Thursday, October 11, 2012

DIY laundry room storage

Hey hey! Thanks for playing along with our fun birthday quiz this week. ;) We’ll announce the winner (and the answers!) tomorrow.

Today I wanted to update you on the (basement) laundry room progress. I’m so excited about this space – it is a dream come true for me to have a dedicated laundry room!

It’s not a big room, but it’s mighty. :) My original plan was to make it much bigger, but with the bathroom placement that wasn’t possible. I’ve found it’s six by nine size is more than enough though. I LOVE it.

Last time I shared this room with you I had just painted:

light gray laundry room

As soon as the floors, trim and paint were done, we knew we could move the washer and dryer down. (I worked like lightning to get those done!!) We were about to install them when a little (awesome) randomness happened. You know those state unclaimed money sites? (Indiana’s is here.) Well, long story short -- we realized we had been missing checks for years that were going to our old address…it was a nice little surprise. :)

So hubby wanted to use that extra cash to get a new washer and dryer set. And I didn’t argue, duh. (He’s a keeper!!) We shopped around, found a set we loved, then went to Sears (just because we love their service), and they price matched the lowest price we had found ($200 cheaper than their price, each!), plus gave us 10 percent off…BOOM.

So anywho, we were lucky enough to get a new washer and dryer set and we got them for a great price. I’ll show you more of those in a minute, but first I had to come up with a solution for a problem I realized after they were installed.

You see, I had forgotten that the washer and dryer don’t go right up to the wall when installed. There’s all those…uck…CORDS. And hoses.  If there’s anything worse than cords, it’s hoses. They make me tremble just thinking about them.

So we lost a good six inches of floors space in the room, which in the end has been fine. But man, I did not love the mess of stuff you could see behind them:

hiding the stuff behind the washer and dryer

Yes, I know we are probably the only people that would see it. Yes, from the front you can’t really tell. But it drove me crazy. YES, I am weird! Welcome to Sarah’s mind.

So I came up with a solution and I’m tickled at how it came out. I’m sure I’m not the first to do this, it’s nothing earth shattering. I decided to make a shelf behind the washer and dryer – it would hide all that junk and be useful.

I used about half scrap wood, half some I picked up at the hardware store. I put a one by two into the wall as a “cleat” or support at the height I wanted the shelf:

shelf support

I just used long screws and secured it into the studs along the wall.

Then I just cut down and stained a piece of wood  (about six inches wide) that would lay on the top. I used my nail gun to nail it down into the supports:

And I had a shelf!

For a little extra stability, and because I had plenty of wood left, I put another wide board down the front on the left:

And to hide even more, a smaller board (1 by 2) on the other side:

Now you can’t see anything back there! YESSSS!

I still had a little wood left, so I created a shelf off to the side as well:

It does exactly what I wanted it to do – hides the ugly stuff, but keeps all of the laundry necessities within reach:

shelf behind washer and dryer for storage

I still need to add a coat of satin poly to the top, just to protect the wood (it makes it easier to wipe down as well). And this is by no means cute or styled, just functional – but I love it!

The washer and dryer are LG and we went with the top loader washer. I just didn’t want to deal with the mildew/sealer issues that I’ve heard about the front loaders:

laundry room storage

I’m also a throw-things-in-last-minute kind of girl, so I NEED to be able to add clothing in after the load starts. The top loader allows me to do that, from my understanding you can’t with the front loaders. We love these machines – the dryer especially. I love how it senses when things are dry – I used to check our old dryer at least three times each time we dried a load and now when it’s done I know the clothes are actually dry.

It’s the little things. :)

I love seeing the progression of how rooms come together – here’s the room with just drywall:

And with the tile floors, paint and the W/D set installed:

LG washer and dryer gray

Next I’ll share how I’m organizing this space, and what I hope will be a bit of pretty. :)

So are you a top or front loader person? :) Do you hate that empty space behind them as much as I do? Have you checked out your unclaimed site? Go for it – you may find you’re owed meeeeellions!! Or $50, whatever. It’s money. :)

58 comments:

  1. love how it turned out! I thought I would be a front loader gal, but they are a PAIN! I'm glad ours is in the basement like yours because we have to leave the door open to avoid mildew smells.

    Lesson learned, maybe we'll get a shiny top loader like yours next time. ;)

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  2. Very strategic! I love this idea, I'd benefit from doing this in my home too. Our laundry room is tiny and this idea would free up space from the other larger shelves. Thanks for sharing!

