3 Simple Things Every Laundry Room Needs

3 simple things

I heard a phrase that I’ll never forget, one afternoon years ago between the hours of four and five o’clock on a weekday–the Oprah hour.

Oprah and Nate were talking about home (my favorite topic on the Oprah show!) specifically, the  front entry, and Nate casually said that when you walk inside “your home should rise up to greet you“.

I still don’t know exactly what that would sound like (I’m guessing Maya Angelo’s voice?) but I’m pretty sure my “front entry” is more laying on the sofa, binge watching Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt acknowledging me with barely a glance and uttering under its breath ‘her again?’.


My laundry room is my front entry.

It’s also my back porch, front porch, front door, pantry, catch-all, guest bathroom, recycling overflow holder place, cat scratching room, drop off for golf clubs, shoes and jackets, and anything else we don’t want to mess up the house with.


My Laundry Room doesn’t rise up and call me blessed.

Our poor laundry room is a Jack of all Trades, a Room of All Purposes, also known as a Big Mess.

It’s the hardest working room in our house, the one that gets all of the abuse and none of the attention.

Instead of being annoyed at the lack of storage, weird layout and why in the world is our house faced in a direction that everyone only comes to our back door/laundry room to enter our house…today I’m going to tell you why I’m okay with this room.

I’m okay with this room because it exists.

Some of you know exactly what I mean. As much as our laundry room could be so much prettier and efficient, I’m thrilled because we actually have a laundry room!

It’s so great! I’ve lived in enough houses to know better than to complain about this big area where my washer and dryer live.

The fact that it’s often a mess really means one thing–it saves the rest of the house from being just as messy.


No matter the state of your laundry room, laundry closet, washer & dryer area, wing of your mansion where your servants do your laundry, there are three things I’ve noticed that can elevate your personal laundry experience (or your servant’s laundry experience).



Dark laundry rooms just add to the depression of doing work.

Even in a basement laundry room with no windows, instead of relying on that one flashing overhead fluorescent light–give yourself the gift of a lamp, or a few lamps!

Shop the house, raid the attic, or splurge on the lamp of your dreams–it doesn’t matter, you at least deserve to do your chores in a well-lit area. If you are lucky enough to have windows, consider doing what I did and removing all of the blinds–I want every single drop of natural light to enter my room.


Pretty Hiding Places

The laundry area is a workhorse, and some of the stuff we store there isn’t all that pretty. I’m always on the lookout for pretty baskets. We even keep the bottom half of a hutch in the laundry room to store extra kitchen stuff. It wasn’t my first choice, but we had it, it hides a bunch of randomness, and it’s pretty.

swing shelf

Moments of Delight

When I knew I wanted to make a rope swing shelf, there was only one place in my house that made sense for it to go–the laundry room. And that annoyed me because I don’t love our laundry room and it felt like I was wasting my most adorable DIY project in a room I didn’t love.

But, really, it was the perfect place for the shelf. Putting something special in an unfinished room actually made me like the room more. Even an undone room–especially one you use every day, deserves some love.

Other ways to add moments of delight: put down a pretty rug, bring in a plant or cut some branches and place them in a vase, light a good smelling candle, or treat yourself to the laundry soap that smells wonderful.

If we have to be in our laundry area, let’s make it more bearable!



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  1. Do you have a rope shelf tutorial? I love it and NEED one in my laundry room! Just curious how it attaches to the ceiling?

  2. Mary McDaniel says

    I never ever saw myself using a company like Grove. But then we moved high up into the mountains of Colorado and my nearest favorite options are an hour away. And then two weeks later we had a baby. And then a few weeks after that, I saw you blog about Grove for the first time. I have been so pleased! I love that it doesn’t feel like I’m obligated to buy anything and I also love that they’ve vetted the brands and products for me, so some of the guesswork is taken out of it. I’ve interacted with their customer service team and they have also been great! I didn’t expect to like them, but I do!!

    • I feel the same way, it wasn’t until I moved farther away from Target that I realized how services like this simplified my life–I’ve ordered makeup, clothes, groceries, books (of course) and anything I possibly can from online services!!

