Small Laundry Room Ideas

Small laundry spaces can be some of the most challenging to make functional and stylish. Larger laundry rooms can serve multiple purposes and can be a drop zone or a mudroom but small laundry rooms require you to get a little creative to make use of every square foot of the space. Making a small laundry room functional can be difficult for sure but it’s not impossible. With a little creativity and thinking outside of the box, you can have a functional laundry space that you love. How about we explore some small laundry room ideas that make the most of a small space not just in function but also in design?

For some sad reason in the last nine houses we’ve lived in, I’ve never been lucky enough to end up with any decent laundry room storage. I’ve had small laundry rooms, even laundry closets, and now my laundry is in my kitchen. All of these situations have required me to get creative in the function and design of my laundry spaces. There’s something about doing chores in a space that is functional and pretty that makes you want to be more productive. Some of the best ideas for making the most of a small laundry room will work for homeowners and renters alike so if you are trying to make the most of your small laundry room, then let’s dive into these small laundry room ideas.

Small Laundry Room Ideas

Use Up Your Vertical Wall Space

When we think of the footprint of a laundry room we really tend to only think about things that are about eye level and below. In a small laundry room, as in every small space, we have to use every inch of space we have and one great way to do that is by going up. Use up all the space from the ceiling to the floor if you can. Don’t sleep on the vertical space in your home. You can gain tons of extra storage space by adding shelves and cabinetry above your washer and dryer. You can also install a  drying rack on another wall adjacent to it to give yourself even more usable space in a small laundry room.

Take Out Anything That’s Not Working

small laundry room ideas

Just because the laundry room came with wire shelving or bulky cabinetry, doesn’t mean you have to use it. You should absolutely remove anything that doesn’t feel functional. Wire shelving is some of the worst shelving options out there. It’s not pretty and it doesn’t function well. One bonus to wire shelving is that it’s easily removable and if you are in a rental, you can easily reinstall it (if you must) when you leave. Remove it and replace it with a wood shelf with a hanging bar. I hated the cabinetry in the laundry room of my rental (well all over the house) so I removed the doors from the cabinets but left the boxes and added some removable wallpaper. That allowed us to create open shelves that keeps the vertical storage but made it more pleasing to the eye. Don’t sleep on adding little elements of home decor within your space. It can make it feel much more luxurious than it is.

Add a Shallow Shelf Above Your Top Loader Washer

Laundry Room Ideas for a small laundry space

If you have a front loader washer and dryer you can add additional countertop space very easily. A shelf on top of your front loader washer and dryer can give you additional surface area in a small laundry room. If you have a top loader washer, a larger shelf that acts as a countertop isn’t an option but, a shallow shelf can give you some surface area for laundry supplies while still allowing you access to your washer’s functions.

Use a Shelf With Baskets Above Your Top Loader Washer

creative DIY storage ideas for a small laundry room
Shelf With Baskets Above Top Loader Washer

Here’s another custom shelf option that works so well with a top loader washer. A shelf like this is a great way to use vertical space in a small laundry room. You can store things like dryer sheets or dryer balls, clothes pins, lone socks, and more in the baskets or bins above. This keeps stuff off of the dryer and tucked away in hidden baskets.

Use Artwork, Canisters, and Jars to Store Ugly Laundry Things

Organizing small laundry room ideas

There’s always some kind of eyesore in a laundry room that needs to be hidden. Sometimes we focus so much on the functions of laundry rooms that we forget about decorating. It’s fun to create little moments in your laundry room that can make it feel a little more pleasant. Using decor can also help you hide the random ugly cords and such that are always peeking out. In my most recent laundry room makeover, I used leaning artwork on a shelf to hide things like outlets and water hoses. Additionally, if you can decant laundry detergents into canisters, you’ll have nice pretty canisters or jars on your shelves. I think they look much better than the brand packaging and it’s a much better use of your laundry area shelf space.

Use a Collapsable Drying Rack

use a collapsable drying rack in a small laundry room to maximize space and other small laundry room ideas

I’m all about a collapsable drying rack. I’ve had the same one for at least ten years now. It’s a space-saving necessary item. Having a small collapsable drying rack that you can bring out on laundry days and tuck away when done is convenient and useful in a small laundry room. If you have space and have a desire to have something more permanent you can try to install a folding drying rack on the wall.  Whether you pick a collapsable drying rack that you pull out during laundry days or you install one on the wall (keep reading), both options are better than hangers full of delicate fabrics all over the laundry room.

