Laundry Basket Dresser

Submitted by Ana White on Mon, 11/15/2010 - 22:12
Difficulty
Beginner
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The Laundry Basket Dresser has taken my laundry room from the messiest room in my home to the tidiest. It's so easy to pull laundry out and put it directly into baskets. I then can take each basket to it's respective room and fold and put laundry away. For any busy home, these are a must.

dresser for laundry baskets

laundry-basket-dresser-2 This really wasn't my idea.  I have some smart sisters.  They looked at the piles of laundry in my tiny laundry room, and said, Ana, what if . . .

All your laundry baskets could be like drawers in a dresser . . .

And we didn't have to see your dirty - and clean - laundry every time we visit.

In my defense, most of the piles of laundry in my home are clean.  They just rarely make it to the dresser.

But this is one dresser that I can work with.

I can deal with stacks of laundry with this system!  Do you have a laundry problem?

That's your sticker.  For each of these laundry basket dressers, you will need three of these baskets.  Way up here in Alaska, each basket was $3.50.  Should be less for you.

PS - If you are interested in a slightly different size/configuration, check out these plans as well!

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Laundry Basket Dresser

Dimensions
laundry dresser plans
Dimensions are shown above.

Preparation

Shopping List

3/4″ Plywood cut into 15 1/2″ wide x 8 feet long strips (referred to as 1x16s) 1/4″ Plywood for the backs 1 1/2″ x 1 1/2″ metal angle (ask for it at Blue or Orange) 2″ wood screws or 1 1/4″ pocket hole screws 3/4″ wood screws (to screw the metal angle to the insides of the boxes) 1 1/4″ wood screws wood glue wood filler finishing supplies

Cut List

2 – 1×16 @ 35 1/4″ (Sides) 1 – 1×16 @ 24 1/2″ (Bottom) 1 – 1×16 @ 26″ (Top) 1 – 1/4″ Plywood @ 36″ x 25 3/4″ (Back) 6 – 1 1/2″ x 1 1/2″ Metal Angle 15 1/2″ long (ask hardware store to cut or cut with a hack saw)

Tools
Tape Measure
Speed Square
Pencil
Safety Glasses
Hearing Protection
Drill
Circular Saw
Power Sander
Level
Drill Bit Set

Instructions

Step 1

Build the Box

I used pocket holes, but you can also use 2″ wood screws countersunk and screwed together to build the box.

NOTE: Top Measurement should be 26″

Step 2

Back

Adjust for square then screw the back on with 1 1/4″ screws and glue. I finished mine at this stage by filling all holes with wood filler, all plywood edges, and any imperfections in the plywood. I then sanded with coarse sandpaper because the plywood was builder grade cheapo stuff, the finished with medium sandpaper. Finally, I primed and painted with ooops paint in semigloss from Valspar.

Step 3

Metal Angle

If you are intimidated by metal angle, you can always use 2x2s glued and screwed here. Cut the metal angle with a hack saw and predrill holes (three per slide). Mark locations with a square and screw metal angle to the sides. TIP: Screw at a very slight downward angle to keep the baskets to the back of the box instead of sliding forward.

If you choose to stack, make sure you secure the top laundry basket dress to a stud in the wall.

Comments

Erin (not verified)

Tue, 01/04/2011 - 04:11

I am definitely making this one! Laundry is my nemesis and I never get around to putting the stuff away. I was just telling my husband the other day that we need to buy new baskets for everyone in the family so we each have our own. This is the perfect solution!

Cami (not verified)

Thu, 01/06/2011 - 12:23

When I saw these I HAD to make them! I have four children five and under and never have time to sort, fold and put away laundry. I would manage to get them sorted and folded (sometimes) and then the baskets would sit at the foot of our bed and as everyone pawed through the baskets for clothes, they would inevitably fall all over the floor so we had mountains of clothes and baskets all over the floor. Not anymore! Now I sort directly from the dryer (we all have our own baskets) and put them away if I have time. If not, well at least they are no longer falling all over the floor! And since we all have our own baskets it is much easier for daddy (or anyone else) to find the right sizes (we have 3 boys very close in age, as well as a girl). Thank you so much Ana for this great idea! Now I am going to make some for our closets for dirty laundry!

