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. chris aka monkey says:

    okay cool hack…hope your thanksgiving was all that you wanted it to be…what about the tree on the wall did i miss it? we don’t have a fireplace wish we did … wilbur is so big now if he crawled on my hand i would scream like a girl i think he is one of the cats that take 7-9 months to morph..he thinks he lives in the ritz xx

  2. Pam says:

    Hotdog as spirit animal, so funny!! IKEA is four hours away for me, but I make a plan and drive the van!

  3. mia pratt says:

    It might be appropriate, Karen, to educate the younger women amongst us on the nightmarish hell we can expect for our vajayjays when we get older. Silver pubic hair appearing…lost lipstick tubes from Disco nights suddenly appearing down there along with that Christmas sock your husband lost in 1987. And sagging. There is supposed to be sagging. Yikes, never mind.

  4. Kathline says:

    I also refer to IKEA as the second happiest place on earth. Unfortunately, the first happiest place is actually closer to me than my nearest IKEA. Or fortunately, depending finances – I think I spend more at IKEA!

  5. Ruth says:

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

    …. and your idea was….? I have a strange feeling that you will need another hamper for the laundry room, because these 2 have been commissioned to ‘higher’ service. :-)

  6. Feral Turtle says:

    P.S. Happy Thanksgiving!

  7. Feral Turtle says:

    Another fantastic Ikea hack! Looking forward to part two!

  8. Ev Wilcox says:

    Great. Now I’ll have sleepless nights wondering about the other great idea. Pink Tool Belt’s idea was very good, but now here we all are, waiting and wondering. Sigh….

  9. Kat says:

    That broom is awesome and so perfect for a witches broom!

  10. Shannon says:

    Could we please see a pic of the new,narrow hamper? We have the same situation….thanks!

  11. Sue says:

    Pubic hairs go grey?!?!?

  12. Laura Bee says:

    “The Ikea hotdog is my spirit animal.” may be the funniest sentence I have ever read.

  13. Mary Kay says:

    Great idea – but what about when winter dumps a crap load of snow on you – you won’t be able to wheel that cute little thing from your BIG wood pile to your backdoor! Maybe laundry hamper #2 will join #1 so you have twice as much by your back door. Happy Thanksgiving!! Hope you have a wonderful meal with your family!

    • Karen says:

      Hi Mary Kay ! I’ll probably actually move it to the front porch where it’ll be covered. Dinner was great but in half an hour I have to go back downstairs and finish cleaning up the disaster of a kitchen. ~ karen!

      • Mary Kay says:

        Geez – no one volunteered to be your maid for a day??? That is the only drawback of having the holidays at your house – the clean up – UGH!

  14. Donna says:

    Love your posts, do you use that floor polisher??

    • Karen says:

      I do indeed! I bought it at the beginning of the year at an antique show and I use it about once a month. ~ karen!

      • Lynn Johannson says:

        You know….. if you chose to not clean house and polish your floors you would have time for 5 post a week. Of course you would have nothing to take pics of so you would have to come to MY house and do your projects. But then I would have to clean first so…. never mind

  15. Mary says:

    Clever girl. Nice hack.

  16. Su says:

    nice. Cool. good re-use and recyle

  17. Adrienne in Atlanta says:

    Oh, and Happy Thanksgiving! :)

  18. Adrienne in Atlanta says:

    Question about your stackable set: Do your sheets turn into a big tangled ball in the dryer? I have a stackable set, and blankets, sheets, towels, etc., all turn into this mass of fabric that’s still completely wet in the center but dry on the outside. Am I just lucky that way or do you experience this, too?

    • Karen says:

      Hi Adrienne – That can definitely happen. To help stop this when I put the sheets in I feed them in one at a time sort of folding them into the machine one at a time, as opposed to putting in a big ball of them. This seems to help stop the whole big ball of wet centre thing. ~ karen!

      • Adrienne in Atlanta says:

        Never had this problem with my regular dryer, so I’ll try that. Thanks! Surely must be more effective than swearing the machine up one side and down the other.

      • Catherine says:

        Yeah, I get that matzoh ball of linens too even with my regular dryer. Some clean tennis balls added to the mix or some clean tennis shoes/trainers/athletic shoes (whatever they call them in your part of the world) will also work. Ya know… you have already washed the shoes and they are still wet, now you’ve done the linens and need to dry them. What I really want is a LOFTi system. http://www.shop-thenewclotheslinecompany.com/ Maybe Karen will do a hack on one of those. then we could dry our linens on the patio or entry ceiling.

