How to Build Clothes Hampers Into Cabinets

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Dirty laundry causes a mess in many homes. Hampers and baskets overflow and add to clutter, even if you try to keep on top of the laundry mountain. As an alternative, consider building clothes hampers into cabinets in your laundry room, bathrooms or linen closet. Built-in hampers won't do your laundry for you, but they will at least hide the dirty laundry behind closed doors.

Things You'll Need

  • 20-inch drawer slides
  • 3/4-inch plywood
  • Drill
  • Hammer
  • Saw
  • Finish nails
  • Wood glue
  • Heavy-duty construction adhesive
  • 1 5/8 inch wood screws
  • Tape measure
  • Cloth laundry bag
  • Measure your cabinet. Choose a single-door cabinet with sturdy sides. Make sure that 20-inch drawer slides will fit in your cabinet, allowing 1 1/2 inches for the front and back of your hamper, Ensure that the slides are neither unusually deep nor shallow.

  • Check the depth of your cabinet, the height and the width. Subtract 1 3/4 inches from the height measurement when drafting your plans. This allows a bit of room for movement. Plan on 1 inch less than the total cabinet width for the base, front and back panels of your clothes hamper. Note down the height, width and depth measurements for your particular clothes hamper cabinet.

  • Remove the shelves and supports from your cabinet. Exercise care so as not to damage the sides or bottom of the clothes hamper cabinet. Remove the door by unscrewing the hinges and set aside.

  • Cut two panels of plywood to your desired height and width measurements. Cut two panels to the height measurement by the depth measurement. Cut one base panel 20 inches by the necessary width. Cut these panels on your own at home or have your local home improvement center make the cuts for you.

  • Assemble the four side pieces into a simple box, with the two sides fitting within the front and back pieces. Apply wood glue along each seam and then attach with wood screws at regular intervals. Allow to dry. Glue and screw the base of the cabinet into place.

  • Mark the position of the drawer slides inside the cabinet and screw into place. Screw the corresponding slide into position on the sides of your clothes hamper.

  • Slide your clothes hamper into place. Place a drawstring laundry bag into the hamper and pull snug to hold in place.

  • Screw the cabinet door back into place to finish your cabinet clothes hamper.

Tips & Warnings

  • Purchase a pull-out clothes hamper kit to streamline this process.
  • Make a low drawer instead of a tall hamper to hold a purchased hamper if you prefer.
  • If you are making an especially tall hamper, consider adding a second set of drawer slides, carefully leveled.

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