ShannonG (not verified)

Fri, 01/07/2011 - 18:30

I've been looking for ways to make my recycling easier to deal with, and this might be the key! Don't know if I have the guts to tackle it - its been a long time since I've used a saw - but I'm definitely going to keep it in mind.

Gerri (not verified)

Sun, 01/09/2011 - 07:37

Hey Ana, Looking at "whipping up" a couple of these for my next project (In process of finishing that doll bed that I converted from the lydia daybed.) Question for ya-in the photo it looks like the baskets hang out of the front just a bit and I'm curious if that is correct. I'm thinking of making the opening on the narrow end and just trying to figure if I need to adjust all sides or if I can just make the adjustment for that part-Thanks so much for all of your help-you are truly amazing!

Gerri Milkovie, Michigan

Danette (not verified)

Thu, 01/13/2011 - 16:54

This is a gorgeous idea and so super practical! I was just was wondering what colour you painted it? I love it! Thanks

Mandy (not verified)

Sat, 01/15/2011 - 15:38

I wish I would have seen this a few weeks ago before I went to ikea and bought something similar. This would be great to put like a solid top across and use as a folding table on top

Nicole (not verified)

Wed, 01/19/2011 - 03:56

My daughter does synchronized swimming and the towels are my biggest pain. Love this -- one for clean, one for dirty!

kaycee (not verified)

Sun, 01/23/2011 - 10:32

I am going to make these for my closet and for kids toys but I am going to add wheels on the bottom. :) I can't wait to get started. I have been looking at your site for a year now and FINALLY have a saw. Can't wait! I will post when I am finished (if they turn out ok) haha

Laura (not verified)

Wed, 01/26/2011 - 10:04

Me and my hubby are going to buy the stuff to mkae this TODAY! cannot wait, this will be my first project, I am so excited, and cannot wait to try something else :)

Nancy (not verified)

Fri, 02/04/2011 - 08:16

I can't wait to build these! I was wondering do the metal angles have to be a certain thickness? I'm going to build one of these as part of a launch pad for my family. Can't wait!

christy panzarella (not verified)

Fri, 02/04/2011 - 14:56

Im making this with my scraps from the closet organizer. Perfecto! I would have it done already, but SOMEBODY (huuusband) never put the battery for the drill back on the charger. Boo. This was supposed to be my project to keep busy before starting the new bed tomorrow. I wish I could just "jump" the drill like I could my car lol.

K.Crowley (not verified)

Thu, 02/17/2011 - 11:31

You saved me!! Since I am expecting my 6th boy (!) I knew I had to get my lack of laundry organization under control! I've been looking at all these piles all over my house praying for something to save the day! This is it! My husband will be pleased! We just finished our rather large farmhouse table with 4 benches!
Thanks so much - from a fellow alaskan!

Cheri W. (not verified)

Sun, 02/20/2011 - 09:03

this was my first project. i built 2 of these for my laundry room and what a difference it made in keeping everything clean and organized. my husband didn't think i could do it, but it was easier than i thought. i have to wait until spring to take them outside to sand and paint them, but that's okay! Thanks for the great idea and for the inspiration to do it myself!

Lene (not verified)

Sun, 02/20/2011 - 12:53

The wheels are turning in my head!!! I may just have to build these laundry shelves to get my laundry under control! You have amazing ideas!!

trish burns (not verified)

Wed, 02/23/2011 - 11:23

i am in the process of building a new house. i am going to have the cabinet maker make a tower of these in my laundry room. i hate putting away laundry! now everyone can find their basket and do it them selves!

Mary (not verified)

Sun, 02/27/2011 - 12:25

Wow, I was just thinking that I need another dresser for my girls, as the one they share is not nearly enough room for them. This will be perfect, as I too have difficulty in getting the folded laundry into the dresser anyway. I think eventually I will add cute fabric "curtains" to make them look a little more fun in their room.

