While doing laundry at home is more convenient than having to go all the way to a laundromat, a small laundry room has its own set of obstacles. A laundry room of any size must be organized and efficient in order to accommodate stain treatment, washing, tumble drying, air drying, ironing, folding, and other tasks. Whether they're tucked away in a mudroom, bathroom, basement, garage, or even the closet, these few tips and tricks can help you compact make the most of even the tiniest areas.
#1: Get a machine that can do both
Washer-dryer combos can be a huge life-changer. These dual-purpose appliances eliminate the need for two large machines, halving the amount of room required for laundry—Plus, they cost much less than a separate washer and dryer. You could also opt for stackable machines, which go vertical to conserve space. Even a closet may be converted into a laundry room with the right machines and plumbing. The great thing about putting your machines in a closet is you can place them anywhere in your home, and you can simply tuck them away behind a door to avoid it being an eyesore.
#2: Where and how to place your hamper
There will always be a laundry hamper that matches your needs (even for the smallest places.) Whether you live in a house with a slightly cramped laundry room or a studio apartment with a basement laundry facility you will find out that it will do the job. Slender ones take up much less floor space, so they may be slipped into the corner of a closet or other small locations. Corner hampers are designed to fit into corners, making the most of a notoriously difficult-to-access location. A wheeled laundry cart may be moved wherever it's needed, hindering the need for a second basket. When not in use, collapsible hampers fold away for easy storage, and fabric door-hanging hampers use an out-of-the-way location and double as laundry bags when it's wash day.
#3: Keep all your essentials in one portable container
Keeping all your clothes-cleaning essentials ready to go anytime is helpful to anyone whose laundry room is not inside their apartment or is in a less-accessible space like a basement. With a handle for easy carrying, a divided caddy neatly contains detergent, bleach, stain solution, fabric softener, dryer sheets, and more all in one place. In compact rooms, organization like this is crucial for utilizing the limited storage space available. Between washing days, store your well-stocked yet compact caddy under a sink, in a closet, or on a shelf.
#4 Dedicate a space to hang and iron your clothes
A more compact laundry room does not mean it has to be less functional. So, do not deprive yourself of a place to hang and iron your clothes. A small-space clothes rack is ideal for hanging items that require a more delicate touch as they dry. Clothes rack properly dries sweaters, silk garments, undergarments, and any other items that can't take the rigors of the dryer, whether you choose a folding type or a more permanent wall-mounted rail.
A drying rack also saves energy on days when a quick dry isn't required. It's also a game-changer if you don't have access to a dryer. When not in use, over-the-door racks save floor space, while folding ones compress for compact storage. Wall-mounted rails take up less space, so they're ideal for houses with limited storage. Additionally, if you choose a moveable rack with a hanging bar, it can double as a coat rack at parties and family gatherings.
We all know that the process of doing laundry does not stop when the clothes are washed, you also want them to look smooth and crisp. A brief ironing session will give your garments the perfect finish. Full-size ironing boards, which are stored on over-door racks, have useful features including garment shelves, heat-resistant iron rests, hanger racks, spray bottle holders, adjustable heights, and cord guides. Many of the same wonderful features are available in smaller sizes. Ironing at a comfortable upright position with a more compact board is possible with tabletop choices. Over-the-door ironing boards are another alternative that folds up when ironing is finished, making them ideal for small-space living. Choose a wheeled sorting hamper with a built-in ironing board on top for an all-in-one laundry command center.
#5: Keep some of your items hidden behind doors
Behind-the-door storage is great for storing items out of sight in a compact space. You can use them to keep a full-size ironing board out of the way, or a fold-up ironing board to save even more space. Drying racks that hang from the tops of doors provide an out-of-the-way location for delicates to air dry.
Laundry bags, a folding board, mesh wash bags, a mop, broom, and dustpan can all be stored on an over-door utility rack. Make the most of the rear of your laundry room door by attaching a mirror or hanging a set of hooks over the entrance to hold out-of-season jackets if you've already found other places to store all of these laundry room must-haves.
#6: Fold faster and better with a folding board
Once all your clothing is clean and dry, use a folding board to fold your sweaters, t-shirts, and other items neatly and firmly. A board can be used on a countertop, table, or even the top of the dryer to make a tight flat fold and force out the majority of the air that can add bulk. Folded clothes take up less room in a drawer or on a shelf, stay neatly stacked, and avoid the dreaded toppling tower of sweaters. Folding boards are made of thin but robust plastic and take up very little room. You can also make a DIY version with a simple piece of cardboard and some adhesive.
#7: Add storage wherever you can
Shelves can be added to your laundry room if it lacks built-in storage. They are low-profile and unobtrusive for holding detergent pods, fabric softeners, and other necessities. Decant all cleaning products into neatly labeled glass jars for a neat appearance. But make sure they are out of the reach of small children as they could be mistaken for something edible! Mason jars are also great for storing clothespins, stain sticks, and dryer sheets. Scoops for measuring powdered detergent, borax, and oxygen cleanser should also be included so you have everything you need.
Build yourself your dream laundry room and know that you can have one despite the size of your house or apartment!