Whether I like it or not, the laundry room is a place I spend a lot of my time. Over the last few years, I’ve had to move several times. Each home has had a different laundry room setup which presented its own challenges. My homes have had everything from a full-size laundry room to a washer and dryer in the bathroom with no separate space. My current home has a hallway sized entryway which has been widened to accommodate a washer and dryer.
With each new laundry room, I’ve had to find different ways to fit all the stuff I keep in that area of the house. My laundry room needs to hold my washer and dryer, vacuum, baskets of dirty clothes, cleaning supplies, and usually coats and boots too. Because of the different layouts and size limitations laundry rooms can have, I’ve come up with a list of 15 laundry room hacks to help you have a neat and functional laundry space no matter the size.
Laundry Sorting Hacks
For most of us, laundry gets sorted into three or more categories before washing, darks, lights and delicates. If you’re one of those people who washes everything together, well, I hope these tips will inspire you to do otherwise. Here are three ways to set up a sorting station in your laundry room. Any of these are an improvement over sorting on the floor or throwing everything in one hamper and trying to sort as you do each load.
1. Laundry Basket Drawers
Purchase a small cart with three pull out wire basket drawers you can sort each type of laundry into. If you choose one with more than three drawers, the others will make great storage space or can be used for towels or other non-clothing laundry. You can also sort by family members if you prefer to wash everyone’s wash separately. If you can find a cart of the correct size, you can even swap out laundry baskets for the drawers.
2. Open Front Bins
Many container stores carry bins with flip open lids on the front that make for easy laundry sorting. The open front makes them accessible even on a high shelf.
3. Laundry Bags on Wall Hooks
This idea is a real space saver for those of us with small laundry areas. Three mounted wall hooks can be used to hang laundry bags for separating clothes into darks, lights, and delicates. This gets them off the floor and takes up very little space.
Drying Rack Options
For years I used a collapsible drying rack, usually setting it up in my kitchen or living room, anywhere I could find the space. This was when I didn’t simply throw wet clothes over my kitchen chairs or shower curtain rod. Far too often this resulted in my bras and other delicates accidently on display for guests when I forgot to take them down. I needed a drying solution that could stay in the laundry room.
4. A Vertical Drying Rack
This type of drying rack pops out from the wall like an old-fashioned ironing board. And even better, can be closed back up against the wall when you’re finished with it. There are lots of do-it-yourself ways to create this. Many involve a wooden ladder or a repurposed crib.
5. A Ceiling Mounted Drying Rack Ladder
Another great spot to put your drying rack is hanging from the ceiling. A ladder style rack suspended from the ceiling is a great way to hang clothes without taking up valuable floor or wall space in your laundry room.
6. Shower Curtain Rod
I mentioned I’ve used my shower curtain rod for a drying rack in the past, but that was in my bathroom. There is no reason that idea can’t be moved into your laundry room. A shower curtain rod in the laundry is such a simple inexpensive fix, I can’t believe I didn’t think of it sooner. As a bonus, you can also use it to hang shirts out of the dryer on hangers or other clothes in need of de-wrinkling.
7. Towel Racks
Although you do have to sacrifice some wall space, towel racks mounted in the laundry room are another inexpensive solution for your clothes drying needs.
Laundry rooms would be much less crowded if all we needed to put in them was our washer and dryer. If you’re like me, the laundry room doubles as an entryway and a cleaning supply closet. In my apartment days, the laundry room was also the only bathroom. In a multi-purpose space, storage is at a premium. Here are some ways to make the most of your laundry room space.
8. Shelves to the Ceiling
Your laundry room is typically a place where only your family spends time so you can prioritize function over aesthetics. Adding shelving all the way up to the ceiling is a good way to make the most of your wall space. It doesn’t need to be fancy. In my laundry room, my husband made shelves out of brackets and unpainted boards. If your laundry room is a place guests do walk through you can purchase some inexpensive wire shelving racks to make it attractive while still making the most of the space.
9. Install a Countertop
If you have a front loading washing machine consider building a countertop or shelving right above your washer and dryer. This is typically unused space. You can store laundry and cleaning supplies, or laundry baskets and easily access them. You can also use it as a folding station or sweater drying spot.
When it comes to storage hacks, I love pegboards. If you mount one in your laundry room, you can use it for brooms,dustpans, and mops. You can add mesh bags or small baskets to the board for storing cleaning supplies or laundry soaps and stain removers.
Purchase a metal rack or some hooks for hanging off the back of your laundry room door. You can store your detergents and other cleaning supplies there, paper towels, and sponges. Lots of small items will fit and you don’t use any of your wall space.
12. Roll Away Storage
A slim cart for storing your laundry detergents and cleaning supplies can be rolled into a narrow spot next to your washer and dryer without using much space. This is great for multi-purpose laundry rooms without a lot of wall space for shelves.
13. Stain Removal Kit
All of your stain removal cleaners, dryer sheets, and dryer balls can be stored in a travel caddy for easy pack up and storage on a shelf. This keeps them from spilling or sitting around loose all over the laundry room.
Other Useful Hacks
Laundry room hacks aren’t all about storage solutions. Here are some other ideas to make your laundry days easier.
14. Dry Erase Messages
Use a dry erase marker to write erasable messages on your washer or dryer. This comes in handy if you have a load of delicates and you want to remind a spouse or teenager not to toss them in the dryer. Or if you need to write out how-to instructions for your school-ager learning how to do wash. Many dry erase markers have a magnet on them, so you can keep them right on the machine.
15. Lint Storage
This is one of my favorite hacks! I have to admit I used to ball up lint and set it on top of the dryer, often forgetting to toss it out later. It drove my husband crazy. Purchase an outdoor literature box like the kind used for real estate fliers. They are available at most office supply stores. Mount it to the wall next to your dryer and use it as a handy repository for lint. This is especially useful if you repurpose your lint as packing material or as a firestarter.
Laundry Rooms of all shapes and sizes serve many purposes in a home beyond a spot for your washer and dryer. I hope these ideas can help you maximize your time and space in your laundry room.