25 Best Hampers and Other Laundry Room Items

Laundry is one of those necessary evils. You can eat out to avoid cooking and washing dishes. However, you can’t buy new clothes and linens every day. And while laundry isn’t a pleasant chore, the right laundry room items can make it more convenient, efficient, and less tedious – while also making your laundry room more attractive. Also, check out these items and tips for people who hate housework/chores and also these items and tips for completing your summer maintenance checklist.

But right now, let’s focus on the best hampers and other laundry room accessories, along with some expert advice on how to make the best use of your laundry room.

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Whether you’re creating a new laundry room, or updating an existing space, these are some tips to get you started.

Location

If you haven’t created your laundry room yet, Justin Riordan, interior designer, architect and founder of the Portland, Seattle and LA home staging company Spade and Archer Design Agency, says the perfect space will vary depending on your type of home. 

“If you have a studio or 1-bedroom apartment, a stackable washer and dryer set in a closet close to the dining or kitchen is a great solution,” he says. “It will not take up very much space and you'll have a flat, standing-height surface nearby like a counter or dining room table to fold clothes.” 

If you have a larger home with multiple floors, he recommends putting the laundry room on the floor with the bedrooms. “Most laundry is coming and going from the bedrooms and thus should be as close as possible for convenience.” In an ideal scenario, he says the laundry room should have a door, and a linen closet, in addition to storage in the back for stocking toilet paper and bathroom supplies. “A window or an exhaust fan would be fantastic upgrades, as the smell of bleach and detergent can become overwhelming,” Riordan says.

If the laundry is on an upper floor, he says you definitely need an overflow pan that is hard drained to your plumbing system. “If the washer overflows, it should simply pour right back down the drain and won’t damage the floor or drip down into the stories below,” Riordan explains.

According to Leslie Saul of Leslie Saul & Associates, an architecture and interior design firm in Cambridge, MA, regardless of where you put the laundry room, it may not be the perfect location. “While the basement is far from family life, the first floor brings laundry smells into the kitchen or living spaces, and the second floor adds noise to bedrooms and to the floors below,” she explains.

If you choose the first floor, she agrees with Riordan that a better exhaust ventilation will pull smells away from the house. “For the second floor location, and for the first floor as well, be sure to mount the laundry machines on vibration reducing feet in order to reduce noise transmission.”

And if it’s in the basement, Saul recommends adding a treadmill nearby so you can exercise while doing laundry.

Showers/Sinks

A shower or utility sink is also popular among our experts. In fact, Leigh Spicher, director of design studios at Ashton Woods, says her favorite addition to a laundry room is the doggie shower. “It’s easy to add a doggie-shower to a laundry room because there is already dedicated plumbing in this space, which in return makes it easier on dog owners to wash the towels and other materials used when cleaning up the little furry loved ones in their lives,” she says. “Not to mention the laundry is typically located off an entry-way, so a doggie-shower can be repurposed on days when shoes are dirty to prevent tracking mud throughout the house.”

In lieu of a shower, consider a utility sink. “A deep sink is perfect for soaking out stains or filling a bucket,” says Sharon Sherman, owner and interior designer at Thyme & Place Design in Wyckoff, NJ. “No longer ugly plastic laundry tubs, sinks come in a variety of materials and colors.”

However, Saul says you need to put some thought into the type of sink you choose. For example, if you have stainless steel appliances, you might want to get a matching stainless steel sink – but according to Saul, this is a bad idea because that type of sink can get discolored by chlorine bleach.

“On the other hand, a porcelain sink can add color and practicality, and there are even some vintage wall hung sinks that can add some farmhouse style,” Saul says.

Positioning the appliances

If you have enough space, you’ll probably want to place the appliances side-by-side. However, Nina Edwards Anker, architect, interior designer, and founder at nea studio in Brooklyn NY, has another recommendation. "Stack the washer and dryer on top of each other to save space for a laundry folding table, and to avoid having to bend down to retrieve clothes from the bottom unit,” she says. “Also, when the top unit is at eye level, that makes it easier to see and sort the contents as well.”  

Cabinets and countertops

According to Devin Shaffer, interior design expert at Decorilla, an interior design firm in New York City, next to appliances, storage and counter top space are essentials. “The more you can incorporate the better, and when designing cabinets, concealed options are best for unsightly things such as detergents, dusters, and cleaning supplies.”  He also advises readers not to be so conservative. “Two-toned cabinets are trending in 2020, with options such as navy blue under cabinets and white uppers,” Shaffer says.

In addition to cabinets, Wanaque, NJ-basedinterior designer Ashley Berdan recommends adding a countertop. “Either a quartz or butcher block material above front opening washer and dryers will give you an area to fold your laundry while also adding style,” she says.

