Inside: Love laundry day with these best laundry room essentials and features for a more efficient and stylish space you’ll enjoy doing the dirty work in!
A lot of us spend more time in the laundry room every week than those rooms that we fuss and fret over decorating. But it’s tempting to want to shut the door on this space like it’s a dirty little secret.
Today’s laundry room is no longer a dark corner in the basement with the washer and dryer. It’s become a multifunctional workhorse for the running of our homes.
In addition to cleaning clothes, it can serve so many other purposes—mudroom/drop zone, pet spot, home office, craft room, gardening/potting area, storage space, and much more. My parents used to call our laundry room the “utility room”, which is more fitting now than ever!
But because it is the room where the dirty clothes pile up and grimy tasks take place. it’s easy for the laundry room to quickly become a chaotic mess where we want to spend as little time as possible.
To help us make this command central space the best it can be, I’ve put together this laundry list (couldn’t resist) of laundry room features and essentials.
There are ideas here for every size and configuration. Some are nice-to-have if you have a large laundry room, while others are need-to-know for a small laundry room.
This collection of useful items skips past some of the obvious components, like a washing machine and clothes dryer. Instead, I’m focusing on additional features and laundry tools for a functional laundry room that’s more organized, more efficient, and an overall nicer place to spend time!
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Laundry Room Cabinets and Storage Ideas.
Hiding as many items in the laundry room as possible behind cabinet doors keeps things looking tidy and less chaotic.
This decked-out laundry room in one of my best friends’ homes always looks organized and neat because everything is tucked away in two walls full of cabinets.
Large cabinets that span the washer and dryer keep an array of laundry products right where they’re needed. And cleaning supplies, dog paraphernalia, and home organization odds and ends have a designated place in other cabinets and drawers.
On one side is a cabinet especially built to neatly store tall cleaning tools like vacuum cleaners, mops, and brooms. It even has an electrical outlet inside for charging cordless vacuums.
On the opposite wall, there’s a complete set of upper and lower cabinets for more storage and laundry room organization. And the dream laundry room feature? Two cabinet pull-outs for dirty laundry. One for darks and one for lights with removable plastic hampers. No laundry piles on the floor in this lovely laundry room.
If you aren’t blessed with quite so many cabinets to corral laundry room items, designate a space to keep laundry baskets and a garbage can for lint out of the way. I make sure the top of my washer and dryer is always clear because it’s the only place I have to keep the baskets off the floor.
A Place to Sort and Fold.
An expanse of counter space to fold clothes and work on is another highly useful feature if you have enough room. This laundry room is set up perfectly for this with easy access to the sink:
In my laundry room area, the only counter with space is my desk. So I made a folding area that “folds” up when not in use—two drop-down desks from Ikea. It’s a great option for a small space.
A Drying Rack.
If you’re planning out cabinetry for a laundry room build or renovation, consider incorporating a rack for drying wet garments, to avoid having an awkward drying rack sitting in the middle of the floor.
I don’t have this built-in feature, so in my high-traffic laundry room that comes in from the garage, I opted for drying racks that hang on the wall and fold flat when I’m not using them:
This option is a great way to still have this helpful laundry accessory without taking up floor space!
A Clothes Rod.
Another must-have feature if you’re able to plan a laundry room from scratch, is a hanging rod. Here in my friend’s laundry room, this clothes rod is in the ideal location directly over the washer and dryer to hang clean laundry up straight away to avoid wrinkling:
It was designed with enough clearance for the cabinet doors to open, and room underneath for clothes to hang freely.
In my more spatially-challenged laundry room, I had to put on my thinking cap again. I found this rolling laundry cart that not only provides a place to hang laundry, but a spot for storage and it can roll to different parts of the room if needed. I got this one a few years ago at The Container Store, but this laundry cart is very similar.
A Deep Sink.
One of the best features for a functional laundry room is a deep utility sink. Not only is it great for soaking and hand washing clothes, this is the place you can do the dirty work you really don’t want in your kitchen sink. Messy tasks like washing out paintbrushes, bathing the dog, or cleaning up muddy shoes.
A Place to Iron.
To keep things orderly in the laundry room, plan an ironing station and storage. The ironing board is no small item, but it can easily be tucked away beside the washer or dryer or on a rack behind the door.
If you’re able to build a laundry room from scratch, you might consider an ironing board that folds out from the wall, a cabinet, or a drawer when planning your custom cabinetry.
