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How to Organize a Small Laundry Room

These laundry room organization ideas will help you turn a small laundry room into a very functional space where you can get laundry done comfortably!

Neat and well-organized laundry room

Have you ever been stuck in your tiny, messy laundry room with clothes everywhere and random socks laying around? Don’t worry, you’re not the only one.

Lots of people have a tough time keeping their small laundry room neat and tidy because it’s usually a cramped space. We’re going to explore some tips for turning your cramped laundry room into a neat and organized space. 

The Laundry Room Dilemma

The big problem with a small laundry room is that laundry is a chore that requires spreading things out on a surface. In a little closet of a room, you don’t have a surface like that.

Not having plenty of room makes the task much harder than it has to be. Laundry’s miserable enough when you have plenty of room.

So part of the trick to organizing a small space for laundry is to make it more functional. It’s not enough to declutter and clean up. You really have to think about how you and other household members use the space.

Take a Hard Look at How Much Space You Have

Here’s what you need to evaluate:

  • How much room do you have that isn’t taken up by the washer and dryer?
  • How much shelving or cabinets do you have to work with? Could you install more, or would it be so high you couldn’t reach it anyway?
  • Is there a laundry pantry? Are you using it the best way you can? (It’s okay if all you can do with it is hang up clothes as they come out of the dryer – sometimes this is about as useful as these little closets get.)

With this in mind, you can start thinking about better ways to utilize whatever cabinets and shelving you have. And if there’s room to install more, go ahead and start planning that project.

Decluttering to Organize a Laundry Room

Decluttering makes sense as the first step in organizing a small laundry room. With any luck, you have items you just don’t need anymore, or that don’t need to be in the laundry room.

Move these items out and dispose of them, give them away, repurpose them or put them somewhere else in your home.

Hopefully at this point you have a little more room. But if you’re like me, the problem wasn’t how much room you had. It’s that there’s no surface for folding and sorting.

Baskets, Bins and Floating Shelves

If you have lots of laundry items just sitting on shelves, especially those wire ones that let things tip over and fall constantly, you may find you can organize the shelves better.

Plastic bins or baskets make it possible to put items behind other items on the shelf and still be able to get at them. For example: put your detergent and softener in a narrow basket, one behind the other, and just pull the basket off the shelf when you need them.

This tip is actually way more helpful when you have a lot of lightweight objects to go on those shelves. Dryer sheets and stain removers could all go in a bin together.

Label bins so you can grab what you need at a glance. Another bin could store all your ironing accessories.

By dividing your things into categories and creating specific zones for them, you’ll not only make the most of the available space but also save valuable time when doing laundry.

Use Wall Space in a Small Laundry Room

One good strategy is to use every bit of wall space you can reach. Think about installing shelving units or cabinets that reach all the way up to the ceiling.

This not only gives you more storage space for items like detergent, fabric softener, and cleaning supplies but also looks nice.

Another creative option is to install a pegboard on one of the walls in your laundry room. You can hang items on it, like clothespins, hangers, and even small baskets for odds and ends.

This frees up valuable counter or floor space and also adds an element of charm and functionality to your laundry room.

Behind-the-Door Drying Racks

When it comes to optimizing every inch of space in your small laundry room, don’t overlook the potential of the often-neglected behind-the-door area.

Some laundry rooms are too tight for this to work. But if you have room, there are some brilliant over-the-door organizers you can use.

Over The Door Clothes Hanging Rod

Hanger frame holding jackets on back of door
Hang clothes on hangers against the door until you can take them to the closet

Grooved Over The Door Hooks Hanger

Notched hanger frames to go on back of door
Same idea, but has a grooved rack for hanging

Over The Door Towel Rack

Over the door shelf and rack system

Offers racks to hang towels and foldables to dry and also a storage shelf for laundry essentials

These ingenious storage solutions lets you to make the most of vertical space when you need a place to put clothes between drying them and putting them away.

How to Hack a Folding Table / Ironing Board

If you’ve got top loading machines and no room for a counter anywhere, folding becomes a lot more work than it used to be. 

Sure, you can pile everything in a laundry basket, take it into another room, sit down, take everything out of the basket, fold it on a surface, and then carry it to the closets and dressers where it belongs.

But that’s a lot of work too. A potentially simpler way is to install a folding table that goes on the wall. These come in two different styles:

Wall Mounted Folding Table

Laundry table attached to wall
This is a table that normally lays flat against the wall. When you need to sort or fold, you pull it up and it becomes a table until you don’t need it anymore (for now).

Wall Mounted Folding Ironing Board

Wall-mounted ironing board
If you don’t even have enough wall space to drop a table down in your laundry room, a wall mounted ironing board requires a lot less room.

It may not be as awesome as the table, but it makes it much easier to sort and fold before you leave the laundry room. And it has the added advantage of giving you room to iron as needed.

Uses for One Single Open Shelf

We’ve already talked a little about making the most of whatever cabinets and shelving you have and/or can install.

If you think you’ve got all the shelving you can fit into your laundry room, take one more look. Is there room for a single open shelf not very far above the washed and dryer? Even if it’s only a few inches below the next shelf or cabinet up?

If either of them are top loading, you need to make sure the shelf won’t hit the lid when you open it. If there is room, this shelf could be a game changer.

  1. Storage for Laundry Supplies: This one’s obvious. An open shelf is perfect for storing detergent, fabric softener, stain removers, and other laundry essentials. You can use decorative baskets or containers to keep everything organized.
  2. Put Folded Towels and Underwear there: You can use this shelf to temporarily store underwear and towels and other lightweight folded items. It makes folding the laundry much easier.
  3. A Place for Linens: Use the shelf for storing clean towels or bed linens, especially if you don’t have a linen closet.
  4. Ironing Essentials: Store your iron, starch spray, and other ironing supplies on the shelf.
  5. Display Area: If you want your laundry room to also look pleasant, consider using some of the shelf space for decor items like potted plants or framed pictures.
  6. Lost and Found: Dedicate a basket or box on one corner of the shelf as a catch-all spot for things left in pockets prior to washing.
  7. Sewing Supplies: If you mend clothing while doing laundry, this could be a great spot to keep your sewing kit handy.

Streamlining Your Laundry Supplies

This may also be obvious, but think about keeping as few laundry supplies in the laundry room as you need. For example, keep backup bottles and boxes of detergent in the garage or kitchen or basement.

Keep just enough for a few loads in your laundry room. You can even buy some great-looking specialized bottles for holding your detergents, laundry beads, softeners and bleaches.

Retractable Clothesline

Another very smart solution is to use retractable clotheslines that can be installed on walls or even across the room. These allow you to hang clothes while they dry, and when not in use, they can be neatly tucked away.