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DIY Laundry Room Shelves And Storage Ideas For A Small Space

We recently tackled a few laundry room storage DIY projects and thought today would be a great day to share that small laundry room makeover with you. Specifically, we’ll be talking about the DIY laundry room shelves along with storage ideas for a small space.

Using DIY open shelves in a laundry room to add extra storage space in a small, compact space

I’ll also include some laundry room organization ideas and links to our DIY shelving tutorials (DIY laundry room countertop for folding and DIY laundry room open shelves). Let’s get onto some tips and tricks to create an organized laundry room within your budget and space constraints.

Small Laundry Room Makeover

We recently checked the last box on our remodeled laundry room project and couldn’t be happier. It was a labor of love and worth every ounce of sweat equity we poured into it.

One of my biggest beliefs when it comes to home and home decor is that spaces need to be both beautiful AND functional. Utilitarian spaces need personality too and can be inspiring places for us to work. I set out on this renovation project to have a well-organized space that was a joy to be in.

Who says you can’t collect the dust bunnies using a metal dustpan with a smiley face instead of a cheap plastic dustpan? Trade in that Swiffer Duster for a cute feather duster. Decant stain removers and bleach into vintage bottles. Small swaps like these give your laundry area more character and bring in more of your personality and style.

Swapping out dusters and dustpans for more stylish versions and hanging them from a peg rail in a small laundry room with open shelves for added storage

Another goal of this laundry room makeover was to create a more functional space. Our old laundry room was so dysfunctional with overstuffed laundry room cabinets that didn’t fit our cleaning supplies. I wanted our laundry essentials at our fingertips and storage solutions for our cleaning supplies.

Adding functional storage solutions was probably the biggest reason for renovating the small space. Open shelves made the most sense for us, but there are so many simple laundry room storage DIY ideas. Floating shelves, adding taller cabinets, or a hanging rack for a mop, broom, and ironing board are some other solutions.

Tiny Laundry Room

Our laundry room is tiny. We’re talking about no room for two people in this space tiny. The biggest challenge when planning out our laundry room storage DIY projects was to find enough room to create a functional space. Show of hands, who else has a tiny laundry room and is challenged to make it more functional?

When you have a small space, or a small house as we do, it’s important to carve out extra space where you can. We’ve been known to build shelves between studs to find a place to store things. The same holds true in your laundry area. For us, carving out extra space meant leveraging the vertical wall space above our washer and dryer with some DIY open shelves.

Leveraging wall space in a small laundry room to optimize storage space available

Determine What You Really Need

I’m always cognizant of how I perform functions in our home. It’s easy to get sucked into Pinterest and see the beautiful wall-mounted, laundry drying rack and want that for your space. But if you don’t hang your laundry to dry, it’s wasting so much potential storage space.

My laundry habits involve collecting all the dirty clothes and laundry throughout our home, bringing it to the laundry room, and sorting it there before tossing it in the wash. Compact laundry sorters, ours is a three-section hamper from West Elm, are the perfect solution for the way I do our laundry. It helps me sort the laundry the way I like to, is compact to fit by the dryer, and folds up for hanging after I’m done using it.

A three compartment laundry hamper from West Elm helps sort dirty clothes in a small laundry room

I also prefer to fold my laundry in the laundry room as opposed to on the bed or on the couch while watching television. Thus it made sense to build a laundry room countertop for folding. This optimized the small space and added functionality to the way I perform laundry tasks.

Leverage Wall Space And Ceiling Space

Let’s talk about wall space. Building DIY laundry room shelves above our washer and dryer was a game changer for our tiny laundry room. 

The wall above a washer and dryer is a space that’s out of the way but provides the perfect spot to store laundry supplies and cleaning supplies. It’s always smart to leverage that wall space as much as possible, especially for bulkier items. In our space, that looks like storing extra paper towels and supplies to make laundry soap on the top shelf.

Laundry room open shelves with lesser used items stored on the top shelf and regularly used items like cleaning products stored on the bottom shelf

If you are the type of person who likes to hang their clothes, try adding folding, wall-mounted drying racks to the walls. They may be hard to access hanging above your washer and dryer, but these racks can be tucked on any wall. Pottery Barn sells a gorgeous galvanized laundry drying rack and also an accordion version. I recently found a vintage accordion laundry drying rack at a flea market that I’m hoping to refinish for the rare occasion I hang items to dry.

There is also an amazing, vintage farmhouse-style laundry drying rack that hangs from the ceiling and uses a pulley to bring it down. This is an excellent way to optimize ceiling space in a small laundry room. These Sheila Maid air dryers at Homesong Market are stunning.

