Creating Functional Space: The Laundry Room

Creating Functional Space--Laundry Room

When we first saw our new home last spring, I remember being overjoyed at the thought of having a laundry room. It was on the first floor, contained the garage entrance (and so could double as a mud room), and, in my eyes, was huge. I had big plans for that laundry room. Of course, I was moving from a house that was less than half the size of our current one with washer/dryer hookups in our unfinished basement. While it was better than not having laundry on site…any laundry room was gonna be better than that.

Of course, just a few short months after moving in (and the laundry room quickly seeming much smaller now that there was actually a washer and dryer in there…oops) I couldn’t stand my laundry room. We were getting into cool weather season. Jackets were everywhere. Shoes were everywhere. I had an old rickety drying rack thrown in one corner and a three-compartment laundry sorter on wheels against another wall. My ironing board was always in the way and my dryer top was covered with detergent, dryer sheets, the iron, stain removers, collar stays, etc. One of those wire closet organizer shelves hung on the wall above the washer and dryer and was also covered in…gosh I don’t even remember what I had up there. I would have loved to hang some clothes to dry from that but it was too low so the clothes would hang all over the washer and dryer. Ugh. Laundry days were not fun. Not that laundry is EVER fun but this was just plain torture. I had taken some pictures one particularly frustrating day but I cannot for the life of me find them anywhere. I wish I still had them. If they turn up, I promise to share.

That, my friends, is how my laundry room got to be the first room to get a complete overhaul. (We were lucky…the previous owners replaced all the carpeting and had the entire house painted a neutral color while it was on the market so there wasn’t much we HAD to do right away.)

My main concern was functionality but I even gave it a fresh coat of pretty paint once we had it down to bare walls and I’m so glad I did. The shade of grey-blue really helps all the white pop. I just love it. Anyway, I had to identify the things that drove me craziest about the room and make a list of needs & wants before I could really get started. Here was my list…and I’m happy to report I have been able to address all of these things (and more) with the exception of shoe storage. I’m still working on that one. Anybody have any suggestions???

1. Storage for coats and shoes.

Creating Functional Space--Laundry Room

I found this coat rack at Target. I’ve had to limit what we can hang here (our giant parkas can hang here temporarily but they still stick out into the room too much so they usually get moved to the coat closet pretty quick.) I love it. We each get 2 coats, it doesn’t feel crowded, and, most importantly, the coats aren’t all over anymore.

2. Somewhere to sit to put on/take off shoes. (At this point we were just sitting on the kitchen floor to do this…which is fine I guess but I was making the list so there ya go.)

Creating Functional Space--Laundry Room

I originally thought I would hang the coat rack above the bench but then my oh so very wise husband pointed out that the coats would make it difficult to sit on the bench. And so the coat rack moved to a different wall. I found the bench at Target, waited for it to go on sale, then snatched it up. I don’t love the cushion cover…doesn’t really go with the color scheme of the room…but I figure it’ll serve its purpose until I’m ready to tackle recovering it. Which probably won’t ever happen. Ha. I scooped up those mirrors at Garden Ridge. Had originally intended to use them in a different room but when we decided to move the coat rack, they suddenly found a home here.

3. Hang space for clothes.

Creating Functional Space--Laundry Room

This was a must. We used a leftover hang bar we had from installing closet organizers in some of our bedroom closets (more on that another day) and ran it from the side of the new cabinet we installed to the wall. The trick was getting it high enough that the clothes wouldn’t interfere with the washer or dryer but keeping it low enough that I could reach it. Luckily I’m 5’8″ so that wasn’t too much of an issue. This addition alone has made SUCH a huge difference.

4. A cabinet to hide clutter & clear off top of dryer.

(See above picture.)

Because our room is pretty narrow, I had to do a little searching for a cabinet with double doors. A single door cabinet would work but I didn’t like how the door would swing out so far. I know, I know, picky picky. But if I was gonna do this, I wanted to make sure I got it right the first time. No regrets. And I was able to find a cabinet at Lowe’s.

5. Ironing board storage.

Creating Functional Space--Laundry Room

I love this find. I grabbed this rubbermaid ironing board hanger on Amazon. You don’t even have to let your iron cool off before you store it. It’s amazing. And my ironing board is up off the floor and out of my way thank you very much.

6. New drying rack.

Creating Functional Space--Laundry Room

This one was a game changer. It’s a retractable, wall-mounted drying rack. My initial thought was “no way.” This thing isn’t gonna hold anything. It’ll fall off the wall. For $20 there’s no way this thing will work. Oh my friends. It works. And it’s amazing. I don’t hang jeans or anything too heavy on it but I can hang lots of tops and sweaters on it and it doesn’t budge. Found it on If you have ever wanted something like this, don’t hesitate. It’s a game changer for sure.

I now have an organized, neat, functional laundry and mud room. It’s a dream come true! And I can’t tell you how much easier it is to get stuff done in a room that’s actually FUNCTIONAL! I’m in heaven. Who knew a little purposeful organization could make such a big difference in helping a busy momma stay sane. Yep, it’s true!

What rooms in your house could use a little functional organization?


One thought on “Creating Functional Space: The Laundry Room

  1. Love your ideas. My laundry list needs a major overhaul. I’m going to look into that hanging drying rack. Amazing!

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