Mary (not verified)

Sun, 02/27/2011 - 12:30

Hi Stephanie, I'm wondering how tall the 2 basket tall shelves ended up being. Was it 24"? I'm thinking shorter ones would be fantastic in the playroom, as the top could double as a surface to play trains on, color on, etc.

Stephanie (not verified)

Mon, 03/07/2011 - 09:23

Yes, they ended up being 24" high. Ten inches for the baskets and two inches on top of each for the wiggle room. They work wonderfully.

I have two more three basket tall ones that I have just finished making, only to discover that Walmart is out of the baskets.... Here's to hoping they get more in, otherwise I'll have to do something to make the boxes I've already made fit baskets I wasn't planning on!

JES

Fri, 03/18/2011 - 15:33

What a super idea! This is now our "laundry bench".  We made one of these as a bench to fit 2 baskets side-by-side (his & hers) and it sits at the end of our bed.  We put a cushion on top and some feet on the bottom and it turned out so cute!.  Thanks Ana for the inspiration! 

Desiree (not verified)

Mon, 03/21/2011 - 08:38

Ana, I love this idea and plan to use it. My children are old enough to do their own laundry, the problem comes when they leave clothes in the dryer, the next person just tosses the clothes on the counter (where it gets knocked off). I end up washing clean clothes left in the laundry room on the floor, it is an on going mess. I love the idea of making a basket dresser for everyone it will save time.

AmandaN (not verified)

Sun, 04/03/2011 - 03:58

My dad built a system like this for my mother when I was very young.  He made it deeper, so the baskets slid in and out lengthwise, which made the top deep enough to use as a folding table.  If y'all haven't built one of these yet, you absolutely must.  Dead easy, and so much nicer than a giant smelly hamper or piles of laundry.

Guest (not verified)

Mon, 04/18/2011 - 11:21

This is next on my list to build for my boys' room. I'm going to use them as hampers-one for darks and one for lights. So, there will be a little adjusting but nothing I can't handle :)  I also love the idea of hanging fabric or flipping it around when company is over.  All such wonderful ideas! You are amazing and I thank you!

MrsD2008

Tue, 04/19/2011 - 10:40

You should think about a feature where we can add a project to someone else's to-do list with a special password, LMBO!  I would have my husband get his own account, then I would add projects to HIS to-do list and the system could notify him once a week on new projects, LOL :D. 

ANYWAY....I love this idea.  I would only need 3 baskets because there is my husband, myself and then he has work clothes that get washed separately.  But, I am wondering if I should just make two anyway, one for clean, one for dirty....I will have to borrow hubby's measuring tape to see if we even have enough room for this in our laundry hall-way. And if not, it's definitely going into the files for when we finish our new house and I have an actual laundry room!

Thanks for all the a-mazing ideas!

ETA: I am not used to reading plans, etc.  But I am lost on something--what is the depth of the units?  From the wall where the rest against, how far do they come out...does that make sense?  I can't seem to find a number for that...

cmgfrench

Sat, 05/07/2011 - 07:15

Does anyone know if the sides enable the laundry baskets to be totally flush so you can add doors without adjusting the measurements?

groovymom2000

Sat, 05/07/2011 - 10:08

I don't think so. I added doors to mine(but I changed measurements significantly due to my bin size). I haven't posted mine yet because I am a terrible photographer!

aria_dia

Sun, 05/08/2011 - 23:33

I have a VERY tiny laundry room, and it wouldnt accomodate the baskets length, I wonder if it would work so that the cabinet was turned sideways so that the short end is the one toward the front.

Marjorie (not verified)

Thu, 05/12/2011 - 07:35

I love this idea and am certainly looking to build one soon as I seem to have the problem as you with piles of clean laundry taking up so much space. The thing I'm looking to do it take it to the next level with decorative trims so that it looks like a storebought peice of furniture. Wish me luck!

