Asked on Dec 26, 2013

How to organize/decorate a very long and narrow laundry room??

Erin Hodnett
by Erin Hodnett
I have a very narrow and long laundry room that houses my water filtration system (3 big towers!) and a 7 cu ft. freezer against the back wall. And a LOT of wire shelves, outdoor necessities (gloves, tools, etc.), lunch boxes,
(p.s. forgive the Christmas decor boxes...nowhere else to put them until it's time to take the tree and decor down)
q how to organize decorate a very long and narrow laundry room, home decor, laundry rooms, organizing, View into the laundry room from my kitchen
View into the laundry room from my kitchen
q how to organize decorate a very long and narrow laundry room, home decor, laundry rooms, organizing, my huge water filtration system
my huge water filtration system
q how to organize decorate a very long and narrow laundry room, home decor, laundry rooms, organizing
q how to organize decorate a very long and narrow laundry room, home decor, laundry rooms, organizing, The back wall
The back wall
q how to organize decorate a very long and narrow laundry room, home decor, laundry rooms, organizing, my dirty laundry situation
my dirty laundry situation...
  33 answers
  • Building Moxie Building Moxie on Dec 27, 2013
    looking quickly Conserve on floor space by perhaps going for a stackable w/d. Perhaps build a closet around your water filtration system (I think it's pretty sweet that you have a whole house set up). That closet *could* also encompass some storage (replace the wire shelf you are loosing by going stackable).The breaker panel would be dressed up (fitted with an access panel) as not to look so breaker panelly. Add more (and more decorative) shelving - especially high on the wall. perhaps there is somewhere you could float a small counter (easier if current w/d wasn't top load and I do know how top load fans like top load). ohhh Cabinets! 2c ... lots of potential there. good luck.

    • Bonnie Kirschner Bonnie Kirschner on Dec 27, 2013
      @Building Moxie Had to LOL at "not to look so breaker panelly". I thought I was the only one said that!

  • Mag268915 Mag268915 on Dec 27, 2013
    Hi,Start with a blank canvas. replace your washer/ dryer with front loading machines with storage underneath. Use pretty baskets on top to store and sort laundry. have designated baskets for whites. darks and others. Get rid of the white shelving. move freezer next to washer and dryer. now when you look in from your kitchen will see a beautiful wall you just decorated with your choice of decorative storage ie: recycled/repurposed cabinets, funky wall storage....create what you would like to see Next to the door...hooks for coats...baskets for gloves...narrow storage for shoes and boots. Now you will have wall space over the freezer more storage area. be creative don't forget to finish the floor ...hang the ironing board and if you can't live with looking at the water heater they have great movable.floor screens, mine is in a small closet and its very hard to get to and we wind up tearing out pieces of wall to work on it. Now you will have organization, storage,and a flexible decor..

    • Jan Posey Comer-Shipman Jan Posey Comer-Shipman on Dec 28, 2013 I like this but I just had my laundry room remodeled and I had my husband raise the front loaders off the floor and put 3laundry baskets under the machines to sort clothes. Bonus, you do not have to bend down to get things out of machine and the baskets are right underneath the door. Shelving, designated bins for storage that are well marked is a must!!! I used old pieces of slate (from and old roof) and made changeable labels on each!

  • I would first start with ditching the wire shelving and maybe use them later. Then I would start with a shelf roughly 12" down (or buy plastic totes, bins, or even decorate the same size box and come down to plus 1" from the ceiling down) from the ceiling above the washer and turn to above the freezer. Then I would come down another 12" with the same concept as above for storage. As for the water system~you could build around it or buy 2 doors and use them as a surround for the unit (only if you are unable to build around the unit which would be the best option) then I would either hinge/attach one or each of the doors to the wall or hinge them together and then have a screen. Either way, you could hang hooks on the door, use as an area for hanging hats, scarfs, and other items. Above the freezer to the right, I would either put shelves there that reach to the electric box or even find a cabinet that would fit there and hang it to store or use it for purely decorative. Next to the washer and dryer: I would find a table or wood that could be used to go over the dryer as a counter over to the water unit and you could extend legs on a table with PVC which is very inexpensive. Then you would have a work/sort/fold space and under neath you could find/build storage underneath or have a place for a laundry baskets/sorters. Above the washer you keep coming down with the shelves to house baskets/boxes, bins for holding whatever. There is another idea for the wire shelves~use them above the washer and dryer upside down and at a slant for shoes and put them closer together to fit more shelves and shoes. these are just some ideas. Good luck

    • Jan Posey Comer-Shipman Jan Posey Comer-Shipman on Dec 28, 2013
      @The Garden Frog with C Renee If money is an issue, remember that boxes from cases of paper (used by most offices) are free and can be decorated or even painted to make great storage for your shelves. hooks and pegs are always a plus and remember use all of your wall space!

