Small laundry room ideas: 10 tips for organizing a limited space

Experts share genius small laundry room ideas you'll want to steal for your home if you're restricted on space

compilation image of small laundry room ideas to inspire restricted spaces
(Image credit: Trina Staunton @lifeasmrsbuilder | Nicola Ash @loveallthingsquirky | Mollins Antis Interiors)

Without the luxury of ample space, the key to successful small laundry room ideas is thoughtful planning and faultless organization. 

Planning is essential from the outset to ensure that you select the optimum layout for the needs of your laundry room organization ideas. The best way to do this is to outline all your objectives for the space and prioritize those that will have the biggest impact on your daily life. 

For example, if you also want to use the space as a mudroom then you’ll need to account for the associated plethora of dirty shoes, boots, and coats on top of the usual laundry needs. 

The second, just as important, step is to design and implement an organized system that allows for the completion and storage required for each step of the laundry process. For example, you might want to provide space for storing and sorting the dirty washing, airing the clean wet washing, folding the dry washing so it’s ready to be put away, and all the associated cleaning products and materials. 

To inspire your design journey we’ve rounded up the best small laundry ideas to get you started.

10 small laundry room ideas

When space is limited, you need to get creative in terms of both the layout and design to make every inch of space work extra harder.

A laundry room is an attractive prospect to most home-buyers and can increase the value of your home, considered one of the interior design features that will help sell your house.

So much so that the design and organization experts at deVOL kitchens believe it's an area worth investing in to get right, "We love that these spaces have become popular again in recent years; how wonderful to have somewhere dedicated to keeping you organized and the rest of your home uncluttered and simple."

So don’t let a little thing like space restrictions put you off. Here are our top tips to make the most of any space.  

1. Declutter to create a sense of space

neat tidy and decluttered grey utility room

(Image credit: Helen @myconvertedcottage)

Decluttering will ensure your laundry feels more spacious and you’ll be far more productive in a room where you don’t have to clear space on the work surface before starting your chores. 

Decluttered laundry rooms needn’t feel sterile and empty; a stylish example of a perfectly organized laundry and boot room space is that of experienced home renovator Helen Pexton aka Instagram's @myconvertedcottage. Helen’s tips for planning a successful laundry space from scratch are to “plan, plan, plan and do lots of research,” she says, “Always try and have your own style and go with what you love”. 

If you’re looking for small laundry room ideas because you are tackling a revamp or makeover, then the sterling advice Lisa J Honiball, interior designer and founder of Interior Design Insiders shared with us will be invaluable.

 “In any room where space is restricted, your first step is to declutter and ‘re-home’ items. Much like the box bedroom, the laundry room can be prone to becoming a bit of a dumping ground,” says Lisa. “Does everything in your laundry room need to be there? Often you can find homes for items elsewhere in your house (or get rid of them completely if you are holding on to items you don’t need or use). 

2. Think vertically to maximize restricted space

Pale blue small laundry room idea with woven storage baskets

(Image credit: Mollins Antis Interiors)

 “Once you’ve decluttered - think vertically," advises Lisa. Vertical storage is the ideal way to make any small room feel bigger.

"Take cabinetry or shelving all the way up to the ceiling to make the most of all of the storage space available. And consider pegboards and hooks if you don’t have the depth for cabinetry.” All of which is invaluable advice when looking for small kitchen storage ideas also.

Another top tip is to “Use every available space. If there is a small gap at the end of the cabinetry run, this could be perfect for storing your ironing board or drying rack,”  says Lisa.

Claire Roswell, a talented interior designer and founder of Mollins Antis Interiors, demonstrates how to incorporate stunning cabinetry and use all the available wall space with this practical and beautiful blue laundry room that she designed for a client. The open compartments, complete with stylish storage baskets, offer quick access to essential items whilst maintaining an organized and uncluttered aesthetic. 

3. Use open shelving and hanging pegs

colorful laundry room with white worktops and patterned wallpaper showing a stylish small laundry room idea

(Image credit: Nicola Ash @loveallthingsquirky)

Similar to organizing a small kitchen open shelving is a great way to store essential items in your small laundry, in addition to making a style statement and elevating the feel of your space at the same time. Talented designer Nicola Ash, aka @loveallthingsquirky, shows us how it’s done in this stylish and supremely organized laundry area. 

The concealed storage is ideal for hiding those items you don’t want on display, whilst the hanging peg hooks perfectly display the more aesthetically pleasing laundry items while making good use of the over-counter wall space. 

You could store washing powder or pods in attractive glass jars on your open shelving combined with pretty pegs for the clothesline paired with items like a vase of fresh flowers to make you smile while you attend to chores.  

