Laundry Basket Station

8 Materials
$25
1 Hour
Easy

Doing laundry is already such a hassle, and tripping over those laundry baskets filled with clothes doesn't make it any more enjoyable. To make things a little easier, I transformed an old bookshelf into a laundry basket station. Hello, organization!


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My old boring bookshelf. I'm so glad I had this lying around and out-of-use. but if you need to purchase one, this one on Amazon is similar in size.








Step 1: Remove Shelves and hardware from bookshelf frame.










Step 2: Measure & mark the first level.

Measure the height of your laundry basket. You need to leave about 3" from the top of the frame to allow your hand to reach in without issue. Mark this point on your bookshelf frame. Mark the same spot (3" down) on the left side of the frame. Make sure both markings are aligned and level with eachother.










Step 3: Measure & mark the second level.

Once you know the height of your laundry basket add 3" (for your hand). Measure this amount downwards, starting at the first mark you made in step 2. Repeat on the other other side of the frame. Make sure both markings are aligned and level with eachother.










Step 4: Glue your dowels.

Your four wood dowels should be cut to the same depth of your bookshelf frame. I used a simple hack saw to cut mine. Using a hot glue gun, apply a strip of glue to your first wood dowel. You can also use proper wood glue if it will adhere to the material your bookshelf is made out of.










Step 5: Apply your dowels.

Glue each dowel to the first-level markings you drew on your frame. Ensure the dowels are level with eachother on both the right and left side of the frame.










Step 5: Apply your dowels (again).

Glue each dowel to the second-level markings you drew on your frame. Ensure the dowels are level with eachother on both the right and left side of the frame.











Step 6: Paint your frame.

This step is optional, but I painted it a pretty blue color from BEHR paint called 'Tahoe Blue' to match our laundry room decor. Let dry thoroughly overnight.










Step 7: Insert Laundry Baskets.

One at a time, slide your laundry baskets (I love these Sterilite ones) along the wood dowels inside the frame. They should hang snugly off these pieces. I chose to place labels on each bin for extra organization.










There you have it! The finished product in all of it's laundry glory. Place your own laundry and stain removal essentials along the top shelf. If you have extra room along the bottom, you can place baskets underneath for extra organization. This station can also be made taller to hold even more laundry baskets! All you need is a taller bookshelf.










FROM THIS ---> TO THIS! Magical.
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Have a question about this project?

14 questions
  • Sue Garland
    on Mar 10, 2017

    Was it just good fortune that the baskets were the exact right size, or did you have to search?

    • Mar17334076
      on Mar 10, 2017

      I, myself buy my baskets at the same time when they start breaking so I know they are the same size. I really like Julien's idea...but I would go 1 small step more, I buy white for light colored clothes and black for dark clothes. No labels required. Thank you for this brilliant idea!

    • Julien K., Hometalk Team
      on Mar 10, 2017

      I had to find baskets that were the right size.

  • Lina
    on Mar 10, 2017

    Great idea! Are the dowels strong enough with glue to hold the baskets? Or do you have to put in any screws

  • Gog15852295
    on Mar 11, 2017

    Where did you get the rattan baskets? What is their size?

    • Julien K., Hometalk Team
      on Mar 11, 2017

      These are from Potterybarn. A part of their old collection. I would say about 5 years ago.

    • Donna Lee Scott Thomas
      on Mar 11, 2017

      I got some at Furniture Row.

    • Linda Adams
      on Mar 11, 2017

      I've seen this style at JoAnn craft and fabric stores.

    • Sherry
      on Mar 11, 2017

      I've even seen rattan baskets at our local Dollar General Store. (And they are EVERYWHERE in the South!)

    • J Elaine Baker
      on Mar 13, 2017

      You may find them listed as seagrass baskets rather than rattan.

    • Carol
      on Mar 27, 2017

      Target and Michaels has them too. I do like the idea of setting the baskets back on the shelf but I would still use the rods for the main support and shelf for secondary one. Great idea.

