Let’s face it. Laundry rooms don’t get much love. It doesn’t have to be that way. With just a few tweaks and a little forward-thinking design, you can have a laundry room you adore on a budget you can afford.
Make it Easy to Use
Tackle appliances first. If you are cramped for space, consider stacking your washer and dryer or buying a compact washer-dryer combo unit. If you prefer keeping your washer and dryer side-by-side, make sure the doors open in a direction that allows a smooth transfer of clothes from the washer to the dryer.
Create a folding area. Tired of stuffing freshly washed clothes into a basket and carrying them to another room where they wait to be folded? If your machines are side-by-side and you can keep the tops clear, this can be your folding space. Another option is to install a fold-down shelf that stores flat against the wall when not in use.
Add hanging space. Hanging your clothes as soon as they’re dry can reduce ironing chores. Hanging space is also useful for delicate air-dry items. Try adding a built-in rod or a fold-down bar that disappears when not in use. If you have room, you might want to purchase a rolling clothes hanger cart that includes space for laundry baskets below the hanging items.
Banish Unnecessary Items
Cut the product clutter. Eliminate any laundry products you don’t use and store your favorites on a shelf or in a tote next to the washer and dryer, so it’s easy to access them right where you need them.
Remove what doesn’t belong. Don’t let your laundry room become a catch-all for household cleaning supplies, mops, vacuum cleaners, or other items that have managed to accumulate in this space.
Use gaps. If there’s a substantial space between or beside your machines, fill it with a rollout shelf that can hold your products and tuck them away when not needed. Placed at the right height, this can also expand your folding space.
Clear the floor. To eliminate piles of dirty clothes on the floor, add tall, slender, side-by-side baskets that match your typical laundry cycles: one for whites, one for darks, one for delicates, etc.
Personalize it. If you’re folding clothes for other family members, keep a small, labeled basket for each person on a shelf, so folded items can go straight into the baskets, where each person can grab their clothes and put them away!
No more sticky stuff. Does your liquid soap make a mess after each pour? Try tossing it in with your (non-delicate) clothes. The washer will get the residual liquid, and you will have a clean cup to return to your shelf!
Collect lint with style. Instead of finding floor space for a trash bin, try hanging a slender apartment-style mailbox or a planter on the wall beside your dryer to conveniently catch lint and reduce lint dust in your laundry space.
Care for All Clothes
As a central care center for all of your clothing, be sure your laundry space includes:
- A designated place for outgoing dry cleaning items.
- Hanging space for your iron and ironing board. (The back of the door will work!)
- A small basket for clothes that need some tender loving care, like a missing button or an unraveling hem. (You may want to keep a basic sewing kit in the bottom of that basket, so it’s easy to make quick repairs while waiting for a machine to finish a cycle.)
- A basket for single socks—or a clothesline hung against the wall to display socks in search of their “sole-mate.”
Make it Bright and Cheerful
No one enjoys working in a dungeon. Keeping your laundry area clean and bright will make it easier to tolerate these chores.
If your laundry space includes one or more windows, keep any window treatments as minimal as possible so lots of natural light can stream in.
If your space lacks windows or you tend to do laundry chores in the evening, try adding more light with higher wattage bulbs, a better overhead fixture, or task lighting under the shelves. A fresh, light-colored coat of paint on the walls may also do the trick!