      • Adrienne in Atlanta says:

        Hi Catherine! Thanks for reminding me that I wanted to tell Karen about this little revelation. :) That LOFTi system would be great. I love that it’s so green. I have a really dinky house though, so I can’t even imagine where I’d put it so that people wouldn’t literally clothesline themselves. (Ha!) I do use the tennis balls, in fact. I started using vinegar (in a downy ball) in place of fabric softener, and tennis balls were recommended on the same website to reduce drying time. I didn’t really notice a difference, and the noise was too much after a while. I’m still looking for a good way to reduce static. I used to throw in a ball of foil, but the noise issue came up again, unfortunately. The search continues. ;)

      • Catherine says:

        I use vinegar but, in the bleach dispenser to remove boy-funk form my 12 yo DS & DH.

      • Karen says:

        There’s an old style clothing dryer that hangs from the ceiling I was going to hack. It’s a very simple design but never got around to it. Might look into this for a future post. :) ~ karen!

      • Adrienne in Atlanta says:

        Sooooo…last month the dryer on my stackable set quit heating. The repairs turned out to be cost prohibitive, so we opted to replace it. While the repair guy was looking at it, however, he noticed that the piece on the backside of the drum was almost completely worn away, so it wasn’t likely turning in an actual circle, but instead throwing the ball of clothes around willy nilly. Since you are so handy (who even knew carbon brushes existed before you told us?), I thought I’d mention this to you. I think you could replace the piece yourself. It was a bushing, but I can’t tell you much more than that. Basically the piece in the center of the back panel (of the upper dryer portion) that the drum spins on. The belt was also affected by this piece being worn out. I may not be telling you anything you don’t already know, but I had to share! I no longer have a big ball of clothes wet in the middle, I’m happy to report. :)

      • Karen says:

        Excellent, lol. Mine only does that with a big load of sheets and only if I mush them in there all at once so I don’t think I need to rip my dryer apart to replace the bushing just yet. :) And after this many repairs I might just have to break down and replace the dryer if something else goes on it. Or maybe not. ;) ~ karen!

  19. Cynthia says:

    I get lost in Ikea, which I believe is part of their master plan. But, maybe that’s a thought due to the need to increase my meds.

    By the way, those leaves were not random-scattered, I reckon they were carefully placed with your design aesthetic eyeballs in control. You can’t fool me, you and IKEA.

    If your washer/dryer ever does cark it, check out the BEKO brand. I love BEKO. I have a freezer which is the berry best freezer I have ever had. So dry and frost free and beautifully appointed. I am now saving for a washer/dryer combo.

    It’s the brand of fridge/freezers they use on Australian Masterchef, which I know you love. Such high quality in design and features.

    PS why doesn’t someone make a two-pack black nail polish? An epoxy one that would be really hard. It makes sense, but maybe it would stain the nail?

    • Karen says:

      I’ve always always loved the refrigerators on Masterchef Australia. They’re tall and narrow. I remember freezing the picture so I could look at the brand. We don’t carry it here. :( At least we didn’t at the time ~ karen!

  20. Cathy says:

    …”after a quick trip to IKEA….”

    I hate you.

    • Karen says:

      Yeah I’m pretty lucky. It’s only 15 minutes away. Hate you too! :) ~ karen

      • sera says:

        It’s so good that IKEA is a 30 min (give or take an hour) drive from my house. I’d be in big trouble if it was closer.
        Although that time when we bought a dresser and had to go back twice because we had missing parts and ended up going to IKEA three times in 24 hours – yeah, that isn’t something I want to do again.
        I hope your second IKEA post will include a shot of the laundry room with your new hampers as well…

  21. sakina says:

    I think the second idea is a tea cart? :-)

  22. Debbie from Illinois says:

    Clever, very clever!

  23. Amanda says:

    Wait. You don’t have any gray pubic hair yet? I, um, spotted a few when I was in my 30s and complained to my pal/stepmother about it. She asked, “Are you sure they aren’t cobwebs?”

  24. Becky says:

    is there a part 2 to this story? what was the other idea?

    I love IKEA, I just wish there was one closer to me. Its a 90 minute drive, on a good day… on a bad day, it can take hours

    • Karen says:

      Can’t tell ya! That information I’m saving for my second Ikea hack post. :) ~ karen!

      • Hope says:

        whoop! I can’t wait for the second idea…tell pink toolbelt this one was brilliant. Not to encourage sibling rivalry. What I love about this idea is how it encourages me to look at things differently. Recently had a HUGE change in income. Now when I have a problem area I shop the house and the garage…and the thrift shop. And it’s good for my brain as I consider the options possible. And it’s great for my wallet. I was going to say pocketbook but I don’t have one of those!

      • L says:

        Did I miss part 2 of the hamper hack? I can’t find a second tutorial on your site.

      • Karen says:

        Nooo, lol. I still haven’t done it! I absolutely COMMIT to doing it this spring so everyone can see. Promise. (mostly) :) ~ karen!

  25. Laura says:

    Yay! Thanks the post even though it’s a holiday — and happy thanksgiving. But what was the second idea???

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