By learning how to organize a laundry room, you can ensure that this functional space runs efficiently, as well as making sure chores become a less stressful experience.
While you can be as creative as you want with the design of your space, the best laundry room ideas are those that make it a more practical place, streamlining your processes. This might be ensuring the right storage is close to hand, you have space to hang, fold and store clothes, or just the right space to keep your home's cleaning supplies.
Let's face it, if you're knee-deep in piles of crumpled clothes with minimal storage, you're going to feel the anxiety levels rising. Stay calm and collected in a clutter-free space by getting organized. We asked the expert for their tips to make these laundry spaces and utility rooms work better.
How to organize a laundry room for a curated and clutter-free space
'Typically, laundry rooms are tight on space, so effective storage and organization are key,' says Irene Gunter, founder of Gunter & Co (opens in new tab). 'We work with our clients to create laundry rooms that make the most of every square inch. You should always look at what equipment you use regularly, what needs to be accessible and what can be stored away.
'Bespoke storage that is both functional and beautiful is always a great idea. For example, we ensure the ironing board will be tucked away in its own upright area, the handheld vacuum will have its own charging spot, and detergents will be stored well away from small fingers.'
1. Place your appliances next to your sink
It's important to think about the layout of your laundry room and how you plan to use it.
When thinking about laundry room sink ideas in the space, make sure there's room to place your appliances nearby for extra convenience.
If you're hand-washing or spot cleaning, you don't want to carry dripping clothes across the room for a rinse cycle or wash. Make sure the room works for you at the most fundamental level - right from the design and planning stages.
'Today’s laundry room is so much more than somewhere to wash and dry clothes,' says Irene Gunter. 'It can also be used to hang coats, store boots and pet baskets, and even provide support to the kitchen with an extra fridge-freezer or storage for bulky dried goods (particularly handy if you’re a large family).
'How you design your laundry room comes down to the space available and how you intend to use it, so always start there when planning the layout.'
2. Always include a tall cupboard where possible
To keep the room looking tidy and appealing, it's always helpful to include a floor-to-ceiling cupboard in your built-in storage. This way, ironing boards, mops and brooms can be easily accessible but hidden away behind attractive joinery.
Richard Atkins, Director at DesignSpace London (opens in new tab), says: 'Ideally, incorporate some tall storage units with shelves at only high level so that vacuum cleaners, ironing boards, brooms, etc can be hidden neatly away.'
'Always have a tall cabinet for broom, mop and ironing board storage,' says Jayne Everett, Design Director at Naked Kitchens (opens in new tab). 'This doesn't need to be very wide but do measure items you are looking at storing in here.'
3. Have labeled cubbies or laundry baskets to separate washing
Get super-organized and make doing the washing a stress-free affair by keeping labeled cubbies or laundry baskets for each person in the house. This will ensure your laundered linens have a designated home while waiting to be returned.
Referring to the stylish laundry room above, Adrian Bergman, design manager at British Standard by Plain English (opens in new tab), says: 'The simple shelving unit is labeled accordingly, organisation is the key to success!'
'We like to incorporate a cabinet with individual laundry baskets for each member of the family,' says Irene Gunter, founder of Gunter & Co. 'This creates a space to store ironed clothes before they are returned to their owners.'
And Marie Flanigan, of Marie Flanigan Interiors (opens in new tab), adds: 'I love adding dedicated laundry baskets that make folding and putting away clean clothes a very easy task.'
4. Stack your appliances to maximize space
You have to get creative with small laundry room ideas and, by stacking your appliances on top of each other, you create space and opportunity to keep the room more organized.
'Stacking the washing machine and dryer optimizes space,' says Jayne from Naked Kitchens. 'But, do remember that the cabinets need to be deeper and wider to allow for pipework etc.'
5. Play around with modular storage
Modular systems are a great laundry room storage idea as they offer a flexible and versatile solution.
Laundry bins on wheels are ideal as you can easily manoeuvre them around the room for easy access and fold them away when not in use.
'Functionality is the most important aspect when designing a laundry room,' says Zoe Feldman, interior designer and founder of Zoe Feldman Design (opens in new tab). 'We typically like to incorporate modular storage systems that can be tucked away and pulled out when needed. Everything needs a place to live!'
6. Put a countertop above your appliances for a folding station
If your appliances are set side by side, think about adding a countertop above them to create a readymade folding space. As well as laundered linens, you can also place products on here for easy access; decant them into glass jars or labeled containers to make them more visually appealing.
'If you have a side-by-side washer and dryer, place them under a countertop and use the counter as a folding station,' says interior designer Marie Flanigan. 'Then, have your dedicated laundry baskets nearby so each item goes to the right place.'
7. Install hanging rails to keep ironed clothes fresh and organized
Hanging rails are an ultra-handy laundry room organization idea and can ensure clothes don't clog up the space, either on the floor, countertops or radiators.
Use them for airing clothes or hanging freshly-ironed pieces that need to stay crumple-free.
'Plan hanging rails that match the rest of your ironmongery into your laundry room design,' says interior designer Irene Gunter. 'They will not only provide accessible hanging for freshly ironed clothes but also look beautiful and integral to the design of the room.'
8. Include seating when a laundry room doubles up as a mudroom
'In very large homes, utility rooms are increasingly being used as mudrooms too, with a door to the outside,' explains Richard Atkins, Director at DesignSpace London.