Or a great idea if you have a small space? Take advantage of the flat surface on top of the washer and dryer with a magnetic ironing mat.
Second refrigerator or freezer.
The laundry room is usually convenient to the kitchen, so it makes an ideal place for an additional refrigerator or freezer. We have ours in the garage, but this is on my wishlist for my perfect laundry room!
It’s also a great area to keep other small appliances you don’t want to see in the kitchen like this countertop ice maker:
A Desk or Work Station.
I like having a built-in desk in the laundry room rather than the kitchen if for no other reason than I don’t have to look at all the paper mess. My home office in this house is actually in the laundry room, so I spend a big chunk of my day here.
A Place for Pet Things.
A few years ago I was walking through a model home for fun and could not figure out why there was a tiled area with a drain and and wall faucet in the laundry room. Duh, it was a dog washing station! Consider putting this dog design detail along with custom cabinet features like a specialty dog crate, or a drawer for pet food bowls on your dream laundry room list.
Smaller pet-friendly elements we can all include are a hook to keep the leash handy, or designating a cabinet or cute canister to keep pet food in.
Decorating ideas for the laundry room.
Because we spend so much time in this room, it deserves to look as inviting and stylish as the other spaces in our homes.
This small area is easy to make over with a few decor items like a cute anti-fatigue mat. or glass containers holding laundry products, wool balls, or clothes pins (they do double duty as decor and storage). And since it’s almost always a separate space with a door, have fun with a different paint color or cheery wallpaper.
I don’t have much wall space to work with, but I managed to fit this shelf for a dose of decor:
And this laundry room got the same upscale treatment as the more public rooms in the home with custom window valances to match the soothing, serene wall color:
Laundry Products That Make Laundry Day Better.
Doing laundry may not be your favorite chore, but the right tools can be motivating and make things easier. Beyond the obvious laundry soap and fabric softener, here are a few essential items you may want to add to your laundry routine:
Wool Dryer Balls.
Dryer balls are designed to cut down on drying time, And I feel like using them really does reduce wrinkling.
Different Stain Remover Options.
We probably all have a stain removal product among our laundry items. A couple of my favorite laundry room essentials for removing stains aren’t actually made for laundry. I swear by Dawn dishwashing liquid and a toothbrush for oil and grease stains. And a spritz of Folex carpet cleaner is tough on laundry stains as well.
Or for a highly rated line of products specifically targeted for different kinds of stains, you might try the Carbona Stain Devils. There’s one for almost every type of stain including grass, makeup, blood, coffee, wine, oil, mustard, and chocolate.
Dye Catching Sheets.
Color grabbing sheets take some of the fear out of one item bleeding onto the rest in the washer. I try to remember to throw one in my color loads just in case, and it always comes out at least a little bit gray. These are a great item to send off to college with your laundry newbies!
A Lingerie Bag.
A lingerie bag protects items like bras or delicate materials in the wash. This also reminds me to hang these items up to dry instead of throwing them in the dryer.
Chemical-Free Wash Balls.
This cute Laundry Masher pineapple contains nano silver ceramic balls that penetrate deep into the fabric to get rid of tough dirt, grime, and smell. It provides an additional layer of sanitizing, deodorizing, and cleaning when used in conjunction with your regular laundry detergent. Or a cleaning option if you’re highly sensitive to chemicals.
Washing Machine Cleaner.
Laundry detergent and fabric softeners can really build up in your machine tub over time. Plus if you have a front load washer like mine and it gets that smelly funk from being closed before it’s dry inside, running one of these washing machine cleaning pods through makes it all fresh again.
Dryer Lint Trap Cleaners.
Even if you clean the lint trap every time you dry, lint still builds up in the dryer vent becoming a fire hazard. I keep up with it weekly with a swipe of a dryer vent brush, and for occasional deep cleaning all the way through to the outside, this dryer vent cleaning kit attaches to a drill.
Check out my favorite cleaning tools, supplies, products, gadgets, and hacks that save time and make cleaning easier and more enjoyable—even if you hate cleaning!
I hope you’ve found something on this “laundry” list of features and essentials to help make your own laundry room more functional and fun to be in.
Who knows, maybe it will become your new favorite hangout. Or at least a space that doesn’t make you want to run away every time you enter.
Do you have any swear-by favorites that I missed? Let us know in the comments!
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