Small Laundry Room Help

bcurreyNovember 23, 2012

Hello. I need your help. We have an incredibly small laundry room that is laid out weird. It was the one room that was on our "cons" list when we bought the house. It's only 3 feet wide, and the washer @ dryer sit on each end of the room. I've added a drawing of it at the link below. The laundry room sits in between the garage and the kitchen, so we walk thru this room several times a day.

I'm about to start some upgrade in the room. This is what I have so far:

1) Right now, over the W&D there is just wire shelves. I'm going to install cabinets.

2) Thinking of putting a shelf above the door on the left for a little extra storage.

3) Add a rod so that my wife can hang clothes more easily as she pulls them out of the dryer.

Any other ideas that I should consider? Is there anything that can help with the sorting of clothes. We have a laundry basket in our bathroom. I'd like to have something on the wall in front of the washer that allows us to throw clothes in it. I'm thinking like a canvas bag or something that is tall and skinny? Not sure. What do you experts think? Appreciate the help!

Here is a link that might be useful: My Drawing

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dilly_ny

What if you stacked the w/d on the dryer side and used the larger washer side for folding and storage?

Contemporary Laundry Room design by Other Metro Interior Designer Jennifer McCarthy

If you don't want to stack, I think I would prefer a rod over the dryer as opposed to a cabinet. The rod in the walkway is somewhat annoying - I have that now.

Or, I like the small rack shown for shirts in this picture:

Contemporary Laundry Room design by New York Closets And Organization transFORM : The Art of Custom Storage

and you could get a retractable drying rack if you think you would use it.

Can you steal a few feet of your garage to make the laundry room a bit bigger? Good Luck!

    Bookmark   November 23, 2012 at 3:19PM
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LuAnn_in_PA

Instead of the cabinet over the dryer, how about a rod from wall to wall to hang things upon, right out of the dryer?

    Bookmark   November 23, 2012 at 5:29PM
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talley_sue_nyc

You might also consider horizontal hampers instead of vertical.

Like this, but without the divider and w/ more of a front:

Then put them on the wall, from floor to shoulder height.

Though, maybe they'll interfere w/ the opening of the washer door.

I can't have a hamper in my laundry area, since I live in an apartment building and the laundry's in the basement. So I sort in the bedroom. And I find it MUCH easier to take off my clothes and toss them straight into the hamper. You don't *have* to have a main laundry-sorting setup in the same area as the machines; you can have hampers in the bedrooms. Maybe you'd want something small in the laundry area to hold "strays," but you can just bring a hamper down when it's full.

http://www.organizeit.com/laundry-sorters.asp

Another way to increase storage space is perhaps to lift one of the machines up and make tilt-out or pull-out bins/hampers beneath it. It would be MOST useful on the washer side, and it might work if you can build something really sturdy (since washers spin, etc.) If you can attach a frame to the studs, it would be strong enough.

I vote for a swing-out clothes rod.
http://storage.organizeit.com/storage/laundry%20valet

Here is a link that might be useful: laundry valet (pull-out, flip-out

    Bookmark   November 23, 2012 at 11:54PM
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graywings123

Why are you switching from wire shelving to a cabinet? Cabinets provide doors to hide what's behind them, but they come with their own set of negatives regarding accessibility:

The bottom shelf has to have enough space to allow 11-12 inch high bottles, making the second shelf fairly high and out of reach of the vertically-challenged, especially when you are reaching over the washer or dryer. The depth of the cabinet means that the stuff in the back disappears. Items stored in the cabinet are subjected to moisture fluctuations. And if you want to put something in there that's deeper than the shelves, the cabinet doors are an issue, whereas open shelving allows things to extend out.

You might want to consider shallow shelving on one side or the other - some shelves that are less than 4 inches in depth. That's enough room to put plastic bottles of spray cleaners and softeners. Your car keys and other out-the-door items may end up here as well.

Also, the best thing I ever added to a pass-through room like that was a motion sensor replacement light switch that turned the overhead light on.

And finally, talk to your wife about what she feels is needed there.

Here is a link that might be useful: Motion sensor

    Bookmark   November 24, 2012 at 9:39AM
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dilly_ny

What if you inset built in hampers between the wall studs?

Traditional Bathroom design by Atlanta Architect Mark WIlliams Design Associates

    Bookmark   November 24, 2012 at 10:11AM
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talley_sue_nyc

If you do put cabinets over the washer or dryer, mount them as low as you possibly can, because of that "can't reach the 2nd shelf" problem.

And you might consider mounting them farther out (though that would require mounting to the side walls instead of the back wall).

I'm not sure why in your new design you have pulled the *dryer* out from the wall? Why not just leave it flush to the wall, and let the cabinets extend farther over it? Because pulling the dryer out just makes the whole "leaning over the appliance to get to the cabinet shelf" worse!

One thing about shallow shelves: You can probably even fit a big detergent bottle *sideways* on a shallow shelf. You might measure some of the containers you guys regularly buy, and factor that into what you're building.

