By Jessi Minneci
We know who you’re. You’re the hardworking parent who feels like they’re doing at least three loads per week to keep up with all of the grass stains and odors your children’s jeans endure. You’re the adult that scrambles to find the detergent in the most desperate time of need. You’re the person that has your washing machine and dryer crammed into an area that’s also inhabited by your toilet.
You, my friend, are the person with the small laundry room — and possibly also some laundry animosity.
I feel for you all too well, but it’s time to dry those soapy tears of doom because, with these small laundry room tips, you’ll be cramped no more!
This Laundry Room is Even More Than You Need
According to Kitchens.com, the standard, full-sized washer and dryer are 3 feet and 3 inches wide, respectively. Therefore, let’s assume the space pictured above – by the way, for now, let’s only focus on the area to the right of the blue countertop in the picture – is 6.5 feet wide, give or take a few inches. Similarly, the average height of each machine clocks in around 3 feet and 2 inches, so let’s say the room is about 7.5 feet tall. Without getting too much into the architectural details of it all, it’s safe to say that even the smallest of spaces can be utilized in a way that creates laundry room paradise.
Open Shelving Maximizes Vertical Space
Notice the shelf adhered to the wall? Adding one, two, or even three layers of open shelving to your tiny laundry room space does a few magical things:
- It maximizes the open vertical space that can be used for storage
- Open shelving allows for more wiggle room by eliminating bulky cabinet doors and enclosures
Use your open shelving to store detergent, fabric softeners, bleaches, irons, steamers, etc. Maybe you’ll want to use the shelf closest to the washer and dryer’s surface as a temporary space for folded clothing items or towels. The possibilities are endless, and open shelving provides storage space that’s out in the open, so you’ll never have to dig through the linen closet to find your favorite spot remover.
Don’t get overwhelmed.
If things start to look cluttered, consider filling the shelves with baskets and bins. Fill each of those bins with products in the same category (i.e., one bin for liquid softener, softener sheets, dryer balls, and so on). Designing your small storage space with a sense of structure in mind may not only declutter the physical space but can also do wonders for the clutter of your laundry-phobic mind.
A Countertop Gives You a Work Space
In the above picture, both the washer and dryer are fixed underneath a countertop. This set up is specifically ideal if you have front-loading machines. A lofted countertop creates a work surface that’s both super convenient and readily available. Just think: You can pull out a pair of slacks from the dryer and *BAM!* iron it right on top of the work surface. Folding and sorting can begin right away, instead of jam-packing your hamper with a bunch or wrinkly dress shirts.
Mount Unused Wall Space with A Valet Hanger
Notice the two tops, neatly hanging on the wall within arm’s reach of the washer and dryer? This isn’t a coincidence, of course!
Fill extra, unused wall space adjacent to the laundry machines with a mounted hook rack or valet hanger. When shrinkable items not fit for the dryer come out of the wash, the last thing you’ll want to be doing is trudging through the house with sopping wet clothes in your arms! Instead, a valet hanger can be ready and waiting to hang your delicates without fuss.
Bonus tip: Got even more room to work with? Consider mounting your ironing board next to the valet hanger for instant access. You may even want to consider installing an ironing board that extends right from the wall.
Have no fear. With the proper storage solutions and an eye for maximizing the available space with as many laundry necessities as can comfortably fit, your teeny, tiny laundry room CAN be organized… CAN be comfortable… And WILL look great, too!
Images used with permission, courtesy of www.shutterstock.com