Jacy (not verified)

Thu, 05/12/2011 - 07:41

I've been thinking of something exactly like this!! Thanks for taking all the hard work out if for me!! We're moving into a new house soon, and I think this is the first project I'm going to do. Even before curtains. And painting. AWESOME!!!!

John Leach (not verified)

Sun, 05/15/2011 - 10:40

I love this idea for my laundry pile (room), but I'm thinking I'd like to turn them sideways so I'd have them deeper and then can use the top as a folding table. Has anyone else done this?

LizzieB (not verified)

Wed, 05/18/2011 - 11:59

My husband and I are almost finished with these cabinets. Just left to paint and install the metal pieces. I'm so excited to not have had to rely on a family member to help me build these! Thank you for your wonderful tutorials!

VelvetSky

Sat, 05/21/2011 - 09:16

Does anyone have plans for a hide away ironing board cabinet? Their so expensive and I am trying to figure out how I could make one. I want it to go in our walk in closet.I am a beginner by the way.

emmarosemc

Wed, 05/25/2011 - 05:34

After the whining of the husband this week I decided to use some of the MDF from our desks that Im building to build this dresser. Built it - got the hampers at walmart, i guess ill sand, fill and paint tomorrow. Not sure what color I want it though.
Pretty straightforward build though, didnt even need the plan really, just memorized a couple things and got to it!

Edit: The other incentive to get this one done was that my 8 fosterkittens keep finding underwear in our dirty laundry pile to sleep on/in - GROSS!

Edit2: It fell apart when I was painting, hadnt put the back on it yet since i didnt have a piece of MDF big enough. Going to try to salvage what i can

erin.a.adkins

Sat, 05/28/2011 - 21:27

I'm thinking two sets stacked two high (that'd be 12 baskets total for clean, dirty, whatever)... then space them apart far enough to mount a hanger rod between them so you have a place to immediately hang up things like dresses, slacks, etc., as you are pulling them out of the dryer. I'm going to rip all the USELESS cabinetry out of my laundry room and do this I think.

Ashley M. (not verified)

Sun, 06/26/2011 - 13:08

This is really great and my husband is out in the garage building it right now...but it would probably be a good idea to change the measurement on "Step 1" from 25 1/4 to 26 on the diagram. I realize you have it written as a "note" down at the bottom, but for people who are visual learners (such as myself) it would be really helpful. I went to the hardware store and got my plywood cut to 25 1/4 because that's what the "Dimensions" diagram said. I got a not so great surprise when I got home.

GrannyD (not verified)

Thu, 06/30/2011 - 12:07

Only suggestion I have is to use Rubbermaid (R) laundry baskets - of course I might be *slightly* biased!

organizingwithe (not verified)

Thu, 09/08/2011 - 05:04

I have something similar. My husband retrofitted a closet in the basement right next to the laundry area.. He made the sliding rails out of wood, and when it's not in use, we just close the door. It's been there for over 10 years, and the handles of the baskets have never broken!

spiceylg

Tue, 09/13/2011 - 10:00

Hi. I built this for a friend out of MDF. Used 2x2s for the supports but when we try to screw it in (from the inside, going through the wood first) once the screw tries to go into the MDF, it kind of pulls away and leaves a slight gap and the glue just comes dripping out. Used a clamp, however, could only use one from the front since the back was already on. Would it have been better to screw from the outside going through the MDF first? Frustrated. It might seem ok now, but I don't want to find out over time with weight from clothes they supports give way!

Krystal R (not verified)

Sun, 09/18/2011 - 21:41

I was just telling my hubby that i need shelves for my Basket system in our laundry room (the clothes never make it to their rooms here too!) this is a great Idea!

Guest (not verified)

Tue, 10/11/2011 - 20:52

I work in a newly opened AFC Home with 17 residents...This is EXACTLY what we need when it comes to doing all of their laundry! I happen to have this weekend off, and this is def. on my to-do list!

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