Published on December 20, 2019

DM1219_MReed_Jo_03 Pin It
Photography by Mariko Reed

Laundry rooms are a rare gem. Ones with storage, even more so. While having a dedicated spot for cleaning clothes and stashing supplies comes with many perks, keeping that area organized can be a challenge—especially if you’re working within a tiny footprint. To help you get started on the path toward a neater space, we turned to our trusty network of organization gurus. Ahead, their tried-and-true hacks for maximizing productivity in this hardworking room. 

Get Smart

Appliances, that is. Being efficient is all about planning ahead; having the ability to control your washer-dryer through the convenience of an app is certainly one way to get there. For example, Kenmore’s Elite Smart line connects to a smartphone and allows users to control everything from the basics—turning on/off and even delaying a load—to the more advanced functions, like customizing wash cycles or the dryer’s heat levels. 

“Being organized isn’t about working harder, it’s about working smarter,” says Courtney Cohen of The Home Edit. “Whenever an appliance can simplify a routine, we’re all for it.”

Think Linear

Lacking built-in storage? Take advantage of vertical space and install an over-the-door shelving rack to hold items you otherwise have no place for, advises Cohen. Use this to house everything from folding boards to cleaning products. 

Another tip: Narrow carts that can be squeezed into nooks or lined up alongside the washer help keep things in check. “I love using the three-tiered carts,” says Jessica Litman of The Organized Mama. “I store the detergent on the top shelf and reserve the middle and bottom tiers for the items I use occasionally—such as dryer balls, bags, and removal sprays.” 

Organize Chaos

Don’t use your laundry room as a catchall for random clutter and close the door. Make sure everything in the space serves a purpose. Put like items together and avoid “drop zones”—the top of the washer and dryer being a prime candidate, says Laura Ellis of Organized by Ellis. “See what ends up in the laundry room that doesn’t belong there, and then find a home for it or let it go.”

Cohen recommends continuous inventory checks and proper edits to make sure that the limited real estate isn’t being wasted on empty containers or items you don’t necessarily need. 

Downsize

Costco-size detergent containers and small spaces don’t mesh well. Ellis suggests stocking up on airtight jars in which to store products that could potentially dry out, which in turn will occupy less counter or shelf space. Doing so will also make it easier to see when you’re running low on supplies. 

Founder Jamie Hord of Horderly Professional Organizing favors using sleek glass canisters to display items such as detergent pods and dryer balls (an eco-friendly alternative to sheets!) to elevate the design of the laundry room itself. 

Double Up

We love the idea of a woven basket as much as the next person, but when that inevitable detergent spill happens, you’ll want a material that’s easier to clean—hampers included. 

Speaking of, opt for more than just one clothes bin. “It helps to have a designated hamper in the laundry room for the items you need to fold,” says Cohen. “Having a place to put clean items is as much of a game changer as having a place to put the dirty ones.”

Share the Wealth

“If you can afford the space, use the laundry room for more than its intended purpose,” says Cohen. Transform it into a multipurpose area to store overstock and utility items. That said, be cognizant of expired items and don’t use it as an excuse to build up a reserve of nonessentials. Keeping this room tidy and organized is the key to making laundry not feel like a chore.

Learn more ways to get organized: 
Not to Be Dramatic, But This $30 Target Organizer Saved My Life
We Asked Beyoncé’s Closet Stylist How to Make Our Clothes Double as Decor
Marie Kondo’s Trick for Freeing Up Closet Space Is So Simple