Laundry Room Shelf and Baskets

When moving into a house that needs a lot of work (like mine), I like to tackle the smallest room so that I get instant gratification.  That is why I made-over the laundry room first.  It is a teeny, tiny space.  I am lucky enough to have a laundry chute which makes it so easy for me to do laundry since the kids just chuck their clothes down the chute.  As a side note, it also makes a great intercom system since when the kids and I are on different floors, I just shout down (or up) the laundry chute when I need them to do something.  Who knew our house came with an intercom?  How fancy!  Anyway, the chute takes up a lot of room which makes our laundry room the tiniest one ever.

To make it feel bigger and more like a useable space, I added storage.  We used to only have one shelf, but that wasn’t holding enough of our junk household items, we I added another one above the old one.  The shelf was actually a pain in my rear to put up compared to how easy I though it was going to be, but aren’t most projects like that :).  That’s what makes them oh-s0-worthwhile in the end.

Okay, now for the how-to:  I measured the length of the wall and went to Home Depot to find a metal shelf that looked like the one we already had and that fit.  You can get metal shelves cut down to size at Home Depot but I was lucky enough to find one that fit out of the box.  To spare yourself another trip to Home Depot, get ALL the hardware at the same time.  That means get the brackets, which are in one package, and the fasteners, which are in another package.  Can you tell that I was mighty ticked when I got home and found that the brackets and fasteners were not in the same package!  So, get both packages and you won’t have to go back like I did.  You will also need a drill, a mallet or hammer, a level,  and a trusty side-kick.

First, decide where the shelf should go.  I wanted ours a few inches above our old one since we don’t have a lot of wall space to work with.  Then hold the shelf up to where you want it (this takes 2 people) and make sure it is level using… you guessed it, your level.  When you are satisfied that it’s level, mark where you will put your fasteners making sure to space them no more than 12″ apart.  Drill a hole at your marks and push/pound the fasteners with a hammer or mallet.  Nail in the nails gently that come with the fasteners.  Then gently push the back of the shelf into the clip part of the fastener.  Hold the fastener while you do this to give it more strength as you are pushing.  You may need to gently hammer the shelf into the clip just above where the clip and shelf meet.  Don’t pound or the fasteners will come out of the wall.  So now the fasteners are in.

After that, the brackets need to go up.  The brackets should go on the ends of the shelf a few inches from the wall.  Rest the top of the bracket into the shelf MAKING SURE THAT THE SHELF IS LEVEL FRONT TO BACK and mark where the end of the bracket falls on the wall.  Take off the bracket and drill a hole for that mark.  Push/hammer in the fastener and nail just like you did for the fasteners above.  The nail for the fastener moves so put the bracket in and push the nail into the fastener to secure the bracket.  Make sure that the shelf is resting on the top of the bracket.  The weight of the shelf will push the shelf to fit snugly into the bracket.  The more weight you put on the shelf (but don’t put too much or you’ll tear the shelf from the wall!) the more the shelf will push down on the bracket which is what you want.

After putting up the shelf, I now needed some storage baskets which I picked up at Target.  These baskets are the cloth kind that fold down into a square and are found in the storage section.  They actually go into cubbies that you can buy at Target but they work as free-standing baskets as well.  I then went to Staples to find these great stick-able labels made by Martha Stewart (or if not by her, at least by her empire of minions :)).  They are the kind that you can write on with chalk which makes them super useful for when I change my mind on what I want in my little basket.  So there you have it.  How to put up a metal shelf.

Here is the final product:

And another one:

Last one from the other side of the washer showing the little table I painted:

I still have a few more things that I’d like to do with the laundry room, but luckily more is crossed off my list then is left on it:

Paint the walls

Put up another shelf for more storage

Paint the little wood table

Put up some cute pics of the kids

Install a new light fixture

New flooring (that will be done when we replace the kitchen flooring)

A table top over the washer and dryer to protect the tops from scratching and to also give me a level place to fold laundry

For now, we are leaving the laundry room and moving on to the living room.  I’ve recently ordered some hardwood flooring to replace the carpet and need to paint the walls, paint the fireplace, paint the beams on the ceiling, buy new furniture, build a desk (from scratch!), etc… It’s going to be a big project!  More on that to come.