Friday, September 21, 2012

that's how i roll: a skinny shelf for the bath / laundry room

I've mentioned before, I think, that we live in a little mid-century-era ranch-style house that measures under 1000 square feet. With a toddler. And some cats. Space gets a little tight sometimes, and creative storage ideas are always in high demand. So when, a couple of weeks ago, I was thinking about the problem area that is our shared bathroom / laundry room, I did some storage brainstorming.

There's not much room in there, but there is a space about a foot wide next to the stacked washer and dryer where I'd been stashing extra boxes of detergent, catfood, bleach, and a wastebasket. These had to be moved whenever I needed to get the broom or mop out. Not very convenient.

I thought about building a narrow shelf for the space, but a trip to Bring for some useable lumber instead turned up this: a narrow shelf (probably part of a desk) with sliding drawers on either side. (Cat not included.)

I picked up this pile of old casters there, too. Knowing they wouldn't be visible, I didn't mind the rust; they were a buck each, and the shelf was $10 or $15 I think . . . less than I would have spent on lumber and drawer hardware, anyway, and since I don't have professional carpentry skills, anything I would have built wouldn't have looked as finished.

What I can do is attach casters with a hodge-podge of leftover wood screws. That's how I roll.

Honestly, the hardest part of this project was finding four matching casters in the pile. After all four casters were attached, I just stood the shelf on its end, and rolled it into the space.

It's a bit hard to photograph in the cramped quarters of my bathroom, but I took some shots head-on and from the hallway to give you a bit of an idea.

There's a storage bin on top, and the wood rectangle is the front of a nice, deep drawer for storing dryer sheets, bleach, extra soap, etc.).

The shelf is deep enough and tall enough that I was able to stack three boxes of detergent powder in the back, with the cat food and in-use detergent containers in front. The mop and broom still fit behind everything else, but the casters make it easy to roll everything out of the way first.

Right now, because the shelf is technically on its side, the drawers open on their sides, too . . . but I'm pretty much okay with that. What I would like to do soon though, is to add some drawer hardware to make it prettier. As soon as I find the right ones I'll take a little photo for you.

What have you been organizing or simplifying lately? I love visiting your (non-spam) links in my comments section, so feel free to tell me where to visit!

Thanks for reading.

p.s. you can make these photos larger just by clicking on them, but you probably already knew that.


Danni Baird @ Silo Hill Farm said...

Oh that is brilliant!! I have some tight spaces around here and I will be using this idea to maximize storage! Love the cat too! I have been known to buy stuff at garage sales that I don't even want, just want the wheels off of them!!

Amy - while wearing heels said...

I come from a small house as well. Space something we take very seriously. I love your creative use of the space you had. I admire that you had a box of casters to select among and I am really jealous of your beautiful washer/dryer :)