We spend so much of our time washing, drying and folding, yet most homeowners wouldn’t say they love spending time in the laundry room. Upgrading this space to be more functional and visually-appealing is simpler than you might think.
We’ve pulled together a few DIY laundry room storage and décor ideas to make this daily task feel less like a chore.
How Much Does a Full Laundry Room Remodel Cost?
You could get your laundry room professionally renovated if you have the budget, but it’s not cheap. A laundry room remodel costs anywhere between $1,300 and $12,000, depending on what you want done. For example, adding 5 feet of cabinets costs about $400, up to $2,000 for custom cabinet installation. Installing a basic utility sink costs about $560, with a high-end basin costing around $1,000. But let’s face it, unless your laundry room is uninhabitable, your home improvement budget will probably be better spent elsewhere. Consider the smaller laundry room ideas below for DIY-friendly solutions that cost a few hundred dollars or less.
15 DIY Laundry Room Projects for a Functional Space
Instead of taking on the cost and effort of a full utility room remodel, let’s talk about some do-it-yourself projects that can add functionality without breaking your budget.
1. Improve Your Laundry Room’s Storage With a Pegboard
One easy project to add storage to your laundry room is to put up a pegboard on an empty wall. Get your broom and mop out of the corner and hang them up alongside smaller items like dusters, lint rollers, brushes and dustpans. You can even hang small baskets or boxes for your dryer sheets, detergent pods and other larger laundry supplies. The great thing about a pegboard is that you can freely move anything around, so you can try out different arrangements as much as you want. You can even add hooks to hang clothes up to dry if you need.
2. Elevate Your Washer and Dryer With DIY Pedestals
Tired of bending over to fill your front-load machines? Get them up on a pedestal to make swapping out clothes easier. You don’t have to pay a lot for ones that match your machines. Instead, make your own to fit your unique needs. There are a lot of free plans online that you can use to get started. Just be sure the pedestal is level and adequately supported so your machines don’t come crashing down. Leave the front of the pedestal open if you need additional storage in a small laundry room. And while you’re moving your machines, take a moment to look them over. Replacing a worn-out washer or dryer could potentially give you more resale value than a full laundry room remodel.
3. Get a Rolling Cart to Store Supplies Between the Washer and Dryer
Space out your machines and add a narrow cart between them. This is a great place to keep detergent, dryer sheets and other supplies if you’re limited on storage space. Plus, how many times have you dropped a sock between your washer and dryer and decided that it wasn’t worth the effort to dig it out? Now if something drops down that gap, just roll out your cart, reach in and get it.
4. Build Shelves Behind the Door
A great small laundry room idea is to add some additional shelving in a place that’s currently underutilized, like behind the door. You might think there isn’t enough space, but even shelves that are only a few inches deep can get some of those smaller items out of the way. Free up other areas of your laundry room by making use of normally dead space.
5. Stack Your Laundry Baskets
The only thing worse than washing all that laundry is having to sort it into whites, colors and delicates before you can even get started. Some of the best laundry room ideas are based on a good sorting system. An easy answer is to use a separate laundry basket for each type of clothing, but that can take up a lot of space. Solve this problem by adding a small shelf to stack them on top of each other. You can even remove the doors from some extra cabinets and slide the baskets in there.
6. Repurpose Old Furniture to Save on Laundry Room Remodeling Costs
If you’re short on storage but don’t want to spend the time or money on a full laundry room remodel, you may be able to reuse some old furniture. It’s as easy as putting a chest of drawers or a bookshelf into your laundry room. You can repurpose a piece you already own, or find something from a thrift store or garage sale. If you can happen to find one that is table or counter-height, you can even use the top to sort and fold your laundry.
“An organized space depends upon smart storage. Cabinets with doors or cubbies with baskets give homeowners a place to hide bottles of detergent, cleaning supplies, dirty laundry and other items you may not want visible. A few open shelves are a great way to display a few knick-knacks.”
Jim Kabel | Next Stage Design + Build
7. Make a Place to Hang Laundry
Not everyone has a picturesque clothesline in the backyard for items that can’t go in the dryer, but you can find ways to hang those air-dry clothes right in your laundry room. One laundry idea for unfinished basements is to simply nail a thin board across a couple of the ceiling joists for clothes hangers. It may not look pretty, but it’s easy and functional. If you’re looking for something classier, install a hanging rod. You can hang it between overhead cabinets, inside a larger cabinet or directly to the wall. You can even use a shower curtain tension rod if you don’t want something permanent.
Small Laundry Room Idea: Foldaway Drying Racks
Consider a foldaway drying rack if you have a smaller laundry room or don’t have space to add a rod. There are a lot of options available that install easily and tuck away to free up space when you aren’t using it.
