12 Essential Laundry Room Organizing Tips
If laundry tops your list of least favorite chores, that may have something to do with the way your laundry room is set up. These oftentimes utilitarian spaces can range in features and design, from makeshift nooks to full-out rooms. But if it's not organized properly, a laundry room can feel overwhelming and chaotic, no matter the size. Thankfully we have plenty of organizational approaches to optimizing a laundry room, and when paired with certain decorating motifs and practical storage solutions, they make these rooms a pleasure to work in.
We're sharing some of those tips here—including real-life inspiration from Kevin Sharkey, Martha Stewart Living's SVP, executive director of design. Sharkey utilizes his laundry space to the fullest by incorporating solutions for common clothing problems like mending small snags and removing stains in the room's design with small pre-made kits displayed on a shelf.
Elsewhere, we're highlighting simple solutions to common laundry room layout issues—like where to hang your delicates to dry and fold everyday items, especially when you're working with limited square footage. You'll also find a few best practices and suggestions for what to keep on hand when laundering delicate items and heavier ones like sweaters.
Here, we've highlighted products that will help ease the load and make laundry, dare we say, enjoyable. In an effort to streamline the efficiency and make the most of your space, follow along as we share some of our essential organizing tips for any laundry room and make checking laundry off your to-do list easier than you thought possible.
A Streamlined Laundry Room
In Kevin Sharkey's laundry room, he wanted everything necessary to clean and care for his clothing in one place. He put together kits for minor sewing repairs, stain removal, shoe care, and clothing storage, and set them within easy reach on the lowest shelf. A catchall holds loose change, popped buttons, or whatever else is in his pockets. He decants powder detergent and places it in a glass container, which makes it easier to see when you're running low.
To keep folded linens organized in neat stacks, flip two shelf brackets on their heads and fasten them to the wall, as well as the shelf with finish washers.
Laundry-Room Drying Bar
Cotton button-down shirts, which have a tendency to shrink, are best removed from the dryer while slightly damp, then air-dried. Unlike a drying rack, which holds a few shirts at most, a bath-towel holder mounted on the underside of a laundry-room shelf makes a good spot for a row of shirts on hangers. The bar can also be helpful when you're ironing; hang pressed shirts as you work.
Adjustable wire shelving is convenient and waterproof. In this laundry area, one shelf is reserved solely for drying sweaters, while wooden boxes house supplies. Install a tension rod upon which to hang clothes as you take them out of the dryer—they'll need only a light ironing or no ironing at all. The iron and the ironing board are stored nearby for easy access.
Knowing how to attack a particular spot before it sets permanently into the fabric is key. Since there are so many kinds of stains, and each with its own best cleaning method, it's difficult to memorize them all. Print out a stain first-aid chart, which lists stains, from grease to ink, along with advice on how to handle them for both washable and non-washable items.
Perfect Towel Folding
Here is an easy trick for keeping your towels neatly folded: Place the towel flat on the bed and a standard-size cutting board in the center of the towel. Fold one end of the towel over to the edge of the cutting board; then fold the other side of the towel. After you remove the cutting board, fold the towel in half before storing it.
In the compact laundry workstation and storage area of a small bathroom, the stacked European-style washer-dryer set economizes space. A shelf between units pulls out for folding items fresh from the dryer, then slides out of sight. A matchstick shade lowers all the way to the floor, gracefully hiding the utility area when guests are expected.
Adjustable Laundry Closet
These shelves are positioned to fit the closet's contents, with little wasted space in between. The two center shelves accommodate stacks of folded clothing. On top, a small shelf holds collapsible bags, while the lowest shelf is designated for laundry.
Carry and Wash
A Place for Everything
A laundry room that has plenty of storage options and is also pleasing to the eye will help keep you organized. Mix and match the hutches, wall-mounted shelves, and cabinets to create a custom laundry system that works for your home.
If space allows, having a laundry cart is the perfect solution for smaller spaces—use it to hold all of your laundry supplies, as well as an ironing surface. The wheels allow for mobility around your home if needed.
How to Set Up a Laundry Room
Reusing food containers and mason jars to store laundry essentials like detergent and clothespins could help you maximize space.