Starting a project to declutter and organize the laundry room is likely the last thing you want to do. It is a room that is often dreaded because it’s just more work and not usually very inviting.
It doesn’t have to be that way though! Proper cleaning, decluttering and organizing, and maybe even some paint can really change the whole feel of the room. You may actually enjoy going in there!
The laundry room provides a space to wash, dry, iron and fold clothing. However, it is hard to accomplish those tasks when the room is unorganized, cluttered and dirty. Coming up with a process to declutter and organize frequently is important for long term useability of the laundry room.
For helpful tips on how to properly clean and declutter your laundry room. As well as 21 different ideas for how to organize the laundry room. Keep reading below!
Remove everything from the room
Prior to beginning the decluttering process, lay a sheet down in a large area somewhere outside of the laundry room. Take everything out of the laundry room and put it on the sheet in a way that you can easily see everything. This is where you can temporarily put everything from the laundry room.
I don’t usually recommend pulling everything out at once, but the laundry room is the exception.
It is easy to have duplicates of laundry items without even realizing it. They generally don’t go bad. But it is good to periodically go through everything to see what could be used up or combined. Which will also save some space.
Leave that aside for now and head back into the laundry room.
Cleaning the Laundry Room
Pull out your washer and dryer so that you can clean under them and behind them. Also, use this time to clean out the dryer vent. This should be done at least two times per year to prevent a fire.
Once that area has been wiped down, vacuumed, and mopped, you can push your laundry machines back in. Now wipe down any other surfaces. Inside cabinets and drawers, the top of your washer and dryer, the sink, the light fixture(s), even the walls.
The laundry room tends to get really dusty and covered in a layer of lint. So wipe every area that you can.
Always work from top to bottom! Otherwise, you will just be pushing dust and lint down onto already cleaned items in the room. Always finish the room with vacuuming and then mopping. This will pick up anything that has fallen to the ground during the cleaning process.
Use either a natural cleaner or a tablet specifically made for cleaning the washing machine and run that through a cycle. This will leave your washing machine smelling clean and looking shiny. Which makes it much nicer to put your clothes into next time.
Also, wipe the inside of the dryer and clean out the lint tray. Use a feather duster or a tool made for getting the lint out to get deep into the lint tray. As much as we want to believe the tray catches everything. It doesn’t. So it’s good to really get in there at least once a month to clean it out.
Give the rest of the room a good vacuum/sweep and mop.
Okay, now that the room is sparkly clean and smelling great. It’s time to tackle the items sitting on the sheet that you set out earlier.
Decluttering the Laundry Room
Go through the items on the sheet and put any similar items together. Even if you have multiple brands of laundry detergent, put those together. It is possible that you will have different types of detergent for different types of clothing, and that is okay.
Once you have put everything in piles based on what the product is, you will then have a clear picture of what you may have accidentally purchased extra of.
If it’s a liquid or powder that can be combined with the same product in another bottle, combine them into one container, so that you can get rid of one.
You may have a bunch of samples that you received at some point, decide if you will ever truly use them. If so, they should be stored in front of the larger containers so that you remember to use them. Don’t hide them in the back of the cabinet or they will never get used.
This is where you should be getting rid of whatever possible. So anything that you will never use, or bottles that are basically empty, or anything that is just in rough shape, throw it out.
The decluttering process for the laundry room should not involve clothing. That should happen in your bedroom so that you have all of your clothes together and can decide as a whole what can go.
The laundry room while used for washing clothes is just a very temporary spot to hold clothing while waiting for laundry day(s).
The exception to this being, if you have marked a piece of clothing as being too small for your child and you know you want to donate it. That should be put in the donation bag/box immediately after being washed.
Before Putting Everything Back In: Review Your Space
Now that you have only what you want to return to the laundry room, take a look at where you have to store these items and determine if your current setup is working or if you need to create other spaces.
The laundry detergent, softener, dryer sheets, anything that will be used in the washer or dryer, should be stored really close to the machines. So if you have a shelf or a cabinet above or beside your machines, that is the perfect spot.
Detergent bottles take up a lot of space and are quite heavy, so consider the easiest but safest place where you can grab the bottle without hurting yourself.
Before putting anything back into the laundry room, give each item a quick wipe down, because chances are, they are covered in lint and dust.
Start with the largest most frequently used items. The detergent bottles and maybe an ironing board or iron should find a space first. It’s easier to see what the remaining space is, once the larger items are put away.
Below you will find 21 different organizing solutions for everything you would be storing in the laundry room. Pick the solutions that will work best for the size of your laundry room and then put everything away. Take the sheet that you used outside, so you can shake it out before washing it.
21 Ideas to Help Organize the Laundry Room
1: Different size bins to hold many laundry items
Bins should be used regardless of how you plan to organize the laundry room. They can contain smaller items, so that it is easy to pull out the bin and see what is in there, as opposed to struggling through a cabinet to find everything.
