Doing laundry is a fact of life. Whether you tackle the chore daily or once a week, having a properly equipped laundry room makes life easier all around. Large laundry rooms outfitted with utility sinks, holding areas for dirty and clean laundry, and closet space for stowing brooms and outerwear pack multiple functions into one space, which in turn keeps other areas of your home uncluttered.
Small laundry rooms pose challenges even when you try to fit in everyday laundry essentials, such as storage for supplies; folding, sorting, and ironing surfaces; and racks and rods for drying delicates and hanging garments pulled from the dryer.
Here's a look at wash-away-worry ways to make small laundry rooms live larger and work harder.
Consider installing a stackable washer and dryer or an all-in-one machine that washes and dries to leave open space for adding vertical shelving, narrow storage towers, wall-mounted ironing boards, flip-down drying racks, and/or drop-down utility tables.
Or, opt for a pair of front-loading appliances that provide flattop surfaces, allowing you to set down laundry supplies as well as carryalls and trash containers for corralling stuff pulled from pockets and lint traps. Front-loading appliances also free up space that can accommodate a stretch of countertop for folding clothes and as a landing spot for laundry baskets.
On the wall above your appliances, install track systems that run to the ceiling and support vented shelves that hold bins, baskets, and lazy Susan turntables that house everything from detergents and stain sticks to sewing kits and hobby supplies. If you like to store necessities behind closed doors, hang a pair of upper kitchen cabinets above the washer and dryer.
If you don't have a full room to devote to laundry, you can still create a powerhouse laundry work station. This small setup has everything you need to do a load—washer, dryer, folding table countertop, and cabinet storage space—and it's located within this home's dining room.
A few slick tricks help hide unsightly machines from view. Most notably, a darling pink curtain that, when closed, looks like a skirted table. Family photos and catch-all mounted baskets further disguise the space. Try adding a laundry zone to a bathroom, kitchen, or basement.
Vertical storage is a must in small spaces. Whether it's built-in, floating, or just standard shelves, make sure you use the area above your appliances.
We love this mix of open and closed storage. A gorgeous cabinet takes center stage, and is perfect for holding unsightly items. Shelves flank either side of the cabinet, and they hold color-coded supplies, baskets, and family mementos. A patterned wallpaper applied behind the cabinet keeps the space pretty, not plain.
Try Simple Solutions
If you have extra floor space, move in a repurposed chest of drawers, a bookcase, or a console table that provides storage below and a work surface up top.
Stow your ironing board and iron on an over-the-door hanger. Install decorative hooks, towel bars, or closet rods to hold laundry bags and hanger-hung clothes. Mount an accordion drying rack on a wall or tuck a foldable drying rack in gaps between washer and dryer or appliances and wall.
Look to specialty storage stores and home centers to find an array of racks, hangers, caddies, and stackable boxes that you can use to contain numerous objects within a limited space. Look for collapsible valets; kitchen, closet, and bath organizers; slim rollaway carts; and wall-hung wire racks and pockets that will amplify your small laundry room's storage capacity, make washday operations run smoothly, and evoke spick-and-span vibes.
Create a Command Center
In addition to the washer and dryer, all you need for laundry day can be consolidated into a small space. Look for a sturdy table that has plenty of below-deck storage for baskets and hampers. Then deck out the tabletop with stain-fighting solutions, detergent, and more. Slide a fold-away drying rack and ironing board behind the table, and voila! Instant laundry command center.
Editor's Tip: Make sure the table you choose has a durable top, and opt for an easy-to-clean material, such as this marble-inspired plastic. You don't want to worry about getting bleach stains on a valuable piece of furniture.