Laundry Basket Dresser

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Laundry Basket Dresser

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.

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Projects built from this plan. Thank you for submitting brag posts, it's appreciated by all!

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Author Notes: 

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!

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

Tools: 
measuring tape
square
pencil
safety glasses
hearing protection
drill
circular saw
sander
level
countersink drill bit
Dimensions: 
Dimensions are shown above.
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)

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 Instructions: 

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 Instructions: 

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.

Project Type: 
Estimated Cost: 
Skill Level: 
Style: 

Comments

This is awesome!! My laundry NEVER makes it to the folding stage - I usually take a load and put it on our bed hoping to fold it before bed. But my husband usually is in bed first, so it gets heaped on the floor. Then it grows and takes a couple weeks before we put everythig away again and start over. This is a great system - thanks for the info!

This is quite similar to what I had envisioned - and have been hoping someone would build for me. I've been looking online for something to buy with a similar structure, but haven't found it. My vision had wood shelves instead of the rails. While that is a neat way to minimize the wood in the structure, I agree with Sunny in regards to how well the basket edges will hold up long-term to having a load suspended. I am definitely gonna show these plans to whomever I can rope into building me something! So cool!

I love this idea but for RECYCLING bins. :) May make hubby do this for our back deck as I haaate having bins all over the place to keep things sorted. Love love love

I agree that this looks like an amazing useful contraption! But mostly, I'm glad to see so many other people's bedrooms/ laundry rooms looks like a huge monster threw up clothes all over the place!!!

GREATEST IDEA EVER! Thanks so much for sharing. Oh and I was at Walmart this morning over by the laundry baskets and the one you bought in Alaska for 3.50 is 4.00 here in Ohio!

You know I love everything you do, but this is simply GENIUS! I have been trying to figure out a better system for the giant pile I call Mt. Washmore, and this is the answer! THANK YOU!

Oh man. You did it again. This might be the best thing ever - I mean next to the tryde tables, the vintage crate carts and the 10 buck shelves we have already made that we thought were the "best plans ever!"

Thank you again Ana for sharing your talents and creativity!

I was almost speechless when I saw this post! I was JUST planning something like this in my head!! I thought... come on, there has to be a better laundry system than what I have going on!!!!!! You absolutely read my mind! So super pumped to make these... that my daughters farmhouse bed might have to be put on hold! I wanna run and buy lumber immediately!!!

Thanks again for sharing... always a blessing!!!

Two months ago when I was searching for what to do with my laundry (and my whole family rolled their eyes as I complained of why I couldn't stand the two rows of cloth laundry sorters) I really could have used this (and the other support--I thought I was the only one!). I looked all over for something besides regular sorters and couldn't find what I envisioned. I finally came up with a unit similar to yours but with shelves, but it works the same as what you've made. I will need to get my piles sorted so I can take a picture of the final product. It is so much more functional than the cloth sorters and I only knew how to do it because of you! (Ana, you have changed my world!) I did get $4 steralite colored containers so it's easy for my family to help me sort--mainly my four year old that doesn't know yet that laundry isn't fun!

This would be fabulous for my method of madness. As everything comes out of the dryer, I pull out big things like sheets, long pants, and hubby's shirts. Then, I toss everything into one pile per person. This works especially well when you have lots of little kids and their clothes don't stay folded very well anyway. I tackle folding one pile at a time and then put it away (or have an older kid do it). Before this method, I would be constantly folding only to have toddlers trample piles. And now, Ana has made it so I don't have to have these piles all over the floor. My husband will thank you!!

Oh I love this!!!! I really do! But I'll tell you what, loaded up it isn't stable. The Plastic will bow. Instead of sliding the baskets on metal guides, it should be sitting on pull out wood trays, or physical shelves.... Or at least the rim reinforced... but even that said, that's only a band-aid fix...

When they start using this, it will backfire, and someone could actually get hurt...

And there is no way anyone should be stacking these 6 high... I hope they are bolted together and to the wall.

Now if you are only piling scarves and knit hats... It will be stable, but actual towels, jeans, socks, ect.... time will prove not your friend with the current design.

Damn Ana,
I've had this idea rolling around in my head too. Here at my house our laundry room is in the basement and the bedrooms are on the 2nd floor. I hate doing stairs, so we have a community closet in the basement. I don't even use the closets in our bedrooms for clothing. I however will be constructing my system with full size baskets. Thanks for the visual. At least now I know I'm not as crazy as I thought I was for thinking about this! Too Cool, Rock on Sister!