Another option is using clothes hanging rods hung from the ceiling along with some hangers. Here’s an example of a ceiling-hanging bar from West Elm. I’ve heard of many people who swear by these hanging bars in their small laundry room as a solution to keep clothes from getting wrinkled. They immediately take clothes out of the dryer and hang them on hangers on the rod, before transporting the clothes to their closet. 

Create A Folding Station

Creating a folding station is another of my favorite tips for maximizing a small laundry space. Building a folding table or countertop is an easy way to use the space on top of your washer and dryer if you have front loaders.

You could also fold your laundry on top of the machines but building a folding countertop expands the usable area over the gaps and prevents you from losing that fresh stack of folded t-shirts to the no-man-zone behind the machines. No one likes losing clean clothes behind the washing machine.

A laundry folding tabletop can also help provide easy access to laundry essentials like laundry detergent and dryer sheets. Think of the things you use most often when doing laundry. Keep those things handy near your folding station. A small tray can help corral laundry items together and can easily be slid out of the way if you need more space to fold.

Decanting laundry powder detergent and bleach into glass jars, corralling in a woven tray, and placing on top of a laundry countertop

Smart Laundry Room Storage Ideas

Onto my favorite part, creating smart laundry room storage and organization, otherwise known as my favorite laundry room organization hacks.

Open Shelves

Open shelves in a laundry room can keep supplies handy and also help you see EVERYTHING. If you have tall ceilings, definitely utilize the extra vertical storage space. Keep items used infrequently on higher shelves. For me, I make my own laundry detergent about once every few months. I keep all my laundry supplies for making powder detergent on the top shelf since I can’t reach it without a step stool.

Leveraging open shelves in a small laundry room to store cleaning supplies and other items, optimizing the wall space in a small laundry room

Small Foldable Step Stool

A small foldable step stool is on my short list of things to pick up on my next trip to Target. I love the simplicity of this step stool from Target. These can be tucked away or hung without taking up much space. They’re so handy to have in the laundry room when you need access to things up high.

Natural or Wire Baskets

I love an organized, streamlined, uncluttered look. The easiest way to achieve this look with open shelves is to use natural or wire baskets to corral like items. For example, put your cleaning products in one basket, dish rags or dusting clothes in another, lightbulbs in another, etc. Then place the baskets on the shelves. These keep like items together and lighten the visual clutter load.

Woven baskets on open laundry room shelves to store cleaning products, dish rags, lightbulbs, and more

Hang Tall Items On The Wall

Unused wall space is a great place to hang taller items like brooms, mops, and even your ironing board. Use command hooks or robe hooks to hang items. You can even loop a zip tie or a piece of jute through the hang holes at the end of the handle to help hang them.

Glass Jars

Glass jars give a more organized, sleek look to a small laundry room, which can look super cluttered really fast. I know it’s an extra step, but decanting items into glass jars can optimize a small space while looking good. You can even make yourself some cute jar labels!

Glass jars on the top shelf of a laundry room storing laundry detergent making supplies; custom labels for the jars designed to look like vintage product labels

Lint Holder

Many small laundry rooms don’t have space for a large trash can. Adding a small lint holder can be a game changer on laundry day. A small jar or canister on the folding table can serve the lint collection purpose. You can also create a wall-mounted one with a small mailbox (Home Depot) or attach a magnetic lint holder (Target) to the side of your dryer.

Peg Rail

Oh, how I love a good peg rail! There’s something about it that gives that old English, cottage home vibe. Peg rails can be a stylish way to store hanging items in your laundry room, like a hand broom and dustpan. You can even hang small baskets from a peg rail and store dryer sheets or dust clothes.

A peg rail attached to the bottom shelf above the laundry folding table is a handy place to hang a dustpan and feather duster

DIY Shelving Tutorials

Shelving can be an easy and affordable way to add laundry room storage DIY solutions customized to your space. I’m sharing two of our most popular tutorials for building laundry room shelves including building open shelves with a peg rail and a DIY folding table countertop for over front loaders.

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    1. Certainly! It’s just framing lumber planks that we cut down to size, long screws, Minwax Early American stain, and some poly.

  1. I love this so so much. When the time comes for my laundry room make over I will be copying this counter top idea. Hopefully I can share how much of a success it was with you xx Ari xx

  2. This looks beautiful! I would love to do a version of this in my little mudroom/laundry area, but I don’t know how it could work for my space. In addition to the washer and dryer, I also have a laundry sink right next to them. Any thoughts on how to support the folding surface when I don’t want to cover the sink by going all the way to the right side wall? The space is pretty tight in between everything.

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Angie's Roost Campbell Family in front of home in 2021

Hi there! We're the Campbells. We traded in Maine city living for the country life in Vermont. You'll find us here fixing up a circa 1781 historic home, growing our own food, and filling this home with the memories and things that matter. Read more about us...

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