Laundry Organizer Tutorial with Plan Sketches

laundry organizer shelves

One evening my lovely bride (who just finished painting our laundry cabinets) showed me a picture of this new concept of a washer/dryer stand, and she wanted one. The only thing she said I needed to include is that this was not her idea and to give credit to Sausha at Show & Tell for the inspiration. Now keep in mind our washer/dryer came with the upgraded lower drawers, however I know not to stand in the way of progress. I also know that Christa’s love language is acts of service, so when I build something for her, it’s a bigdeal. I’ve given up on giving her flowers, mushy cards, and romancing her. All she really needs is for me to help her build and fix stuff.  And I’m okay with it. She never discourages a tool purchase.

So, one morning I decided that a distraction from work was in order, and off to the hardware store I went, with inspiration photo in hand.

I set up shop on the rear patio with my miter saw, circular saw, and compressor powered nail gun, and things came together pretty quick. This is the desert, though, so it was hardly ideal.
How to organize laundry

An unbalanced washer (a high probability in a house with four women) is nothing to mess around with, so I made sure the entire base was good and stable.

A few hours later (did I mention how hot it was?) I had the entire stand built, and just like the picture, I might add. I was hoping my bride wouldn’t notice that the trim I purchased was smaller than the inspiration photo, but she has a sharp eye, and I should have known better. (In my defense, it was the only thing available.)
She still liked it, and also helpfully pointed out that it would be great if the three baskets could slide out as one piece. I couldn’t deny it was a good idea, so I used the leftover plywood and added three drawer slides to make it work.
The end result turned out quite nice. We opted for a tallish version to not only accommodate taller baskets, but also to avoid bending over to do laundry. The stand makes the room feel more open and clean. The baskets bring in texture and warmth, and are very organized and easily accessible.

I must tell you that if you do this, please be sure to measure twice and cut once so that the baskets you choose will fit perfectly. (Christa got these on clearance at Target.)

So you want your husband to make you one to make one yourself? Here is how it came together. (Show & Tell had a great tutorial, too, which you should check out.)

Materials: 4″x4″x8′ wood post, (2) 6″x1″x8′ trim board, (6) 2″x2″x8′ furring, (1) 1/4″ thick 4’x8′ premium plywood, (2) 1/2″ thick 4’x8′ middle grade plywood, a handful of wood screws, and (8) small “L” brackets.

I selected middle quality wood, but in retrospect a higher grade would have been better. We are all about saving money so that mindset ruled the moment. At least I avoided all the wood that had crooks, cups, and bows.

Tip: Wood is cut to “nominal dimension” which are larger than actual dimensions. The reason for this is when trees are harvested they are still wet and they cut the lumber at the mill and the wood is either dried in a kiln or stacked and eventually the wood dries out naturally. When it dries, it shrinks. Generally about a 1/2″ for most board cuts. So, a 2×4 is actually 1-1/2″x3-1/2″. So when measuring and assembling your stand make sure you account for the actual dimensions of the wood.
I cut the 4×4 post into four sections about 18″ tall (because that accommodated the height of the baskets). The footprint for the washer/dryer is 55″x26″ so I cut the top 1/2″ plywood to that dimension less 3/4″ on each side. The best way to cut a large board is to clamp a straight edge (level) to the board as a guide for the circular saw. You will need saw horses or tables to support the  boards so it won’t pinch while cutting.
I built a rectangular frame on the top and bottom with the 2×2 furring and inserted three intermediate cross members. The top rectangular wood frame was screwed on top of the four corner posts. I had to use brackets to connect the bottom frame to the wood posts because I wanted the posts to rest on the floor to support the load of the appliances. I recommend drilling pilot holes before installing larger screws, but of course I was in a hurry to get indoors so I had to fill some cracks after the fact. Once the frames were complete I used the nail gun to secure the plywood panels and miter cut trim on the sides of the top edge.

The small crown trim squares had to be precision miter cut and glued to the 4×4 posts. If I nailed them they would have split so wood glue was easy enough and set up quickly with our 130 degree temperature. Because of the rounded edges, it was difficult to judge the exact size and not all the sides were exactly the same (due to shrinkage, a term you won’t hear me mention much of), so I found myself making a slightly longer pieces and then cutting it specific to fit.

The slide-out feature was pretty simple, using leftover 1/4″ plywood and three drawer slides. My sweetheart primed and painted it in the same color as the laundry cabinets and I put it all back together.
The baskets were secured to the plywood so they wouldn’t slide around and scratch everything up. You ladies understand.
I hope that inspires you to build your own laundry organizer.
Until the next project,
(Disclaimer: if a washer/dryer falls off one of these stands it will not be in warranty.)