Jun 26, 2013

Shelf Reliance

I mentioned in our McListerson that we were considering installing a countertop in our laundry closet.   Leave it to Pinterest to spur me into action.  Well, Pinterest and dropping one too many items behind our washer and dryer.


I knew it would be difficult to install a large countertop that would cover the tops of the washer and dryer because we needed the open space next to the dryer for our ironing board.  So a small countertop to cover the gap between the back of the appliances and the wall, where I could set the garbage can and maybe use a little storage space, became what we were shooting for.  I asked Steve if he would be willing to help me do this and he not only jumped at the chance, but teased me because he suggested doing this waaaayyyy back when (although I conveniently have no recollection of that).  And the best part is we already had everything we needed to build the shelf.

First we cleared off the clutter that seems to congregate on top of the washer and dryer- clothes that need to be ironed or mended, cleaning supplies, rogue small kitchen appliances.

Ready to roll.

We were going to need to find a way to work around the water valves and the outlet that the washer and dryer plugged into.  Steve was sure he could find a way to work around it.

Ready to roll 2.0.

Steve took some existing shelving material and some 1x3 MDF and cut it to fit.  Just to be sure everything would work, we placed it in the closet.  Success!

Hurrah, it'll fit!

Then Steve screwed the wood that formed the lip into the wall.  He drilled a hole through the board that would become the countertop for the electrical cord to snake through, and then we simply pushed it into place.


You can see that I still hadn't gotten around to covering the screws in the board that supports the upper cabinet, even though we installed that bad boy almost two years ago.  Whatever.  So out came the spackle and the semi-gloss white paint.

Buh-bye, screw heads.

We were just going to leave it at that, so that we could easily pull the "countertop" out  if for any reason we needed to access the water valves.  But I just couldn't stomach seeing the big gap between the 1x3s and the shelving board.  After talking with Steve, we decided that I could caulk the gap and the water valves would still be accessible... if a little trickier to get to.  I just had to be aware that if we needed to get back there, we'd either have to slide the washer out or cut the caulk.  Fine with me!  The caulk really made a big difference in making it look finished, don't you think?

How very countertop-like.

So not only will I end up losing less things behind the washer and dryer, I've now increased my storage space.  The garbage can for lint and used dryer sheets had to stay there, but I wanted a way to corral items that made sense to be in a "laundry" area but didn't necessarily want to have sitting out.  Enter lined baskets from Target!

So much storage!

These babies look nice, and each basket has a designation.  One holds items that need to be ironed, another hods items that need to be mended, and the third holds clothing to be donated.  I love having these things visible without having them look messy or taking up space on top of the washer and dryer.  And I also love that between the baskets and the garbage can, the exposed cord for the washer is completely hidden.

I love how little projects like this can really make a space feel finished!  The only thing we needed to purchase was the baskets from Target's Threshold line.  And other than waiting for caulk and paint to dry, this project took about 2 hours of cumulative time.

I'm thinking of making labels for the baskets, just so Steve can remember which is which.  What tips and tricks do you have to make your laundry area feel inviting and organized?

PS- check out this project at Beneath My Heart's June Linky Party!


  1. Your shelf looks great. Love your choice of baskets.

    1. Thanks so much! Glad you stopped by, Joy!

  2. Just love! You know, I built that exact Pinterest shelf for my washer/dryer, because they stuck out from the wall. I love having it there.
    Visiting from Beneath My Heart party!

    1. I love having it, too- I can't believe we lived without it for so long. :) Thanks for visiting, Jodi!