Ikea Laundry Hamper Hack. From laundry to logs.


Knock knock.

Who’s there?


Laundry who?

Laundry sucks, and it’s made even more annoying by the fact that I don’t have an actual laundry room, but a mere laundry closet.  That’s maybe less of a joke than you were expecting, but really all knock knock jokes are bad so this little let down can’t come as much of a surprise to you.

You may wonder why I continue to fix my 16 year old stackable washer and dryer.  Well for one thing, it’s fairly easy to do.  And for another, sometimes I wake up in a cold sweat at night, my hands clutching the nearest pillow as I wake from one of two recurring nightmares I have.  My washer/dryer is unfixable and I can’t find another one to fit in my laundry closet. I wake up screaming, I tell you.

I’m terrified I will never find another washer and dryer to fit in my laundry closet.   That’s my biggest fear in life if you don’t count going blind, losing a limb, having a stroke, losing my home, getting grey pubic hair, running out of toilet paper, vomitting in public,  or running out of pepperoni.

So a few weeks ago I decided one way to get a little extra space in my laundry room would be to see if I could find a laundry hamper that was long and narrow as opposed to the big squarish Ikea one I had.  Turns out, Ikea had one.  Because Ikea has everything because it’s the happiest place on earth next to that other famous “Happiest Place on Earth” … The Dollar Store.

In case you’re getting the wrong impression of me, trust me, if I had wads of cash, I’d kick Dollarama to the curb and Hermes would quickly become my happiest place on earth.  Just so we’re clear.

After a quick trip to Ikea I left with the 2 narrow laundry hampers I went for.   Along with an orchid, 3 wicker baskets, enough candles to fill a medium sized airplane hanger, 7 mugs and a fistful of hotdogs.  The Ikea hotdog is my spirit animal.

I got the hampers home and they were perfect.  They took up WAY less space, immediately feeling like my laundry closet had doubled inside.  I had a double closet.  It was great, but I had no idea what to do with my old hampers but I knew there was potential and I shouldn’t just throw them out.

Then it CAME to me.  I knew exactly what I was going to do with them, and had dragged them outside to do just that when Pink Tool Belt happened by and said what she’d do with them.  I loved her idea.  Her idea was great.  But so was mine.

I had a horrible moment of indecision when I realized I had 2 hampers and I could do both things.

HER idea was to take this hamper from the laundry pile to the wood pile.





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You can see the hamper is just a nylon bag that hangs over a metal frame.  It isn’t even sewn on.  It’s just attached with velcro.  You can also see how much room my hamper took up in my laundry closet.




All you have to do is remove the laundry bag to get down the the heart of the matter.  The metal frame with that weird, ugly powder coated fake aluminum colour.  This strange sort of fake silver metal colour seems to be a thing for Ikea.  They make everything out of it.  I hate it.  But when it was in my laundry closet it didn’t matter.  I hate everything once it was in my laundry closet.  It’s 6 square feet of negative energy.





The hamper came with castors which I had removed but saved, so I threw those back on it.




Then I dragged it outside and gave it a couple of coats of spray paint.






I had about 20 half used cans of black spray paint to choose from in my basement so I went for one from Krylon that claimed to need no sanding or priming.  We’ll see about that. I once bought some nail polish that claimed it would last without chipping for two weeks.

The Ikea hamper is perfect as a log holder.  It keeps exactly enough wood for a couple of nights of fires close to the back door.   If I had a bit more space in my living room, I’d keep it right beside my fireplace to hold my wood. I love the look of stacked wood inside a house.




With a beautiful, and free, log holder like this it will be sweet dreams every night.  No more nightmares. Oh!  And that second recurring nightmare?  It involves flying to a classroom naked  to take an exam I haven’t studied for.  That’s not the scary part.  The scary part is if I don’t get the exam finished in time, I’ll miss the grand opening of the new Dollar Hermes store.


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  1. Sierra Eisler says:

    I love your blogs! what is that fancy floor cleaning tool you have in that picture? I need one!

  2. Wig says:

    You Rock Karen…I found you on Roughlinen.com (which I’m a huge supporter of)…
    Question…What fabric is that on top of the wood bin? It looks like wax canvas.
    Is there any way you can explain how you made it, or have a link to where you can make it?

    I’ve been reading watching your blog for the past two hours…Damn you!…;)

    I’m a Lifestyle Curator (and I’m straight, not that it matters) in Los Angeles and I’m totally digging your DIY projects for my clients…I’ll start with this one and the grill scraper for Christmas Gifts!

    • Karen says:

      Hello Straight Wig! That’s a wood tote on top. It’s straight up heavy duty canvas, not waxed, with wood handles. My mother made it years ago for my father and it’s still holding up. I have no idea what a Lifestyle Curator is, lol, but it sounds like a fun job. ~ karen!

      • Wig says:

        Aaahhh…I won’t need that as I use my wood for BBQ’ing…And it’s LA, it rarely rains here.

        Lifestyle Curator…I coined the term myself since I didn’t really fit in any catagory…I basically help divorced, up and coming stars, busy professionals, or people looking to have love in their life. I help their environments become sexy and inviting…Part Interior Designer, part feng shui, part therapist, part life coach. I get to be creative and help empower people with their god given gifts….It’s very gratifying and I’m obsessed with it. A byproduct of is it constantly makes me look at myself and how I can improve it. I can’t do it, if I’m not living it!..:)
        Thank you again and I will be doing your DIY projects! Oh! I can’t wait to use the boiling water in my Hydrangea’s….I gave up on those beauties a couple of years ago…:)

        You rock Karen!