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  3. Nice room! I can put clothes in my front loader after it starts and if I leave my door cracked between loads it doesn't stink. Hasn't for a long time. I just like the gentleness of the FL on my clothes, compared to the top loader, but any new washer/dryer is exciting. Congrats.

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  4. I have the same washer and dryer, LOVE them and your shelf.

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  5. I think they look great and getting what works best for you on washer and dryer is awesome (I dont know about all front loaders but Samsung allows me to add clothing after it starts)

    Love the shelf you built, looks great!

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  6. Love the shelf! I've had a front loader for years and I've never had a problem with mildew. It is so energy efficient and I can interrupt a load if I want to add anything.

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  7. Fun seeing this post. It looks great by the way!!! Kudos for getting a good deal on new appliances! I can't wait to see what else you are doing. We are remodeling our main floor laundry. When we built our house, DH didn't want a laundry tub. I did. I lost. Now, 8 yrs later, we are adding a laundry tub and cabinets above the washer and dryer. Beadboard and tile are being added to the walls and floor as well. Let me say how nice it is having a laundry tub again! We bought stock hickory cabinets. Took a 30" drawer base, as that is all we had room for and took the drawers, hardward and shelf out and permanently afixed the drawer fronts. You can't tell it is not originally a sink base.

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  8. I love your blog for lots of reasons! But today I love it because I'm $210.60 richer!!! Thanks for the IN unclaimed link!!!
    Love it!

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  9. TOP loader for me, just hated my front loader it would get an awful smell and I tried everything to get rid of it ended up just getting rid of the machine!!! LOVE your shelf already added to my to do list!!!
    Karen

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  10. My mother-in-law had a Neptune set including a front loader and when they moved this summer she left them with the house because she hated that front loader. The mildew and smell are apparently a big problem. My washer/dryer are 16 years old..yours are looking fantastic, maybe if mine die soon I can get shiny new ones too! Love the laundry room and your shelf!

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  11. I like my top load Cabrio washer. It's huge and I have no mildew problems like my MIL has with her front load washer.

    Great idea to hide all of those cords and hoses. I might have to do that. We walk in through the laundry room to the kitchen every single day and I hate seeing it.

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  12. I've had a top loader for years, and love it. I can add things in, and have never had a mildew or smell issue. My MIL had terrible issues with her new top loader, and ended up getting rid of it and going back to the front loader. I think we will always hear pros and cons for every make/model, no matter what you buy.

    Love the shelf idea. Definitely pinning it to remind my hubbie when we redo our laundry room!

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  13. I am a front loader lover but currently have a top loader in our rental. I didn't know mildew and odor was a complaint with them - I have never had these problems with mine in the past. I would always leave the door slightly open in between loads though so it can dry out. I find the top loader develops a funky smell too but put it down to mostly only washing in cold water. I run a hot load with vinegar every little while to combat that. I like being able to have a bench over the top of both the washer and dryer with front loaders. Absolutely love your shelf idea though!

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  14. That's a great idea for top loader people. The only reason I like having a front loader is because we can have a counter on top, which is a must in our little laundry room. I would go back to a top loader because of all the extra stuff you have to do with the front loader is a pain(clean it, drain it), but I just can't give up my counter.

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  15. Your laundry room is fabulous. I love it and the shelf idea is perfect. I am a top loader too. Mine is really old, but when replaced, I will do it with the top loaders again. Fabulous room. Hugs, Marty

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  16. We have the same washer/dryer set and I LOVE them! Love the tile in the laundry room too - great job so far! :)

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  17. I *hate* that wasted gap between the wall and the washer/dryer! Great way to disguise it.

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  18. I can't complain too much (since we are renting) that we have top of the line front loaders. But i miss my top loaders... the clothes constantly fall out while trying to shut the door and if I forget something... it has to drain first...
    but my clothes are clean and that's all i need really!

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  19. I was JUST gonna ask about the washer! I had a front load LG washer, and while I love LG products, I HATED HATED HATED the smell. I know you can clean the gasket and stuff, but frankly, I'd rather not have a machine that needs that much attention.

    Yes, I hate all those hoses and stuff. Great solution!

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  20. love what you did to cover up that gap in the back. Will have to try that on our w/d set!

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  21. Looking great! I'm definitely a top load washer girl. I always find some forgotten socks in boys' room after I already started a load!

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  22. It looks great - I love the shelf! I wish we wouldn't been ahead of the "trend" and made the investment in new front loaders...because you're right, the mildew stink is ANNOYING. Be excited that you chose top loader - a smart choice in my opinion!

