15 Clever Ways to Clean Up Your Laundry Room

For a place where so much action happens day-to-day, the laundry room doesn’t always get the attention it deserves. But with a few upgrades, you can transform this household hub into the most efficiently used square footage in your home — not to mention a more pleasant site for ironing.

By: Catherine Strawn

Photo By: Lowe's

Photo By: The Container Store

Photo By: Ikea

Photo By: Kalalou

Photo By: Household Essentials

Photo By: Not Another Housewife

Photo By: Cost Plus World Market

Photo By: Domestic Imperfection

Photo By: Bin Fait

Photo By: Sunny Side Up

Photo By: Melissa George, Polished Habitat

Photo By: Spectrum Diversified Designs

Photo By: Whirlpool Brand

Photo By: Nutscene

Photo By: The Container Store

Make the Most of Your Walls

For fussy delicates that can't go in the dryer, a fold-away rack makes brilliant use of an empty wall and is always at the ready. This DIY design from Lowe's comes together in about a day.

Make Use of Tight Spaces

That gap between your washer and dryer doesn't have to remain a crevasse that claims loose socks and lint. With a slim shelf like this four-tier caster-fitted unit from The Container Store, you can fill the void with purpose — namely detergent, fabric softener and other sundries.

Adjust Storage to Your Needs

No built-in cabinets? No problem. Ikea's Algot adjustable mounted storage lets you install the features you need without a contractor. After you attach vertical rails to the wall, the shelves and drying rack easily fit into place — and you can always add more.

Turn Lost Socks Into Found Art

Instead of letting lonely socks pile up here and there, turn them into wall decor. This funny, functional sign, available from Iron Accents, puts singles on display and makes it a cinch to pair them up once you track down the perfect mates. 

Clear the Floor

A typical ironing board eats up tons of precious space — and often doesn't get put away where it belongs. The in-wall design by Household Essentials remedies both problems. Plus, there's plenty of room inside for keeping all of the task's other necessities close at hand. 

Store Supplies in Style

If your favorite dryer sheets' package clashes with your color palette, transfer the contents into a container that's more in line with the decor. Stacy Risenmay of the blog Not Just a Housewife chose an old metal box that adds the perfect patina to her laundry room. 

Hang Clothes Out to Dry, Inside

A simple solution for the clothes you can't throw into the dryer? A tried-and-true clothesline. This retractable option from World Market takes up just a couple inches on the wall yet provides eight feet for hanging shirts, pants and more.

Hook Up Your Ironing Board

Provide your full-size ironing board a designated spot where it doesn't get in the way. The trick: a pair of coat hooks. Screw them into a rectangle of wood, like Ashley at the blog Domestic Imperfection, and you have a handy upright hanger that matches the rest of the room's hardware.

Bag the Clothespins

Collecting wooden clips is a snap with a sack that's made to dangle from the clothesline. Bin Fait hand-sews pretty options in an array of colorful cotton fabrics. When not in use, the pouch hangs neatly in the closet.

Conceal Your Dirty Laundry

Sorting bins for lights, darks and towels don't have to be front and center. When Erin Rollins of the blog Sunny Side Up was redoing her laundry room, she created drawers that disguise her plastic baskets. "Laundry can be such a chore," she says, "so I wanted a room that made the process as streamlined as possible."  

Keep Lint Contained

A trashcan takes up precious floor space, so blogger Melissa George of Polished Habitat came up with a solution. At an office supplies store, she picked up an outdoor literature box, often used by real estate agents to hold flyers. A coat of paint and a cute decal later, it's a wall-mounted alternative that doesn't get in the way.

Hide a Hook for Clothes

After you've finished de-wrinkling shirts, you need a temporary place to hang them within reach of the ironing board. A hook like this one from Spectrum Diversified Designs holds 12 hangers — plus it stores vertically.

Give Appliances a Lift

An easy way to increase storage space when it's time to upgrade your washer and dryer: pedestal drawers. Most manufacturers offer versions that perfectly fit their models. Plus, the added height makes loading and unloading a little easier. 

Go Above and Beyond

Here's another idea for how to keep drying clothes out of the way: a ceiling-mounted rack that raises and lowers with pulleys. The cast iron and wood Sheila Maid clothes airer has been around for more than 100 years and comes in six colors.

Get Carried Away

The downside of regular hampers: They're bulky, so where do you put them when they're not being used? Umbra's Crunch Can, available at The Container Store, stores flat and then pops into position to tote clothes around the house.