DIY Network

How to Build a Laundry Sorter

Closet organization is a constant struggle. Adding a laundry sorter can help tame closet chaos. Learn how to make a laundry sorter in a cluttered closet with these easy steps.

More in Remodeling

  • Time

    2 hours

  • Price Range

    $50 - $100

  • Difficulty

    Easy to Moderate


Step 1: Measure and Design

Customizing the design to the closet makes the most of the available space. For this project, the sorter measures 60" x 34" x 20". The overall design is a large plywood box with a shelf across the center. Shelf supports also serve as dividers, spaced to accommodate baskets and bins.

Step 2: Cut Wood

Cut 3/4" birch plywood to size for the box frame, shelves, vertical supports and top.

Step 3: Build the Box

Use wood glue and a finish nailer to assemble the main box, making sure to square up all corners. Add the shelf and dividers/supports, also securing with wood glue and nails.

Tip: Flip the box upside-down to assemble the shelf and supports. This will make it easier to drive nails straight down into the supports.

Step 4: Trace Holes

The design calls for holes in the top of the sorter for depositing laundry. Use a straight edge and carpenter's pencil to outline the holes on the top of the sorter.

Tip: To give the holes rounded corners, line up a paint can on the rectangle and trace around the can's curve.

Step 5: Cut and Rout Holes

Either drill a large hole or make a plunge cut with a circular saw inside the lines for the sorter holes, then use a jigsaw to make the cuts (Image 1). Use a router with a round-over bit to smooth out the edge of the hole, then sand the holes (Image 2). Routing and sanding will help keep clothing from catching on splinters

Step 6: Trim and Finish

Use a brad nailer to add 3/4" trim to all of the raw plywood faces on the front of the piece. Prime and paint as desired.