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  23. You are not alone ...things like cords showing just drive me crazy!! Great job!

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  24. Thank you! At your suggestion, I just found unclaimed money that belongs to me. Not enough for major appliances, but it should cover dinner and a movie for my husband and me. My birthday's not until next week, but I'm celebrating already! Thanks again!

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  25. Absolutely stunning. Your blog always makes me so happy. I love everything you do. Keep it up.

    Love, Eloise.

    PS...I am dying to see what you've done with the dining room/new library! I hope you'll give us the big reveal soon!

    Blessings!

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  26. Love your new washers and the love the shelf idea.

    I actually did the same thing when I remodeled my laundry room last year except I set the shelf on medal brackets and didn't nail it down. That way if water starts spraying all over for some horrible unexpected reason, I can easily access the valves to turn the water off. :)

    Great job and I can't wait to see more! :)

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  27. is there anything better than a new washer and dryer? also, re the top load vs. front load dilemma....I was really hesitant to purchase a front load as I'd never had one and had read about the mildew issue. ours has been fine, the trick is to leave the door open and the soap dispenser cracked. hasnt been a problem for us. enjoy your new washer and dryer...they look super. :)

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  28. You know you're a grown up when a new laundry room makes you happy! I have a top loader, mainly for cost reasons. We bought a Maytag on 0-5/05/05 (easy date to remember) and it gave me nothing but problems the first couple of years. After three repairs (one major) it finally works right, but I'm sure it'll need to be replaced sooner than our previous washer. I love your laundry room. Mine is in our unfinished basement but it has shelves that came with the house. I also keep a few small stands nearby to put my laundry baskets on, plus my husband strung lines across the ceiling so I can hang clothes to dry (I line dry most of our clothing).

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  29. That is such a good idea! I just showed this to my husband and told him I want one! I hate all that waste of space back there and not having room for things right by the machines.

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  30. Um ... I don't suppose you put that shelf on a hinge so you can get to the controls quickly? I'm a just-in-case kinda gal ... but I love the look and function and machines. I inherited front loaders with new home, which I thought were so cool, but I would go your route if I had a choice.

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  31. That shelf should help reduce the lint and other gunk that collects around the hoses. We have a stacker set due to lack of space, so periodically we have to get on a stepladder with the vacuum to clean out behind the machine. Thank God for hose extensions!

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  32. This looks so great -- I'm loving how this room is coming along! :-) That shelf idea is so great, and your new machines are super sleek! I can't wait until my hubby and I design our own laundry room to be nice and spacious like yours. Right now ours is small, but manageable. ;-) Someday...

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  33. beautiful design of the home and well furninished. Do you use Mosquito nets to protect against mosquitos?

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  34. This is a cute simply way to organize a laundry room.

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  35. I am TOTALLY a toss things in last minute kind of girl ... but we have a front loader here ... I can't tell you how many times I wish I could toss in that stray sock or random thing and can't! Now I'm going to go see how many millions I'm owed. ;)

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  36. I LOVE how your laundry room is coming out! It's so fun to watch the progress. I feel your pain about those darn cords, hoses and all that ucky stuff. I'm looking forward to the day when everything is cordless! Thanks for your blog - I really look forward to reading your new entries.

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  37. Looks great! I've thought about putting a shelf back there, but was afraid the drain hose might pop loose and I wouldn't notice. Yeah, I'm paranoid. We have a front loader and I hate it. I would definitely go top loader next time around- you made a wise choice!

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  38. I pretty much have the same set, just from last Christmas. LOVE them! I am a top loader for the same reasons, plus I have found that front loaders can't do king bedding as well, which is very important to me. I asked hubby to make the same shelf behind mine, but he is all scared of hitting on of the electrical/gas/water lines that are all on that wall. Any tips? Can't wait to see how you make it all cute.

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  39. I just checked the unclaimed money site... no mula for me. Dang!

    I have a top loader washer that I got from Sears, too, and I have the same wire/hose issue! Your solution seems easy & functional... I'll add this to my To Do list! :)

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  40. I have an LG front loader washing machine that I love. I have never had a problem with a smell or mildew or anything like that. I never close the door all the way when I'm not using it, which allows for air circulation. Periodically, I will use a dirty kitchen towel to wipe out the bottom of the door seal where moisture collects, and then toss the towel in with the rest of the wash.

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  41. Love my new top loader machine and dryer set too! I noticed you have a large box of powdered soap. So, did I when I bought my set. I found I needed to switch to HE liquid soap and have never had a residue problem on any of my clothes. Love, love, love your shelf idea!!!!