4. Add essential task lighting

colorful sink and window in basement laundry area to suggest a small laundry room ideas

(Image credit: Joanne Hardcastle @hardcastletowers)

When space is tight and you’re considering small laundry room ideas, great lighting can save the day. Lots of natural light is ideal as it bounces around, making the area feel more spacious and appealing and will make completing your chosen tasks easier too. If your small laundry room doesn’t have windows, perhaps it's a converted cupboard or basement conversion, then you might need to get a bit creative.   

Designer and content creator Joanne Hardcastle aka @hardcastletowers knows a thing or two about interior design and she used all her tricks and techniques on a basement conversion project complete with a laundry room area. Lots of storage and natural light pulled into the space through cleverly positioned roof lights are the real heroes. 

If natural light isn’t an option, recessed light fittings will help from a space perspective as are flush to the wall or ceiling, but as always, layered lighting is the best way to get the most from a room. You’ll need some task lighting to ensure you can complete all your laundry-related chores effectively and some accent lighting, perhaps some pretty scones over an open shelf, will elevate the room's aesthetic  

5. Use storage baskets and containers

stacked laundry storage containers with lids and labels

(Image credit: Orthex Group)

Grouping essential laundry items together and storing them in easy-access baskets or neatly-labeled lidded containers is a great way to organize a small laundry room – similar to how you can pleasingly organize under a kitchen sink

You can opt for sustainable materials like these Orthex Group recycled plastic containers with bamboo lids or use natural materials like jute, rattan, and seagrass for a stylish and rustic look.

Labeling containers is one of those small laundry room ideas that save time and means you don’t have to open several to find the product you need. Stacked containers with neat labels can add to the aesthetic by giving your small laundry room an expertly organized feel.

6. Install a fold-out ironing board in a drawer

organised utility room and laundry area

(Image credit: Trina Staunton @lifeasmrsbuilder)

Home renovator and content creator Trina Staunton, aka Instagram's @lifeasmrsbuilder, is a bit of an expert when it comes to designing beautiful yet functional interiors. Trina regularly shares her tips and tricks with her followers on social media and whilst her whole home is crammed full of genius space-saving and super functional design features when it comes to home organization goals, her laundry room is arguably the pièce de résistance. 

Trina’s fold-out ironing board in a drawer is a standout feature as it solves the age-old problem of where to store the often cumbersome item when not in use. We recommend the best-selling Nisorpa Pull Out Ironing Board at Amazon for a similar.

7. Hang adequate hanging rails

traditional laundry room with ceiling mounted clothes airer

(Image credit: deVOL Kitchens)

Hanging rails are your friend when you have a lot of laundry to contend with, as hanging wet clothes helps reduce creases, so saves time and effort on ironing. 

In a restricted space, pull-out or retractable hanging rails are super handy, especially when they are mounted on the wall, saving precious floor space. A clothes maid or pulley-operated, ceiling-mounted clothes airer is always a good idea as it lifts the clothes up and out of the way, freeing up space below to complete other laundry-related chores.

Plus as heat rises, the ceiling is often the best place to dry clothes indoors quickly saving you time too. 

8. Save floorspace by stacking your appliances

stacked washing appliances in green utility rooms

(Image credit: Benchmarx Kitchens / Armac Martin)

When it comes to small laundry room ideas, stacking your appliances is a great way to reduce their footprint on your valuable floor space. Instead, utilize vertical space in a small laundry room as shown in these laundry rooms by Benchmarx Kitchens and Armac Martin

There are a few obvious prerequisites to implementing this setup, the appliances must be front-loading and the dryer (always installed on top) mustn’t have a larger footprint than the washer. 

Top-loading appliances generally have a larger capacity, so these restrictions might be viewed negatively by those with large families, but the space-saving benefits should more than make up for it. 

You’ll need to invest in a stacking kit, taking care to purchase the correct one for your appliances as these are not universal. Some kits come with excellent pull-out trays or drawers, located between the appliances, which are very handy for resting your laundry basket when loading and unloading the dryer. You’ll need to check your floor is level and ensure you have adequate weight-bearing requirements beforehand too. 

9. Get creative and commandeer a cupboard

compact laundry area and cupboard turned utility room

(Image credit: LochAnna Kitchens / Industville & Charlie Kingham Cabinetmakers)

If space is super limited and a whole laundry room just isn’t an option, then don’t despair. With the right home storage, the tiniest of spaces, yes, even a cupboard or small nook can be converted into a functional laundry area.

 Joanna Jeyes, interior designer and owner of Crocus Interior Design explains, “If you don’t have space for a whole utility room, look at under-stairs cupboards, downstairs toilets, unused space in the hallway that can be closed off with some folding doors and hide your washing machine in there. Remember to consider the noise of a washing machine, though, before you pop one in your office.” 

It's worth taking a look at our inspirational IKEA closet hacks if you are considering this solution.

