What was our need? It was simple. We needed laundry organization that allowed for easy “tossing” of dirty clothes into designated laundry baskets – without the soiled clothes hitting the back wall and going behind the washer and dryer. Therefore, we needed shelving that extended to the back wall, and the baskets needed to be angled so that you could simply toss your clothes in … and walk away.
We installed the shelves upside down so that the lip of the wire shelf would hold the baskets in place. We did not install the ugly support brackets that you usually see with this type of application because our baskets would have been too high for me to reach. Also, the brackets are not that attractive and they take up way too much space. We obviously needed a sturdy support system, so we made ours out of a one-inch solid closet rod.
Remember to measure twice and cut once. This project works best when three walls are available and side walls are no more than six feet apart. The height will depend on your washer and dryer design and personal preference. This concept may be modified for different installation requirements. The following are general guidelines and can be modified for whatever will work for your special needs.
Tools you will need: Drill, Phillips Head Screw Driver, Wire Cutter, Bolt Cutter or Hacksaw, Tape Measure, and Stud Finder
Supplies you will need: 24″ wire shelving (length will vary), 1″ solid closet rod and wall mounts, rubber end caps, concrete/stud wall clips (shaped like a “J”), laundry baskets, and plastic slip ties
Instructions for Assembling: Measure area where shelving is to be installed. Cut wire shelf to size, with either bolt cutter or hacksaw. Cut 1″ rod to size. Determine where front end of shelf will rest. Install rod mounts on both ends. Determine where J-anchors will be installed on back wall (no more than 15 degrees up from rod installation.) Install j-anchors using appropriate-sized drill. Phillips head screws are much easier to work with. Put the 1″ rod in the wall mounts.
Install wire shelf upside down so that the front of the shelf (which is normally bent downward) is now bent upward. Make sure that the wire shelf is pressed firmly into the anchors. The front of the shelf will now rest on the 1″ rod. Affix three plastic slip ties around the rod – one at each end, and one in the middle. Tighten them securely so that the shelf is tight against the rod. Cut off excess plastic from the ties with wire cutters.
Place three laundry baskets evenly on the shelf and you are done! The result? A very clean, and well ventilated, shelving system directly over your washer and dryer. I affectionately call this my “Toss and Run” project, because that is what you literally do when disposing of your dirty laundry. From start to finish – it only took a couple of hours! I hope you find the time to try a similar idea yourself, as you will be amazed at how much easier it makes your laundry chores 🙂