  • Sfg178760 Sfg178760 on Dec 27, 2013
    Quick response....that shelving area needs to be bumped up big time....floor to ceiling and make it a cabinet so you can close the doors!!!! Long term cabinet storage over the freezer. The rest is new flooring paint!

  • Yes, paint and floor. Should not forget about that! Paint something bright and cheery! Will be easy with everything down and out of room. Be sure to check out clearance in your home stores! I have gotten flooring for more than 50% and up to 90% off! Since this is a mud/laundry room, I would go with a floor durable enough for wet feet. I bought laminate flooring for my new mud, laundry & 1/2bath for less than $5 a box and it has lasted 2 years with no problems.

    • Jan Posey Comer-Shipman Jan Posey Comer-Shipman on Dec 28, 2013
      @The Garden Frog with C Renee check daily specials at Home Depot, Lowes etc. We found Pergo flooring, for 99 cents sq foot (regularly $3+ per), free delivery and an extra 5% off

  • Lee Christian Lee Christian on Dec 27, 2013
    I agree about the paint, and personally would go with all white (and washable!) since the appliances and shelving are white. Perhaps search for organization of laundry room on Pinterest? Tons of great ideas. A place to put laundry baskets would be great - color coded perhaps for whites/darks/however you separate? Shelving up high around the perimeter for things you need handy but don't need every day? I have one suggestion. We had a front loader washer and now have a high capacity top loader. Some people love front loaders, but now that we have this big top one, I'm SO RELIEVED! It's like gas or electric stoves, most people have a strong preference. Good luck! (I love Hometalk because it lets us ask questions and get answers on here!)

  • Accentuations! Accentuations! on Dec 27, 2013
    How about some cabinetry? I would definitely enclose the water system an utilize the space between that and the washer dryer (where the wire shelves are) into an enclosed storage/pantry closet. Cabinets would be useful above the washer dryer would store all your laundry needs. To the right of the exterior door you could put up some hooks for hanging coats and jackets...maybe a shoe cubby/ bench beneath. I know the wall above the freezer will be tough because of the electrical, but I would maybe put up some bright or fun art or even a couple shelves. And paint it a fun color!

  • Erin Hodnett Erin Hodnett on Dec 27, 2013
    Thank you everybody!! I love all of your ideas and input! Unfortunately it's not in our budget to buy two front loaders, plus I really like my top loaders, I feel like I can fit more into it. And I make my own detergent so it's more friendly to my washer. @The Garden Frog with C Renee I absolutely LOVE your idea to build a countertop/table between the dryer and water filtration unit and storage underneath! @My Gnome Little World , , @ The floors are definitely on the to-do list. Would you guys do tile? or laminate? It looks like everyone pretty much agrees that the wire shelving (all of it) should come down. I totally agree! And cabinetry looks to be the popular vote too, so I like that :)

    • Sfg178760 Sfg178760 on Dec 27, 2013
      @Erin Hodnett WE used stick on laminate tiles in an upstairs bathroom for a cheap upgrade...and they looked great...looks a lot like stone tile! So...definitely look into that if the budget is tight. Also...if you have a HABITAT FOR HUMANITY RESALE STORE NEAR can look for already built cabinets to buy for a great price!!!! I am all about budget! It is a laundry room...tile would be great...but not sure if it is needed.

  • I would do a laminate flooring because it is cheaper and it is so easy to put down. check out the back and clearance aisles of your home stores. for the wood shelves look at the pressed board shelves usually at the end of the 1x lumber aisles at Lowes. They are cheaper than wood and you can paint them. Here is a pic of the floating shelves I did with the pressed board. Or many home stores will cut plywood to widths you need and you could easily get 4 - 8' shelves out of a piece of plywood. Also you can think about using a shelving unit on wheels too to hide the water unit and that way you can move the "shelves" in and out as needed. Oh and check out the mistint paint for deals on a new color for the walls and ceiling.

