maximizing a tiny laundry room

Heyyy heyy friends! Happy Tuesday! I'm here to share quite possibly the most random post ever: our laundry room! It's the only room in our house thats been majorly overhauled, and I want to start sharing some spaces in our home and how we make them work for us!

I wish I had better "before" photos, but unfortunately I don't. Here are the specs: our home was built in 1910, making it 100+ years old (I'm a math whiz, I know.) The laundry room + my office were originally the back porch, and at some point they were enclosed to become rooms. The laundry room was a hot mess - cheap paneling that was coming off, shingle nails poking through the ceiling, and it was open to the rafters/attic. The back wall, as you can see in the photos, is actually siding, from when it was a porch. The floor was the original porch floor - a super gross blood red. And bonus? This whole part of the house wasn't insulated! We get winter FORREAL here in central Indiana so that was not going to fly. Here's what it looked like before we did any work:

I should mention: this laundry room is 56 square feet. 

It is TINY. But we have no pantry in our kitchen and no real closet space throughout our house, so we needed to pack as much storage into this teeny space as possible. The first winter we lived in the house, my dad (who owns a construction company - so handy!) did some remodeling in here and brought it up to par. Here's what we did:

  • framed, insulated + drywalled a ceiling
  • closed it off from the attic
  • insulated + drywalled the walls
  • sanded the floor down
  • painted the floor white
  • added a light fixture
  • unstacked the washer/dryer
  • added two rows of cabinets + hanging bar
  • added wall shelves
  • added hooks underneath the window
  • added hooks on the back of the door
  • added pegboard for tools

With the addition of the extra cabinets, shelves and hooks, it became an organization dream. There's still several things I want to do in here - like drywall that ugly siding wall (which we can't do until we fix the rest of the electrical throughout our house), and have a countertop made for over the washer and dryer. But, we've made huge progress. Now everything has a place, and we can easily find everything we're looking for. 

When you walk in the door, three hooks underneath the window hold the bags we grab often - the diaper bag, my market tote, my husband's backpack and his laptop bag is normally hanging on that first empty hook. The shelves hold all kinds of things. Beach towels + dustbuster on the top shelf, clear bins for hardware, nails + screws, lightbulbs and flashlights and our outdoor blanket on the next shelf, a bin for items that need to be returned and a bin for rags on the third shelf, a wooden box that holds our soccer gear plus our basket for gathering garden produce on the fourth shelf, and all our paper bags, a crate for "extras" (toothpaste, shampoo, dish soap, etc.) plus the watering pitcher on the last shelf. The drawer unit on the floor holds all our winter gloves + scarves in the bottom drawer, and all our dog's stuff in the top drawer (medicine, treats, bandanas, brush, etc.) The shoes my husband wears the most sit on the top of the drawers for easy access.

Two hooks hold our stepladder, and a pegboard holds all the other household tools we use often, like the broom, mop, dustpan, clothespins and the like. Two hooks on the back of the door hold our coats, a dispenser hangs on the wall to hold plastic shopping bags, and we mounted the trash can on the wall to free up floor space. We keep the dog food in a wrapping paper bin, because it's tall and skinny and fits behind the door, along with the vacuum. We painted the unfinished side of the cabinets (which are super cheapies from Menards) with chalkboard paint to write notes and lists.

The cabinets over the washer and dryer hold laundry supplies, cleaning supplies and extra entertaining supplies (like trays and plastic silverware) up top. Honestly, those upper cabinets are almost entirely empty, which is exciting. Plenty of room to grow! The hanging bar is awesome and makes air drying clothes a breeze.

tips for maximizing a small space (or any space!)

  • Think about how the space will get used. Our laundry room is right by the back door that leads to the garage, so it's where we're coming + going constantly. That's why I wanted our most-worn shoes, coats and bags to be back here - it makes the most sense! Will you be using the space for entertaining, playing games, etc? Apply this to every area in our home. It's the same reason we recently cleared up the counter space closest to the stove - it was where we naturally wanted to prep food, but didn't have space to. Think it through!
  • Bins, bins, bins. BUT my caveat to this is GO THROUGH EVERYTHING FIRST. You will never solve your organization problem if you simply have too much stuff. Once you pare everything down, organize things in bins + baskets. It's super convenient to just pull down one bin full of laundry supplies to grab the thing I need, rather than having to take down 19 individual bottles to grab the thing at the very back.
  • Use your vertical/wall space. There is so much unused real estate when you think about your walls and going up. Think about things that can be mounted on walls to free up floor space. Even the wall shelves being floating, vs. a regular bookshelf that sits on the ground, makes a big difference.
  • Go white. White makes a space seem bigger. Paint the walls white, get/paint the shelving/furniture white. It will make the space seem cleaner + airier and not so claustrophobic.

Hope you're inspired to do some spring cleaning in your own space soon! Happiest of Tuesdays, beauties. XO!