Small Laundry Room Storage Ideas

Maximize your laundry room functionality by planning storage that uses vertical space.
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A natural grass laundry basket serves both decorative and utilitarian purposes.

Photo by: Eric Perry

Eric Perry

By: Gina Hannah

If your laundry room is small, you'll want to make the best use possible of your space to store laundry supplies, as well as any other items you need to keep in your laundry room. You won't likely have space for a folding island or a craft nook, and you'll need to think about how you can design areas of the room to serve double duty.

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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.

Photo By: The Container Store

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. 

Photo By: Kalalou

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. 

Photo By: Household Essentials

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. 

Photo By: Not Another Housewife

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.

Photo By: Cost Plus World Market

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.

Photo By: Domestic Imperfection

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.

Photo By: Bin Fait

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."  

Photo By: Sunny Side Up

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.

Photo By: Spectrum Diversified Designs

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. 

Photo By: Whirlpool Brand

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.

Photo By: Nutscene

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.

Photo By: The Container Store

One of the best ways to maximize your storage space if your laundry room's footprint is small is to look up. Incorporate storage into as much wall space as possible. Wall-mounted cabinets and open shelves can provide much of the storage you need. Even just one wall of solid shelving can help you create a system to store and organize. If your laundry room serves multiple purposes, you can designate one wall for laundry items, another to store household cleaners, still another wall to use as a pantry to store canned and dry goods. Install shelves as far up the wall as you can, placing little-used items, such as seasonal decorations, on the highest shelves. Tuck a folding step ladder behind the door or in the space between appliances and bring it out when you need to reach these items.

The area above your washer and dryer is another good option for storage. If you can, choose a front-loading washing machine and make sure both appliances have controls on the front rather than the top, so you can place a countertop over them to provide a space for folding or to store laundry soap and fabric softener. To make this space more attractive, store soaps in pretty glass jars or beverage dispensers.

To hold brushes, sponges and other tools used when hand-washing items in a laundry room sink, install a rack or a towel holder as well as some hooks above the sink.

Choosing a stackable washer and dryer combination will also open up some floor space. Add a folding table by fitting a cover over your utility sink. The new "countertop" can be mounted on the wall with hinges so it can be lifted away easily when you need to use the sink. You can also mount a drying rack on a wall with hinges so it can swing out when you need it, and lock it onto the wall like a casement window when you don't. Install a retractable clothes line and pull it out when you need it. A laundry basket "dresser," which you can make yourself, will hold several laundry baskets in a small space, with the baskets easily pulled from the dresser like drawers.

See also: Professionally Designed Laundry and Utility Rooms

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