Essentials for Your Tiny Laundry Room

by Rachel Laurendeau on August 27, 2012

Not so long ago, the trend was to build a dedicated room for laundry on the main floor in all new houses. However, today people seem to be moving the laundry room back down to the basement or they are finding a spot for it anywhere they can. You can carve out a space for laundry just about anywhere: in the kitchen, hall closet, mudroom, under the stairs, in the master suite closet or even in the traditional spot in the utility room and it doesn’t need to take up a lot of your home’s square footage.

Laundry room checklist, what everyone laundry room needs (or wants):
• Energy efficient washer and dryer – goes without saying.
• Cabinet or shelves to store detergent, stain remover, fabric softener, cleaning supplies and all of the essentials.
• A table or countertop is handy for folding laundry, if you have the space. If you have side-by-side front loaders, you can always place a countertop or wide painted wooden shelf above the washer and dryer.
• Clothes lines or drying rack for your delicates. There are plenty of pull-out, fold-away or retractable types available to save space when they aren’t in use.
• Ironing board and iron. If you have enough space to set it up and leave it up, so much the better. Otherwise, I recommend an over the door or wall-mounted iron that simply folds down. Make sure you mount it near an electrical outlet.
• If you have the luxury of a bit of extra space and can spare a little extra expense on plumbing, a utility sink is a nice addition for soaking laundry as well as cleaning up after craft and home improvement projects.

Tiniest laundry room ever!
In the first home that I ever bought, which, incidentally was less than 700 square feet in size, I had the tiniest laundry room that I’ve ever seen but it was also one of the most efficient. The “laundry room” was really a small hall closet converted to serve a new purpose. It had a small stackable washer and dryer (24” wide, I believe) which left about 12” of empty space on the side for a retractable drying rack and shelves that housed cleaners, detergent and my iron. The ironing board was a fold-away type that was mounted to the inside of the closet door. Something like the elfa Laundry Door & Wall Rack from the Container Store would also have been a great storage solution for my little laundry room, had I not had the ironing board set-up. And, since the closet was right next to the bathroom, I was able to use the bathroom sink instead of a utility sink when I needed to soak or hand wash anything. The laundry room was tiny, but it certainly met all of my needs without eating up a lot of precious space in my small home.

Logistics of my tiny laundry closet.
I had an electrician do the wiring for the appliances, overhead light and an extra plug for the iron. I also hired a plumber to bring the pipes up from the basement. I installed pre-made shelves and wallpapered the inside of the door with a cheerful citrus flower pattern, just because!

You don’t need a lot of space to have an efficient laundry room that meets all of your needs, you just need to take the time to plan it out and make the most of what you have.

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