  3. Heidi@TheMerryMagpieVintage says

    The What’s the Catch link doesn’t work.

  4. I laughed, I schemed. Yours is a talent I’ll never tire of.
    And I remember your laundry room more than any other room in your house, and I LOVED it.

  5. I love this post!! I was seriously hating my laundry room, but it’s so true… It keeps the rest of the house clean. I never actually thought about making it pretty, but what a great idea! Ok, so now that you’ve motivated me, I’m on the lookout for things to make my laundry room more appealing. Thanks for the tips!

  6. hey girl great tips! Love ya! I have a tiny “laundry room” going into our main bathroom.

  7. I have the same problem we come in from the garage and there is no window in my small 6′ X 8′ laundry room. I did give it a spring cleaning and it feels so much better. Now I’m on to doing some decorating. Thanks for the great posts
    For those folks who have moved away from Target I highly recommend ordering online I have bought a bench and rugs this way and it’s been great. The bench especially trying to get that into a cart would have been a hassle – they pack everything we’ll and shipping is free over $25. They’ll ship almost anything!

  8. That shelf! So adorable. Your idea of putting the cutest thing in the worst room, just sparked a hundred ideas for me. I have a lot of worst rooms in my house right now and little touches like this would help us endure as we safe money for the repairs.

    • P.S. I think this shelf would be fucntional in my workout area to hold gear. An unexpected cozy touch in a normally sterile looking space.

  9. I think your laundry room is BEAUTIFUL…mine is outdoors and accessed from our carport!!! Yes, in the winter months I have to don a coat to exit our kitchen and go start a load of laundry. There is no window….and no place for a lamp or rug…..just enough room for a washer, dryer, water heater, small corner shelf unit, and to turn around one time!! Definitely depressing. You enjoy your space….I think it’s wonderful.

  10. Love this! Nate on Oprah was absolutely one of my favorites back then!

  11. Do you mind sharing where you got the dustpan from? I love it!

  12. Um, I’m pretty sure that’s George Costanza’s voice. ;) https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SpPUw8uNhAI

  13. Thank you for introducing us to the Grove Collaborative! I signed up a few months ago and it’s been fantastic. I used to shop all over the place just to find reasonable prices on great products, but now they all arrive on my doorstep, with free shipping. I’m looking forward to the candle.

  14. My house has the same layout – the only logical entrance is through the laundry/back porch/ half bath …. When we bought the house I spent more hours than you would credit pouring over the floor plan trying to reconfigure it so we had a `formal’ entrance i.e. one without a washing machine in it! However, nothing made sense either space wise or financially. As it was we had to gut and reline the area as it was unfinished and divided into two tiny, dark spaces! I did the same things you have done -let in lots of light. We removed all the walls, added a skylight and larger windows and used light colors on the walls. I have a chest of drawers in there instead of a console table. It holds shopping bags, extra kitchen and cleaning supplies and hats and gloves in the winter. There is also a double door, floor to ceiling cupboard which stores the cleaning things including vacuums as well as laundry basket, vases, dog food etc. Probably my favourite addition is a laundry basket which is basically a gigantic drawer under the bench top that runs across the top of the washing machine. It has a metal lining with holes in for air and allows me to hook mesh bags for delicates to the sides so they can be zipped and thrown in the wash when full with no further sorting. That means we are not greeted with piles of dirty laundry. I’m not sure this room rises up and greets us but at least it no longer sneers! Once I stopped fighting with it and thinking I ‘needed’ a ‘proper’ entry because ‘everyone’ does it was easier to deal with. And realistically we live in the country and this area sees more rubber boots, overalls and dirt than a formal entry could handle!!!

  15. I signed up with Grove Co (when it was still ePantry) after one of their previous Mrs. Meyer’s giveaways. I have been so pleased with the products and the company! They offer a great selection of products with excellent prices. I signed up as a VIP member and have received numerous free products as well. Shipping is fast and prevents me from wandering around Target with my children and buying more than I need. Overall I highly recommend it!

