Laundry Basket Dresser

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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!

Keywords: 
ana white laundry basket dresser how to build make plans design ideas tidy laundry organization
Dimensions: 
Dimensions are shown above.
Dimensions: 

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
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)

Project Type: 
Skill Level: 
Estimated Cost: 
Style: 

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.

Summary: 

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.

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

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...

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

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!

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.

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!

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!!!!

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?

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!

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.

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

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.

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.

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

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!

Oh dear, I'm addicted to your projects and this blog and I've only been here 5min! I love tools and I love DIY project that are so so cute and especially inexpensive...well maybe not especially $ but especially crafty and cute and well... like I said, I'm addicted.

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!

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!

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!

I have already been using nearly the exact method for almost a couple of yrs right now, and also this works wonderfully! All of us experienced a couple of shelves place in our laundry room right beneath the hanging bar. I actually sized those to carry a couple of laundry baskets each. We fold every person's laundry regularly in their personal basket.

Brustvergrösserung

I've tried screwing the sides together with 2" wood screws as suggested, but the screws split the plywood or cause the ply to spread. What am I doing wrong?

I was looking for aluminum angle for a project recently and I found that at the big box stores it is crazy expensive. I couldn't find an "aluminum" distributor locally but I did find an iron supply business. It just so happens that the "iron" supplier deals in all sorts of metals. I got 3 pieces 1.5" x 1.5" x 72", 1/8 thick aluminum angle for $10 each. I couldn't even find pieces that long at the big box stores and their longest pieces were around $30 each!

Alro Steel distributes quite a few different extruded products, including aluminum and acrylic, and they sell to the public. I never would have thought of them, but they have a warehouse in Ann Arbor near my favorite hardwood dealer.

I was wondering if the cut list is enough materials for one or two laundry dressers? I am going to head out tomorrow hopefully and buy the materials and have the wood cut for me..I don't have the tools... and need to know if I should double it or not.

Thanks for this idea, it is great

Don't let the lumber dealer do your cuts for you. They can't make cuts suitable for cabinets. All you'll be doing is making scrap wood.

You can buy an inexpensive circular saw at most home centers (I even found one last night at Meijer, a regional chain that looks like what a Super Walmart wants to be when it grows up). It will cost more than just the plywood, but it won't cost more than two sheets of plywood, which is what you'll be buying if you have the store cut it.

You'll also need to do a bit of research on a plywood cutting jig and build one of those. You should be able to find plans and videos online. I built something called a track saw, and I love it. Unfortunately it requires some tools you don't have, and I see I don't have pictures anywhere.

If you absolutely will never build anything else, I recommend finding a friend with a circular saw and a cutting jig.

But don't let the hacks at a home center touch your plywood. They may be well intentioned, but that does not mean they will be capable of doing the right thing.

I would like to have the crates too. My husband made the storage bin, but I modified it to fit out needs. I need the crates as shelves to put the detergent on. Do you know where I can get these? I love all of the ideas you have, but I am not sure my husband does. His honey-do list gets longer by the minute.

Hi there...I built one of these following your measurements...but I used MDF. It is a little wobbly. Do you have any suggestions as to what I did wrong? Or maybe how I could reinforce it so it does not wiggle?

Thanks so much!
Christina

I know Im a little late but here are a couple of suggestions... get a pack or two of L brackers and put two on each side of upper left and right. Make sure is it square first.Second get a piece of luan cut to fit and nail to the back side of piece. Hope this helps.

Hi, new to building. Just curious what type of plywood you used for this. Our places here have cheaper stuff and then expensive stuff. Just wondering which way to go.

I have officially added this to my "get on it, Kim" to-do list! We have one of those 3-compartment laundry sorters (in addition to a separate bin for delicates and stinky hockey gear), and transfer one load at a time into a plastic hamper like this to carry downstairs to our basement laundry room. This would pre-sort into removable baskets that I could carry down when full...and look a lot nicer, too!

You should change the dimensions to be correct. I built this and the width of the unit is not big enough to have the tracks be 16". The width should be 16 1/2" not 15 1/2".

This is awesome! My husband just helped me make it but we are using it for toy storage in my 4 year old daughter's playroom. She was so excited to pick the color to paint it with. I can't wait to make more of these and try more of your plans. Thank you so much for doing such incredible work with all of your plans!! You are truly amazing.

I love this idea! I was looking for Nursery ideas today and stumbled across this project page. There is no way this would ever fit in my laundry room, but I can see a few of these in our nursery playing double/triple duty to hold clothes, diapers, essentials, and later on toys! All while playing double duty as the "changing station" with a nice, smooth board on top! I may give these plans to my FIL and ask for his help in making them though, just to make sure they turn out straight and all (I can't cut a straight line to save my life).

