March 16, 2024  

Small Laundry Room Makeover (With Easy Updates!)


Sharing our laundry closet makeover, including how I organized it by adding new storage and open shelving.

After six years of living in this house with our boring laundry room, it was high time I gave it a makeover. Not only was it seriously lacking in the storage department, but it also needed a good cleaning and fresh coat of paint.

After a couple of days of cleaning, painting, installing shelving, and organizing, I’m super happy with how this small space looks now! 

Looking for more organizing ideas? Take a look at these blog posts:

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Table Of Contents

Here’s a preview of everything covered in this post. Click the quick links below to jump to that specific section!

Laundry Room Before & After

It’s a little bit of a misnomer to call this a laundry room when it’s actually a small laundry closet. Here’s how it looked before this makeover. White walls and dinky little shelves on the side of the room a lot to be desired.

We really love this tiny laundry room situated in our upstairs hallway. Located in between our three bedrooms makes laundry day super convenient, no lugging laundry baskets up and down the stairs or anything.

While I’d love to have a utility sink, room to store a vacuum, and maybe a couple of cabinets in here, overall it serves our family’s needs really well and really is the perfect size.

My very first step was to declutter the two tiny shelves and deep clean the whole space. Because I’ll admit I’ve never once cleaned the floor in here so it was absolutely filthy!

After cleaning the entire room top to bottom, I painted the walls with some leftover paint I had, and I just love this pretty green-blue color called Views from Clare Paint. I’ll never get over what a huge difference new paint can make in a room!

I like to choose paint colors that complement the rest of the house and this matches the paint I used in our entryway coat closet downstairs.

I’ve always dreamed about adding storage on the back wall to take advantage of that blank space. I considered installing upper cabinets or maybe one cabinet with a hanging rod next to it. I even had two extra kitchen cabinets in the garage that I almost added at one point.

But the ceiling has a small access panel to the attic and while I’m not sure if we’ll ever really need to get up there, I also didn’t necessarily want to completely block it off either. So I ended up going with open shelves in here which can easily be removed if needed.

The new shelving adds so much storage and function to our laundry closet! Now we have plenty of room for laundry supplies, plus the upper shelves are the perfect place to store a few extra household items we buy in bulk like toilet paper and tissues. 

Take a look at this before and after!

BEFORE:

AFTER:

Adding Open Shelving

The main upgrade in this space is obviously the new shelves. They made a big impact in both the look and functionality of our tiny laundry room. I considered DIYing my own shelves with a piece of plywood from Home Depot, but ultimately decided to order this Elfa shelving set from The Container Store.

We’ve added a few Elfa systems to our house and I love how everything is easily adjustable, plus the installation is pretty simple–definitely a lot less work than building your own shelves from plywood!

I won’t dive deep into the installation of these shelves because I plan to share a full tutorial soon, but basically all you do is anchor a horizontal track to the top of the wall. After that, I hung three vertical supports from that top track and the shelves attach to those. The only tools you need are a drill with drill bits, a level, and a stud finder.

I played around with the layout of my shelves quite a bit, especially with the position of the bottom shelves because I wanted them as low as possible while still being able to fully open the lid on our washer. I also didn’t go quite as high with the top shelf as I could have because I didn’t want to fully block the ceiling light. 

In the end, I ended up ditching two shelves that came with the Elfa set I ordered because I just didn’t have quite enough space for that extra row. decided to keep the extra shelves tucked in the back along the side wall just in case we want to add them someday.

Organizing Laundry Supplies

As part of this DIY laundry room makeover, I not only wanted to create a functional space but a beautiful space, too. Because for as much time as we spend doing laundry, I knew that sprucing this space up with a few pretty things would go a long way toward creating a laundry room that’s actually enjoyable to use.

So I went to The Container Store and chose a few different containers that look so nice on these floating shelves. I like to use a lot of hard-sided bins in a space like this but I also mixed in a couple of woven baskets to add some texture and a more natural color.

The shelf above the glass jars has a small felt bin with extra dryer balls that we prefer using instead of dryer sheets. I also added a small collapsible tub that we use to soak stains before laundering them. We used to do this in the bathroom sink which is right next to our laundry closet, but I thought this was a better idea for treating stains without taking over the sink for a day or two.

My favorite part of this space is the shelf on top of the washer. I added these beautiful glass jars with wooden lids and decanted our most-used laundry supplies into them. Plus, clear containers are always helpful for when we’re running low on things.

I filled our jars with laundry detergent tablets, oxygen whitener, clothes pins, extra cleaning solution tablets, and baking soda (which I use to treat stains sometimes).

I also carved out space on the bottom shelf for a cleaning caddy filled with our everyday cleaning supplies. We reach for these cleaning sprays often when cleaning the bathrooms upstairs, so it’s nice to have them all organized in one container with a handle.

To finish things off, I added labels to all of the containers so everyone knows where to find things. I often make my own labels with my favorite label maker, but this time I tried out this awesome pack of labels I found at The Container Store and was impressed with the larger variety of labels inside.

The final item I added to this laundry room was a small folding step stool tucked along the side wall. I can easily pull this out when I need to reach those higher shelves, and I love that it stows away nice and small.

Next up, I’m planning to add a collapsible drying rack and ironing board to this space – there’s just enough space on the sides of the laundry machines to store those two things now that our laundry closet is all cleaned up.

Shop My Laundry Room

If you want to create a similar look in your laundry room, here are links to the open shelving, bins, baskets, jars and other organizers used in this space. And if you only have a little money to spend, don’t forget to also shop your local thrift store for pretty jars, baskets, and home goods.

Paint Color: Views

Elfa Shelving System

Storage Containers:

Laundry Supplies

Cleaning Caddy Supplies:


I hope you got some helpful laundry room inspiration today!

Looking for more organizing ideas? Take a look at these blog posts:

Have a fantastic day!

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About the author

Emily Counts is the founder of Small Stuff Counts, a home and organization blog she created in 2013. Her goal is to help moms make home life easier so they can create beautiful, organized, and thriving homes. She shares life at home as a mom juggling two young kids and being a working mom with a corporate job. The Iowa-based blogger lives in the suburbs of Des Moines, Iowa, with her husband, two children, and rescue dog. Emily has collaborated with brands including The Container Store, Cricut, Command Brand, Bissell, Sam's Club and Rubbermaid.

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