There’s no doubt about it: your laundry room is one of the best rooms in your home, and it’s probably part of the reason why you picked your house in the first place. (According to one survey, 91 percent of home buyers want a laundry room in their house.) And even if it’s small, it makes your home extra-functional by creating a clean, designated space for one of the most important and time-consuming household chores on your list.
With built-in storage and all sorts of extras for keeping laundry day in order, the laundry room is a real heavy-hitter of the household! But how do you improve it and make the most out of it when you’re working with a limited space? Because of the fact that so many buyers want them, laundry rooms are often shoved in wherever makes sense—in corners, closets and even bathrooms.
If this sounds like your home, you’ll love this guide to improving the functionality of your small laundry room! Read on for some great tips.
- Stack It: Invest in Stackable Appliances—If new appliances are an option, consider swapping out your separate units for a stackable washer and dryer set. These two-in-one units create a smaller footprint by sticking the dryer up top, freeing up a good amount of floor space that you can use for a cabinet, drying rack, sink or whatever. You may have to give up a bit of capacity for this format, but if your household is only between one and four people, it should be a fine compromise.
- Merge It: Go for a Washer-Dryer Combo—Your second option appliance-wise is to ditch the individual washer and dryer units for a single washer and dryer combo. Just as you might expect, the washer-dryer combo merges these two appliances into a single piece of equipment that both washes and dries your clothes. The only real downfall to this setup is that you won’t be able to wash and dry at the same time, but if you’re a one-load laundry-doer, this will work fine!
- Purge It: Minimize to What You Really Need—When you really take a cold, hard look at your laundry situation, you’ll find that there’s a ton of steps in your routine that you really don’t need. For example, you can save space and money by swapping your dryer sheets for reusable dryer balls or sheets (which you can actually make yourself), that help save space, money and the environment. You may also consider getting rid of your steamer and opting instead for an iron-steamer combo that does it all in half the space.
- Hang It: Get Your Storage Off the Floor—One of our best space-saving tips for any room is to create hanging storage options that get your stuff off the floor and into the air, creating the illusion of more space and taking advantage of every inch of the room. Wall hooks and above-the-washer shelving will help you get into a hanging mindset. You can even hang a clothes rack from the ceiling to allow delicate clothes to dry without investing in a space-hogging floor drying rack.
- Build It: Build In Your Appliances—If you’re looking for some drastic ways to improve the room, consider hiring a carpenter to create built-in appliance cabinets for you. The primary benefit of this is that you can rest your washer and dryer on a pedestal with storage beneath for all your laundry essentials. On top of that, so to speak, you could build in storage cabinets above and around the appliances to create a much more versatile, functional workspace.
- Organize It: Give Everything Its Own Place—We’re all guilty of letting the laundry room get messy, with sticky detergent spills, empty plastic bottles and clothes, clothes and more clothes everywhere. A disorganized or dirty laundry room isn’t just unpleasant, it’s also cluttered, which makes it feel smaller and more limited. As a result, you won’t want to spend any time in there, which can really hamper your laundry strategy. Make sure to keep “tidy up the laundry room” on your weekly chore list and try your best to actually do it.
- Funnel It: Create a Smart System—A neat, organized laundry room is nice to look at but is it actually functional? To make yours especially user-friendly and to maximize space, consider creating “laundry stations” throughout the room, where you sort, fold, iron, etc. and have designated laundry baskets for clean and dirty clothes. If damaged, stained or unwanted clothes tend to get stuck in laundry limbo, never making their way out of the laundry room, create a donate basket, too.
- Hide It: Hang Up a Curtain—Is your laundry room tucked into the corner of a bathroom, closet or the basement? If so, you can create a neat and tidy aesthetic for the entire space by concealing it with a hanging curtain and curtain rod. This seals off the space so that it keeps all your laundry accoutrements in one specific area without making the entire room look and feel like the laundry room.
A Clean Room for Clean Clothes
When you have a small space, one of the most important things you need to do to keep from getting overwhelmed is to create a routine and stick with it. The fact is that we all get overwhelmed when things are messy or disorganized, and that gets exponentially worse if you feel like things are too far gone. By keeping surfaces neat and tidy and putting things away where they belong, your laundry room will feel open, spacious and inviting enough for your weekly laundry marathons!