  • Pauline
    on Mar 11, 2017

    This is a really cute idea but, it doesn't look like it would be very sturdy. How do you keep the bookcase from tilting side to side, with no back or braces to stablilize the frame work? How long will the hot glue hold the wood dowels with a full laundry basket hanging on it? Seems to me there should be some screws holding the dowels to the walls of the framework, no?

    • Toni Jeffries
      on Mar 11, 2017

      It does need a support across the back, even if it's just across the top and the bottom for a few inches.

    • Julien K., Hometalk Team
      on Mar 11, 2017

      Please add support for the dowels and sides if you feel you will be using heavier loads. I highly agree with a lot of what the Hometalkers on this feed have been suggesting. :)

    • Joh17672125
      on Mar 11, 2017

      For added support (without a full backing,) use tension wire or 4x1 inch or 2x4 measured to inside width behind each basket and behind at a similar measurement towards the bottom. Be sure to screw each end to the back. From the front, you wouldn't see the support at all! (odors aren't trapped and it will slam-dunk-able! Another cute idea is to put the side supports at an angle. Back side being higher, angle the basket to your liking, and GS (glue, screw) (wires or wood)in the front will keep your baskets from sliding out . I am always on the look out for those rattan baskets!

    • Deb Johnson
      on Mar 14, 2017

      Better idea. Use the shelves to hold up the laundry baskets instead of the dowels. There is plenty of room for the shelves, laundry baskets and wicker baskets. Adding the shelves back in to the bookcase will give it the stability you need.

    • Mike
      on Sep 9, 2017

      Removing the shelves destroyed whatever structural rigidity that unit ever had and expecting hot glue to hold those baskets is asking a lot. I bet the thing gently collapsed under it's own weight within minutes.
    • Tor23669132
      on Jun 4, 2018

      My best guess as to why she didn’t replace the backing is because of the depth of the bookcase. I’ve never seen a prefab bookcase like that that is more than 12” deep. Those laundry baskets are probably too deep for a backing. I also agree with everyone on adding screws or something to the dowels as I’ve never yet met a glue gun glue that would hold up to a laundry basket full of laundry haha! I like this idea, just with some tweaks as stated by the other commenters here. Good job Julien on your ingenuity and making use of what you had on hand!!

  • Christine Truax
    on Mar 11, 2017

    What size dowels did you use?

    • Julien K., Hometalk Team
      on Mar 11, 2017

      They are 1"inch thick, but they were cut to the same length as the shelves.

    • Trudy
      on Sep 9, 2017

      I don't think they were actually dowels. Dowels are round and would be difficult to glue on.
    • Karen
      on Sep 9, 2017

      "Dowels" also come in squares. If you have a piece of 2x4 left over from another project, you can rip cut a 1" piece of material from the 2x4 and then cut it to length. I would also add a back piece to prevent the entire piece from rocking from side to side. The back piece would give the entire piece more stability.
  • Ingrid
    on Apr 8, 2017

    I'd like to try this but is it deep enough?
    '

    • C. D. Scallan
      on Sep 9, 2017

      It is probably not flush against the wall anymore .
    • Bmwsoldatone
      on May 26, 2018

      I would imagine that by doing the baskets that way. You can make them the same depth as the basket. The shelf holes might not line up right. Its a good idea. I liked it. Way to think outside the box.

  • LINDA
    on Apr 10, 2017

    Very nice...I was wondering...would it work just as well to set the baskets on the existing shelves?
    • Cindy
      on May 26, 2017

      You might be able to do that with a taller book shelf, but generally speaking, and looking at her shelved unit photo, the spaces between the shelves looks to be too shallow.

    • Liz Paul
      on Sep 9, 2017

      Most shelves are adjustable.
    • Em
      on Sep 9, 2017

      Then why not just move the spacing of the shelves? That would make the whole thing sturdier with the shelves screwed in. I don't know how long the glue will hold up under heavy loads. Put the two wicker baskets up at the highest height and the one laundry basket on the bottom needs nothing as it will be sitting on the bottom of the shelving unit.
    • C. D. Scallan
      on Sep 9, 2017

      I was wondering about the hot glue as well . Has that held up a full load of laundry or have you had reinforce with wood screws ?
    • Maude LaFountain
      on Sep 9, 2017

      You could also screw the dowels into each side for extra support ...if you are worried about the glue not holding up ...

