19 Household Items You Can Repurpose For A Functional Laundry Room

A laundry room can always be created a little more functional. It makes sense to update your space according to your changing needs through the years. It doesn't need to be a full-on renovation either: Small updates can be handy. This can look like adding more storage, adopting a better laundry organization system, or just making the space look nicer so laundry feels like less of a chore. If you're on a budget, are environmentally conscious, or want to test an updated idea before you commit to it, you can repurpose items you already have around your house to create a more functional laundry room. We've rounded up some household items that are surprisingly practical when you use them in the laundry room.

Reusing what you already own is good for your wallet and the environment. Even if you have to shop for something new, many of these repurposed items are cheaper than buying a comparable purpose-made laundry room product. Take inspiration from these ideas, which show you some common household items you can repurpose for use in the laundry room.

Use a ladder for hanging laundry

Use an old ladder as a clever way to hang laundry. This project uses a straight ladder mounted securely from the ceiling. Purpose-made ceiling laundry airers can cost a couple of hundred dollars, so this project can save you some serious cash. If you don't have an extra ladder lying around, there are other options. You opt for an inexpensive bunk bed ladder. Or, if you love a wood look, choose a wood blanket ladder from popular online retailers.

Hang a wall-mounted coat rack for storage

A wall-mounted coat rack is useful not only in the entryway. Add one to your laundry room to hang all types of laundry items while making your space look quaint. You can use a wood wall hook for a similar look to this inspirational photo. Traditional hooks also work nicely and look great. Use a coat rack with shelving or cubbies on top for even more storage space. Racks are easy to find at local hardware stores or online retailers. 

Old kitchen cabinets can become new laundry room cabinets

If you're going through a kitchen renovation, don't throw out those old cabinets. You can use them in the laundry room to create roomy storage space. There's nothing wrong with installing them as-is, particularly if they match your laundry room decor. However, if you're getting rid of them in the kitchen, it's probably because they don't suit your current style. If you want to update your cabinets a little, it's easy to do with a fresh coat of paint, a layer of contact paper, or new hardware.

Upcycle old furniture for extra storage

Those with a vintage taste will love this laundry room idea. Instead of installing traditional cabinets, use a piece of old furniture. Items like an old hutch, sideboard, or nightstand can replace a laundry room cabinet simply by mounting it to the wall. Use something you already have, or visit your local thrift store to find a suitable unit. You'll want to find a piece that functions similarly to a cabinet, with a door and spacious shelving. Some of these furniture pieces might be heavier than regular cabinets, so you'll want to make sure to mount them securely.

Glass kitchen jars and bottles are perfect for storing laundry items

This hack has probably come across your feed before, but it's a great one for updating the look of your laundry room. Use extra jars and bottles to store laundry items like pods, liquid detergent, fabric softener, powders, and more. Look through your cabinets for unused decorative jars. You can also buy new jars, but even better, why not recycle old food jars? They may not look as fancy, but large, upgraded pickle jars and other roomy containers of this sort still have a bit of character and will get the job done.

Drink dispensers double as gorgeous detergent dispensers

Do you have a drink dispenser taking up space in the back of your kitchen cupboard? Maybe you bought it for a birthday party or other celebration and haven't used it since. Give it a new home in the laundry room. Drink dispensers work as pretty liquid laundry detergent dispensers. Just fill the jug up and twist the handle to pour enough soap for a load of laundry. To prevent any drips and messes, you might want to place the dispenser tap over a sink or tray.

An old entryway bench is useful for laundry tasks

Any old bench can be useful in the laundry room (as long as you have the space!). You can use it as another catch-all surface, similar to a shelf, but without the need to install anything to the wall. Use baskets to organize items. Leave a spot for seating when you want a laundry break. If the bench is close enough to your machines, it also helps to have a strategic spot where you can place your basket while you empty the washer or dryer — no more lifting heavy baskets full of laundry from the floor.

An over-the-door shoe organizer adds a ton of extra storage

It's hard to add storage to a small laundry room or a laundry closet. One of the best ways is to take advantage of unused door space. An over-the-door shoe organizer slips right over your door without causing any damage. Its various pockets make it simple to organize small laundry room bits and bobs, like stain-removing sprays, scent bead bottles, cleaning supplies, and any other small items. If you don't already have an organizer, they're affordable enough to grab a new one. Some even have clear pockets so you can see the items inside.

Repurpose old fabric into a curtain door for your laundry cabinet

There are many creative ways to decorate with curtains, including making a charming curtain cabinet door. If you have an extra curtain or some old fabric and a little sewing know-how, you can make a curtain door for an open laundry room cabinet. The finished look is so quaint, perfect for farmhouse-style laundry rooms. If you use a tension rod to hang it up, this project is also renter-friendly, and you'll be able to take the curtain down with ease when it's time to move.

