Laundry is a big job for a small home, but with the right planning it can be a breeze. Read our handy guide
Rethink your laundry arrangements for trouble-free clothes washing, drying and storing – even in the smallest of homes. We’ve got nine top tips to get you started.
1. Hang it up
Dry laundry up on high and out of the way with an old-fashioned ceiling-hung clothes airer like grandma used to have. Brilliant for when the weather hampers outdoor drying and you don’t want to have the tumble dryer going. It doesn’t use up floor space and you only need a tiny bit of wall space for the cleat hook. Do watch the drop, though – if you have a low ceiling you may be best to hang smaller items only rather than have the bedding wafting into your dinner. Sheila Maid airer, L145cm, in kiln-dried wood with cast-iron rack ends, £59, Willow & Stone.
2. Get smart with shelving
In a small space, look for shelving systems that you can adjust around your appliances and make the most of every available inch. The closer you can keep your laundry paraphernalia to your washer and/or dryer the easier your life will be. Shop for designs that offer a wide choice of storage options, such as slot-in shelves, drying racks, baskets, drawers and hanging rails. The more options you have, the more practical your tiny space will become. (Top) Elfa Utility Room Storage, H200 x W183 x D45cm, £344, Store. If these dimensions aren’t compatible with your room, Store can plan a custom space for no charge. (Above) Algot drying rack, H194 x W147 x D67cm, £131, Ikea. Baskets not included.
3. Go one on one
Save on floor space by installing one appliance on top of another. This stacking kit allows you to safely install a dryer on top of a washing machine. Tumble Dryer Stacking Kit with Pull-out Shelf, £70.26, AEG. Suitable for front-loading washing machines and tumble dryers with a width of 60cm and a depth of 54-60cm.
4. Splash out on a sink unit
Choose a sink unit with oodles of additional storage so you’ll have everything to hand for handwashing, soaking and any general cleaning duties. This smart space incorporates ironing too and also provides a handy spot for potting up and watering garden plants and preparing cut flowers. Handmade rustic pine Belfast sink unit, H94 x W122 x D58cm, £875, Rustic Warehouse.
5. Get mobile
Make life easier with castors. This king among laundry baskets is big enough for any load your washing machine can throw at it and tall enough to be easily pushed along by the handles. An easy – and stylish – way to transport your washing to the line. Out There Interiors’ Metal Basket on Wheels from Not on the High Street may not be the cheapest of options at £280 but, my, it’s a substantial beast at H75 W90 D53cm.
6. Take your storage with you
Look for kitchen storage that will allow you to keep all your laundry products in one easily accessible place. Open drawers, baskets, shelves, bottle racks, a hanging rail, a tile top and – of course – castors make this bargain trolley super adaptable and manoeuvrable. Pine Tile Top Trolley, H83 W79 D38cm, £39.99, Argos. Requires self-assembly.
7. Be pretty
Laundry might not be the most glamorous of chores, but it doesn’t need to dull. Look for storage tins, bottles, jars, baskets and coat hangers with a touch of beauty about them – a little joie de vivre! These smart white painted shelves with their gently curving brackets make the perfect display perches for floral enamelware, lidded jars, star tealights and pastel-coloured beaded hangers. In a scheme like this all-purpose cloths and descaling tablets are rendered gorgeous. Garden Trading Shoe Shine box (left), H24 W26 D19cm, £28, John Lewis.
8. Discover decanting
Brightly coloured packaging may lure you to particular products on the supermarket shelves, but it’s not something you want the neighbours to see out on display in your home. Transfer washing detergent powders and liquids to clip-top bottles and dishwasher and descaling tablets to Mason-style jars (be sure to keep any dosing balls). All sorts of bits and bobs can be rehomed in this way to make your open shelves shine, however always keep harsh chemicals in their original packaging (find somewhere to stow them away safely). Swing Top Bottles, six x 500ml, H27.5cm, £8, Wilko.
9. Use a wall outside
If you have limited outdoor space and want to keep a grassed area or patio clear, consider a washing line that you can fix to a wall. This retractable design provides 24 metres of clothes line and folds neatly away when not in use, keeping the garden clear of lines and poles. Brabantia Wall Fix Airer, H105 W184 D182cm, £63.99, Dunelm.