    • Jeffrey Scarff
      on Sep 9, 2017

      Since what she used was square spacers, and I'm assuming, wood glue, she has plenty of surface for glue-up. If she used good wood glue, the plywood will fail before the glue.
    • Marcia Strode
      on Sep 9, 2017

      I made something similar a while back (no attempt to be pretty) & found just having the cleats on the side really stressed the laundry baskets to the point of ripping. We had a number of tension curtain rods so just stuck a couple of those under each basket--was just enough to relieve some of the weight off the side cleats. Certainly a full shelf would work (& eliminate the need for the side cleat), but a couple thin strips of support lathe would work, too.
    • Itsmemic
      on Mar 24, 2018

      I LOVE the tension rod idea...I LOVE them..they are so useful !

      I think I would have bought colored baskets...but all in all great project !

    • Alice
      on May 26, 2018

      Very nice. Great idea !!!

    • Dolores D
      on May 26, 2018

      Won’t the weight eventually affect the sturdiness if the unit as there is no bracing to keep it square?

    • Mcgypsy9
      on May 26, 2018

      As you can see in the video there is a wobble to the unit before baskets are even put in. This couldn’t possibly hold the weight in a laundry basket for an extended amount of time before falling over. The video says to add a triangle brace in each corner for added support which would definitely be needed here. You could also add a full back to the unit for even more support. This is a good way to keep the baskets off the floor.

    • Sherry
      on Jun 2, 2018

      Great idea, Linda! Love it! I do agree that hot glue doesn’t always hold up well, so I would use screws. But, your idea is awesome, thanks!

    • Debbie Hall
      on Jun 2, 2018

      Most laundry baskets are deeper than the shelves on a small bookshelf which is why it couldn't be easily with the back still on the unit. I agree that it could work just as easily & provide additional support to just use the shelves & just adjust the spacing to accommodate the baskets.

    • Susan Reeves Staton
      on Jun 2, 2018

      Clever

  • Kimberly Montgomery
    on Sep 9, 2017

    A total fact about these cheapy shelves is once the backing and shelves are removed, they become very unstable and wobbly. I know as I have several and wanted to remove the backing from them and they became very unstable.
    How was that addressed?
    • Lyn
      on Sep 9, 2017

      When you watch the video at the very end....it tells you to add triangle support to the back.Great idea Julien.
    • Nadine Hartman Bourne
      on Sep 9, 2017

      you could take one of the removed shelves and use that on the back. screw it between the sides and it will shore it up. I did that on one of mine

    • Mona Gail
      on Sep 10, 2017

      I have a very similar project and used 4 aluminum "L" brackets. Screw them in and no more unstable condition.
    • Eroque022810
      on May 26, 2018

      IIf your worried about the strength you can easily make it yourself just have big box store cut wood to your specs and then add the support you need. I agree about these shelving units and many of them you can't screw in because not solid wood.

    • Karen Scott
      on May 26, 2018

      She should have used the shelves she removed, added them to the back at top and bottom. Great stability! And she would have a stronger bond if she'd used wood glue on those strips instead of hot glue. Actually, she could have used wood glue on the shelves on the back. If she had laid the unit face-down, glued the shelves to the back, and then put something heavy along the glued parts (like bricks) for an hour, the glue would set up and dry. Once wood glue dries, it is impossible to get apart! She should do something similar to hold the strips in place until they dry. Clamps would work best. It's always nice to have some C-clamps handy, and they're inexpensive and easy to find.

    • Traci
      on May 27, 2018

      The shelves are not wide enough to use for the back, they are the width of the inside not the outside of the bookcase.


      The wood colored cardboard backing is 1/4” short of the outside width measurement— height and width.


      The laundry station is a good idea and looks nice, but needs some improvement.

    • Yvette Williams
      on Jun 2, 2018

      This opens the door for many other wonderful ideas and variations to solving that crazy laundry situation. Thank you for sharing!

    • JANIE
      on Jun 2, 2018

      TThank You for sharing,will try it .

