9 Clever Ways to Upgrade Your Laundry Room for Cheap

updated May 3, 2019
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(Image credit: Diana Paulson)

Unless you are an alien who is fascinated by the fact that humans secrete unsavory odors and deposit them onto their clothing, you probably don’t enjoy doing laundry. If you need motivation to get through all those whites and darks, we’ve got nine very affordable ways to spruce up your laundry room and make it an inspiring place you actually want to be in.

1. Add Temporary Wallpaper

Laundry rooms rival doctors offices in terms of sterility. Make your laundry room a party by turning up the vibes with some wallpaper. If you can’t afford this gorgeous charcoal cloud wallpaper in Mandy Moore’s laundry room, affordable temporary options are out there. This clean, neutral marble wallpaper from Target is a great substitute.

2. Add a Butcher Block to Front-Loading Machines

If you have a front-loading washer and dryer, utilize the wasted space on top by adding a butcher block to create a folding station. This way your can cut out the middle man (i.e. a laundry basket) and fold your clothes straight out of the dryer.

3. Label Your Goods

Organization is key for a happy home, especially in places that require sorting and storing a wide array of items. Whether you’re clipping a dry erase label onto existing bins, or using a label maker on your decanted goods, there are a plethora of options out there for labeling your laundry room storage for easy access.

4. Lay Peel-and-Stick Flooring

Designer Emily Henderson’s cookie-cutter plaid laundry room tiles give us ’50s housewife throwback vibes (in a good way). If you can’t afford expensive tiles, take a page from her staff member and designer Brady Tolbert’s blog. His internet famous rental kitchen checkered flooring was done with peel-and-stick vinyl tiles.

5. Incorporate Plants and Art

Of all rooms in the house, the laundry room is usually the most neglected when it comes to style. Studies show that if you don’t find your laundry room inspiring, you won’t do laundry as often.* If it’s a space your look forward to being in, you might dread laundry day less, and isn’t life all about reducing dread? Add some life via plants and art to bring your laundry room some joy.

*By studies, I mean “me never wanting to do laundry in my boring laundry room.”

6. Decant Detergents, etc. Into Glass Jars

This fix probably applies to the broadest range of our readers because, 1. If you have a laundry room, you’re already storing these things somewhere; and 2. Glass jars are the next best thing to free. Who knew laundry detergent was hiding such natural beauty behind its cheap, brightly-colored cardboard facade? Also, if you’re a liquid detergent user, how cool is this beverage-dispenser-turned-laundry-dispenser?

7. Repurpose Furniture

Containing unattractive items is imperative to your laundry day peace of mind. If your laundry room is short on storage and custom cabinetry is not an option, keep an eye out for pieces of furniture to repurpose as laundry storage, based on your needs. Narrow pieces, like vintage lockers, or antique tables like the one above, are perfect for small space.

8. Set up a Manageable Sorting System

If you’re like me, you have one giant hamper (or clothing compactor, as I like to call it when I get to the bottom half) for all of your laundry. When laundry day comes, it’s a daunting task to separate and wash everything all at once. Placing the proper items in the proper receptacle (whites, darks, delicates… however you separate your clothes) will make each load seem much more manageable. If you can’t afford custom-built cubbies, opt for matching bins and store them on a shelf or under a bench to allow for air flow.

9. DIY a Drying Rod or Rack

Upgrade your wardrobe while you’re at it, with a DIY hanging rod for delicate pieces that need to be air dried or hung immediately to prevent wrinkles. This easy step may help keep last minute ironing and disheveled looks at bay. Inexpensive metal piping pieces can be purchased from your local hardware store and easily installed to your laundry room ceiling.

Upgrading your laundry room doesn’t have to be pricey and is a great way to practice some self care. So get to decanting, peeling, sticking, and sorting (before your laundry pile is big enough to register on a B.O.-loving alien’s spacecraft radar).