Given a bright, well-organized area with plenty of laundry room storage space, folding and sorting clothes can be a pleasure.
That’s what Jen Jones was thinking when she and her husband took on a project to create extra laundry room storage in their home. She ought to know a thing or two about storage and organization, too, considering she writes a popular blog called IHeart Organizing.
Here, she shows us, step-by-step, how she designed and built her gorgeous laundry room storage area.
For years now, I have been dreaming up a laundry station where I can sort out delicate pieces and linens, quickly fold clothes for our boys, hang important blouses to dry and even do a little sewing. The Home Depot is always our one stop shop for home improvement projects, and they really came through for us in making this little dream of mine a reality.
Storage in this area of the room has come and gone, but as of late, it was looking like a big blank slate.
Working together, my husband and I came up with a plan. The goal was to build something simple yet stylish and functional: concealed storage above to hold our beach gear and towels, paper products and extra bulky linens. A tall cabinet would be created to act as a cleaning closet, storing brooms, mops and our vacuum. The far right portion of the unit would hold baskets for sorting our laundry and provide a shelf for my sewing items. A counter for working and folding and a bar for hanging clothing to dry would finish things off.
The most time consuming part of the process was measuring our space and creating a supply and cut list. Well, that and waiting for paint to dry of course.
Materials used to build the laundry room storage project
- Cabinet pulls
- Paint brush
- Counter kit
- Dowel screws
- Wood glue
- Painter’s caulk
To keep the project budget friendly, we opted to build the entire unit out of 3/4″ MDF. We have used MDF for previous building projects and have always been happy with the quality and end result. Because we had measured our empty wall and drew a planned diagram, we were able to provide our Home Depot helpers with a cut list. Once we had loaded up our cart with wood supplies, they assisted in cutting the larger MDF boards down to our pre-determined size (this would vary for everyone as we built this to fit our wall and baskets specifically). We also used the moulding cut station to pre-cut our crown molding and door trim pieces as well.
Basic tools needed for this laundry room storage project
- Carpenter’s square
- Brad nailer
- Circular saw
- Miter box
- Cordless drill
- Caulk gun
- Sanding block
Cut list for this laundry room storage project
- 4 – 76″ x 16″ pieces of 3/4″ MDF for the vertical sides of the cleaning closet/cubbies
- 2 – 97″ x 16″ pieces of 3/4″ MDF for the horizontal sides of the upper cabinets
- 8 – 24″ x 16″ pieces of 3/4″ MDF for the horizontal shelves of the laundry sorting cubbies and cleaning closet
- 4 – 14 1/2″ x 16″ pieces of 3/4″ MDF for the vertical dividers of the upper cabinets
- 1 – 24 3/4″ x 75 1/2″ piece of 1/2″ MDF for cleaning closet door
- 2 – 24 3/4″ x 14 1/2″ pieces of 1/2″ MDF for outer upper cabinet doors
- 2 – 22 1/4″ x 14 1/2″ pieces of 1/2″ MDF for the inner upper cabinet doors
- 1 – 97″ piece of crown molding
- For the door trim, we purchased 2″ wide oak mullion moulding and used our miter box to cut each piece to the perimeter of the door panels as shown in the diagram below
The construction of the storage wall itself consisted of three basic units.
The process of building each frame was essentially the same, the only difference being the final measurements. The had the vertical pieces cut to size at the store. We cut down the horizontal pieces at home. A couple of clamps and an extra piece of trim acted as the perfect guide for achieving our cuts with the circular saw.
To be sure the shelves remained level and lined up equally on both walls of the unit, the horizontal pieces were clamped together, and lines were drawn across both boards with a carpenter’s square.
Throughout the entire build process, we were sure to combine wood glue with our brad nailer for strength and reinforcement. To set the shelves, we added a bead of wood glue along the shelf edge, inserted it in-between the exterior boards and attached with the brad nailer.
Another way to ensure our shelves were going in level was to create more guides out of clamps and trim pieces.
Once the glue set and dried, the piece was sturdy enough to be carried and placed into our laundry room.
As you can see from the photo above, we removed a few pieces of our trim in the room to be sure the unit would fit square to the wall.
The cleaning closet unit and upper unit were built in the same fashion as the first piece. Once all three were complete, they were attached together with 1 1/4″ drywall screws.
We used a few shims to ensure the unit remained level and square to the wall. Once everything was in place and secure, we installed the icing on the cake, also known as the crown moulding.
Our plans for the doors were to simply cut 1/2″ MDF pieces to size, and finish them off with simple pieces of flat oak moulding.
Once the molding was cut to fit the size of the door, it was attached with wood glue and the brad nailer.
While the paint was drying, Bryan cut the countertop to the correct width. I was not interested in the backsplash lip of the counter, so that was cut as well. To cut the counter without damaging the surface, a simple strip of painter’s tape was used for protection.
We used a few pieces of the MDF scraps screwed into the sides of each unit and the back wall, to act as a ledger board for the counter.
The installation of the counter was sturdy on its own, however I was looking to add a little extra visual interest to the entire piece. While at The Home Depot, we realized we had two options for our support posts. We could use an interior newel post for around $30 each, or piece together two exterior cedar deck posts which we found on sale for around $5 each (down from $20!). We selected the latter of the two options.
Because the posts we selected were not tall enough on their own, and only had a small portion of decorative finish, we purchased four and combined two posts into one. To do so, the top of each post was cut, the center was found and pre-drilled and a double-sided screw paired with wood glue combined each end to create one fabulous counter leg.
Words can’t express how excited we are with the final outcome of this laundry storage project!
Inside the cleaning closet, the grip clips hold all of our taller cleaning essentials, while the added shelf is the perfect place for our mop bucket and extra vacuum attachments.
I spray painted half of our wooden hangers in Rust-Oleum’s Lagoon.
To free up the counter, we cut down a small piece of pegboard and placed it inside of a photo frame which I spray painted with my favorite gold paint. It acts as a wonderful way to keep my sewing tools within reach for quick clothing repairs and projects.
The open access cubbies on the right side of the unit have made sorting and accessing our laundry baskets a daily breeze.
We worked on this project on and off for about a week, and although it may seem grand and complex, it all came together pretty quickly. The key was having a plan, measuring
twice five times and having many of our pieces pre-cut right at the Home Depot store. We now have an extremely functional built-in full of storage, creating an all-in-one laundry sorter/folding counter/linen storage/cleaning closet!
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