    • Debbie Hall
      on Jun 2, 2018

      If wood support was added to the back it would have to go at the bottom where the smaller cube baskets are since the laundry baskets will most likely protrude a small amount out the back & maybe the front also. Could maybe use slats of 1"x2" or 1"x3" between the baskets or even a sturdy tension rod at the back between the baskets.

    • Brenda
      on Jun 2, 2018

      She really could not have used the shelves unless she went for diagonal strips, as the length of the shelf is shorter than the outside boards.

    • Sue
      on Jun 2, 2018

      She could have just repositioned the shelves.

    • Christie Connor
      on Jun 2, 2018

      I was replying to Karen Scott’s post.

    • Sue Henrichs-Patrick
      on Jun 2, 2018

      Use L brackets to stabilize the bookcase. You could also use a board on the back of the bookcase, at the bottom. Use glue and screws with predrilled holes. This should be enough to stabilize the bookcase.

  • Sara McMullin Harvilla
    on May 26, 2018

    Moving the shelves to the right positions for the baskets makes more sense. What if you want/need to use a different style of basket? Also, if you have wobbling fiberboard shelves, you are going to have a collapse soon.


    • Sue Henrichs-Patrick
      on Jun 2, 2018

      You could use the shelves to stabilize the bookshelf and the dowels would help hold the laundry baskets in place.

    • Sue Henrichs-Patrick
      on Jun 2, 2018

      I am concerned about the paint chipping off. Those bookcases are all prefinished. I think you would have to lightly sand the entire bookcase before you could paint it.

    • Wendy Zimmerman DiNardi
      on Jun 2, 2018

      Not with chalkpaint! It’s amazing:)

  • Linda R
    on Jun 2, 2018

    What size dowel rods did you use?


    • Sue Henrichs-Patrick
      on Jun 2, 2018

      I think you could use 1x1's instead of dowels. Predrill holes, glue and use screws for stability.

  • Bobbie
    on Jun 2, 2018

    What did you use to stabilize it to keep it from collapsing ?

  • Bobbie
    on Jun 2, 2018

    What did you use to stabilize it to keep it from collapsing ?

    • Infoseekrs
      on Jun 2, 2018

      It does need some braces at the back corners. Could screw on some plywood squares or triangles to the back at the corners.

    • Sue
      on Jun 2, 2018

      Why not just place the shelves back at desirable distance needed and be sure to leave the 3” for the hands. This way if you happen to have a basket of wet clothes that is extra heavy it won’t collapse the basket and fall and would also help to keep the shelf unit from collapsing if you screw the shelves in place by drilling from the outside through the upright boards into the end of shelves but drill the screw holes first to kee the wood from splitting. I think I would put this in the bedroom closet if there is room so it would be very handy to put clothes in it. Maybe that ladies husband would use it then.

    • Ladys Web
      on Jun 2, 2018

      Personally I'd use a couple of 'L' brackets for

      1) shelve stability

      •plus also•

      2) mount it to the wall


      ▪Actually I'd build it with the main weight to be closer to the floor (in case one basket were of wet items as you'd mentioned) ie: the 2 small baskets at the top, etc. Make sense?

    • Cathy Waterstradt
      on Nov 26, 2018

      This says material is a bookcase so why not just keep the back on it to stabilize it. And the glue on the braces to hold the baskets wont hold them long. You will need more than glue to hold a basket full of clothes. I think there are several steps here that are missing. In the video you could see how much it would sway when moving the empty baskets.

  • Bobbie
    on Jun 2, 2018

    What did you use to stabilize it to keep it from collapsing ?

  • Paul Lorentz
    on Feb 24, 2020

    Agree with those talking about cross supports. Also, I don't think the glued on dowels will hold past the first fill. Why not leave the shelves and adjust them to set the baskets on?

Join the conversation

2 of 275 comments
  • Patti
    on Mar 3, 2020

    after gluing the dowels, put a screw on each end of the dowel or screw the shelves in by screwing from the outside. This will also stabilize the unit

  • Tina Bridges
    on Mar 3, 2020

    Yes looking forward to doing it. But I will do 4 baskets.

    Work clothes, whites, jeans and colors

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