8. Hide Away Your Machines With a Sliding Door
If you don’t have a true laundry room and your machines are tucked into a closet-like space, consider upgrading to a sliding door. Traditional or French doors stick out and can disrupt traffic if your laundry room is in a hallway, but a sliding door stays closer to the wall and can more closely match your decor. A barn door is a classy utility room remodeling project to keep that space hidden from view. This can be more of an advanced DIY project, so you can always contract it out for about $600 on average.
9. Make Space to Sort and Fold
Stop folding and sorting your laundry on the bed, and put a table right in your laundry room. You can even tuck laundry baskets or other supplies underneath it. Don’t have enough room for a table? If you have front-load machines, you can install a counter over the top. A simpler option is to put a butcher board across them for a less-permanent option that provides the same function.
Space-Saving Laundry Idea: Folding Table
If you have a small laundry room or use top-load machines, a table or counter may not work, but you don’t have to give up the idea of creating a sorting space. Consider a built-in foldaway table instead. Bring it down when you need it and then tuck it away when you’re done. Now you have an area to fold and sort without taking up precious floor space.
10. Install a Foldaway Ironing Board
An ironing board is something you need to have around, but it’s pretty big and tends to get in the way. Built-in folding ironing boards may be the small laundry room idea that you need but haven’t thought of before. Many home improvement stores offer various models of stowaway ironing boards that mount to your wall. These are easy to install and won’t take up a lot of space.
Cost-Saving Laundry Room Remodel Tip: Hang up Your Ironing Board
If you don’t want to get rid of your old ironing board, a great way to keep it out of the way is to hang it up on the wall. Simply install a few inexpensive utility hooks, and you’re good to go.
11. Add Lighting for Your Folding Spaces
Let’s face it, your laundry room probably doesn’t have the best lighting. And what good is adding a folding station if you can’t see it well? Getting a light fixture installed professionally could cost you anywhere between $150 and $900. Bring that bill down a bit by adding your own battery-operated lighting. Undercabinet lights cost between $15 and $70 and are available in many home improvement stores and online retailers. Install as many as you need near your folding space and enjoy a well-lit work area.
12. Update Your Flooring
Updating the floor in your laundry space can dramatically affect the look and feel of your room. Tile is one of your better options since it can handle those unavoidable water or detergent spills. Installing the tile yourself is a more advanced DIY project, but still doable. Otherwise, you’re looking at about $7 to $10 per square foot to have the tile professionally installed. Another option is to lay down peel-and-stick flooring yourself.
“Tile is the flooring material we recommend most often. It is durable, easy to clean and will not warp when exposed to standing water.”
Jim Kabel | Next Stage Design + Build
Peel and Stick Vinyl vs. Plank Vinyl Flooring: A Cost Comparison
There are many different types of flooring to consider, with peel-and-stick being the most DIY-friendly option for a laundry room remodel. Plank vinyl is another commonly-used material, and while it can be installed yourself, it requires a little more know-how. A professional installation can cost between $3 and $7 per square foot. Peel-and-stick, on the other hand, costs between $1 and $5 per square foot and is easy to install yourself.
13. Repaint the Walls
When looking for laundry room decor ideas, don’t count out a fresh coat of paint. Since you’ll likely be tackling a small space, leftover paint from another project could be enough to get the job done. You can also consider only painting an accent wall so you won’t have to buy more paint.
14. Refresh Your Cabinets
In keeping with the last tip, you can make old cabinets look new again with a fresh coat of paint and new pulls. It’s a simple project that doesn’t require a full laundry room remodel, but the difference can be amazing. This is the perfect option if your cabinets are generally in good shape but showing some wear and tear.
15. Collect Your Dryer Lint
Do you find yourself going back and forth from the dryer to a trash can in another room to toss out lint in between cycles? Collect several loads’ worth and get rid of it all at once to make your life easier. You won’t build up lint that fast, so you can use almost any small container. Get creative and consider matching the lint bin with your other laundry room décor. You can mount an old front door mailbox to the wall, set a classy vase on a shelf or paint and customize a mason jar. Browse your local resale shops to find small containers that fit your décor to really make the space your own.
Green Tip: Use Dryer Lint as a Fire Starter
There are always opportunities to think green when you’re remodeling, and reusing lint is certainly one of them. If you’re the outdoorsy type, you can use that lint as a fire starter in two different ways. The first is to simply pack the lint into an old toilet paper tube. The second uses old cardboard egg cartons. Fill each compartment with lint and pour melted candle wax over the top to seal it in. Tuck your fire starter under the logs and kindling of your bonfire, light it and you’ll have a blaze going in no time. You’ll be a hit at your next camping trip when your friends and family are having trouble getting a fire going!
Is the Newly-Remodeled Laundry Room Putting the Rest of Your House to Shame?
Now that your utility room remodel is done, do you have ideas for your next room upgrade? We have guides to help you plan and budget for almost any home renovation project: