Instead of making a picture-perfect laundry room your goal — with tons of pretty, easy-to-open canisters that look great on Instagram — focus instead on investing in organizing solutions that make your life easier, and help to streamline the process of doing laundry, from stain treatment all the way to ironing.
“We understand the desire to have a picture-perfect laundry room, but the perfect laundry room is one that puts safety first,” a spokesperson for Procter & Gamble, the makers of Tide, tells CNN Underscored. Household safety isn’t the sexiest topic, and it can be frustrating to hear that an aesthetic you may covet is one that will put your family at risk, but it’s important.
Now, that’s not to say that you shouldn’t organize your laundry room! You absolutely should, if it’s something that will make your life easier — or will just be something that you enjoy. But don’t let aesthetics lead you to make dangerous decisions. To learn more about laundry room safety, which is critical for households with young children, elderly and/or vulnerable adults and pets, check out Tide’s Home Safety Tips and the American Cleaning Institute’s Store Not Decor campaign.
Acacia Turntables ($15; neatmethod.com)
“This wooden turntable comes in two sizes and maximizes surface space in cabinets, shelves and larger spaces too,” Murphy says. “We love using it for laundry and cleaning supplies, so you can easily find what you need.” It’s a great choice for storing a collection of stain-removing products like Shout, Zout and OxiClean (three of my personal favorite stain removers!).
Oxford Bin ($16; neatmethod.com)
Bins are a staple of organizing, and in a laundry room they can be incredibly useful catchalls. “These multifunctional bins are made with upholstery-grade fabric for long-lasting durability,” Murphy says. If you store linens in the laundry room, Murphy especially likes these bins for keeping them organized, “They come in two colors and three sizes, and the fabric interior makes them an ideal solution for storing sheets and towels because they won’t snag the fabric.”
iDesign Plastic Storage Bin With Handles ($15.34, originally $16.16; amazon.com)
Murphy suggests using these versatile clear acrylic bins to sort and organize different categories of items in your laundry room. “They are lightweight, durable and easy to wipe clean,” she says; when picking products for use in the laundry room, ease of cleaning and durability are features to look for, even if it means skipping over a prettier option in favor of a more utilitarian one.
Canisters ($12; neatmethod.com)
Although we would really discourage you from doing so, if you love the look of canisters and feel you absolutely must incorporate them into your laundry room, there are safe ways to do so. Murphy suggests using these canisters, which are available in two colors and four sizes, for storing items like dryer balls or missing sock mates. And, Murphy notes, “They are made of sturdy acrylic, so you can see what’s inside without the concern of little hands breaking glass.”
Tidy-Cup Laundry Detergent and Fabric Softener Gadget ($12.88; amazon.com)
“Consumers, especially parents and caregivers of young children, should always keep laundry products in their original packaging and store them out of reach of children when not in use,” a Procter & Gamble spokesperson tells us. This product works with economy-size liquid laundry detergent to keep drips and spills from making a huge mess.
Scotch Chalkboard Tape ($6.14, originally $7.50; amazon.com) & Sharpie White Ink Paint Marker ($9.89, originally $13; amazon.com)
An easy way to create a uniform look in a laundry room without sacrificing safety is to use coordinated labels. “We love labels!” Murphy says. In fact, she loves them so much she tells us that she “tested every white marker on the market” to find the perfect one to use with chalkboard tape. “This is hands down our favorite one to use with chalkboard tape, which allows you to cut, peel and stick wherever you need it, so you know exactly what’s inside each of your containers.”
Black Bin Clip Labels, 3-Pack ($9.99; containerstore.com)
“These simple bin clip labels are great for attaching a label to a variety of different types of bins and baskets,” Murphy says. “They are repositionable and you can write directly on them, or use the chalkboard tape and place it right on the clip.”
Acko Folding Step Stool ($18.99; amazon.com)
“Having a step stool handy in your laundry room is a definite must,” Murphy says, “so you can access hard-to-reach spaces.” Murphy recommends this folding step stool because she likes its sturdy sleek design, anti-slip surface, foot grips and handle for carrying. And, she adds, “My favorite feature is that it folds flat, so I can easily tuck it away when it’s not in use.” If you have a side-by-side washer and dryer setup, the space between the machines is perfect for tucking a step stool away.
Saymeto Grabber Reacher Tool ($9.99; amazon.com)
When it comes to laundry room safety, a cardinal rule for households with children, seniors, pets and/or anyone with diminished neurological capacity is to store laundry products on a high shelf. A Procter & Gamble spokesperson tells us, “The way to store laundry products like detergent pacs and scent beads safely is to keep them stored up, closed and away in their original packaging, which is specifically designed to prevent improper access.” Of course, that can make getting to them difficult for shorter people — a grabber tool solves that problem.
Letmy Wall-Mounted Mop and Broom Holder ($12.99; amazon.com)
Of course that grabber tool — as well as mops, brooms, dusters and other long-handled tools that are often stored in the laundry room — also need a place to go. A wall-mounted mop and broom caddy is one of the best ways to bring order to a collection of cleaning tools, getting them up off the floor or out from a corner, where they can be difficult to get to.
Round Collapsible Crunch Hamper ($17.99; containerstore.com)
Hampers come in loads of sizes and fabrications; Murphy recommends this model for its versatility. “This stylish lightweight and collapsible hamper can definitely handle the demands of piles and piles of laundry,” she says. “It’s made of fabric and has an inner coating that adds structure with side handles for easy transportation. When not in use, it folds flat to save space.”
Grey FlipFold Laundry Folder ($24.99; containerstore.com)
If Laundry TikTok has got you hankering for some of that “perfectly organized” feeling, Murphy has just the thing for you: “Search no further for the perfect way to quickly fold your clothing,” Murphy says. “This amazing gadget folds items to a uniform size, to neatly organize your drawers and shelves.”
Spacekeeper 3-Tier Slim Storage Cart ($18.69, originally $21.99; amazon.com)
A rolling cart is a favorite of professional organizers for its versatility. In a laundry room, it can be used to store detergent and stain removers, or it can be turned into a portable ironing caddy that holds an iron, handheld steamer, starch or sizing, and other helpful accessories like extra hangers.
Mkono Wall-Mounted Valet Hooks, 2-Pack ($22.98, originally $24.99; amazon.com)
Wall-mounted solutions are great options to consider for organizing a laundry room, since they allow you to maximize otherwise unused vertical space, keeping the floor clear and giving you more space to move around. Remember that laundry rooms are active spaces, and so ensuring that you have a comfortable and open area in which to work is especially important.
Whitmor Wire Over-the-Door Ironing Caddy ($8.98, originally $12.99; amazon.com)
If you store an ironing board in the laundry room, an over-the-door or wall-mounted ironing caddy will be money well spent. We like this highly rated Whitmor caddy because it can be hung on a door or mounted on a wall, giving you configuration options, and it can accommodate both T-leg-style and four-leg-style ironing boards.
In Vacuum Folding Drying Rack ($24.99; amazon.com)
There are so many great drying racks (and some very terrible ones) that you can easily find one that fits your needs. This smaller-scale drying rack packs a lot of hanging room in a small unit, and it’s designed to mount to the wall, so it won’t take up valuable floor space.
Amazer Spring Tension Curtain Rod ($17.99; amazon.com)
Tension rods are a popular organizing tool; in a laundry room, a tension rod can be used to hang clothes to drip dry, or after ironing. It can also be used to hang stain remover spray bottles — just be sure if you do so that the rod is up high enough to keep vulnerable members of your household from reaching them.
Spectrum Diversified Extra-Large Cabinet and Wall-Mounted Basket ($13.82; amazon.com)
A basic basket always has a home in a laundry room, and we like the look of this wire style with a sloped front. It has mounting tabs, so it can be affixed to the wall to create vertical storage or used on a shelf to hold everything from odd socks missing a mate to dryer sheets.
Yamazaki Magnetic Hanger Storage Rack (starting at $17.99; containerstore.com)
Whether they’re for hanging clothes to air-dry, to await steaming or after being ironed, hangers have an important place in any laundry room. But they need to go somewhere, and this magnetic hanger storage rack is a very clever way to keep those oddly shaped essentials close at hand but also out of the way.
Furinno Multipurpose 4-Tier Corner Shelf ($23.63; amazon.com)
Corner shelves are a fantastic way to maximize space in smaller or oddly shaped rooms. This four-tier corner shelf can hold a lot of stuff in what would otherwise be wasted space; use it for laundry supplies, rags or even as an entertainment center for people who like to watch shows or listen to podcasts while they do the wash.