Laundry Room Essentials for Organization & Efficiency
Before we get into how to store and organize laundry supplies, let’s look at the essentials you should have in every laundry area to help you pre-treat, wash, dry and fold your clothes, towels, and bedding.
Laundry Supplies Everyone needs
To be sure you’re ready for whatever stains and surprises you find in your laundry, make sure you have these items on hand:
Additional Laundry Supplies to Consider
It’s also good to have these items in your laundry room to help your routine go smoothly and to be ready for once-in-a-while laundry needs.
- Fabric softener or dryer sheets.
- A heavy-duty stain fighter for tough stains or heavily soiled items that need soaking before washing.
- OxiClean™ Laundry & Home Sanitizer to help kill 99.9% of bacteria and viruses*.
- Washing soda for laundry stripping.
- Mesh laundry bag for delicate items with strings or straps.
- Washing machine cleaner to keep your washer clean and odor-free.
- Measuring cup.
- White vinegar to help with softening and detergent buildup.
- Clothes iron and/or steamer.
- Step stool to reach higher shelves.
- Other cleaning supplies
*When used as directed.
Laundry Area Work Zones
Every laundry area needs space for specific laundry tasks and to store detergent and supplies within reach. Be sure you have room to do the following:
- Sort clothes. This might be on the floor in a pinch, or you might have bins or bags to separate loads.
- Fold items. You need a surface to fold items, even it’s something you set up temporarily while laundry is in process. A wall-mounted ironing board that folds down can do the trick – and double as a spot to actually iron when needed.
- Hang or lay items to dry. Whether it’s a freestanding or a wall mount drying rack, you need something for this purpose. Which one is best depends on your laundry room space.
- Pre-soak items. If you have a laundry sink, that’s great! If not, make sure you have a washing tub or bucket for any items that need a soak before going into the washer.
- Pretreat stains. Have a spot to inspect and treat any dried-in stains before items before washing, or to pretreat any stains on items you’ll wash later.
- Store supplies. Whether it’s on shelves, in laundry pedestal drawers, on hooks or in baskets or bins, you need to keep your supplies out of reach of kids and pets and within reach of the person doing laundry.
Laundry Room Organization Ideas When You Have More Space
If you have a separate laundry, mud, or utility room that can be closed off from the rest of the house, your laundry room organization needs are different than someone whose washer and dryer are in their kitchen. You may have more space to do laundry and store supplies, but that extra space can also become a “dumping zone”. By having a place for everything (including miscellaneous items), you can fight the clutter as you go.
Cabinets or Shelves Above the Washer & Dryer
If your washer and dryer are side-by-side, you’ll have space above them to store supplies and essentials – even if they’re on pedestals. Cabinets can be a good idea if you like the clean look of not seeing any of your items, or if your laundry room is next to a kitchen or living area and you want it to look high-end, custom, and aesthetically pleasing.
Tip: make sure you have enough clearance from the bottom of the cabinets or shelves to allow for top-load washers to open fully.
Shelves can be a more economical choice for storage and keep items at your fingertips.
- Make sure to check the load-bearing capacity of floating shelves to ensure you’re installing ones that will hold your cleaning items.
- Line wire shelves with placemats to keep small items from falling through.
- Use wire or cloth baskets to keep like items together, especially if you’re putting items on higher shelves and need to reach them.
Laundry Pedestal Drawers for Front Load Washers
If you have a front load washer and dryer and you have the clearance to raise the appliance height, a set of laundry drawers may be an excellent use of space. These drawers can hold your detergent, fabric softener and pre-treatment solutions as well as other cleaning supplies or cloths. And since they’re not built-in, you can take this storage solution with your machines when you move.
Tip: If you opt for laundry drawers, you’ll need another surface to fold and sort laundry. The top of your appliances will be too tall to function as a work surface.
Add freestanding shelves
If you have the floor space in your laundry room, freestanding metal shelves can help you organize your supplies and are large enough to hold hampers for sorted clothes and heavier bulk detergent packages. Look in the closet organization section of home improvement stores for some shelving units that also incorporate rods for hanging.
Tip: if you think you’ll want to move the shelves to use them or clean around them, opt for shelves with wheels. You can lock the wheels to keep them from moving when you don’t want them to.
Use the Back of the Laundry Room Door
The back of the door is a good place to install hooks to hang clothes, a mounted fold-down or pull-out drying rack, or a strip to hang brooms, mops and dusters. You can also hang bags for sorting clothes on the hooks or use them to store mesh laundry bags when not in use. You can even hang baskets off the hooks to hold smaller items.