  • Erin Hodnett Erin Hodnett on Dec 27, 2013
    Cool! Thank you :)

  • Mag268915 Mag268915 on Dec 27, 2013
    before you poo-poo the new washer/dryer....they are more energy efficient , usually there are rebates and tax credits to be had. The payments I made on them was small and worth the expense. Save your money by diy your décor pieces using found /upcycled / flea market remakes. I divorced 3 years ago....left everything behind....operating on a shoe string ( still, losing job) and my mobile home is unique and stunning. People are amazed when they walk in the door...This is a mobile home? I have 2 sites if you need ideas or help....give a yell

  • Wanda sinnema Wanda sinnema on Dec 27, 2013
    I'd start with the ENTIRE WALL where the freezer is in pantry style closet/cabinet, with bifold door for ease of access. You could easily fit lots of storage and shelving around the electrical panel and also the water system. Maybe use the wire shelving in there. It would shorten the length of the room. Then I'd put more cabinets about the washer and dryer,,more the better. I'd also MOVE the washer and dryer a bit to the RIGHT, just enough to have a "drop zone" for some of the outside gear a few cubbies w/ baskets. On the wall next to the door I'd put hooks,,,,, maybe give each member 2-3..... you are taking up lots of space but putting all that on the shelves..

  • Wanda sinnema Wanda sinnema on Dec 27, 2013
    Another option if it fits, remove all the shelves, MOVE THE FREEZER next to the W/D..Do the ENTIRE WALL UPPER cabinets or combo of cabinets and cubbies. Where the freezer was, a "drop zone" seating area with short storage bench (below the panel) w/ baskets in the cubbies for outdoor gear. and broom closet like storage cabinet in the corner for cleaning and toolsgreat for stuff you don't use everyday. By the door add 2-3 rows of hooks for jackets and backpacks.. upper hooks for hats and gloves..or maybe IF you could MOVE the towers to where the freezer is now.. ? if thats an option switch the freezer and that..pantry/cabinets on the entire wallof the water system, leaving the area in from the the panel box open, but hidden behind the doors, with maybe your wire shelving in there, all storage no seating. If all else fails,,,, take these photos and a scaled drawing to a home improvement and let them help design a space on their computer....

  • Jeanette S Jeanette S on Dec 28, 2013
    Get rid of the wire shelves...they are practically useless. Over the washer/dryer, put in deeper wood shelves that have closed ends to hold things in place and use bins or even boxes; and continue the shelves to the right of the dryer...ceiling to down low enough to slide a couple of laundry baskets underneath. A 12" deep shelf could go over the door to the outside from over the freezer, around the corner all the way to the kitchen door on which small boxes or bins could be stored. Build these shelves sturdy enough to be of use, not just some flimsy little build out! What you have to do is make sure it is not used as a catch all!

  • Donna Shipley Donna Shipley on Dec 28, 2013
    I have the same issue except my "laundry room" is also my entry :( Fortunately my husband built cupboards all the way around the washer & dryer plus I have front loaders on pedestal drawers that helps and the coat rack is on the porch. Good luck :)

  • Jan Posey Comer-Shipman Jan Posey Comer-Shipman on Dec 28, 2013
    You could always look at 2nd hand stores or auctions or even Craig's List for used bi-fold doors to place around the filter and water heater. Easily moved when you need to get to them and if there is storage above, place the shelves to "stabilize" the doors!

  • Claudia Claudia on Dec 28, 2013
    Check out Craig's List or want ads for cabinets. I know a couple of people who've found new looking cabinets for their garages for almost nothing. You can always paint them.

  • Elizabeth E Elizabeth E on Dec 28, 2013
    I would invest in better shelves above the washer and dryer. At least a double set and wider. Make better use of the wall space. Also sounds silly but maybe a curtain rod where you store in the corner and use a long curtain to block the view. Cheap solution and makes the space look cleaner.

  • MikkiGirl MikkiGirl on Dec 28, 2013
    I'd go along with painting the walls. Paint always brightens and "news" up a space. My suggestion would be a pale yellow. Also agree with cabinets to replace the shelving above the washer and dryer. Possibly a cabinet where the wall shelving is now. Ikea has some very nice ones, or you could make your own. Definitely update the floor. Enjoy!

  • Angel S Angel S on Dec 28, 2013
    collectionsetccom is a wonderful resource for appliance magnets that run around $14.99. They have laundry room magnets that you could face your freezer with and they pull off and on so you can change them out whenever you want. I have one on my dishwasher that has coffee items on it and it's beautiful!

