Someday, when you own a house in the country, you’ll have a running river to wash your clothes in, and acres of land to fling your clotheslines for drying in air.
Until then, you’ve got to contend with the cramped, dusty quarters where your washer is shoved up against the dryer.
That’s right, we’re talking about the laundry room. You know, the overlooked area you avoid visiting for your most dreaded of weekly chores. It might not be a river, but it does work hard to keep your clothes clean. Shouldn’t you return the favor?
We know, we know. When it comes to laundry, you want to do it and get out. So we’ll make it easy for you: These eight products are easy to install, and will trick out even (some might say especially) the tiniest of spaces. One product actually goes so far as to prevent missing socks.
1. A retractable clothesline for those of you who aren’t pro limbo players
If you want the environmental benefits of air drying your clothes but don’t have room for a bulky rack, here’s some good news: You don’t have to toss your wet trousers over the closet door anymore. You can fling them on this pull-out clothesline instead.
The device fits virtually anywhere, and offers over eight retractable feet of sturdy, drying goodness. Plus, the device’s stainless steel body makes for a sleek, rust-free polish to your soon-to-be-snazzy space. None of which is as good as not being clotheslined in the face.
2. A drying rack for playing towel accordion
Another option for drying your delicates? This delicate multi-functional rack. Unlike its traditional, space-consuming counterpart, this puppy stays up on the wall – and out of the way. Pull it out on laundry day, and push it back once your undergarments are nice and dry.
Plus it’s got an additional shelf above, just for laundry goodies. Talk about top shelf.
3. A smart sorter for freshening clothes before you even wash them
You put the white clothes in, you take the white clothes out, you put the white clothes in and … you’ve stained them all around.
Avoid the laundry hokey pokey with the Neatfreak Sorter. True to its name, the built-in sorting system allows your dirty garments to rest in a glorious trifecta of compartments – perfect for separating whites, darks, and colors.
It gets better: The sorter is outfitted with probiotic microbes, which freshen it from odors that might transfer off dirty clothes.
Even better, the top part is a built-in ironing surface! So once your pre-sorted and -freshened pieces are ready to get de-wrinkled, there’s no need to pull out a giant board. Now that’s what it’s all about.
4. A lint brush for detoxing your dryer
Lint: not only is it annoying, but it’s also the leading cause of dryer fires. This innocuous-looking brush goes to battle with the lurking lint deep inside your vent in ways that your normal pull-out filter simply can’t. Adios, tiny specks of wardrobe nuisance. Available online only.
5. A laundry guard for corralling all your wild garments
This slim and strong fence is perfect for those of us who have lost one sock too many to the dark, scary place behind the dryer. RIP, left pink-and-green-polka-dotted sock. :*(
Genius in its simplicity, the Laundry Guard uses magnets to convert the top of front-loading units into a haven for towels, clothes, and more. It’s easily adjustable for one or two units, so you can fold your clothes in peace knowing any missing socks are either the machine monster or your own misperception.
6. A roll-up ironing pad for the space deficient
So you’ve got clothes that need ironing, but no space for a bulky board. Or maybe you need some advice on how to handle knits, or even on which direction to move the hot plate (never in a circular motion). Don’t worry, it’s real simple – literally, this Real Simple iron pad can help you out.
It fits right on top of your washer or dryer, and has “how to iron” instructions for common ironing situations printed on its pad! When you’re finished, the whole thing rolls up, making it ideal for storage (maybe above your new, wall-mounted rack?) or traveling. Available online and in select BB&B stores.
7. A pull-out cart for the tiny space between your washer and dryer
No space in your laundry “room” for a shelf? Look down, not up, to solve your space-saving sorrows. This slim cart has sprung from the eternal fount of storage genius that is The Container Store, and slides easily in and out of most nooks between the washer and dryer.
It has four sturdy tiers, which means you can load each shelf up with detergent, dryer sheets, towels, all-purpose spray, your brand new lint brush, and anything else that’s been mindlessly eating the space on top of your washing machine. (Which, thanks to #5, has now been converted to your folding sanctuary.)
Don’t worry about assembly – the pieces click together, making it a literal snap.
8. The Bonus:
If you live in an apartment with a shared laundry space, forced to lug your clothes up and down in an endless cycle, then your life is about to get a teeny bit better.
Meet the Must Be Neat: a cotton-twill bag with built-in dividers that are perfect for separating big pieces from smaller ones. Kind of like a toddler’s plate, but for laundry.
Toss the roomy vessel over your shoulders when you’re on the go, or strap it onto a laundry basket to separate and secure different types of clothing.
These eight brilliant products won’t clean your laundry room for you, but they will get you going in the right direction. With or without a matching pair of socks.
We collaborated with MakeSpace, a full-service storage company that picks up, stores, and delivers your stuff so you never have to visit a self-storage unit, to create this post.