This week we’re upgrading the organization and maximizing storage space in Chelsea’s laundry closet to handle her growing family.
For over two years, I’ve been helping Chelsea and her husband Brandon renovate their mid-century ranch one project at a time. We’ve added some energy-efficient updates and transformed the exterior, the large family spaces, and the guest bathroom and master bathroom.
As part of her kitchen renovation, the laundry room was reconfigured to allow for a future addition, resulting in what’s now a laundry closet So now, we’re maximizing the storage and functionality within every remaining inch of space.
Create Storage Over the Washer and Dryer
There’s no room to store cleaning supplies in the laundry closet, so we’re going to add a pair of cabinets and a shelf above the washer and dryer.
Chelsea purchased some standard 30-by-30-inch wall cabinets from The Home Depot for her laundry closet. The Home Depot offers wall cabinets in various sizes between 12 inches and 36 inches, so you can mix and match different sizes to custom fit the space on any wall.
When installing hanging wall cabinets, don’t forget to check the swing of the doors. Ask yourself, “Will it hit a light or something else hanging on the wall?” Or in this case of a laundry closet, “Will that washing machine lid be able to open and stay open?”
We typically hang wall cabinets 12 inches from the ceiling, but because we want to add a shelf below the cabinets, we’re hanging them 10 inches down instead.
Because this is more of a laundry closet than a laundry room, everything needs to be easily accessible from the door opening. So, we’re centering the cabinets and the washer and dryer on the opening.
To install the cabinets, mark the stud locations on the wall, then drive screws into the back of the cabinets to secure them to the wall.
After the cabinets are installed, Chelsea primes and paints the cabinets.
Chelsea has a leftover piece of granite countertop from her kitchen renovation, so she’s using part of the slab to create a shelf to go below the cabinets. Because a piece of stone like this weighs almost 100 pounds, we use heavy-duty shelf brackets secured to the wall studs to hang it.
Build Shelving Over Air Intake
The kitchen renovation also results in the relocation of the HVAC system’s air intake inside the laundry closet. Now, there’s a dead space above it that’s just begging for some shelves.
We’re building out the shelves to match the height of the cabinets, so we first calculate the spacing we need for each cut of plywood, then get to cutting it with a table saw.
It can be a little bit awkward cutting a full piece of plywood on a table saw but there’s no better way to get those nice accurate cuts you need when you’re building shelving.
To build these custom shelves, we cut the first piece of plywood on a table saw to get an accurate cut for each shelf. Because we’re making multiple cuts of the same size, we’re using a technique called to save time. Gang cutting is cutting multiple pieces of wood on top of each other to save time.
Once all the cuts are made, we use Titebond Original Wood glue to seal the wood together on the frame before using the nail gun to secure the shelving piece.
Next, we install the shelves inside the frame. You can do a lot of measuring and marking to make sure the shelves are nice and square, or you grab your square and it goes a lot faster and just as accurately.
To give the shelving unit a more polished look, we use block trim to cover up the end grain of the plywood.
Chelsea primes and paints the unit before we put it in place over the air intake so she can access the shelves from both sides.
Add Bi-Fold Doors to the Laundry Closet
In addition to all of the functional storage space, we need some doors so that we don’t have to look at the washer and dryer coming down the hallway.
Chelsea decides on bi-folds for the laundry closet because they take up less floor space than traditional doors that swing open.
Watch How to Install Bi-Fold Doors to learn more.
Fix the ‘Walking Washer’
When Chelsea did her first load of laundry after the kitchen renovation, the washer “walked” across the floor, leaving scratches on her newly installed hardwood flooring.
A “walking” washing machine refers to a washing machine that moves or vibrates excessively during operation, causing it to shift or “walk” across the floor.
To touch up the scratches on the floor, she uses a stain marker that will blend right in. And to keep the washing machine from dancing anymore. She put a rubber furniture foot underneath each foot on the washer. This will keep the washer from moving and scratching the floors.
- Moved the hanging rod beside the cabinets
- Installed an iron and board bolder on the shelving unit
- Added shoe molding around the baseboards. (Tip: When installing shoe molding, nail it to the baseboards, not the floor. The floor will move slightly but the baseboards won’t.)
- Installed a periscope dryer vent to save room and increase the dryer’s efficiency
Thanks to her kitchen renovation. Chelsea’s laundry room was basically new but terribly basic. There were no shelves or cabinets for storage and there wasn’t even a door to conceal the chaos.
But now, the addition of some simple stock cabinets has elevated the look of the space while it keeps much of what needs to be stored there out of view.
The shelf unit over the air return utilizes what would have otherwise been wasted space, plus the bifold doors will cleanly cover up the clutter when Chelsea’s not busy doing laundry, which oddly enough, I think she’s relieved to be doing it again.
|Other Tips From This Episode
How to Read the Fine Print on Tiny Labels
|Best New Products
Kidde’s Water Leak and Freeze Detector Offers Peace of Mind
|Watch and Learn
How to Install Bi-Fold Doors
Products Featured in This Episode
- Bi-fold Doors: JELD-WEN 72 in. x 80 in. Cambridge White Painted Smooth Molded Composite Closet Bi-fold Double Door
- Cabinets: Hampton Bay Hampton Unfinished Recessed Panel Stock Assembled Wall Kitchen Cabinet
- Periscope Dryer Vent: Smart Choice 0-18 in. Dryer Periscope Vent Kit
- Rubber furniture foot: Shepherd 1-1/2 in. Brown Round Smooth Rubber Floor Protector Furniture Cups for Carpet & Hard Floors (4-Pack)
- Shelf Bracket: Crates & Pallet 9 in. White L Steel Shelf Bracket
- Wood Stain Markers: Rejuvenate Wood Furniture and Floor Repair Markers
This page contains affiliate links. If you purchase a product from these links, we will earn a small commission at no additional cost to you.