10. Create a multi-functional space by adding a dog shower

dark panelled laundry room with under-counter appliances and dog shower

(Image credit: Clare Duffy @clareduffyxx)

Most dog owners will have experienced the pain of returning from a particularly muddy walk only to face the dilemma of how to get man’s best friend upstairs and into the bath without covering the whole house with mud in the process. 

Incorporating a mud room dog shower into your laundry area can be a game-changer, especially if you are able to locate it at an entry point into the home, and having a restricted space doesn’t mean this can’t be done. 

Clare Duffy, aka @clareduffyxx, runs a popular and inspiring interiors-focused Instagram account where she regularly shares stylish room makeovers and interior styling tips. With open shelving, dark hues, and pretty paneling, Clare’s laundry room is a brilliant example of how to perfectly organize a small space and has achieved the right balance between practical and stylish. 

Clare’s laundry room ticks so many of the boxes for getting the most out of a smaller space and the addition of a dog shower in this stylish laundry room is pretty genius.  

How do I maximise space in my small laundry?

To maximise space in your small laundry, you’ll need to combine all the tips, tricks and techniques shared by our experts.

  • Plan ahead and choose a layout that offers the most scope for functionality.
  • Opt for retractable and foldable hanging rails and clothes airers.
  • Declutter the room and carefully select the items you house in your small laundry room.
  • Squeeze in as much storage as possible, this can be a combination of cabinetry, open shelving, baskets and drawers.
  • Get creative and use every inch of available space, including the gaps above and to the side of cupboards and shelves.

How do you do laundry in a small space?

Similar to successful kitchen storage ideas, doing your laundry in a small space requires a robust system with adequate storage and organization. When contemplating small laundry room ideas you’ll want to make the most of every available inch of space and the back of the door is a great but often overlooked area.

 Following these top tips from Lisa Honiball will get you off to a great start, “Clever solutions like a slide-out worktop can be useful for folding laundry and then tuck back out of the way when not in use. Instead of a standard radiator consider a towel rad – handy for laundry days and wet coats.”

How can I make my laundry room look nice?

The smallest rooms in the house are often the safest to make bold design choices for because a bold color or pattern won’t be present on a large enough scale to become overwhelming. It's actually surprising how you can make a room look bigger with paint choices. 

When it comes to interior design, playing it safe in a tiny room can make the space feel even smaller because of an underwhelming lack of character and personality. The key to success is taking a considered approach to your scheme being sure to provide interest and depth. For example, if you are using bold patterned wallpaper trends, then perhaps pair it with half-height wall paneling in a complementary color. 

Laundry rooms, however small, provide ample interior styling opportunities and it’s these little touches that will lift your mood and make you want to spend time in them, like a beautifully styled shelf adorned with a candle in your favorite scent or your favorite print in a lovely frame on the wall. 

Lisa Honiball offers the following great advice, “Your laundry room is a work-horse – often performing several functions, but that doesn’t mean it can’t be pretty. I always say if you have to spend time doing laundry it might as well be in a pretty space. Decant laundry pods into pretty jars, use wicker storage baskets or paint the room your favorite color. Whatever makes doing the laundry slightly less of a chore."

Where do you hang laundry in a small laundry room?

As we have seen, there are lots of ways to incorporate hanging rails and racks into a small laundry room. Whilst you can fill the limited floorspace with freestanding airers, the best use of space usually involves going vertically and mounting rails and racks on the walls and ceiling. 

When shopping for wall-mounted airers and hanging rails to use in a small laundry room with restricted space, look for products with a low profile that can be folded away when not in use. Clothes maids, aka ceiling-mounted airers operated by a pulley system, are also great for hanging clothes in a restricted space. 

Does my laundry room have to be downstairs?

It’s fair to say that in most homes, the washing machine and, therefore, the laundry room, if present, is usually downstairs. But as many interior designers and home organizers will tell you, this isn’t always the most practical solution. 

Joanna Jeyes explains why, “Upstairs is where all the clothes are. Where they are all thrown on the floor, and left in piles because nobody can be bothered to bring them downstairs to the washing machine. Upstairs is where all the wardrobes and clothes storage is. Why on earth did we think having a washing machine downstairs made sense?” This is an undeniably convincing argument for why an upstairs laundry room might be best. Jo adds the following point to consider, “think about how much noise a washing machine makes and plan accordingly”.

Claire Douglas

Claire is a DIY and home interior writer specializing in budget room transformations, creative DIY projects, and resourceful home styling. Claire runs the popular home interiors blog ClaireDouglasStyling and shares all her DIY tips, tricks, and behind-the-scenes styling insights on her Instagram and Tiktok accounts. When she's not writing, Claire enjoys foraging for flowers and foliage and experimenting with interesting materials and decorating techniques to incorporate into future interior schemes; micro cement and postal tubes were a recent unusual but triumphant pairing. In her spare time, Claire enjoys creating floral installations for her home...the more bonkers the better!