When we moved into our house, our new laundry room had a laundry chute to nowhere! I never had a laundry chute so this was a new concept for me. I was so excited to use it, but the thought of all the clothes falling wherever gravity pulled them did not excite me.
I went on a hunt to find something that would catch the clothes and look nice at the same time and all my choices were either not appealing or expensive. A built-in cabinet that would be custom for the spot below the chute was so expensive and this was not a big area! From wall to window measured just 15 inches, but despite the small cabinet needed, it was still out of our budget. We had to make do with what we could afford so DIY was the only way!
Believe it or not, when you bring creative ideas to Menards or Lowes, they look at you like your head is spinning. Trust me it wasn’t! My idea was to put a ready made cabinet under the chute to catch the clothes which would hide the clothes until they were ready to be unloaded. Seemed simple enough. Of course it wouldn’t look as nice as a cabinet that was made for that purpose that would reach all the way up to the hole and I was ok with that.
A ready made unfinished oak cabinet that measures 12 W x 12 L x 30 H was only $36!! That’s more like it! Plus I love espresso wood stain and wanted to make the transition to that anyways. I bought one oak cabinet, a short piece of moulding for the top of the cabinet, sand paper, a brushed nickel knob, and some espresso stain and small can of polyurethane.
The cabinet is already unfinished so it is ready to stain. You can choose whatever stain you like. I’m just a huge fan of espresso. Start by doing a light sanding to smooth the finish. There shouldn’t be much sanding before you are ready to stain. Once it is stain ready, remove the door and use a clean cloth to apply your stain to the cabinet and door. You will need 2 coats of stain before you apply the polyurethane.
Wait until everything is dry and then drill a hole for the knob. A small drill bit the size of the screw is all you need to make the small hole. Put on the knob and then re-attach the door to the cabinet. The cabinet should already look drastically different than when you purchased it! The next step takes a little more muscle!
You will need to cut a hole in the top of the cabinet to allow for the clothes to drop into the cabinet. Use a jigsaw to cut off the top board and then sand the edges on the inside so there aren’t any sharp edges. We decided to take extra precaution and put some felt paper we had laying around the house and nailed it over the edges to make sure clothes don’t catch on it.
Our cabinet had to be flush against the wall so it would catch the clothes, but depending on your space, you can put your cabinet where it looks the best! Moulding is optional, but it is a way to make the ready made cabinet look custom. It’s pretty inexpensive, but can be a challenge to put on. You will need a nail gun and miter saw to cut the moulding. This cabinet only needs 2 small pieces of moulding cut at a 45 degree angle on each end to meet flush on the corner and flat sides to meet up with the wall.
Once it’s finished, attach the cabinet to the wall by screwing 3 inch bolts into the stud to get a stable grip on the wall. This will hold the amount of weight you need. If you haven’t attached the moulding, now is the time or just leave it be if it works for you the way it is.
And you’re finished!! Now there’s a useful, inexpensive cabinet to catch those dirty clothes, just don’t throw down wet clothes! If you want to build up with wood above the cabinet so it attaches over the chute hole in the ceiling, that’s completely up to you. At this point, I’m fine with the hole being exposed. And the after..