Bins are also handy for holding items that aren’t used all the time. Such as off-season clothing (jackets, snow pants, boots, flip flops, hats, etc….).
This is a good situation to use the height of the room. Most people aren’t going to actually take advantage of the height, because they are unlikely to be using items that are stored so high that they would need a ladder to reach.
However, for off-season items, these bins will only be accessed a few times a year. So it is great to store them up above where the frequently used items are. I do recommend either buying bins with a cover or laying a plastic sheet over the bins so that the dust and lint don’t build up in the months that the items are going unused.
2: Cabinets with or without doors
Most laundry rooms come with cabinets and they are great because they can store many items. Anything you want to store, that may not be as pretty to look at can be stored in the cabinets with the doors closed.
However, for many laundry items, they can be stored in more visually appealing containers, which may mean that hiding everything behind closed doors isn’t necessary.
Consider removing the doors from some of the cabinets, so that you can easily get to everything.
3: Homemade or purchased shelves
Shelves can be as simple as buying a large board and painting it white or a colour that matches the overall style of the room. Or you can buy shelves that are made for storing particular items.
They can either hold bins that you have filled with laundry items, or you can get smaller individual shelving units that are meant to hold very specific items.
Shelves are so easy to paint and install wherever you want in the room. They can easily look beautiful and make the room feel more inviting. Laundry is not the most fun task, yet it has to be done frequently, so adding something beautiful to the room will help make the task less daunting.
4: Hooks for hanging laundry items and cleaning tools
Hooks can be installed on the side of the cabinets, on the bottom of the cabinets, on the walls, on shelves. Really anywhere that you want.
Hooks can hold cleaning tools, clothes that are drying, an ironing board, and many more items. This frees up floor space and cabinet space and makes frequently used items easy to grab.
If you don’t want to have items like brooms just hanging down from a single hook, you could install 2 hooks behind and directly above your washer and dryer and set the broom lengthwise on the hooks.
5: Cubby’s for storing outdoor clothing
These cubby units, which also have hooks, are great for storing kid’s outdoor clothing.
Use bins on the top to hold off-season coats, hats, mitts, etc. and the cubbies can be used for the currently used items. There are hooks where coats, sweaters, umbrellas, and the like can easily be hung from. The kids can also hang their school bags there.
Giving each child their own hook and cubby gives them a space to put everything away on their own. It’s their own special spot and they feel pride in being able to reach everything to quickly grab or put away when they get home from school.
6: Shower bar under cabinets or on wall to hang clothes and cleaning tools
Shower bars don’t just have to be used in the bathroom, they can work well in many other rooms. Hang the bar lengthwise and then you can hang up clothes to dry, extra hangers, cleaning tools, and more.
Shower bars can typically be made shorter or expanded, so you can choose how big you want it to be for the wall space that you have. If you have a full wall free to use, you could even install 2 or 3 shower bars, so that you have a lot of hanging space.
There are baskets that are designed to hang on towel bars, that would also work on a shower bar, which would provide additional storage for laundry items.
7: Unit to contain baskets for folded clothes
Tiered basket units are great for putting folded clothes into for different family members. Once the clothes are folded, the baskets can go back into this unit, and then everybody can grab their own basket and put their clothes away.
You could also buy a wooden storage unit that is taller and has multiple openings big enough to fit your own baskets into. This will allow you to use the vertical space in the room. Put the smaller child’s basket at the bottom of the unit and work up to either you or your spouse’s basket.
It’s up to you whether you want them to also wash, dry, fold, and put away their clothes. The baskets are still nice when they are doing their own laundry because they have their own system to fold and put away their clothes.
8: Laundry sorter
Having an area to sort the laundry is a true time-saver.
These laundry organizing units can be kept right in the laundry room and clothes can either be put into the dark, white, miscellaneous bins, right after the clothing has been worn. Or when you collect the clothes from everybody’s rooms and maybe the bathrooms as well.
Immediately sort the clothes into the bins, so that you know exactly what you’re working with. “Sometimes” it only takes one dark load and they’re all washed, but if you can easily see that there is more than one load of dark clothing, then you can split it in half.
Having a miscellaneous bin is great for items that require different laundering or are bright colours that may run onto other clothes and should therefore be washed alone for the first few washes.
9: Fold-down ironing board
If you are frequently ironing but struggle to get the ironing board to a space where there is enough room to move around, consider installing a fold-down ironing board unit onto the wall in the laundry room.
It simply pulls down when you want to iron and then you can push it back up and out of the way when done.
10: Fold-away drying rack
These fold-away drying racks are great because they can be installed directly on the wall. They give plenty of space for the clothes to hang and dry. Better airflow means that the clothes will dry quicker!
When not in use, you can just push back against the wall and take up very little space in the room. So it is a great option for any size laundry room.
11: Pull out cart
These pull out carts are great because they are slim and can easily slide in beside the washer/dryer and provide extra storage space for frequently used items.
