8 Small Laundry Room Storage Ideas That Make the Most of a Tight Space

Create a fully functional laundry room regardless of size.

small laundry room
Photo: Werner Straube

Doing laundry likely isn't high on your list of favorite activities, and the chore can feel even more challenging when your space is cramped. If you're working with a small laundry room, a good storage system is the key to making your space functional. Whether it's hidden storage cabinets or a stacked washer and dryer, these space-saving ideas will maximize the usable space in your laundry room.

Before you begin, take everything out of the laundry room except the washer and dryer. Sort all your laundry supplies into categories based on how often you use them. That way, you can store the most-used items (such as detergent and dryer sheets) in an area that's easily accessible for day-to-day use. Items such as stain remover or wrinkle releaser, which aren't used as frequently, can be stored on a higher shelf or tucked away in a drawer.

Once you've sorted through everything, use our storage solutions to optimize your space. With our creative ideas for better storage, you'll appreciate your laundry room again—no matter how small it is.

01 of 08

Sliding Storage Cabinet

laundry room with thin cabinet shelf
Hector Sanchez

Have a tiny bit of space between the washer and dryer, or between the machine and the wall? That may be just enough space to slip in a tiered cabinet. Find one on wheels that has a handle so it's easy to pull out. Use it to store your less-needed items such as bleach and heavy-duty stain removers. Most slim cabinets are still wide enough for standard steamers and irons, which can be especially helpful if there’s no wall space to hang shelves. Plus, it easily hides visual clutter.

02 of 08

Built-In Laundry Baskets

close up of wire laundry baskets

Marty Baldwin

If you have an extra foot (or more) between the machines next to the wall, put in a laundry basket system. It won’t take up any extra square footage and will also help to keep clothes from landing on the floor. By making the baskets pull-out or pull-down, family members might be more motivated to utilize the baskets in between loads. Look for styles with ventilation to keep dirty clothes—especially sports uniforms or gym clothes—from getting too smelly. Assign each family member their own basket, and designate one for collective towels and another for sheets.

03 of 08

Stack the Machines

mudroom black appliances gold accents light gray cabinets
David Land

If you have the height but not the width, consider a stacking washer and dryer set. Some machines are available as one connected piece with a top-loading washer and front-loading dryer. For separate front-loading units, you will most likely need a stacking kit to protect both machines. Keep in mind that machines with the ability to stack generally cost more than other options and usually have a smaller load capacity. However, they can also be more energy efficient and (with front-loading models) are gentler on clothes and linens. They’ll save you a significant amount of space to boot.

04 of 08

Behind Closed Doors

paneled laundry closet

Paul Dyer

Some homes don't have a designated laundry room, but that doesn't mean your dirty clothes need to be on display. If your washer and dryer need to be hooked up in a high-traffic area such as the mudroom or kitchen, hide them away while not in use. Tall cabinet doors will do the trick, and many come equipped with built-in shelves for supplies. If space is really at a premium, opt for pocket cabinet doors. When you've finished a load of laundry, simply close the the doors and forget about the chore until the next wash day.

05 of 08

Remove the Doors Altogether

black front-load washer dryer laundry nook baskets wallpaper
Edmund Barr

Another non-traditional laundry option is a repurposed closet. Take the doors off of a closet that's wide enough to fit a side-by-side washer and dryer. Install a combination folding and storage shelf above them and cabinets that reach the ceiling just above that. This should give you ample space for both laundry and cleaning supplies. At the opening of the closet, attach a suspended rack, so clothes can hang dry. While this method won’t let you forget about the laundry that needs to be done, it's a space-saving alternative to a full laundry room.

06 of 08

Utilize an Awkward Nook

laundry room with shelves above washer and dryer
Brittany Ambridge

Sometimes homes, especially older ones, have odd spaces that you don’t quite know what to do with or how to design. But an awkward nook could be the ideal place to tuck in a tiny laundry room. Ensure that washer and dryer hookups can be installed and proper measurements are taken before planning the layout. Don’t forget to include floating shelves and a hamper for maximum functionality. If you’d like to keep it out of sight, simply hang a curtain from a tension rod.

07 of 08

Aim High with Shelving

small laundry room
Werner Straube

For a truly tight laundry room, maximizing the height of the space will give you the most bang for your buck. Don’t be afraid to hang shelves as high as the ceiling will allow. Place the items you reach for the most often, such as detergent pods and dryer balls, on the lowest level. Then, gradually arrange other supplies in order of frequency. Place items like backstock paper towels and toilet paper on the very top shelf and stash a small folding stool in the room so you can grab items from the top shelf as you need them.

08 of 08

Put Built-ins to Work

laundry room with basket storage and clothing rack

Jay Wilde

Make your small laundry room pop with a beautiful built-in unit. Create a combination of shelves and hanging space that works for you. Here, shorter shelves flank a rod used to hang drying clothes and a long, high shelf in the middle. Plan to store the things you need regularly towards the bottom. Fill the upper shelves with baskets to hide clutter, and be sure to label them so you don’t forget what’s inside.

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