  • Margaret Holloway Margaret Holloway on Dec 28, 2013
    I don't think you necessarily need to replace the floor, especially since it seems to go on into another adjoining room. I would try to get a few more tiles to finish off the corner if possible. I like the idea of built in cabinets over the washer and dryer but, if not in the budget, then some classy baskets to organize the storage up above. Looks like the filtration system makes it impossible to move the freezer next to the washer and dryer. You could hang an IKEA track above all, which would have decorative panels to close off the washer dryer wall when you aren't using them, also hiding the filtration system and vacuum cleaners. Hang a nice piece of art work over that electrical panel that you can easily remove when needed. Have your husband build a box with a lid to go around the freezer, kind of like something you cover an old radiator with, which would make it more attractive in the corner with art work over it. Research pinterest ideas for clever holders of dog dishes. The paint is cheery enough if it matches the adjoining area and you don't want to change it, just add something to it, like a tone on tone stencil, or a white stencil. You could also place a mirror over the freezer that would reflect even more of the light in there and serve as the last minute "how do I look" before going out the back door. Depending on your decorating tastes, either glam it up with IKEA panels, awesome baskets or bins, a mirror and/or even a small chandelier hanging in front of the mirror over the lovely box built around the freezer, (I'm envisioning something with pretty metal insert in white) or something more country, warm, with different touches in the panels, the art work, and walls. I'm one who likes to use what's available and work with it. Cabinets would be the dream solution for up above, but you're wasting the shelves and properly used they can be functional too. The floor doesn't look in bad shape.

  • Shari Shari on Dec 28, 2013
    My #1 piece of advice is DO NOT even consider laminate for flooring for this room. With your washer, water treatment tanks and freezer, there is way too much potential for water leakage. Trust me when I say laminate flooring and water do not play nicely together! Water/moisture can cause the laminate planks to swell, warp, etc. One minor leak from any of your appliances and the laminate will be ruined. Tile or vinyl are good options for laundry rooms. You may want to look at Trafficmaster "Allure" vinyl planks (sold at Home Depot). I love the Allure vinyl planks that look like wood and they offer water resistant and water proof styles, plus the price is very budget friendly. I whole-heartedly agree with everyone who suggested better storage (preferably cabinets with doors for hiding not-so-pretty essentials and clutter). And paint! Virtually nothing can improve a space like paint. A pretty, cheerful wall color would do wonders for this room. When I painted my laundry room, I even painted right over the gray electrical box so it didn't stand out like a sore thumb. Ideally, a cabinet over the freezer would be great but if you brought it down low enough to cover the electrical panel, I think the cabinet would stick out too far from the wall and prevent you from opening the freezer lid. The wall with the electrical panel is the first thing you see when you walk into the laundry room, so in addition to painting the gray cover, you might also consider hanging a large piece of art over the freezer to further detract your eyes from focusing on the electrical panel. My hot water heater is in the corner of my laundry room. My husband and I bought 2 hollow core closet doors and screwed them together to make a L shape to hide the water heater. It is easy enough to slide the doors out if we need to get to the hot water heater and it's open on the top to allow ventilation, but the doors make a "faux wall" and hide the ugliness of the hot water heater. You may want to consider something similar to hide your water treatment tanks. I've attached a photo so you can actually visualize what I'm talking about.

  • Maly Porter Maly Porter on Dec 28, 2013
    In no particular order, I would 1) put sheet vinyl on the floor, to deal with possible entry/laundry water issues and make a clean slate 2) paint the walls a color that brightens your heart - you probably spend enough time there you could enjoy it :) 3) move freezer next to W/D if possible - use it as a folding surface, and you'll be forced to put away laundry so you can access it 4) trade in the wire shelving for open cabinets with baskets - way more useful and private 5) consider curtaining off water filter/breaker box end with curtains made of canvas drop clothes - they hold up well and look nice. You have a good utility area going here, which we all need, and some great potential! Good luck!

  • Mag268915 Mag268915 on Dec 28, 2013
    I like that....great idea.. My baskets r on top of machines your idea is a back saver.

  • Accentuations! Accentuations! on Dec 28, 2013
    Actually, I covered one for a client with a magnetic sheet cut to the same size and disguised it while they chose other items that they wanted nearby. It worked out well!

  • Shari Shari on Dec 28, 2013
    If you move your ironing board and slide your washer/dryer down snug up against the wall, can you fit the freezer next to the dryer? If it will fit, (it looks sooooooo close!) moving the freezer could potentially open up more storage options for you. Also, they have come out with some really pretty ironing board covers (look on Etsy), or if you sew you could make your own. With a cheerful pattern, your ironing board could be hung on the wall and used as "art," -- either hanging it higher up on the wall where it is currently sitting or maybe even on the wall across from the washer/dryer. I agree with others who see lots of potential here. It just needs some reorganization and prettifying. :)

  • Liliana Wells Liliana Wells on Dec 28, 2013
    I love the built-in cabinets in Shari's photo. If that is not an option for you or too expensive consider a rounded shower curtain to hide the water heater-filtration system. Then paint the room with a color complimentary to the curtain. Also, if you have a really tall ceiling, visually lower it by painting it. I like some of the other ideas expressed here. Good luck.