Lazy susans belong in the laundry room

There is no doubt that a lazy susan is a kitchen's best friend — making it easier to serve large groups of people at the kitchen table, keeping items within close reach on its rotating surface. This same function makes it perfect for the laundry room. Kitchen lazy susans are spacious since they're made to hold a few items at a time. They're large enough to hold your big detergent bottles and other laundry accessories. Small lazy susans (designed for storage) are also available. Though they're too small to fit detergent bottles, they can be a helpful addition in your laundry room cupboards.

Transition a planter or basket into a functional garbage can

Need a garbage can in the laundry room for emptying pockets, collecting lint, and tossing used dryer sheets? There's no need to buy a decorative garbage can when you have an old planter or basket lying around. You can make your own pretty garbage can by adding a small plant container inside a larger one. The inside plant container will be the bin and hold the garbage bag, and the outer planter or basket is just for decoration. You'll want to use a plant container that's smaller than the outside container so it stays relatively hidden.

Or use a tissue box to hide lint and used dryer sheets

Maybe you don't have the need (or the space) for a small garbage can in your laundry room. If you still want somewhere to place small garbage bits, like lint and used dryer sheets, you can use a tissue box instead. Plus, you'll be upcycling something used! An empty tissue box can fit pretty much anywhere in a laundry room, and its small opening is perfect for keeping lint contained. Add a decorative tissue box cover to make it look nicer.

Tissue boxes also work to hide new dryer sheets

Tissue boxes are the perfect design for storing new dryer sheets. They're just the right size and shape, and their opening helps separate dryer sheets so you can only pull out one at a time. Again, you can just repurpose an empty tissue box (a super eco-friendly option). Or you can use a tissue box as a clever cover, which is the more decorative and durable choice. Ideally, use a longer rectangular box (rather than a square one) since it will better fit most dryer sheet containers.

Attach extra hooks or knobs to the wall in tight spaces

It's not uncommon to have some extra hooks or knobs hanging around, especially if you bought a multi-pack that you didn't fully use. Put them to good use in the laundry room. Attach hooks or knobs directly to the wall where you have the space, paying mind that if you attach them to a stud, they'll hold more weight. Each one provides an extra spot for you to hang items. Take even more advantage by using baskets or bags to store multiple small pieces on one hook.

Spare S-hooks makes it possible to hang laundry hampers

Wire shelving is pretty common in laundry rooms, and while it doesn't look the most beautiful, it is very practical. S-hooks can help you hang so much more on plain shelves. Whether you have some hooks already lying around or you buy a new pack, you can use them to add extra storage to existing wire shelves. One such idea includes creating hanging hampers using S-hooks and handled bins. Just make sure not to exceed the weight limit of your shelves with your hanging items.

A movable kitchen island can add extra tabletop space for laundry

It's common to add a movable kitchen island in the kitchen to create extra counter space. Why not try the same idea in a laundry room? A kitchen island is the perfect height for folding laundry, and if you have one with wheels, you'll be able to move it out of the way as needed. Repurpose an old one or buy one new — either way, it's more versatile than a standard table. You can find movable kitchen islands in a variety of sizes, too, and many have shelves or cupboards underneath for storing items. 

Every laundry needs a lamp

Vintage and farmhouse laundry rooms look even cozier with a decorative lamp. If you have an old lamp lying around and nowhere to put it, why not see how it looks on the laundry room counter? Or, shop for the perfect vintage lamp for your space. If you need even more light, you can consider a floor lamp rather than a table lamp. If it's not for aesthetic purposes, laundry room updates work with really any lamp for extra lighting, which is always helpful when reading care labels or inspecting stains.

Use an old basket to hide laundry hookups

Most households have an inexpensive storage basket or two lying around. If you're not using one to its full potential, you can use it to hide visible laundry hookups. You just need to cut some holes in the back to fit over the laundry outlet or taps. You can also use this hack in other parts of the laundry room and beyond. As long as a surface lines up with what you're trying to hide, disguise it with a nifty cutout basket.

Screw wheels into a small bookshelf to make movable storage

Movable storage is almost always practical in a laundry room, but if you don't want to buy a storage cart (or don't have the room for a rolling island), repurpose a small bookshelf. You'll just need to mount wheels on the bottom to move it around easily. You can buy caster wheels from many online retailers. Make sure the wheels can hold any shelf type (with a weight limit of 440 pounds). Wheels with a lockable feature are great, too, for times when you need your shelf to stay in place.