I would actually suggest that any lower cabinets or units in the laundry room have wheels on them. It is so easy for the laundry room to get dusty and covered in lint, so the rollable units allow you to quickly pull them out to vacuum and mop under and behind them.
12: Mop and broom holder on the wall
These clip wall units are great for holding multiple mops, brooms, any cleaning tool with a handle. To hang your cleaning tools, just push them into the clips and voila, they’re off the floor and out of the way!
Many of these units come with hooks as well, so you can hang other cleaning items, like dusting wands, microfiber clothes, or non-cleaning items such as hats, keys, or sunglasses.
13: Get a metal storage unit that goes around each machine
These storage racks are great if you have a little bit of space in between the washer and dryer. If you can fit two units, you can have one around both your washer and dryer and store items specific to each unit. They are a nice size so that you won’t have to stretch too far to reach your laundry items.
They also come with a bar along the top where you can hang several clothing items to dry.
14: Lint and dryer sheet bin with a lid
The lint tray should be cleaned out before every use. If you usually stick the lint in the garbage in another room, you may be tracking lint to other areas of your home.
Even if you use a garbage can in the laundry room without a lid, there is likely still lint being dropped or transferred around into other areas in the room.
So getting a lint bin with a lid, and putting it either on top of the dryer or directly beside, will keep the lint contained and make it less likely that you’re transferring lint throughout the room or into other rooms.
15: Vacuum storage bags for off-season clothing and blankets
These bags are a real space saver. They compress clothing and blankets so much and can be stored on top of the cabinets laying flat, one on top of the other.
If you don’t have space to store winter jackets, snowpants, big comforters that aren’t in use, these are the items I would use the vacuum storage bags and compress down.
Give them a fresh wash before putting them in the bag and then when you open the bags up to use the items again, they will be fresh and ready to be worn/used.
16: Buy containers that will work better in your existing space
The laundry detergent containers are really large and often an awkward shape. So they may not fit well in your existing cabinet space. Putting those large containers up high is also dangerous because then you’re lifting a heavy item over your head. So buy a few smaller containers, which could be glass, plastic, metal, etc.
Transferring the detergent into those containers will look nicer, fit better into your space, and be easier to use.
Buy containers that make it easier to grab or pour what you need. I’m all about saving time with all tasks in the home, so anything that can shave off a bit of time, such as using a more efficient container, is great!
17: Over the door organizer
If you have a door going into your laundry room, buying an over the door organizer that goes on the back of the door gives a great space to store smaller laundry items. Such as dryer balls, bleach pen, mismatched socks, lint roller, etc.
These organizers also work well for storing items that the family usually grabs before leaving the house. So if you exit your house through the laundry room, this is a perfect place to store these items.
These organizers can also be hung on a wall if you don’t have a door that you could hang an organizer over. You just may need to be more cautious about the weight of the items that you are putting in.
18: Make or buy labels for bins/containers
Labels can be made as simply as printing some labels off the computer or writing out what you want on a piece of paper, cutting it out, and then using packing tape to completely cover the label.
You could also buy a label maker for relatively cheap. Which makes it easy to type up and print out sticky labels any time you want.
If you prefer laminated labels, buy a cheap laminator and laminate the labels that you either printed out or wrote out and then get sticky velcro to attach the laminated labels to the containers/bins.
Finally, there are pre-made labels that you can buy from many different stores, including the pre-made labels in the picture above from Amazon. There are also label packages that help label your kitchen, bedroom, and more.
19: Baskets that clip around a shelving unit
These baskets are great because they take little effort to put up (literally just slide them onto the shelf). But they also make it easier to reach laundry items. This would be a great spot for items that you use frequently, that are on the smaller side. Dryer sheets, lint roller, microfiber cloths, etc.
20: Keep excess hangers in the laundry room
If you installed a shower bar or hooks in your laundry room, store hangers on them. This way you can put clothes that need to be hung up, right onto the hangers directly from the dryer.
This is such a simple thing, but it makes it much more likely that the clothes will be put away quickly. This is because you won’t be searching through your closet looking for hangers to use. Just remember to replenish the hangers frequently.
21: Get an ironing mat instead of a board
These ironing mats can be set up on top of the washing machine or on a lower cabinet. It makes ironing much easier since you’re not having to drag out the ironing board. But the main benefit is that it takes up very little space. It can just be folded up and put into a cabinet when done with it.
It can also be set up quickly in another room, if you enjoy watching TV while ironing, for example.
Other organizing posts you may enjoy:
The laundry room is definitely not somewhere we want to spend all of our time. Yet we have to spend so much time in there. Getting it cleaned, decluttered, and organized will make the laundry room more inviting and less like a chore.
Make it beautiful for yourself. If you like pretty glass containers with nice labels on them, do that! It’s something so small and simple that you can do to make laundry more enjoyable.