Closed September 2017

Clutter Video Tip: How to Organize a Tiny Laundry Room (and Install Elfa Shelving)

Genies know a thing or two about maximizing small spaces. But arranging a laundry closet to meet your needs is a wish that you can make come true- without taking one thousand and one nights to do it. Watch this video to see how I maximized the space in my new laundry room in one day (without any magical help at all).

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Hi. I’m Lorie Marrero, creator of the Clutter Diet book and online program. Today, I get to show off my new laundry closet. I just downsized from a 4,500 square foot home to a 1,600 square foot home, and I used to have a big laundry room, and now I have a laundry closet. I did a video before about the basic 12 elements of the ideal laundry room, and I had showed my old laundry room in that video. I had some comments there saying “I don’t have a laundry room,” and I’m so thrilled to say, I’ve been able to accommodate all of these 12 features, mostly in this closet and certainly in other areas of the house and make a functional laundry system in this much smaller space.

How did I do this? I used Elfa Shelving from The Container Store. I used their expert designer over there, who worked with me to design this closet. I design my own closet sometimes, but I still like using their experts, because they really are familiar with the product, and it’s free. And I did my own installation. They actually will do that too, but I kind of enjoy it. Here’s how the installation went. I first had to rip out the one rod, one shelf that the builder put in. You can see how that was working for me in this shot. I was really happy to rip it out. It’s kind of therapeutic. I enjoy it. Then the install for the Elfa Shelving is so easy. That’s why I like using it for projects like this. All you really have to install is the track along the top. All the drilling and putting in of screws and things like that is involved with the track.

Everything else hangs down and snaps on to the track. Once you’ve done the track, it all falls into place and it’s very forgiving. Believe me, if I can do it, you can do it. If you don’t want to do it, they can send their installers over too. I really like the product, so I just wanted to give a plug here for my friends at The Container Store. I really appreciate them helping me on this makeover, because it is a great product. It is adjustable, it changes with your needs, and it’s easy to work with.

First, let’s talk about, number one, the washer and dryer. Obviously, that’s part of an ideal laundry room. I want to make a point about that, and that is that I have a front loading washer and dryer, and so what that does for me is it gives me the surface on top of the washer and dryer to make that available for folding, or putting other items that need to be stored, like these laundry baskets. Obviously, if you’re in the market for a new washer and dryer, you want to consider having a front loader, because it’s easier for storage.

The second thing is sorting and staging space. This is space to sort your dirty clothes and ideally, when I had my old laundry room, I had a sorting hamper in there, and that’s perfect because you’ve got three different compartments for sorting. What I’ve done now is accommodate that in my closet upstairs in the master bedroom. In the meantime, I do have a place for some dirty clothes, like dishtowels, that originate from this floor where I live with the kitchen and everything. That’s kind of my hamper for this area, because I don’t really need that much here for a hamper.

The third thing in an ideal laundry room is folding space. Because, again, I have a front loading washer and dryer, I can use the top of this for folding if I want to. But, most of the time, I really kind of enjoy taking the clothes over to anothersurface, like I used to use my dining table, and now I can use my sofa, and that way, I can interact with other people and kind of have a little more space and listen to music or something else. But I can fold here if I want to.

Number 4 is hanging space. You want to have that close to the dryer so you can hang things up right when they’re coming out and minimize the wrinkles. I was able to accommodate that on the back of the door. I’m able to hang up these clothes very easily. That was something that I lost when I took out the rod that the builder put in.

Number 5 is drip-dry space. For me this is one of the most important things, because I have a lot of exercise clothing that I wear and; my delicate items that I don’t want to put in the dryer. I have this accordion rack that I’ve always loved– I also got this from The Container Store– and this folds in and out and I can snap it back to the wall when I want to.

Number 6, storage and shelving. For holding your clean clothes and other kinds of items, obviously I have a lot of shelving in here. As a matter of fact, this goes all the way up to the ceiling, and I have a lot of stuff up there. I really have almost more space than I need, which is kind of funny. So, I went from all that crowding to having, you know, even empty space up there.

Number 7 is cleaning and laundry supplies. I have put all of that on the door. I also have a caddy that’s on one of these upper shelves, so that I can grab a few things at once. All of it’s accommodated here on the door.

Number 8 is an ironing station. This is one thing that I’ve taken completely out of this space and moved to the master closet. Pretty soon, I’m going to be so happy to give you a tour of my new master closet that got re-done.

Number 9 is maintenance supplies. You want to have a place for handy household tools, like your tape measure, and you know, common screwdrivers and things that you need.

Number 10 is what we call “the lonely socks place.” I believe when you have a sock that doesn’t have its mate; you don’t want to take that to a second location. I believe in keeping that centralized in the laundry area so that eventually, they find their way to their match. I have this basket here where I’m keeping the lonely socks. At some point, when they gather up, I have a little lonely socks wedding, and I put those together and everybody’s happy and I donate whatever is left.

Number 11 is pocket items, for things that fall out of your pockets in the dryer. I have this little dish here for, you know, buttons that fall off, things like that.

Number 12 is a trash can for the dryer lint and all the other things that you pull out of pockets that are trash.

That’s how I’ve been able to accommodate all 12 of those functions in this small space and still have room to spare. I hope you enjoyed it. You can watch my other video to see how the other laundry room used to look and you’ll see some of these familiar things in there too.

I just want to offer that if you need some help with this, we have people to help you every day, our expert team at When you’re stuck with a project like this, this is what we do every day. We’ve helped thousands of people in 18 countries. We give advice on-line for about the price of a pizza. So come check us out at

See you next time, and may you always be happy and grateful for having more than enough.

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