Because making it custom isn't really THAT much more work (and it's kind of fun!)

Oh--if you like the sideways wall hampers, fabric might work really well--mount some hooks, and put grommets in canvas bags.

    Bookmark   November 24, 2012 at 10:51AM
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talley_sue_nyc

ooh, and Dilly's (between the wall studs( hampers might let you take advantage of some of the space in the GARAGE side by letting the hamper compartment stick out into the garage by a few inches! Because you might not miss the extra 6 inches over there, and you can just cover it w/ plywood and paint it--most garages aren't finished rooms anyway.

Here is a link that might be useful: ladder support for shelves--scroll down to the second section

    Bookmark   November 24, 2012 at 11:12AM
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talley_sue_nyc

I just realized--Dilly has a point about accessibility, so a top-load washer won't work well if you raise it up--nobody will be able to reach the bottom.

But the dryer out to raise up relatively well, as long as you are careful about being able to see and reach the controls.

    Bookmark   November 24, 2012 at 11:13AM
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mommabird

My friend who has a small laundry room stacked the washer and dryer. She says it is the best thing she Nd her DH done in their house - and she is very short. She stands on a step stool to do laundry but still loves it because it freed up so much space.

Another friend had a plumber & electrician put in washer and dryer hook ups in the basement, then turned her pass through room into a coat closet on one side and pantry on the other. She said doing laundry in the basement is worth it since she now has two things she really wanted.

My laundry is 1/4 of my basement so I can't offer first hand advice. I have a laundry chute so I don't mind it being in the basement. All dirty clothes go down the chute and are out of sight until wash day.

Good luck!

    Bookmark   November 24, 2012 at 10:42PM
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jollyrd

I would definately utilize the 3x3 ft space in front of washer to its max capacity - shallow shelves on both side, drying rack/rod, hamper, etc.

I would not put the drying rod so close to the pathway from kitchen to garage - the clothes will be "in your face". Also, I agree with your plan to put drying rod by the washer -- you have 3 ft x 3 ft extra on that side. But I would suggest you put two of them - one on each side ALONG the two walls. There are lots of various wall-mounted pull-out drying racks and they are all under 30" wide.

http://www.amazon.com/Arrow-AH12-Instahanger-Clothes-Hanging/dp/B000AKRTWM/ref=sr_1_14?ie=UTF8&qid=1357920806&sr=8-14&keywords=pull+out+dryer+rack

Alternatively, you could use a retractable drying rod with multiple lines and stretch it between the walls in any direction that works for you.

http://www.amazon.com/Household-Essentials-5-Line-Retractable-Clothes/dp/B0000V09X2/ref=sr_1_11?ie=UTF8&qid=1357920806&sr=8-11&keywords=pull+out+dryer+rack

http://www.amazon.com/Polder-Wall-Mount-24-Inch-Accordion-Clothes/dp/B000GBK2WO/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1357920806&sr=8-1&keywords=pull+out+dryer+rack

One thing I always consider when looking at house drawings is - can I get rid of the door? The 3x3 ft space that a door requires is a huge waste and obsticle in any room, and in this laundry in particular. So - ask yourself and wife if you can take off the door from kitchen to laundry. You are not going to gain any space, but I can't imagine living with that door that just barely fits in the space.

    Bookmark   January 11, 2013 at 11:25AM
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cross_stitch

I carried laundry for our family of 4 out my front door to the garage laundry machines for 30 years. Imagine my delight when we took just over 5' from our too long (25') MBR and made a laundry closet 3' deep with double doors. No laundry is sorted or stored in the laundry closet. I keep a divided hamper in the bedroom (just two of us now). Darks on one side, white/lights on the other. When one side is full I do a load. I installed a big hook on the inside of one laundry closet door and on it hangs a large laundry basket. I rarely need it but it's always there and out of the way. Above the washer I have a cabinet with a shelf below it for laundry products. The liquid detergent dispenses right where we need it. And agreeing with Lu Ann, a rod above the dryer for shirts and such. Very useful. Very necessary.

Others may snicker at the tiny place we have for laundry but it's heavenly and so efficient for us. It is literally 3 steps from each of our three bedroom doors. I hear the bell when the washer is finished move the clothes in the dryer. I try to get to the dryer before the second bell, fold and put it all away load by load. I fold on top of the dryer. No trouble at all and no additional space is needed for handling the clothes since nothing waits in my laundry "room". By tackling laundry one load at a time, there is never a back-up situation except when we return from a trip (hence the basket). I understand this may not work for everyone. But for us, starting a load before breakfast, we can always get to it before bed time, even if we are away for most of the day.

Children can be taught at a very early age to sort their own clothes in their room and tell a parent with their basket is full enough for a load. When our children showed me they could operate the TV remote I introduced them to the washer and dryer. There's no reason parents have to do all the laundry forever.

    Bookmark   January 13, 2013 at 2:47AM
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