  • Rachel Clark Rachel Clark on Dec 28, 2013
    Main needs would be usable shelves (that take full advantage of the available space), and paint. As for the back wall, either paint the electrical panel to the same color as the wall, or hang a curtain over both the panel and the wall to the right of it. Not a gathered curtain, but flat like a tapestry. SO many cute prints to choose from, and it will turn an eyesore into a focal point.

  • Funnygirl Funnygirl on Jan 14, 2014
    A large countertop or even a door can be attached with a piano hinge so it can be raised above the freezer.Great space for crafts or folding table for laundry.Even a great desk if you can put easy access to the walls with pens papers,scissors etc. would love to see you paint the wall on the right with chalkboard!then you can tack material on the bottom of the top to cover the freezer.another cool idea-pockets placed onto the material will give you more storage spaces and make the space more finished.You have a great space.Have fun!A large mirror hung on top (not too heavy)would also open the space on top of the electrical panel.Or a mirror or picture hung on another piano hinge would then swing open to gain access to your panel.just get advise how to install so close to the electrical box

  • Polly Zieper Polly Zieper on Jan 14, 2014
    my thoughts:1. laminate is way!! too vulnerable to water, would never use in laundry or bathroom. linoleum or tile is better, more durable. there are some neat linoleum patterns now that look like wood or tile. 2. don't ever put fridge or freezer next to dryer!If you have an appliance that is supposed to keep things cold next to one that dries using hot air, your electric bill will go through the roof. This is true in any room.An electrician told me not to store/pile stuff on top of my fridge, because the air should circulate for it to work efficiently Same with vent on back of fridge, shouldn't be pushed up completely against a wall for the same reason. good luck with whatever you decide, and post pix!

  • GrannyB384 GrannyB384 on Apr 17, 2015
    I agree with the idea of upper cabinets that go all the way up to the ceiling to run the full length of the wall over the washer/dryer and even extending around to the wall above the water treatment units and a shorter cabinet above the freezer . That would provide some continuity to the entire room, rather than just having small cabinets over the washer/dryer. You could mount a short clothes rod (about 18") under the cabinets right next to your washer/dryer to hang clothes fresh out of the dryer. In the space where the short wire shelves are, you could add a stacking cubicle system with nice baskets for more storage. These cubicles could go all the way up to the bottom of the upper cabinets, giving you a possible 4 X 2 cubicle unit. To hide the water filtration system, I would build a nice folding screen with beautiful patterned cloth, stretched over a simple 2"X2" wood frame that is easy to make, and trimmed with a series of cording (a large and a small size) with a nice decorative braid trim between the two sizes of cording. For the freezer and breaker box, I would paint them, using an epoxy paint or appliance paint and then glue decorative wood edging around the edge of the front and top of the freezer, perhaps in two successive squares with about 1 1/2" to 2" between the two faux frames, and around the edge of the breaker box. In the center, you could decoupage a beautiful picture, both on the breaker box and on the freezer front, making the breaker box and the entire freezer look like a work s of art. I would leave the top of the freezer with just one row of framing on the outside edge to maintain a smooth top. Then, I would add a window treatment to the window on the door, as well as hanging some more art work or handcraft pieces on the blank walls, perhaps adding in a wreath on the wall over the freezer and an arrangement of artwork and handcrafted items, depending on your taste, on the other blank wall. The floor really does need to be finished out in the same tiles you have used already to finish out the space where there are none near the water treatment canisters. For the dog feeding area, you can buy a unit that stores the dog food in the bottom with spaces for the food and water dishes on the top. The height, of course, would depend on how big your dog is. If it is a small dog, I would just invest in a unit with out the food storage. If you don't want to shell out the money to buy one of these units, you can build one. I'm sure you could find something on the internet that would tell you how to build such a feeder. Lastly, I would get a nice, big rug to go at the back door for people to wipe their feet on when they walk in. I hope you can imagine the same thing I have been trying to describe and that you have found some of my ideas helpful. I would really love to see what the finished project looks like! I wish you the best of luck with your laundry room. I'm sure it is going to be lovely, as well as very functional!!! Blessings!

  • Marion Nesbitt Marion Nesbitt on Apr 17, 2015
    I'd buy or paint a large piece of art to hang at the end of the room to add some colour, and to hide the electric panel. Think it would also reduce the visual length of the room.. You could add a frame around your mechanicals and attach lattice with clips. Don't think this would be a problem as there would still be air flow, and you could easily detach it if there were repairs/access needed..

  • Chas' Crazy Creations Chas' Crazy Creations on Oct 01, 2022

    I have several organizing posts that might help you