Our laundry rooms tend to go in one of two directions: highly organized and functional, or haphazard chaos. For many of us, our space tends to fall into the latter category—a catch-all room with socks wedged between units, random puffs of lint, and a godforsaken cabinet that requires a mustering of mental grit before opening.
Going from mayhem to organized isn’t as difficult as you may think. Whether your space is teeny-tiny or awkwardly large, you just need to nix the clutter, create a spot for everything, and focus on pragmatism above all else. To become a pro at laundry room organization, start with these expert tips.
Remove Everything & Declutter
Before starting your reorganization project, take stock of everything in your laundry room and remove anything that isn’t working in your favor. Whether that’s something big, like some poorly fitting shelving, or something small, like a laundry product you never use, Lauren Czarniecki, owner and principal designer of Czar Interiors, says to create piles of items to donate, toss, and keep. A complete, full-room declutter is a lot of work, but it’s the key to having an organized laundry room.
Prioritize a Functional Layout
Whether you’re embarking on a complete laundry room renovation or just want to make a couple upgrades, you should think about the existing layout and determine if there are ways you can make the space more practical. “You want to have everything easily accessible when you need it and create a well-functioning workspace,” says interior designer Wilfredo Emanuel. “This keeps you from having to carry things long distances and dragging hampers full of clothing around the room.” For example, you probably want your detergent and fabric softener within reach of the washing machine and an area for folding as close as possible to the dryer.
Provide More Storage
Your laundry room may already have some storage, but creating storage areas with designated purposes—like a cabinet to hold your ironing board and laundry baskets—can help to keep things organized. “This also gives you a place to hide items you do not want seen all the time,” Emanuel says.
Utilize Wall Space
If you don’t have a whole lot of room to work with, make sure you’re taking advantage of open wall space. “Walls are a wonderful—and under-utilized—option to increase the storage space in your laundry room,” notes Rachel Rosenthal, organizing expert and spokesperson for Command Brand. “When things are stored on the walls and up off the ground, it leads to less clutter in the space.” Consider storing items like an iron, drying rack, brooms, or mops on the wall via hooks or wall tracks.
Decant High-Use Products
Visual clutter is real, and it actively works against any efforts to create a peaceful space. Think busy labels, loud packaging, and mismatched containers. “A small adjustment, like removing fresh dryer sheets from their visually noisy package and loading them into a decorative tissue holder, makes a laundry room feel calm, intentional, and unified,” Kristyn Ivey, organization expert and founder of For The Love of Tidy says. You can also decant liquid detergents, softeners, and wool dryer balls into glass jars.
Group Similar Items into Bins
Another option is to group like-items into plastic bins that are easy to clean. For example, you can have a bin for detergents, a bin for general cleaning products, and a bin for dryer products. Using uniform bins can help with the visual clutter of your space while also preventing you from having to shuffle around a bunch of different items to find what you’re looking for.
Labeling might feel like a cutesy move, but it’s a smart psychological play that’ll help you stay organized. When everything has a clear, designated space, then things stay tidy. It also helps other people in the family know where things go. “Nowadays there are some pretty beautiful labels out there, so everything can be organized and labeled in a very chic way,” says Czarniecki. Even if you’re working with a more open layout and exposed shelving, labels can help you—and other family members—keep everything in the right place. Czarniecki recommends looking to The Container Store and on Etsy to find attractive labels that fit your style.
Add “Clothes to Put Away” Baskets
If space allows, incorporate “clothes to put away” baskets for everyone in your household. “You can hand off clean clothes to each member in the family to put their clothes away and then bring it back to the laundry room for the next batch,” suggests lifestyle guru Chantelle Malarkey. Collapsible baskets save room for those with smaller laundry rooms. Consider color-coding them if labels aren’t feasible.
Incorporate Decorative Touches
Laundry is probably not the highlight of your week, so it’s important to make the space feel as comfortable and inviting as possible. “Don’t neglect the overall aesthetic of your laundry room when designing the space. It should look as beautiful as the rest of the house,” Emanuel says. “Incorporating little details that are both beautiful and functional will dress up the space while still being completely user-friendly.”
Laundry Room Design Ideas to Try:
- Give the walls a new coat of paint in a modern hue
- Create an accent wall with wallpaper or a bold paint color
- Freshen up the baseboards by cleaning and/or repainting
- Swap out the cabinet pulls for an updated look
- Try a new lighting fixture
- Add some plants or artwork if space allows
- Incorporate color and texture with a rug
Create a Laundry Ritual
Getting your organized laundry room set up is one thing. Keeping it that way requires some continued effort. Start by staying on top of your laundry, which prevents towering pile ups, says Devin VonderHaar, a professional organizer and expert at StorageUnits.com says. Also, try to take 30 minutes each week to sweep, mop, wipe down, and make sure everything is in its place. “This is also a great time to check on detergent levels to make sure you have everything you need for the following week,” VonderHaar adds. Start by creating a more organized laundry room, and the routine will follow.
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By: Wendy Rose Gould, Published on August 31, 2022