Hampers are meant to hold heavy loads by the handles :) and if it does break after a year or more of using it, well, it's only a couple bucks to replace it for new :) this is an awesome idea! Mostly I'm just happy that everyone else battles the laundry monster hah.

Great idea! I will add this to the next Honey-do list. I'm also thinking to have a laundry basket for each family member, so I can just swap out the baskets.

Wow. What a concept! I have putting away laundry and this may be the solution I've been waiting for! I've been battling with my daughter for years to get her to put her laundry away. I'm thinking of replacing her overstuffed and underused dresser with two of these and skipping the hassle of having to transfer everything to drawers. Brilliant!!

The bottom piece is not supposed to be 24 1/2". It should be 23 3/4". I should have noticed this but too late now. So if you build it with the measurements shown above your unit with be out of square by 3/4". Simple math. The top piece @ 25 1/4" works good for the baskets. I wouldn't add length to it - take 3/4" off the bottom.

On the laundry design, I have never seen anything with more mistakes. Look at Step 1 and step 3. You have the top piece on the outside in Step 1, but on the inside in step 3. Also, you have the length of the top piece wrong in step 1, but only correct it in a footnote. Is the width 15 1/2 inches as specified in the material list or 16" as in the cut list? The metal angle iron is very expensive (~$5 per foot) and impossible to cut at home. Aluminum is more expensive but easier to cut. And what to coat the steel or aluminum with (they both rust). Wow!!!

The laundry basket dresser is a very popular plan, just look at all of the brag post/pics!
With as many free plans as Ana puts on her website, there are bound to be errors that she corrects as soon as she becomes aware of the situation.
As with most lumber, its not exactly true to size, ie; a 1x4 is often 1x3.5 and in this case the 1x16 is actually a 1x15.5.
The metal angle iron is expensive and hard to cut which is why we are given the 2x2 as another option. Much easier to cut, much, much cheaper and no rust:)
I am sure that with as many plans that she has on here you may find one or two (or a hundred) that better suit your needs. Happy Building:)

There are a lot of blogs and articles out there on this topic, but you have captured another side of the subject. This is good content thank you for sharing it.
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Does the bottom basket touch the bottom of the box? If not how much of a gap is there? I would like to make one but I would like it to be part of a folding table. Just seeing if I might be able to cut off 1/2 to an 1in at the bottom?

Thanks so much!

I love this idea. It wouldn't cost to much to make or pick up used ones at a garage sale as well. Sometimes some of these odds and ends pieces of old dressers would work as well. I love it. :)

We recently made this project following all measurements EXACTLY!

However, the baskets measure 25 1/4 inches but the width of the inside of the shelf is only 24 1/2.

Anyone else have this problem? We purchased the exact baskets that are shown. I'm guessing Sterilite no longer makes these baskets. I'm just looking for a little help!!
Help or a little forewarning for others that make this project and can't find baskets.

I cannot say anything better than the others above me, but I love this project and I am just about to surf your site, so I am sure I will be pinning. Thanks so much for the inspiration!

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Suknie wieczorowe w Los Angeles to mają, panie, życie! Nie tylko osiągają miliony dolarów w wętylowanych wieżowcach firm finansowych, atoli jeszcze suknie slubne mogą sobie zajrzeć. Aby to jeszcze były prezentacje, jak u nas, ale nie: w zachwycającym

moderowany katalog stron

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Metropolitan Museum of Art i w wybitnym Museum of the City of New York uwidoczniają sukienki wieczorowe. W pewnej mierze niedużo męskie? Oryginalny pan zwiedza takie wystawy ze swoją znamienitą połowicą!

I couldn't find the same baskets Ana used, I could only find the Sterilite Ultra which measures at 25 3/4 L x 18 W x 10 3/4 H Could someone please help me figure out a new cut list? This is my first project and I'm not really sure what I'm doing or what I'm looking for.

I've been eyeing this project up for a while now. My husband and I are thinking of doing this (or something similar) for our recycling in the basement. We may do full shelves instead of something for the lip to rest on. Can anyone share the dimensions of the baskets? I'm curious how much we'd have to deviate from the plan for the baskets we currently have. I'm also thinking of making this for my son's bedroom that won't fit a dresser along with his other stuff, but this in his closet would work brilliantly I think.

These are a great idea! The only thing I would change is that I would put some short feet or a tiny platform below the shelves. It only takes one flood in the utility room to ruin anything that is standing flat on the floor.

Ana,

Great plan! I have seen this idea on Pinterest and it is great to finally have the plans to make it! This will be so great in my house! Thanks for sharing!

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