'This prevents dirty shoes being walked through the house. In these rooms it’s a good idea to include seating areas where possible to allow shoes to be put on and off in comfort.'
Seating also creates space for open or closed shoe storage underneath to keep those walking boots nicely organized.
And, it's a great idea to utilize the wall space behind the seat with wall hooks to hang coats and bags, while you can also go even further and place a shelf above the hooks for laundry baskets that could house anything from gloves and hats to laundry room products.
9. Hide your appliances for a smarter-looking finish
Allow your beautiful laundry room cabinet ideas to really sing and create a chic and organized space by keeping your appliances in built-in cupboards.
They can be easily accessed when needed and, at other times, a room that is first and foremost a functional space will also look more aesthetically appealing.
'Hiding away appliances is always great to keep the space organised,' muses Naked Kitchens' Jayne Everett, while Adrian Bergman of British Standard by Plain English, says: 'Utility rooms are often hard working areas in the house, but this doesn’t mean they can’t be beautiful. We often conceal appliances behind our cupboards so that the joinery sings, without interruption from the white goods.'
10. Leave enough room for drying racks
If space allows, leave an area where you can put up drying racks and an ironing board, so you don't clog up other rooms in the house with unsightly washing.
Richard Atkins says: 'If possible, leave a good size of floor space for drying racks to be put up out of sight and ironing to be done within the room.'
If you're struggling for space, you can always hang a ceiling drying rack, which will leave more room for ironing.
11. Use open shelving for baskets and containers
A pretty and practical laundry room storage idea is to hang open shelves on any spare wall space.
Not only can this add an attractive modern rustic aesthetic to the room, it also provides the perfect spot to place wire or wicker baskets for storage.
It's also an ideal way to show off any glass jars you've decanted your products into, and perhaps a trailing plant or two.
12. Include a pet shower in larger laundry rooms
Blessed with a spacious laundry room? Make the most of it with a super-handy pet shower area. Yes, it may seem a little indulgent but it will put an end to mopping up muddy paw prints and puddles around the house and help to keep the room clean and tidy.
If you're a pet owner, a laundry room is also a good place to store the pet food, toys, and food and water bowls.
How do I organise my laundry area?
'Generally when designing a utility room we look to house the items that you’d rather not see in the rest of the house!' says Richard Atkins Director at DesignSpace London.
'Ideally, incorporate some tall storage units with shelves at only high level so that vacuum cleaners, ironing boards, brooms, etc can be hidden neatly away.
'The size of the room, location of the property and the clients’ requirements should determine what laundry appliances are required and whether adding a sink is sensible or possible.
'For instance, a combined washer dryer may be sufficient for a small city centre apartment but for a larger home we’d look at bigger separate appliances and a sink for cleaning shoes/clothes.'
You can also use nifty laundry room storage ideas to keep things neat and tidy, including: hanging rails, multiple baskets, open or closed shelving, wall and under-sink cabinets, pull-out drawers, and ceiling racks.
How do you organize a small laundry room?
Many laundry rooms are short on square footage, so small laundry room ideas are essential to optimize space and create a well-functioning room.
Make the most of every inch of space with clever laundry room storage ideas. Install bespoke storage that's customized to your needs; this can include wall cabinets, under-sink cabinets, tall cupboards and open or closed shelving.
Get creative with drying racks, and hang rails or rods in any spare nook, including under a cabinet or open shelf. Ceiling drying racks and laundry maids are also a great idea for small laundry rooms.
Utilize baskets for storing dirty and washed linens, and keep things organized by allocating cubbies or containers for each person in the house. Baskets can be placed on or under countertops, on open shelving or inside cupboards.
Hang wall hooks in even the tightest of spaces (we love the pink nook by deVOL (opens in new tab)above) which can be used for anything from brushes to laundry peg bags.
And, if you have a tall but narrow space, stack your appliances on top of each other to maximize space.
What do you store in a laundry room?
All of your washing and cleaning essentials can be stored in a laundry room (think washing tablets, stain removers, fabric conditioner, iron, ironing board, mops, and even vaccuum cleaner). It's a functional space where all the necessary but less-than-pretty products can live.
'A laundry room should ideally have a separate washer and dryer, if possible,' says Richard Moore Design Director, Martin Moore (opens in new tab). 'A tall cupboard with an internal divide for the ironing board to stop it falling over each time you open the door; and shelves for cleaning products. A sink is also handy for soaking and hand washing.'
He continues: 'The best way to maximize space is to install floor to ceiling storage, with high level cupboards that can be used to store seldom used items, such as vases, party platters and punch bowls, and can be accessed via a step ladder. '
A modern laundry area can double up as a mudroom or pantry area so, if you don't have separate areas for these, you can also store coats, boots, dried foods, and even an extra fridge or freezer in a laundry room.
Ruth Doherty is a lifestyle journalist based in London. An experienced freelance digital writer and editor, she is known for covering everything from travel and interiors to fashion and beauty. She regularly contributes to Livingetc, Ideal Home and Homes & Gardens, as well as titles like Prima and Red. Outside of work, her biggest loves are endless cups of tea, almond croissants, shopping for clothes she doesn’t need, and booking holidays she does.
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