Asked on Aug 17, 2020

Laundry room shelf/cabinet ideas needed?

Kim Kawa
by Kim Kawa

Help! the laundry room has shelves above the washer/dryer that are nearly impossible to reach due to how far the washer/dryer stick out. And yes, they need to be out that far for the pipes, etc. I want to replace the wire shelf with cabinets but cant figure out how to solve the distance problem. The fronts of the W/D are super sensitive and we have disrupted cycles by leaning over them to reach the shelf. Thoughts? considered pull out/rolling shelves but that may be cost prohibitive.

q laundry room shelf cabinet ideas needed
  19 answers
  • Patty Patty on Aug 17, 2020

    Have you considered stacking your washer and dryer? That would free up space to build a cabinet, or shelf, from the floor up. Otherwise, build cabinets above, close enough to the depth of the washer and dryer. It might be cheaper just to put up shelves. Another option, get rid of the shelf and buy pedistals for your washer and dryer. You can store laundry supplies in the pedestals.

  • Vimarhonor Vimarhonor on Aug 17, 2020

    Hello. Using baskets and bins on the wire shelf might be a more pleasing visual. Hiding all the various labels, bottles will give them more pleasing - less chaotic look. That’s what I used in a previous residence even something like a larger wicker basket you might hide these larger plastic containers in. They can be attractively labeled with tags to identify what’s inside.

  • Sharon Sharon on Aug 17, 2020

    Looks like there is space to the right of the dryer for a little open cabinet. I just have a little decorative Bali carved zebra bench that is tall enough to put gallon bottles under it and on top, and store a little plastic foot stool.

    Then you could add a laundry counter made from an old bifold door over the washer dryer, and a drying rack on the wall that pulls out or folds down.

  • Ken Erickson Ken Erickson on Aug 17, 2020

    Do you have room on the right? If so, you can buy or build a cabinet there. Maybe move the right hand unit to the left to get more room. What is on the other side of the laundry room? Maybe you can put a cabinet there. A cabinet can be placed above the washer and dryer. You might want to frame in a false wall to bring cabinets out closer to the front of the appliances.

  • Em Em on Aug 17, 2020

    Move the broom and mop rack into a closet or to the right of washer and dryer.

    Push them closer to the wall on the left and remove what you have inbetween them so they are almost touching. Now you have room to put a shelf to the right of them floor to ceiling if you want for soap etc. Since you have front loaders you can put a shelf much lower almost touching the washer and dryer attached to the left wall and the shelf on the right. You can make shelves low for soap and even make a hanging rack above the shelves for soap on the right. Make a rod as high as you can reach in the "tower" of shelves on the right and put hangers up high and products low put them on the shelf directly above the washer and dryer. Buy some clear plastic pump bottles on Amazon (really cheap) and put your products in them and leave on the open shelf. put the rest below on the shelf you created on the right and add small cabinet doors at the bottom. Open bottles of soap etc always look ugly just sitting out on a shelf.

  • Redcatcec Redcatcec on Aug 17, 2020

    We ran into a similar problem with a front loader washer, wanted to stack them with the pedastal underneath. The store rep informed us that would not work because of the weight of the stacked appliances. It works well in theory, unless you can build a substantial pedestal to support the w/d stack..that would be an ideal solution. We did stack ours which freed up the dryer space, minus the pedestal. Also if you are concerned about the washer shaking off the dryer, you can attack them in the back of the units,they have kits to do this.

    You could also stack yours, that would give you the dryer space next to the washer to put in a nice storage cabinet for your wash-day supplies. Of course the shelving would have to come down in the area of the w/d stack.

  • Cheryl A Cheryl A on Aug 17, 2020

    I have the same problem, I just bought a small step stool so I could reach items in my cabinets. Here is more info for you

  • Pat Pat on Aug 17, 2020

    Em has a good idea. Move brooms and push washer and dryer to the left and closer together. That should leave you enough room on the right for some floor to ceiling shelves or cupboards. Then if you need clothes hanging space, use the space above the washer and dryer...a expandable shower rod should work, if you have cupboards on the right side. We have our machines on pedestals with a closet at the end. Hanging space is on the wall facing the washer/dryer.

  • Cynthia H Cynthia H on Aug 17, 2020

    I put old kitchen cabinets over my washer and dryer. They were deeper and much easier to reach. Good luck and stay safe!

  • I wouldn't hang cabinets over them at all. Hand a rod for clothes above them and add cabinets elsewhere in the room.

  • Dee Dee on Aug 17, 2020

    I went to Habitat for Humanity and picked up some used kitchen cabinets. Cleaned them up and painted them and hung them above my washer and dryer.

  • Kathy Gunter Law Kathy Gunter Law on Aug 17, 2020

    Sam's has the roll out metal shelves for $25, best price I've seen except the rare occasion that Aldi has them for $20.

    Another though would be to custom build shelves or cabinets out of plywood and then you can bring them out that far.

  • Betsy Betsy on Aug 17, 2020

    Hi Kim: How about putting a cabinet between the washer and dryer, or maybe put a cabinet next to the, whatever that is, on the right? You can use the shelving for things you don't use on a regular occasion.

  • Flipturn Flipturn on Aug 18, 2020

    Just because the builder slapped the appliances in this way does not mean that you have to fight forever with the inconvenient set up.

    Before you begin to put cabinets up, I would encourage you to look into 'borrowing space' from between the studs in the walls to recess the dryer vent housing, and to raise the taps to the hot and cold water lines to above the washer and dryer so that they are vertically controlled. These two steps will allow pushing back of both appliances. Take off the back baseboard as well if there is one. Every inch gained will make an improvement.

    Here's what someone else did:

  • Flipturn Flipturn on Aug 19, 2020

    I agree that these wire shelves are inefficient use of space. They are too high to reach up to, the rod is too low for hanging clothes, and they are often not sturdy enough to withstand the heavy weight of jugs filled with liquid. And, last but not least, stuff falls through or gets caught in the slats.

    Builders use these because they are cheap.

    After repositioning the appliances farther back closer to the wall, I would next highly recommend either boxing them in, or mounting a purchased laminate countertop over the full width of the room wall-to-wall.

    This solid surface will provide a folding area, eliminate small items from falling behind or down the sides, gets baskets off the floor, and is always easy to clean.

    Here are some examples:

  • Jeanne Martin Jeanne Martin on Aug 19, 2020

    There are lots of great ideas here but I noticed one popular idea repeatedly mentioned that I also tried, but ended up hating it. I bought a stackable washer/dryer thinking it would be the answer to my tiny laundry area. However, I'm 5'4" and I could not see the washer controls (top front of washer) because they were so high up! I had to purchase a footstool just to do my laundry. So, depending on how tall you are, this should be a consideration in your final design decisions. Good luck!

  • Morgan McBride Morgan McBride on Aug 22, 2020

    I'd do much deeper shelves!

  • Johnavallance82 Johnavallance82 on Mar 04, 2021


    Fit a bench across the machines, buy using brackets and a loose top that could be removed as required for machine service!