  3. CAPERNIUS says:

    This is a great idea!!
    easy, simple, plain yet stylish,….
    I love it!

    Did you know that many ideas can come to fruition with PVC Plumbing pipe?
    everything from tool handles to furniture to greenhouses for the garden….
    there is almost no limit to what you build/make with PVC Pipe.
    If you’re interested, here’s a couple of websites to get you started:
    This last one has pieces that you will never find in your local hardware store, but are needed for some projects.

  4. Edith says:

    Still waiting for part 2!!!

    • Karen says:

      LOL. part 2 won’t be coming until next spring Edith! ~ karen

      • Edith says:

        So. It has been almost a year now. I have been really patient and therefore I actually deserve to see part 2. Maybe you have forgotten about it, but I haven’t …..

        Please, don’t make me wait untill NEXT spring!

      • Karen says:

        LOL. My plan was to do part two this spring Edith, but I didn’t get around to it. I will try very hard to do it this fall. ;) ~ karen!

  5. And now for a particularly off topic question. Where did you get that broom from? I love it lots.

  6. Debbie Bashford says:

    okay I’m standing… hello my name is Debbie and I have never been to Ikea. I have seen so many Ikea hacks that if I ever step inside one I will probably explode

  7. You know Karen, I loved the post, then got to the grey pubic hair, and….somehow…..I just forgot what I was reading about…jingle bells, jingle bells, jingle bells, crest white strips, crest white strips, crest white strips!

  8. Beth says:


    I’m heart broken for you. Is that a chipped tile in your brand new floor? Please say no. Please, please, please.


    • Karen says:

      Not to worry Beth. :) That’s really old tile that I laid down in the laundry closet about a decade ago! Just cheap stick down stuff. :) It’s not the new stuff. :) ~ karen

  9. Katbert says:

    Impressive log holder, BUTTTTT how about that floor polisher in the picture???? We had one like that when I was about 6 and that was a LONG time ago. When I was really young I got to ride it when my mom polished the floors and then a bit older, would enjoy running it myself to see where in the world, ok kitchen, it would take me. It brings back fond memories. They don’t actually make Johnson paste wax anymore, do they?

    • Liz Walter says:

      Trewax Clear Paste Floor Wax is what you can get these days. If you are in Canada Home Hardware sells it and Home Depot in the States and I’m sure many other places. I wanted to check if they still make the Johnson wax and you are right I couldn’t find it (I still have a can from the 70’s-never used it on floors but it’s good on a lot of other things-or at least it was in the 70’s) We bought a floor plolisher/rug shampooer about 1974 and it had a canister that held cleaning solution and different types of rotary scrubbers as well as a couple of buffing pads including a sheep skin one. I was never really happy with how it worked as a rug shampooer-it did not do a good job on puppy barf and poop on a shag rug-holy crow I really am dating myself. The wet-vac type ones that you rented at the grocery store did a better job but we used that polisher till it lived out it’s last days almost 30 years. About 7 years ago when my mother-in-law was moving into a retirement home and we had to clear/clean out her house to our delight we found one just like Karen has in the laundry closet. We have hardwood floors that I clean with a dilute mix of Avon Bubble Bath and water in a spray bottle followed immediately with a floor mop that has a barely damp microfibre pad on it. Most of the time that is all that’s needed it’s streak free but sometimes (mostly around the holidays) we’ll get out the polisher and buff them. It would probably also work on ceramic/porcelain tiles but I don’t have any of those in the house (didn’t know you could install floor heaters till I saw you blogging about it Karen) Sorry I’m being so long winded but there was one other thing that I wanted to mention-does anyone remember the embossed vinyl sheet flooring that was popular in the 70’s and 80’s? When we moved into our present home in 1985 that was what was popular. It was a stupid stupid idea at our house with 3 people one of whom was a little kid, two or three cats (once we were up to 5-I can’t turn away a hard luck case who shows up at the back door) and a dog and someone who liked to fool around in the kitchen (COOKING not actually Fooling Around-we had a 7 year old remember-that sort of limited our options)-ok-where was I? Yea those embossed floors were really hard to keep clean (although they had a busy pattern that hid a lot of sins) but they did look better when they were scrubbed and that’s where the tank and scrub brushes really came in handy once or twice a year. We mopped as needed but a lick and a promise only goes so far. We replaced the floor 1o years ago when we did a kitchen remodel-Ikea-and I still love it -the kitchen-I don’t miss the old floor at all.
      On another note Karen I’m just getting over this cold that everyone seems to have in Burlington/Hamilton area (try to stay clear of Toxic Toddlers-they are little petrie dishes of colds and Pink Eye) I’ve been off the computer for a few days mostly cause I couldn’t see but the Pink Eye is pretty much gone and I’ve had an absolutley delightful afternoon catching up on the blog and re-reading the post about the cleaning tips that you did back in April. Thank you-you are as good as medicine-love reading your stuff.

    • Pam'a says:

      Karen wrote an entry all about that floor waxer a while back. I bet if you use the nifty little search box on the right side of the page, you’ll find it.

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