  16. I have a mud room that is also my front entry and back door and vet cupboard and junk collection spot and coat/boot area. But like you said, I love it because everything has a place and it saves the rest of my house from the dirt and grime and stuff that enters the house. Living in the country, you need a place like that. I like your mud room / laundry room very much. I’m going to click over to Grave now and see what I’m missing. Our Target is 2 hours away!

  17. Oh my goodness, I love you! .. I thought I was the only one living in an old farm house with the laundry on the back porch! It has been my biggest challenge and hardest pill to swallow. I’ve done little things to help it step into this century, but that hot water heater is never going to magazine ready for a photo shoot. I try to keep it clean and organized as that is the only entry. Thank you for letting me know it doesn’t have to be perfect. Did you know that the back porch entry was so the farmer could bring the gard n produce right into the kitchen?

  18. Baileywife @ Irishman acres says

    I LOVE that room, and you’ve made it so homey and welcoming…. I laughed out loud with that scratching post basket! I have a mudroom/ laundry/ all guests and family entry just like that! I beg people to NOT come through my garage and actually USE my front door, I tell them it’s so much prettier and welcoming… But, no one listens:( Believe me, yours is what mine wants to look like someday! ~Kim
    Ps Yeah for your new door!!

  19. I am glad to read that you are grateful for your space. Whenever I hear someone complain about their laundry room all I can think is they should be thankful they have it. My washing machine is in the corner of my kitchen, next to my refrigerator. My dryer is in the garage, to which there is no access from the house. That means I have to go out the front door with my wet clothes and into the garage to dry them. I hang dry a lot of my clothes and they hang in the bedroom doorways or over the shower rod in the bathroom. My clothes waiting to be ironed hang in the pantry doorway in the kitchen, which means I have to duck through it most of the time b/c I’m not timely with my ironing. What I wouldn’t give for one room to house it all (or one space)!! Yes, love that space of yours and be grateful! Even with my laundry set-up, I love our home. But should we ever move, a laundry room might be toward the top of my list. : ) Thanks for the post!

    • I posted on April 22nd at 1:21pm about my outdoor utility/laundry room so I totally understand your situation. And I’m right there with you on the “hang dry” items over the shower rod. It doesn’t sound as if you have a basement area; neither do we. However, I can’t truthfully say that I love our home. I did not want to buy this house 39 years ago, and for 39 years I have been trying to move out of it and the neighborhood. Now at 65 years of age and approaching retirement….well, the dreams are gone, and the reality has hit. I could write a book about all the circumstances that have kept me here. Please understand that I am grateful to have a roof over my head, but have finally had to give up my dreams and just try to accept the things I can’t change. I hope someday you have a house with an enormous laundry room—one big enough for you to dance in!

  20. That rope swing shelf is the cutest thing I’ve ever seen! I absolutely love it. I just pinned it for a rainy day (and when we finally buy our home next year).

  21. great thank you for share

  22. We have a front door, a pretty one too but we always use the laundry room as our entry (could be because we can’t find the key to the front door)…the laundry room/mud room/hub’s computer area/freezer/microwave room has been my nemesis but this past January I budgeted 100.00 to get its act together. The answer? BINS, cheap fabric bins from WM and $G. They’re not ugly and they hold everything. Since January, the laundry room has maintained order and neatness. One more possibility is the shoe cabinet from IKEA – I have my eye on that piece. Love you appliances. My dryer is a Maytag, gas, 35 years old – it will never quit – so I just get the basic top-load washer to match it…TMI. Love your site and all your helpful ideas.

  23. Kimberlee says

    What do you do with something that’s just a closet (literally the depth of the wash with bifold doors and one lonely shelf overhead? Feels like I have no room for anything “fun”.

  24. Really nice article! The room has so much light. Amazing!

  25. I envy the light in your laundry room ;) That’s one thing I wish my laundry room had. I can’t complain too much though because the back of my house is all windows so plenty of light there. I totally agree with the pretty hiding places! I can always hide a mess with a pretty basket and make everyone think I cleaned up. Thanks for making us see the beautifulness even in the most mundane of rooms.

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  29. very good

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