Get more Space Out of Your Laundry Room And Other Small Areas

From laundry facilities to mudrooms, small spaces test your patience on a daily basis. These areas can be difficult to organize, in part because they often lack the extensive cabinetry or shelving systems of larger rooms.

That being said, opportunities abound for keeping the smallest, but most important areas of your home looking clean and clutter-free. The right layout and design can make these spaces far more inviting, ensuring that laundry and other tasks feel like less of a burden.

First, of course, you'll want to de-clutter to ensure that only the essentials remain. Consider donating any items you don't use on a regular basis. Once you've unleashed your inner Marie Kondo, it's time to organize any remaining items as effectively and efficiently as possible. How you accomplish this will depend largely on your priorities and how you envision your space, but the following suggestions may help:


Use the Right Accessories

A few simple cabinet accessories can quickly change how you store items in small spaces — and whether your storage solutions are pleasing to the eye. Typically, the goal is to obscure potentially messy areas while keeping essential items accessible. This approach removes visual clutter without detracting from the room's primary purpose. Valuable accessories include:

  • Hafele fold-away drying racks. Conventional drying racks may be useful, but they take up far too much space to be practical in small laundry rooms. Hafele offers a fold-away version that can be extremely useful if you're short on space. Fold out when you're ready to air-dry your clothes — and fold away when you need to free up some space.
  • Built-in ironing board. Like drying racks, ironing boards can prompt considerable storage headaches. Built-in boards are more practical in small laundry rooms, where, like the Hafele drying racks mentioned above, they can be hidden away when not in use.
  • Folding station. In many laundry rooms, every spare bit of counter space becomes a folding area, with random articles of clothing often left behind until nobody knows whether they're clean or dirty. A folding station can resolve this common problem by keeping all dry clothes together until they're ready to be delivered to their final destination.
  • Baskets for supplies. No matter how carefully you organize your space, you're bound to end up with a few odds and ends that don't quite fit in. If you're not ready to part with these items, find an area in which they can be contained and accessed without making your room look cluttered. Baskets are excellent for this purpose. Many rooms feature cubby-style shelves, in which baskets can be stored as needed to keep potential clutter out of sight. In the laundry room, these are great for stray socks, dryer sheets, and other random items.


Opt For Space-Saving Cabinetry And Other Clever Storage Solutions

Storage space can be maximized even in the smallest rooms; it's all about designing the layout to make the most of every inch. Begin by making the most of vertical space. Cabinets and shelves can be installed at every level to provide ample storage. For example, a shelf above your laundry machine and dryer can be used to store detergent or other essentials. If you're lucky enough to have a window in your small room, consider installing a shelf above it to utilize those extra few feet of space. Likewise, petite floating shelves can be installed on either side of the window.

The right cabinet setup can make a big difference. Lazy Susans need not be limited to the kitchen; they can house a variety of items in laundry rooms and several other small spaces. Slim cabinets are also ideal for laundry rooms, which may lack the necessary space for larger, more traditional cabinets. Don't forget to include drawers or pull-outs to maximize storage space for small items. 


Use White Or Other Light Colors to Make Small Spaces Seem More Spacious

It might not actually change the amount of space available in your smallest rooms, but how the room looks can influence how it's ultimately perceived — and whether it's used effectively for storage or left to clutter. This is especially true in small, dark rooms that lack access to natural light.

The human eye can easily be tricked into thinking that spaces are either smaller or larger than their actual square footage suggests. This reality means that many homeowners accidentally make their wide-open rooms seem a lot smaller through the excessive use of busy patterns or the sheer accumulation of clutter. On the flip side, those in smaller homes can use the power of perception to make tiny rooms seem surprisingly spacious. Often, a fresh coat of paint is all it takes to transform an otherwise cramped space.

When in doubt, white is the best option for a small room. This reality is, in part, responsible for the white-dominant interior designs of the last several years. In an effort to make small spaces seem larger, many people have integrated white into every detail, including paint, cabinets, backsplash, flooring, and even decor. Some contrast is perfectly acceptable, however — but if your goal is visual expansion, the dominant features in the room should be white or, at minimum, some other light color.


Upgrade Lighting

Design can play a huge role in determining whether windowless rooms seem tiny and depressing — or reasonably spacious and perfectly suited to their intended purposes. As mentioned previously, white colors tend to work nicely in such spaces, visually expanding what might look far smaller with dark hues or busy patterns.

Lighting is also hugely influential. Aim for bright options that mimic the effect of natural lighting. This means placing lights not only overhead, but also anywhere they can provide much-needed illumination for important tasks. For example, under-cabinet lighting can be used to make the most of counter space while also reducing the appearance of shadows to create a brighter, more vibrant space. Adjustable wall lamps are helpful not only in laundry rooms, but also small craft rooms or storage areas.


Create a Multi-Use Room That Provides Storage For Several Facets of Your Life

Sometimes, storage solutions are most effective when condensed. Many homeowners find it easier to locate important items when they're all kept in a go-to space, rather than dispersed throughout the house. This has the added benefit of clearing clutter away from the remainder of the home. Under such a setup, however, it becomes easy for the storage room to become a neglected mess. If you're purposeful, however, you can avoid such a fate.

Ideally, your multi-use storage room will be separated into different areas dedicated to various categories. For example, a specific file cabinet can be called upon for important paperwork, while another may be dedicated to crafting supplies. Likewise, one shelving system could include books or toys that will one day be passed down to younger children, while another may house secret gifts before they're given away for birthdays or holidays. Often, people with multi-purpose storage spaces organize based on the room the objects in question would typically occupy; one shelf for kitchen items and another for bedding, for example.

Small rooms don't need to feel cramped or cluttered. A few simple tweaks can make all the difference, allowing even the most compact rooms to feel spacious and inviting.

Ready to optimize the limited space in your laundry room, bathroom, or mudroom? Don't hesitate to take advantage of custom cabinets, which can quickly transform even the tiniest, most cramped area. The experts at Plain & Fancy can help. Feel free to contact us online or stop in at our showrooms to learn more.

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