothes on our curtain rail! It saves time but also it’s great for the kids to start learning to sort their clothes. 

” Having the elfa Distribution Station housing school uniforms downstairs ready to go and having the whole area as an operation centre makes life so easy. It’s had such a big impact on us and the way our mornings run.”

As for the rest of the clothes, they now get folded on the folding table and placed straight into a drawer for each family member.  The drawers are then distributed to their owners to take upstairs and put away.

Solution 2.

The Laundry

Then older dark shelves absorbed the light and didn’t really offer much usable storage. We added a basic white elfa custom shelving unit here,  it is made from epoxy bonded steel and made to withstand the laundry environment.



At Howards we say, if you can see if you’ll use it; has this made a difference in your laundry space?

“Absolutely, especially with the cleaning supplies. You buy so many cleaning supplies and they hide away in the back of the cupboard and you end up going to buy more because you can’t see them. Having the system on the shelf and dedicated tins for the different tasks means I know what I’ve got, when I need it I can grab it, it’s there and it’s handy. And then clothes wise, you can see what you’ve got; you’re not rummaging around trying to find things in a panic.”

At the end of the laundry,  we also added two elfa Mesh Storage Bags attached to an elfa track. They can also be attached directly to a wall stud.

This utilised an empty wall without taking up too much space. The mesh bags are breathable and clip on and off easily.

Solution 3.

Where to store the ironing board?

With no room to add a cupboard to store the ironing board or brooms, we created a custom elfa Utility solution. Using an elfa track you can add various attachments such as hooks and tool holders.

This enable us to create effective storage along the wall that was easy to access, looks tidy and did not take up too much space.

This solution is incredibly cost effective and a clever use of space.

Tell me about ‘laundry life’ since the makeover? What effect has it had on you and your family?

“More laundry’s been done! We’re not living out of clothesbaskets. Because clothes would be folded up on our dining table and stacked there ready to be put away; inevitably we’d get too busy to put fresh washing away so the kids would be rifling through looking for clothes. Now, thanks to the distribution baskets, if by chance we’re too busy to put the clothes away, they’re still in the distribution station, in their drawers, there’s no rifling through big baskets to find things. It’s neat and it doesn’t matter so much if it’s not put away straight away.

Would you recommend the Stop, Sort and Solve process and if so why?

“Yes definitely, it can pretty much apply to anything, whether you’re organising one room or your home in general. It gives you a chance to assess the situation, really work out what it is that you need and want and question whether those needs and wants go hand in hand and then think about the solutions. So many times I know I’ve gone out and said right, I need a new shelf and I’ve just raced out, bought the first shelf, not thought about how’s it going to work in the space, how’s it going to affect the surrounding area, so taking that time to stop and think gives you a better result.”

How easy has it been to keep your laundry organised?

“It’s literally a cinch. Everything has its space and goes straight back into its place after use. And because it is so nice and organised you want to keep it that way, so if you make a mess in there, your mess stands out, so everyone’s quick to return it to order.”

How has the new system been able to save you time?

“I guess by having a place for everything you alleviate having to hunt around trying to find where you’ve put something. Going from washing machine, to dryer/line, to folding, to putting away – it’s all there and easy. And also having the distribution station housing the uniforms downstairs ready to go and having the whole area as an operations centre in the morning; it’s going to make life so easy for us because everything’s there, packed up the night before, so when we get up in the morning, we’re ready to go.”

What’s been the biggest learning curve in conducting this makeover?

“Get expert advice. Ask people that specialise in it and know what they’re doing, to help you.”

What’s been your favourite product from the makeover?

“I have to say the elfa distribution station in the utility room. I just love that it wasn’t even the original intention. It hadn’t even been considered, yet it’s the one thing that has made such a big impact on the way our morning’s run. It’s been the catalyst for changing that whole room; it was a toy room, now it’s command central (utility room), so that one idea has just changed everything.”

What would you change?

“Honestly nothing. I guess I’d just try and spread it to every room in the house.”

Lisa Rose (Marketing Production Manager), Sonia Stackhouse (Love, Life & Hiccups) and Cathy Player (Marketing Manager)

Sonia Stackhouse (Love, Life & Hiccups) and Ali Ozeken (elfa Measure & Quote Specialist)

Ali Ozeken (elfa Measure & Quote Specialist)

This was a wonderful makeover as it illustrated the importance of stopping and looking at your overall workflow before changing a thing.

Sonia did a wonderful job preparing the room by removing an old shelf and totally repainting it white. It really freshened the room up and gave us a good starting point on makeover day.

Why Elfa?

We used elfa for this makeover as it’s

–   Made from epoxy bonded steel which makes it very durable and strong

–   Highly customisable so we could design a system to suit Sonia’s space

–   Easy to install. Only the top tracks and utility rails attach to the wall.

–   It can be added to or changed easily as Sonia’s needs change.

Thinking of Doing your Own Makeover?

Finding the best organising solution for any space in your home is Howards Storage Worlds specialty. If you would like to design a new solution for your own home, we suggest that you take photos and measurements, then bring these into your local Howards store and the team can help you design a solution that’s perfect for your needs and space. They can also arrange a free elfa design, measure and quote if you prefer.

If you would like more information about elfa from Howards Storage World CLICK HERE to view the elfa section of the Howards’ website which includes suggested solutions, individual components, accessories, assembly instructions and warranty information.


Special thanks to Sonia from Life, Love and Hiccups for working so well with the Howards Catalogue Team in creating this outstanding laundry solution.

We encourage you to view Sonia’s Blog at

Components and prices may change over time. Some stores may not stock all products however they can usually be ordered. We suggest that you check with your local store prior to commencing your own solution.

Story first appeared in the July 2014 Howards Storage World Catalogue. Article Updated May 2017.

© Copyright Howards Storage World, 2017.