Real Estate

4 Laundry Room Mistakes That Might Be Slowing the Sale of Your Home

published Jul 8, 2020
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OK, so maybe the place where you wash and dry your clothes doesn’t get top billing on Pinterest. But if you’re hoping to sell your house, buyers won’t be impressed by a laundry area that’s an unorganized dumping ground. Luckily, there are many ways to conquer clutter and make your laundry room way more appealing and functional, even in the tiniest spaces. Check out these hacks to solve common laundry room let-downs. 

There’s not enough storage

Homeowners don’t properly plan out their laundry space to make best use of every inch, notes Amy Strang, an interior designer in Scottsdale, Ariz. Without cabinets, shelving or hooks, potential buyers see one thing: Your house is too small.

Smart fix: Start by showing buyers there’s plenty of room thanks to open shelving above your washer and dryer. 

“Use similar-looking wicker baskets, wood boxes, or plastic bins to store necessary laundry items,” suggests Strang. “A neat-looking label on each one will make finding things easy and creates a feeling of order. Think about where clothes will be folded or hung, and create space for these activities.” 

For example, put in a retractable clothesline or drop-down drying rack, and add a worktop over your machines. Even if your stackable machines are in a closet, you can carve out additional storage space by adding a narrow pull-out cart to house soap, spot remover, and dryer sheets. 

On a tight budget? Repurpose what you already have in your kitchen or garage, suggests Mia Collins, a home stager and prop stylist in Frederick, Md.

“Sturdy glass containers or cookie jars can store laundry detergent and fabric softener,” she says. 

“A coat rack could be handy to hang things that cannot go in the dryer. The possibilities are endless; just get creative and think outside of the box.”

You can also transform an old ironing board into a hanging shelf by taking off the cover and adding S-hooks underneath for laundry bags. Or, use scrap wood to build simple platforms for your machines, creating much-need storage cubbies underneath. 

It has dungeon-like lighting

If you do laundry in the basement, chances are the space is tucked into a dark, unfinished corner that makes pre-treating grass stains even more depressing. 

Smart fix: Brighten things up by flooding the room with light, suggests Strang. 

“If overhead lighting is inadequate, the lowest cost solution is a higher wattage light bulb in natural white or a slight warm tone,” she says. “Or, buy a new ceiling fixture at a big box store that ties in stylistically with the rest of the house.”

It’s just plain unsightly

Homeowners often neglect their laundry rooms, making no attempt to incorporate style into this space, says Collins.

“Laundry is not the most fun thing to do, so why not make the space look as inviting as possible?” she reasons.

Smart fix: Upgrade your laundry alcove cabinets with a cheap and cheerful coat of paint, or put up a bold peel-and-stick backsplash.

“Keep things monochromatic to help the space appear more organized,” advises Collins.

The walls are dreary

We get it; you blew your decorating budget on the main living areas, and the laundry room got the short end of the stick: It’s bare, bland and boring. 

Smart fix: Have some fun by hanging art, suggests Strang. 

“Tie it in stylistically with the rest of the house, and find a nice framed print or quote to hang,” says Strang. 

Or, frame your children’s colorful drawings, suggests Collins. You can also go the DIY route with a whimsical art project: Spell out the word ‘wash’ using a collage of family photos, or get the kids to make laundry-themed art with hooks for missing socks that were kidnapped between the drain and rinse cycles. “Help your potential buyers feel that this is a pleasant place where they may even like doing laundry,” says Strang.