If you're looking to improve your laundry room's storage capabilities but need to save money, there are many ways to build a system yourself. With some ingenuity and a bit of work, you can repurpose items from around the house, or look for treasures in the making at yard sales and thrift stores. Even furniture consignment stores can be a great place to find storage containers or components that you can use to build a storage system that is uniquely tailored to your laundry room needs.
If you're up to taking on a building project, a laundry "dresser" you build out of plywood (or upcycle from an old dresser) is a great way to create a storage system for laundry baskets. The baskets act as "drawers" that can easily be removed to carry clean laundry to each family member's bedroom. Paint your dresser a favorite color, and use the top of it to hold bottles of laundry detergent and fabric softener. An entertainment center or wardrobe can be retrofitted to hold not only laundry supplies but also a sewing machine, a drip-dry or hanging area, or bins of pet food.
With a bit of work, you can hang your own shelves or cabinets, which can be bought at a home improvement store, thrift store or yard sale. Build a shelf above your washer and dryer and use the space along the side of the shelf (behind the appliances) for another hidden shelf or two.
Even simple projects can help maximize your laundry room's space. For a drying rack, suspend a simple wooden ladder overhead; to make it fun, paint the ladder a bright color. Mount pegboard and use S-hooks to hang garden tools, dog leashes and other items that would otherwise pile up on a shelf or the top of your dryer. At local farmers markets, ask for discarded fruit crates at the end of the season, clean them and use them for on-shelf or under-shelf storage. You can also make crates from discarded pallets. You can make a laundry hamper out of cage wire, some wood for a base, and a large drawstring sack.
If you have space to convert part of your laundry room into a mud room, but you don't have the budget for an expensive hall tree or a built-in, try placing a sitting bench along one wall. You can slide wicker baskets underneath to hold gloves, scarves and other items, and attach a pub mirror with coat hooks to the wall above it for hanging jackets and hats.
Keep clutter at bay with the right storage plan and containers.
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