Your laundry room might not be a space that you spend a lot of time in, but it’s one that should be as streamlined and organized as possible to ensure maximum efficiency in your home. You might assume that, given its size, there’s nothing much you can do to maximize your space, but that’s where you’d be wrong. Limitations breed creativity, and here are some of our favorite ways to make your laundry room work better for you.
First, let’s talk about what a typical laundry room looks like. Some estimates suggest that the average size of a U.S. laundry room is about the same size as a closet, meaning there’s not too much wiggle room after you factor in the appliances you need, as well as space to organize and clean clothes.
Small Laundry Room Design Ideas
Here are some ways to improve the appearance of your space while also making it more efficient for you and your family.
Typically, a laundry room will have tiled or wood floors. Because it’s a room that nobody really goes in other than the homeowner, it’s typical to see outdated, preexisting flooring staying there for a long time. But swapping the flooring for a nicer material is an amazing way to make the room look instantly better, especially given that, due to the smaller dimensions, doing so will be significantly cheaper than, say, replacing the wood in your living room. Do keep in mind, however, that your laundry room floors need to sustain the weight of a washer and dryer, and will probably have more moisture on them than not. The materials you’d use for your bathroom are probably best.
Aside from the obvious appliances, another great addition is a utility sink. These extra-large basins give you space to rinse clothes, clean shoes, and otherwise take care of dirty work that you’d prefer to keep away from a sink that’s not large enough to accommodate, such as the bathroom, or that’s near food or other things you consume, such as the kitchen.
Here are some of our favorite utility sinks for small laundry room spaces:
At just 24”, this could be the perfect sink if you’re short on room but still want to fit a utility into the space. It’s a clean, classic design with enough to handle most if not all of your most important functions.
This is another perfectly sized sink built in the classic utility fashion while also coming with a pre-fitted rack to hang things on. It’s made of fireclay and is 20”.
At 22”, this is the perfect option if you need a utility sink but also want to add your own cute touch to the design. With a bi-colored basin and backend, this sink is a great option for its marriage of practicality and style.
For many, laundry rooms are multi-functional, so instead of just being a room for you to throw your clothes and transfer them from the washer to the dryer, consider installing an ironing board on the wall to maximize space and consolidate your clothing care into one room.
Storage & Cabinetry
The laundry room needs to have more storage functions that you’d think. For example, you’ll want to keep your detergents, bleaches, and fabric softeners in a safe space, and you’ll have to separate your dirty clothes and keep them organized so that you aren’t just walking over a big pile of unsorted items all day.
To do this, you can get creative. Some people install pull-out shelves behind their washer and dryer or above it. You can also get a washer and dryer that stack on one another, and install shelves and a multi-option laundry rack that allows you to sort clothes into whites, darks, and delicates.
Hooks & Racks
You’ll probably need hooks and other places to store and hang clothes that either need to be air-dried, were just freshly ironed or steamed, or need to be off the floor until you can tend to them. In this case, you can get creative with your use of closet organization features. Consider hanging “drying rack” panels that can extend outwards from the wall, or perhaps a rack or hooks on which you can keep your items organized.
Washer & Dryer
Of course, lastly, think about what you want in terms of a washer and dryer combination. Some people prefer to air-dry their clothes, especially if they live in a warmer climate, so you can focus on getting a higher-end washing machine in that case. If space is your issue, consider a lateral washing and drying unit, or perhaps even a state-of-the-art washer and dryer combo machine. Of course, the lattermost appliances will cost you the most, but it’s going to be about what works best for your space and your needs.
If you aren’t in a place to do a full laundry room overhaul — or if it’s simply not in the budget or a high-priority list in your home renovation — you can still make quick changes and upgrades to improve your space.
Consider the following:
Shelves are a relatively inexpensive but great way to improve your space utilization. You can use these for storing cleaning supplies, extra linens, or anything else that you need to be off the floor.
Get a laundry organizer.
You can purchase one of these at most good home stores (they typically have three or four hanging linen baskets next to one another in which you can organize clothes), but you can also build one for yourself. In this example, you can create standing “shelves” out of your laundry baskets so they’re up off the floor and easy to maintain.
Move your laundry to a bathroom.
It might not sound that appealing initially, but it can be very beautiful and makes a lot of sense. You’d be able to place your clothes straight in the washer without having to tote dirty clothes from the hamper to the laundry room and back again. It certainly streamlines the process and can open up space for your laundry room to become something else.
Add organizational units to your preexisting features
If you already have your laundry room set up fairly well, consider adding more organizational features to the cabinets or shelving that already exist. As you can see here, installing some metal shelves into the cabinet to organize cleaning supplies makes a world of difference so that you’re not left sifting through clutter and getting frustrated every time you need a detergent pod.
Vertically stored folding table for ironing.
If you’re tired of fumbling through the placement and then cleanup of a clunky, oversized ironing board, consider installing a smaller one on the side of your wall or at least a folding table that you can take down, work on, and simply push back up.
Alternatively, consider investing in a steamer, which will be easier on your clothes, and end the need for a board altogether. Pro tip: Add some essential oil to the water before you steam; your clothes will be perfectly unwrinkled and smell lovely.
The Small Laundry Room Makeover
Ultimately, there’s no wrong way to style a small laundry space; it’s all about what works best for you. If you don’t know where to start, figure out what you do most commonly in your laundry room and what kind of experience you’d like to have there. If you can imagine yourself walking into a perfectly organized room and being able to peacefully turn over laundry without getting stressed or overwhelmed, that’s what you need to work on building. Whatever makes you feel more at ease in your own home is what’s right.