I think most people with the negative "the basket will break" comments must be using baskets from the 1980's.
I had a few flimsy old baskets when I first bought my house.
I finally replaced them with (still cheap) new baskets, and they aren't bending with double-loads placed in them.
Upgrade your baskets, dears, and quit worrying about it. Or just don't build them. Your choice.
;)

Now if I build a few of these for each bedroom I will never have to take laundry out of the basket to "put it away." The 4 baskets of clean laundry I already have are making that idea pretty nice! Let's make it a true dresser! lol Shucks, lets use one for toys in each room & another (or 2 ~ 7 people in the house) @ the door for shoes! 90+ yo house has no closets!!
Thanks for sharing, Ana!

Ummm... who wouldn't stack these on top of each other & secure them?? That's just asking for something to happen & it actually says in the plans that if you are to stack the units to make sure you secure them.....

Amen! My baskets are the cheapos from Target & they are very sturdy.. plus when the basket gets full toss it in the washer. Don't just let them sit around filled to the rim.

I'm thinking your idea of a pretty fabric curtain and a tension rod would do the trick! Or you could always add shelving and find some cute wooden baskets :)

I my experience they hold up very well. The handles are super strong (I have never had an issue with mine bending or breaking) & are made to take a load. Now, if you have older baskets they might not work so well... with all of our technological advances have come advances in laundry baskets too, lol. That other design is interesting too... but if using laundry baskets with that kind of design you might run into the sides of the basket giving under the weight after time. The rim of the basket is very sturdy and made to withstand a lot of pressure, but not so much the sides. They would most likely give & break.

I blame my clean laundry never making it to the putting away stage on lack of closet space :) There is no where to put it & I can see it better when it's on the bed spread out or in a basket with holes ;)

Wait.... your husband does laundry??? Teach me that trick please... pretty please ;) Mine was just catching on & then we had to go & upgrade to a front loading washer & dryer & he's suddenly clueless again!

Oh dear, I suspect I'm just going to have to build a few of these to completely replace the kids' dressers! It's not like they put stuff up anyway, and I can just do one for each kid, with two baskets for clean clothes and one for dirty ;o)

I have a tiny laundry closet in my (already too small) eat-in kitchen. The laundry monster generally pukes right beside my dining chair, making it nearly impossible to sit down most nights. I'm thinking that, while I'd really rather not have one of these in my dining area, it just might be worth it! And I love the idea of putting a curtain over it, too!!!

I am so jealous I want something like this. I have at my home Mt laundry my husband hates it, might have to tell him this is what I want for Christmas........

OK, I am always looking for something like this for my own laundry room (and toy storage and everything else storage) but refuse to pay for a ready-made shelf. I got excited when I found something similar at IKEA, but once I added up the cost of all the components I'd need, it actually got pretty pricey. So, thanks for the great tutorial!! By the way, how much did this entire shelf--baskets and all--cost you to make? And how long would you think a beginning woodworker would take to make one of these shelves? Thanks again!

Oh my gosh, you (ok, your sisters too) are brilliant. I love this idea. Like you my laundry is mostly clean but never make it up the dresser. Instead, it's on the ironing board, top of the dryer, sometimes on the drying rack. ABSOLUTELY BRILLIANT. Thank you Ana. You are so awesome and even more awesome because you share your wealth of expertise. God bless your kind heart.

Sweet! Thanks! I can totally see 2 of these stacked in my living room right next to the door into the garage where the washer and dryer reside. I also like the idea of finishing out the back and putting them on casters so if company comes over, just flip it around. Anything would beat the numerous scattered round laundry baskets that divide my living and dining rooms. =P OOOH and the tension rod with a curtain idea rocks too. Too many options. lol

Jennifer..I think you rock for having the whole comm. closet thing goin on! i would LOVE that, but don't think the hubster would like it. My pet peave is socks. I hate matching them and putting them away. I think a comm. laundry basket full of socks is a good idea...

I'm going to put a set in each of our bedrooms and use as our actual dressers. It beats having baskets sprawled out all over our rooms...

I love this plan. At the moment I have 4 baskets in my hallway on the floor. Lights, whites, darks and towels. Its nasty to look at but is easy for the kids to sort. I would like to build two of these and would like to know how much two would cost me. And if I pit the 2x2 instead of the L metal pieces what would the measurements change to?

Thank you so much for posting this one. Its a wonderful idea on so many levels

I just built these yesterday, because we have these baskets, and we also have piles of laundry like "delicates", "need to soak", "sports clothes", etc. No pictures, though because my units are ugly. Even though this is for our utility room, I wish I had spent a little more time on the details. I used 2x2 rather than angle iron. So, some detail to soften the front of the "supports" would have been nice. Also, some edge banding or hardwood edge would make this a little nicer. I've never added casters to anything before, but this would be a good place to start.

This is exactly what I was looking for! My wife thought I was silly for wanting laundry basket drawer dressers, until the kids climbed the modular ones we got from Target and destroyed them. Now I'm going to put 2x2's in their closet to make drawers like this (their closet is the perfect width for it), and make ones just like these for our room.