Add a Tension Rod to Hang Clothes After Drying
Tension rods are easy to install, expandable for different size openings, and since they don’t make holes on your wall, they’re perfect for renters. You can put the tension rod across a door opening while you’re doing laundry and then take it down when you need to close the door or put it across the top of your washer and dryer to hang clothes as you remove them from the machines.
Tip: having a rod to hang clothes also makes a great space to use your clothes steamer!
Use a Rolling Laundry Cart
Try adding a cart that fits between your washer and dryer or between the appliances and a wall. These carts usually have several tiers and getting one with shelves that have taller sides will help keep bottles from falling over when you move the cart. You can get carts that are as slim as 4” wide to make the most of even tiny spaces that would otherwise be wasted.
Organization Tips When Your Laundry is in a Closet or Hallway
The good news is that more apartments have in-unit washers and dryers, and you won’t have to lug your laundry to another room or building. But that can mean that your washer and dryer are stacked into a very compact space, leaving you less room to store supplies or handle the tasks of doing laundry. Here are some tips to make the most of tight laundry spaces.
Use Pull-Down/Fold-Up or Rolling Surfaces and Racks
Look for pull-down/fold-up surfaces that can mount on the back of the laundry closet door or on the wall next to the laundry area. Set up the work surface when you’re actively doing laundry, then fold it up when you’re finished.
The same goes for a laundry cart. If you can fit a small one in the closet with the washer and dryer, just pull it out for access when doing laundry. If it doesn’t fit there, try storing the cart in another closet or bathroom and wheel it over to the laundry area when needed.
Use the Side of the Machines for Stacked Washers & Dryers
If your washer and dryer are a combo unit or are stacked into a column, you might have some space on either side of the machine, even if it’s only a few inches.
- Try adding some magnetic hooks or clips on the side of the appliances to hold laundry bags, trash bags, towels, hanging items or cleaning supplies in baskets.
- Add a metal storage bin made for the shower that mounts with suction cups or an adhesive polycarbonate sheet. Bonus: you can add S-hooks on the bin to hang more items while the bin holds bottles.
Mount a Peg Board for Utilitarian Storage
A peg board is versatile and functional, allowing you to move the hooks and pegs around for your unique storage needs. You can hang baskets off a peg board for small items that don’t hang easily by themselves and they’re excellent at keeping things within reach.
Tip: peg boards can be cut to size so you can add a peg strip above your washer and dryer, on the back of the door or the side of a cabinet, or anywhere you have a bit of wall space that you want to organize.
Make use of the ceiling
When the laundry area is small, you need to use every square inch, and that can mean looking up. Consider adding hooks to the ceiling that can hold a drying rack with clips or support a clothes rod for hanging. Try mounting a curtain rod and hiding the appliances with a pretty fabric when not in use. Even a shelf that is too high for everyday use can store items you only need occasionally.
Downsize your detergent bottles
When you’re tight on space, the larger detergent bottles just don’t fit well. Pour a smaller amount of detergent or a manageable number of packs into a smaller container and label it.
Bonus: you can choose a container that looks more eye-catching and decorative, such as a glass candy or apothecary jar, mason jars, galvanized pails, or a favorite basket.
How to Organize a Mobile Laundry Caddy or Workstation
If you have to carry your laundry supplies with you to the laundromat or apartment laundry room, here are some tips for keeping the essentials all together and ready to use.
Make travel-sized portions of your laundry supplies to take with you
There’s no need to lug the bulk-size detergent packaging or the entire pouch of pods when you have to bring your laundry outside your home to wash and dry. Invest in travel size containers for your essentials and label them appropriately.
- Try chalkboard or dry erase labels that can be reused when the contents of the bottle change.
- Use zippered plastic bags to keep things like dryer sheets sealed and separate.
Try a rolling laundry hamper
If you don’t have to navigate stairs with your laundry, a laundry hamper on wheels can save you from carrying the weight. You can also mount a basket, bin, or hooks to the side of a hamper cart to hold detergent and supplies.
Put your laundry supplies in a diaper bag or backpack.
This may sound strange, but a diaper bag is designed for organization and to keep items within reach. Instead of baby bottles and creams, substitute smaller size detergent bottles and travel-sized portions of dryer sheets and other items. Refill as needed and keep the laundry go-bag ready to use on laundry day.
Give OxiClean™ a Home in Your Laundry Room
To power out tough stains and colors or to whiten, brighten, or protect your laundry from fading, pilling, or getting dingy, look to the family of OxiClean™ products to find ones that suit every laundry need.