DIY a Wall Mounted Drying Rack

wall mounted drying rack small laundry room ideas
DIY Wall Mounted Drying Rack

If a foldable drying rack isn’t in the cards for you, a DIY wall-mounted one might be. This is a great way to utilize that vertical space that we talked about. Having a drying rack that you can simply fold up into the wall is an ideal, functional laundry room design element.

Add a Tension Rod for Hanging

hang up hand washed clothes with a tension rod in a small laundry room

Another option for hanging is to add a tension rod across the top of the washer and dryer. A tension rod is a very simple and affordable addition to a laundry room. It can be a better option for a rental home than the previously mentioned mounted drying rack because it’s a temporary solution for laundry drying. Additionally, I like having a rod to hang clothes on after hand washing. Sometimes you don’t want to pull out the full drying rack when you’ve only got a piece or two of clothing. Having a place to hang dry clean clothes is great.

Get a Slim Laundry Hamper That Can Fit Between Washer and Dryer

slim fabric hamper for a small laundry room

Do you have a problem with clothes ending up on your tiny laundry room floor? I didn’t think I had space for a hamper until I found this slim one. A slim hamper that can easily slide between the washer and dryer frees up the space on your laundry room floor. No more piles of dirty clothes in your small laundry area! I used one like this in my laundry room and it fits perfectly between the washer and dryer. I love it because it doesn’t take up the already limited space in the small laundry room. This would also be ideal in a laundry room layout that doesn’t have a lot of extra floor space or counter space.

Small Laundry Room Ideas – Laundry Closets

Organizing A Laundry Closet
Laundry Closet

There are small laundry rooms and then there are laundry closets. In laundry closets, the space is limited to just the washing machine, the dryer, and the space above it. You have virtually no floor space but that doesn’t mean you can be efficient with the space you do have. Using that vertical space above the washer and dryer for shelving and storage is really important. In our old house, we had a laundry closet behind a pair of bi-fold doors in our laundry room. It wasn’t ideal but it worked out okay because we made the most of it by using the storage space the shelving above the washer and dryer provided. If we could do it again I might remove the bifold doors and add a sliding barn door to make accessing the laundry area a bit easier and less clunky.

Use an Over-the-Door Hanging Ironing Board Holder

over the door organizer for a small laundry room
Over the door ironing board holder

Hooks for an over-the-door or door-mounted ironing board/iron holder are a major space saver. In a small space, tucking such a bulky item behind the door frees up a lot of laundry room real estate. These items are still within reach when needed but they aren’t in the way when you are doing laundry.

Broom Organizers Save Space

broom organizer for home organization
Organizer for Brooms and mops

Another great space saver is getting brooms and mops out of the corners of your laundry room and up in an organizer like a broom grabber. I’m notorious for shoving a broom in the corner of a closet or laundry room and never being able to find it. These little organizers keep your cleaning tools flush against the wall, taking up very little space, and you’ll always know where your brooms are. That’s a smart addition to any size laundry room.

Create More Space By Stacking The Washer and Dryer

create more space in a small laundry room by stacking a washer and dryer
Stacked Washer and Dryer Laundry Space

I’m always considering, how can I make more space. If you have a front-loading washer and dryer, would it be worthwhile to stack them? This small laundry room got a big upgrade when she decided to stack the washer and dryer giving herself more space to add a cabinet with drawers for organizing laundry baskets and other laundry essentials. Imagine how much space you might be able to find in your laundry room if your washer and dryer could be stacked!

Wrapping up the small laundry room talk

I’ve lived with a small laundry room for years and I can confidently say that these are some of the best design ideas to maximize space in a compact laundry room. Whether you’re a homeowner and can do complete renovations or you rent and can just make cosmetic changes, there is something here for everyone to take away and tackle a small (or big) DIY laundry room project. A small space like this can be a challenge but with these small laundry room ideas, I think you have tons of inspiration to make a space you love that functions well!

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