Cristina Miguelez, remodeling specialist at Fixr, agrees. “If you fold and sort in your laundry room, go for a countertop that’s wide and deep enough to hold everything - again, you can install this right over your washer and dryer if you need to,” she says.

“If you need storage, add cabinetry; you can go with built in cabinets around the washer and dryer or stack your washer and dryer and put cabinets beside them with cabinets or shelves up above.” Miguelez also recommends hooks or a hanging bar. “There are times when you will want to hang something right away and a dedicated place to do so is imperative,” she says.

Denise B. Lee, Certified Professional Organizer and owner of Clear Spaces, likes divided hampers so laundry doesn’t have to be sorted on the floor. “I love using the stand-alone drawer units with deep drawers and a tabletop for sorting laundry and providing a place to fold,” she says.

Other storage options

But if you don’t have cabinets to hide laundry supplies, Lee has a solution. “A narrow rolling cart with shelves provides a place for supplies so they aren't cluttering the top of the washer and dryer,” she says. “Hanging clothes up as soon as they come out of the warm dryer may eliminate ironing, so a garment rack or a mounted closet bar next to the dryer will save labor.” Lee also recommends hanging the ironing board and the iron on the door or the wall with special organizing mounts.

Shaffer also recommends adjustable shelving, but says you have to be deliberate. “The standard detergent bottle is 12 inches tall, so it's best to aim for shelving distances at least 14 inches tall.” 

Liz Jenkins, owner, consultant and lead organizer at a fresh space in Franklin TN, and a member of the National Association of Productivity and Organizing Professionals, has the following 4 storage tips:

  • Create zones in the cabinets or on the shelves. Typical zones may include utility (batteries, light bulbs, etc), cleaning (separated by type & usage), pet, paper products, etc. Creating these zones makes things easy to find.
  • Use matching or coordinating bins to corral products. We like clear plastic shoe boxes, or open top bins with labels to keep things tidy. For visible bins, wood or rattan are really nice. Inside of cabinets we usually go with plastic for easy clean up.
  • Label everything! We like to label not only the bins but also the shelves and sometimes the cabinet doors so everyone knows where things belong.
  • Use vertical space for storage - adding another shelf above the washer & dryer or wall mounting hooks for ironing boards & step stools makes a huge difference in clearing the floor.

Lighting

Lighting can make a significant difference in your laundry room. “Replace a flickering fluorescent light fixture with an LED light fixture that will improve the lighting and use less energy,” Lee says. “ Light is important as we tend to perceive dark spaces as foreboding.”

Sherman agrees that bright light is particularly important in the laundry room. “General lighting combined with task lighting - under cabinet lights for example - make it easier to sort black and blue socks,” she says.

Flooring

Laundry room flooring needs to be durable but it does’t have to be boring. “This space is usually small, so upgrading flooring is typically not overly expensive and will help add a new element to a space that may have needed some extra love,” Spicher says.”Consider an interesting design feature, like patterned tile.”

In addition, Lee says rugs can make a difference. “Use a colorful indoor/outdoor rug on the floor to boost comfort and appeal, plus it will demarcate the space if the laundry is in the corner of the basement.”

Additional tips

Sarah Gaffney, design manager and project designer at Next Stage Design in San Jose, CA, recommends a neutral-toned color palette. “Having a lighter shade will brighten a space that’s often enclosed or not accessible to sunlight throughout the day,” she explains.

And here’s a tip from Sara Chwatt at SBC Interiors:  “Use essential oil based dryer sheets or wool balls with oils to give the room and your clothes a great scent.”  

In addition, Lee believes that laundry doesn’t have to be so mundane. “A radio or smart speaker makes the work of doing laundry more pleasant,” she says.  

Admittedly, laundry rooms can be rather loud. “If homeowners don’t have as much real estate to work with, they could easily swap the cabinets for a decorative barn door - shielding the appliances and the noise of the running machines from the rest of the home,” Gaffney says.

Lesley Myrick, an Atlanta, GA-based interior designer, has this advice: “One of the biggest - and easiest - upgrades for your laundry room is to install a wall-mounted drying rack to save space and make the room far more functional.”

And finally, Sherman offers this vitally important tip. “Don’t forget the shut off valve. Automatic valves can sense a leak or a broken hose and will cut off the water to the machine, preventing costly water damage.”

See also:

Best Items to Turn Your Back Yard into a Mini Oasis

Small Bathroom Design Ideas

Best Items for People Who Hate Housework/Chores

Best Items for Completing Your Summer Maintenance Checklist


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