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  42. Great idea! I have been meaning to beautify my home's laundry room but haven't gotten to it yet. Your post makes me want to start working on it right away!

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  43. Love the laundry room. I have silver w/d also and love the gray paint with them. LOVE the tile also. I had a front loader and it smelled it was not in an area I could leave the door open even a crack. Had to have to boot replaced and the motor all within 5 years. At six years it quit and I was over the front load. I like how they look, the efficiency of it and could use the top for folding but they are expensive to repair. We bought a new set that is also he and a top loader. It doesn't have the big agitator in the middle and I can get more clothes in it than I could my large capacity front loader. We had cabinets above our w/d and tore them out and added open painted white shelving and like it much better. I also bought pretty cannisters to put my laundry necessities in and added some candles, pics, etc... I use baskets on the shelves for anything else that I want to keep hidden. Now doing laundry is not such a chore!

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  44. So, I just wanted to drop you a line and say "nice Job". Good way to use up that weird space. I like how it turned out and cant wait to see how the whole room ends up. MORE than that....THANK you!! lol.WHY? since I live in Indiana, I clicked on that "unclaimed money" site, and wouldn't you know it...there was my name with a tidy little sum attached to it!! I dont know if I should be excited by the fact that I have money I didnt remember coming to me (as a bonus on my wedding anniversary!)or feel like a idiot because I apparently have a paycheck out there that I didnt pick up. DOH! haha. Anyway, guess I can use that to buy a little sump'n for my crib as well. ;) Keep up the good job: both the decorating and making some of us richer *wink*...Nikki

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  45. Love the new room!! I built the same shelf a few years ago, but hinged it so I can raise it up to reach the plugs and shut off valves. I go out of town quite often and always shut off the water supply while I'm gone. You did a great job and I love your blog!!

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  46. I am top loader for sure. My husband, who is a carpenter has had to repair laundry rooms where the front loader drum has shot out of the washer into the wall! Yikes! Thank goodness no kids were playing in there when it happened. The company, of course, replaced the washer and paid for the repairs but still. It has scared me into always being a top loader kinda gal.
    Dawn

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  47. I've been itching to put a shelf over my washer and dryer and just haven't gotten around to it! My laundry room is much smaller than yours and the space is poorly utilized! And I'm a top loader kind of gal. Especially since I'm a cloth diapering mom and it's easier to wash the diapers in a top loader.

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  48. I have a front loader Maytag. Had them for about 4 years now. I too have the mildew smell, but with leaving the door cracked a bit, and using the Tide HE washer cleaner tablets (or Affresh tablets) once or twice a month, I don't have the problem anymore :)

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  49. Squee! I have that LG washer/dryer set, too, and I couldn't love them more. They just do such a great job on our clothes--getting them clean while still treating them gently. And how about that cute little song they play when they're done with a load?

    I've used front load washers in the past and found they really tangled the clothes and wore them out sooner. And I have too many friends/neighbors who loathe their stinky front loaders to have considered one an option. And I am an unrepentant washer-stopper-clothes-adder, so there's that, too.

    I had a shelf installed just over the top of mine as well. It rests on pretty curved metal brackets so it can come down easily. It keeps all.

    Sue

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  50. I have a front loader Maytag and can open the door once the cycle started to add something forgotten. I don't have the mildew issue because I leave the door ajar when not in use. I love how quiet it is and how little water it uses (we have a well). I would not trade it for anything. I also have a shelf similar to your to hide the junk behind. Next on our list is for us to build a platform to raise both the washer and dryer and also to put three or four laudry basket underneath.

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  51. This is probably not what you hoped people would come away from the post with, but - thank you for helping me discover that my deceased father in law is owed $200 by our state and my husband is the heir and can collect it :)

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  52. I always wondered about front loaders. Thanks to all the commenters for chiming in!

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  53. Wow, I've been a big fan of this blog for a while, but it's finally paid off! I just found ~$500 in unclaimed money after reading this post (granted, most of it was for my immediate family, but still!) Thanks!

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  54. I love the shelfs im actually goin today to buy one and install :) and i know it will look great cause we have the EXACT same washer n dryer......i love these!! I didnt want a front loader cause all the bad reviews and i cant find pictures hardly anywhere for organizing a laundry room w a toploader.... and thank goodnees the site brought me to yours.....

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  55. We're just about to start remodeling our basement and I was trying to figure out how to hide all that ugly stuff behind the Washer/Dryer. This shelf is a great idea!

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