Brilliant idea to add casters and finished backside. It wouldn't have to be plain, if you chose to trim it out with small molding, corkboard, or chalkboard paint for fun.

I have these same baskets for laundry. I have the 36"W x 18"D 3 shelf heavy metal wire shelves from Target. Sometimes they are on sale. If you put the middle shelf halfway, it will hold 2 baskets per shelf, narrow end out. I have three of them in a row so it's 9' long and holds 12 baskets. I have an extra two baskets on the top of the end shelf and then a wooden top on the other two sets. Makes a great folding area. You can get a furniture grade piece of 6'x24" plywood for about $45 at Lowes or Home Depot. I think I am going to get DH to cut a piece of MDF a little deeper and wider so I can put a 2" lip that comes down around the shelf edge, to hold the top in place better and to have a place to staple on some velcro so I can attach a curtain for when we have company over. We got a tiny laundry room and then a big keeping room that is sort of redundant. I have this on one wall in the keeping room and so far I've been covering it with very large banquet tablecloths from Sam's Club. I think they are 120" long (the pack of 2 is about $28 - I got black). When it's covered, it makes a nice buffet server. I'm thinking about have two linked together and the third set of shelves be separate so I can make an L out of it for drinks and such - still have to think about the top for that one if you can see it from the back. My sewing armoire is also in that room and I've thought of getting another set and adding a wood top to it that has a piano hinge down the long side and another large panel that folds up as a get leg for more space. I'd probably have casters on that one. I'll have to talk DH into that one, but then I could have easy storage on that side of the room. Sams also has large metal shelving that is 48"x18". I'm not sure if two baskets would side side by side but they might got three across front to back. I'm guessing you could do quite a few baskets on one of those and with the big casters, roll it around too.

I just made this as my first project and thank you so much, Ana! I learned A LOT along the way. It was a perfect beginner project to get my feet wet. :)

Ana, I cant wait to make these! I will have a 4-week school break for the holidays and I have decided I want to make them then! I love this idea, it will make my life so much easier and our clothes will stop getting lost, THANK YOU SO MUCH!! I linked these post to my little craft blog! I just had to tell the world how amazing you are and plus I know so many people that have the same laundry problem. Thank you again! http://idreamcrafts.blogspot.com/2010/12/ok-accept-it.html

Oh, awesome. I'm going to make four of them for above my washer and dryer and have two for dirty and two for clean and space for a basket on top of each of them for the sheets/towels/linens.

We have five children so that would give each of them one basket and the adults each one basket for dirty/clean.

Ana~

Thanks for the wonderful plans! My husband and I are about to screw the metal angles to the inside and then we'll be done! Other than a few curse words that slipped out while sawing the metal with our dull hack saw (our local store would not cut them for us), we had a fun time making this and it is a relatively easy project! I have my eye on a few more plans on your site and as soon as my husband forgets about the metal angles, we'll be tackling those soon! Thanks again!

Okay, so I made these, but not for my laundry room - for our closet! We don't have a lot a drawer space, and truthfully, putting clothes away is my laundry glitch. I can get them washed, folded and sorted, but putting away seems to elude me. So I made three of these, only two baskets tall and put them across the bottom of our closet. Now, when it's laundry day, I drag all the baskets to the living room, where I usually fold and sort while the kiddos nap, and then when I'm finished, the baskets go back in their place. It's the easiest way I've ever found to "put away" laundry! I am getting ready to make more for my kids closet...

Wow! I am so impressed!

I've researched a ton of laundry methods and this is one of my favorites! Not only is it extremely practical but beautiful too.

Very nice!

-Lauren

This is super cute & easy idea! I love it for laundry & for my daughters toys! You got me thinking! I'm trying to find easy/cheap ways to organize on a budget but still look cute too! Ana I love you girl! Keep up the awesome work! :)

Hi Ana - would this be just as stable if I left off the back? I would like to use it in a closet that can be opened from 2 rooms allowing the drawers (baskets) to be pulled out in both directions.
Thanks!

That's exactly my plan for the glorious day when we finally have a playroom! Can't wait... I may have to test-run it for my laundry room though.

Aimee the only thing is there is no face frame, so it would be hard to keep the boxes from swaying from side to side. The back plywood helps so much. If you braced the corners with metal, that would do the trick.

My husband and I are thinking of making this to hold our kids crayons, coloring books and other craft stuff they have stacked up in the dining room. To "hide" the plastic bins, I think I will put some coordinating fabric over the openings.

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!

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!

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.

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

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

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

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 :)

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!

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.

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!

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!

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!!

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!

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.

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.

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!

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! 

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.

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.

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!

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