Q: We have a tiny laundry room. It has a closet that is hopelessly dysfunctional, filled with our dog food barrel, cleaning supplies, appliance booklets, crock pot, etc. How can it be redesigned where we open it up to the ceiling and arrange it into a "WOW! What a great tiny laundry room!" The budget we've been working with is around $2K. Looking for ideas!
Sent by Harriet
Editor: First of all, we're envious that you even have a laundry room! We live in a small apartment and don't even have a washer/dryer. One day, one day...
The first thing you should ask yourself is: what purpose(s) does this room have to serve? It can't be a catch-all for everything miscellaneous. Laundry is obvious. And possibly storage for cleaning supplies, or storage for your dog's food. You decide what's important. Then everything that doesn't fit into those two or three categories should be moved out. Instructional books, cooking supplies, shoes, blankets, whatever. That's the first step.
The second step is to create clear areas for each of these. Take advantage of the wall space above and next to your washer and dryer and put in shelves up to the ceiling for all your laundry items. It is possible to have one wall hold everything you need, including a drying rack (possibly wall-mounted), table for folding clothes, and hamper (see photo below for inspiration). Are you planning on getting new appliances? If so, a front-loading energy-efficient washer or a a compact stacking washer and dryer will allow additional space for shelving and storage. Keep your laundry items together and within easy reach near your washer/dryer.
Be considerate with how you organize the closet. Again, make sure that everything in that closet serves the purpose of this room. You may want to invest in a closet organizational system—with hanging cubbies, storage cubes, boxes, etc— to really maximize the closet space.
For decorating, paint it a color you love and opt for soft lighting. Throw down a colorful, easy to clean cotton rug. Do a google search for small laundry rooms and collect images of creative storage solutions.
Lastly, if you do remove your current shelves and replace your washer/dryer, make sure to donate them to a salvage or deconstruction organization like Habitat for Humanity's ReStore or Salvage One or the Rebuilding Exchange in Chicago.
Readers, other ideas for Harriet? What are your small space laundry solutions?
2nd image: Home-Designing