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Let’s face it—when it comes to laundry rooms, most of us are lucky to have a single shelf to hold detergent and a tiny counter for folding shirts. But because doing laundry is a weekly task that will never, ever end, finding more space to deal with it is a big bonus.
Here are six smart ways to squeeze extra storage into your little laundry room. Who knows, maybe these tricks will make laundry a little more enjoyable. Maybe.
Stack the units
Need extra inches to treat stains or store supplies? Investing in a stackable washer-dryer set could be your quickest fix.
“For laundry rooms maxed out on space, I recommend vertical units,” explains David Meek, a real estate broker with Keller Williams Arizona Realty in Scottsdale, AZ. These appliances are just under $900, which is about what you’d pay for the side-by-side versions, he adds.
For a clever hack, consider jacking up your washer-dryer set onto pedestals, says Jamie Gold, a kitchen and bath designer in San Diego and the author of “New Bathroom Idea Book.”
“Not only do they raise appliances to an ergonomic level, but you can stash a small hamper, soaps, and other supplies in them without taking up floor space,” she says.
Get creative with shelving
Adding more shelves is an obvious storage fix, but there are ways to make these built-ins work harder.
Julie Coraccio, the organizing pro behind ReawakenYourBrilliance, likes the look and utility of wire or mesh. With this material, she gains storage and a place to dry delicates—just by poking hangers into the holes.
You should also think vertical: Overhead shelving doesn’t usually extend to the ceiling, so this is an excellent spot for more storage. Adding in custom details can also maximize your space, experts say.
“Pull-out hampers, U-shelves for sink bases, and roll-out trays make drawers and shelves much more efficient,” Gold explains.
Jenny Popis, a Lowe’s spokesperson, likes to tuck a skinny, three-level shelving unit in the narrow space next to stackable units.
A large shower caddy also tucks neatly between machines to hold supplies, says Anna Shiwlall, an interior designer at 27 Diamonds in Orange County, CA. Or try floating shelves for a clean, airy look.
And it doesn’t have to look ugly—you can spruce up your storage space by spray-painting baskets, suggests Darla DeMorrow, the expert at HeartWork Organizing. “A single color is trendy and makes your random collection look so much better,” she says.
Don’t have space for shelves and baskets? Back-of-the-door organizers are also handy, recommends Marty Basher of Modular Closets. “You could install wire, molded plastic, or a hanging shoe holder for supplies.”
Lose the doors
“Many laundry rooms are made even smaller by doors that don’t open all the way, so remove them to free up your nook,” says DeMorrow.
And don’t worry about exposing your appliances for the world to see. “The modern washing machine is a thing of beauty,” she adds.
Not OK with no way to hide your machines? Try pocket doors—they’re a space-saving miracle.
Tuck in an ironing board
The iron is likely the biggest item to store in your too-small laundry room.
“We all struggle with the archaic ironing board, so think about installing an Iron-A-Way to save precious space,” says Beth Patrick, a designer at Closet Factory.
Sandra Sokol, owner of Closets by Design in Nashville, TN, agrees. Wall-mounted boards or pull-out drawer styles are ideal for a tiny laundry room, she notes. “It’ll look like a closed drawer, but when it’s open, it expands and rotates as needed.”
For drying space, look up
“Ceiling space is often underutilized in a small room like this,” Basher says. “Mount a drying rack from hooks for instant storage, air drying, and hanging newly ironed garments.”
For a clever hack, you can repurpose an old ladder from the garage, which allows you to do away with a conventional drying rack, suggests Diane Pham, editor of the lifestyle website 6sqft.com.
Sokol also likes filling overhead space with racks and rods. “A pull-down rod allows you to reach up to access hanging clothes and then gently send it back,” she says.
DeMorrow recommends an adjustable shower rod for hanging items. Or go old school with a retractable clothesline, says Carole Marcotte of the interior design firm Form & Function in Raleigh, NC.
“It’s a nice option because it takes up less space and can be hidden away when not in use,” Marcotte points out.
Choose clear storage
Not sure where to put your laundry pods? A jar or fishbowl saves shelf space and looks pretty cool, Pham suggests.
You can also recycle glass jars to hold detergent and clothespins.
“Clear jars are practical and decorative in a laundry room,” Shiwlall says. Try placing them on a space-saving Lazy Susan for a hint of style and a smart use of space.