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Improve the Laundry Room with These Tips

The laundry room with custom storage

No one likes doing laundry. But even if it's your least favorite chore, you can improve the situation with a well-equipped laundry room. A space that is nicely laid out makes everything easier. Use these tips to improve functionality in the laundry room. You'll find washing clothes is much more efficient and pleasant when storage is plentiful and everything you need is at your fingertips.

Laundry Room Organization Ideas

You'd be surprised at what a difference a nice laundry room can make in your perception of this unpopular activity. You may never love doing laundry, but you can keep it from becoming a dreaded drudgery. Start by making sure you have everything you need within convenient reach. Provide storage and keep your supplies in good order to prevent mess and clutter. A little effort goes a long way. Start the transformation of your laundry area into an efficient and pleasant space with these tips.

Sink with Cabinet Storage

If your laundry room lacks its own sink, it's time to correct that. You need water to pretreat stains, rinse out blood, and hand wash clothes. And there's always cleanup from home improvement projects like rinsing paintbrushes, rollers, etc. It's inconvenient to have to run to the kitchen or bathroom to use the sink for these tasks. Unless your washer and dryer are in one of these spaces that already has a sink, you should add one to the laundry area. The good news is that the plumbing is almost certain to be already in place, keeping costs down. And the sink doesn't need to be large. However, a sink with a cabinet adds more convenience than a standard utility tub due the opportunities for storage underneath. Use the sink cabinet for storing buckets, cleaning supplies, and larger items that don't fit nicely on a shelf.

washer and dryer with laundry sink and cabinet in the corner
This laundry area was able to squeeze in a small sink with cabinet next to the door. The cabinet is used for storing economy size bottles of detergent and cleaning supplies.

Built-in Drying Racks for Drip Dry

Some of your laundry is going to require drip-dry. You probably have sweaters, lingerie, pantyhose, or other fabrics that demand either hand washing or the delicate cycle on a machine. Most of these items can't go into a clothes dryer.

A standard clothing rod installed above the laundry room sink or washing machine is the simplest way to air-dry these items. Unfortunately, this isn't practical for every laundry room setup. You may require a rack, but standalone drying racks can be cumbersome to set up and store. Instead, consider purchasing a built-in drying rack to create greater efficiency in the laundry room. Mounted either to the wall or inside a drawer, these convenient racks remain folded away and hidden until they're needed. Pull them out to carefully dry your hand wash and delicates.

Drip dry laundry hung from clothes rod over washing machine
Hang your delicate drip-dry laundry from a clothes rod over the washing machine.
built-in clothes drying rack disguised as a drawer
This built-in drying rack offers the convenience and appearance of a drawer.
Retractable wall-mount laundry drying rack
This retractable wall-mount laundry drying rack accommodates hangers.
wall-mount accordian style laundry drying rack
Wall-mount accordion style laundry drying racks are especially useful in small laundry spaces.

Folding Table or Countertop

Every laundry room can benefit from a place to fold clothes and towels. Folding clothes as soon as they come out of the dryer rather than letting them sit in a heap prevents wrinkling. This, in turn, means less ironing. That's why you should make sure your laundry area has either a folding table or good-size countertop to handle this activity. Both tables and countertops can work equally well but have different advantages. Folding tables function more like a collapsible oversize shelf. They allow the user to sit down while folding clothes. Countertops require that you stand but provide additional storage in the form of base cabinets or shelving. Choose the one that is best for your situation.

the laundry room storage has a large countertop for folding clothes
The laundry room cabinets include a large countertop for folding towels and clothes.

An Ironing Area

Many modern fabrics are wrinkle resistant and don't require any ironing. However, no matter how careful you are to get your clothes out of the dryer as soon as they're done, some items will require ironing. Natural materials like 100% cotton are especially prone to wrinkles if you're not careful. Deal with this situation by including an ironing board in your laundry area. If you don't have a lot of ironing, you may not need a full-size board. Occasional ironing and light touch-ups may be better off with a built-in closet ironing board. These space-saving ironing boards are compact, fold away, and can be built into your laundry room cabinetry for added convenience. Closet ironing boards hide away the cabinets most of the time. But when you need them, they flip out using minimal space and effort.

Laundry room with hidden ironing board to sink
This laundry room features a hidden pull-out trash basket next to the washing machine.

Built-In Laundry Baskets

Even dirty laundry needs a place to go. Keep it under control with slide-out laundry baskets that hide the mess between wash days. Slide-out wire laundry baskets can be mounted to any 14-inch-deep standard shelving section like a drawer. They come in multiple heights, but the 17-inches high size is our favorite for use in the laundry. The metal baskets are durable, practical, economical, and convenient. Use them for all your laundry or just the dirty kitchen towels if you keep another laundry container in the bedroom closet. They're also great for general storage.

Slide out wire baskets for the laundry room
Slide out wire baskets are an inexpensive way to get the laundry room organized.

Overhead Storage

Make every inch of your laundry room count! That way you have more room to keep everything you need at your fingertips. One of the quickest ways to accomplish this is to make maximum use of your vertical spaces. Place open shelves or cabinets above the washer and dryer, folding table, or countertop. Use this space to store laundry detergent, bleach, dryer sheets, clothes pins, cleaning supplies and more.

the laundry room cabinets include overhead shelves
This laundry room has base cabinets with additional shelves as uppers.

Wall Storage

Many laundry rooms do double duty as a place to store mops, brooms, and cleaning supplies. Don't let your washer and dryer space become overwhelmed so that it looks like a crowded utility closet! Prevent this from happening by giving everything its own home in the laundry room. Cleaning implements with long poles like mops and brooms can be awkward to store properly. Consider a wall track system for these items and hang them flat against the laundry room walls. Wall track is available in either aluminum or PVC in an array of colors. Hooks, bins, and other accessories make hanging your cleaning tools on the wall an easy way to keep organized.

Slatwall storage system used to organized mops, brooms, and cleaning supplies.
Use a garage slatwall storage system inside the home as an effective way to organized mops, brooms, and cleaning supplies.

A Place for the Trash

One essential, but often neglected, necessity for every laundry room is a trash container. There are a couple ways to go on this. A bright container in your favorite color can add a happy splash of color. But make sure it has a lid since no one likes to look at garbage. Or conceal an open trash basket behind a cabinet door. A slide-out variety like those used in kitchens offers extra convenience. And no one needs to look at the trash if your laundry room is in a visible area.

Laundry room with hidden pull-out trash basket next to washing machine
This laundry room features a hidden pull-out trash basket next to the washing machine.

Make the laundry room one of your favorite places to hang out!

Don't let your laundry area become dull and dreary. An ineffective space will make wash day that much more unbearable. The laundry room can be comfy and cozy as well as efficient. Use these tips to lessen the burden of this household chore. Then, add a splash of your favorite color through paint, decorating, or appliance choices. Who knows? If you follow these tips, the laundry room may become one of your favorite places in the home.