Monday, February 24, 2014

But Tonight, I'm Cleanin' Out My Closet

For almost four years we've lived with a huge master closet that has the most dysfunctional storage, so it looks like a giant craphole about 90% of the time. Coming from apartment living, it felt pretty ungrateful to complain about a closet that could serve as an extra bedroom in a pinch. Once every six months or so, I go through and make it all pretty again, but it doesn't last long because there's not a home for everything. Add having a giant rolling laundry cart that takes a big chunk of the floorspace, and it just looks bad. I swear, we're not giant slobs but you'd never know it to see our closet.

Last year we got an estimate for a closet system that was so ridiculous, I was glad I was holding a cup of coffee in front of my mouth when he read out the number because my jaw dropped and I closed it just in time to let him know we'd get back to him. Then a friend got her closet done and it was gorgeous. I had All City Closet (Formerly Tri-City Closets) come give an estimate and it was significantly lower than the competition, and instead of drawing up a quick plan at my table, they took all of the measurements, a list of our needs and requests and rendered drawings for me about three days later along with the estimate. It was spot on with what I wanted.

Over J's drill weekend, my mom came and helped me drag everything out of the closet, sort it, goodwill it, yardsale pile it and every other tedious thing you do with a closet that's bursting at the seams.

Here's the ugly before, which I really didn't want to take, but it makes the after so much better.

Doesn't my side look so much less cluttered than J's? Oh, wait, that's because all of this was shoved under the shelf; a big basket of clothes waiting to be consigned, two laundry baskets of clothes that the kids had outgrown and needed to be sorted, plus random bags from day travel and swim lessons...oh the treasures to behold.
Closet emptied, it was time to tear out the old shelves. I think a lot of basic closets have this issue; decent square footage, but not big on storage. After I used a rubber mallet to get all of the shelves up, I texted the foreman for our builder to make sure the wooden supports were just nailed and not glued/nailed to the wall. I was not excited at the prospect of replacing the drywall. Once I had assurance they were nailed only, I thought it would be easy-peasy. Not so. Those suckers were securely affixed!
The conversation with my mom went something like this (as I was grunting with effort to get the board to even wiggle).
Mom: I bet they're glued.

Me: They're not glued. Just nailed.
Mom: Hm. They seem like they might be glued.

Me: They're not glued, I asked the foreman.
Mom: (after I'd used a screwdriver to try and get behind a board and succeeded only in gouging the drywall). I bet dollars to donuts they used glue and he just forgot.
Me: THEY'RE NOT (insert word you should not scream at your lovely mama) GLUED TO THE WALL!
I decided to put down the sharp objects at that point and ask dear Facebook what a girl should do. I was given a lot of good suggestions, including the one from my husband that said 'Um. Leave it alone. I'll fix it when I get home.' Since I knew that a pretty closet was not high on his list of wants for the house, I figured that chiseling lumber off the walls of said closet after driving three hours to get home from working all weekend was likely not high on his wishlist either.
When I told him I couldn't wait for him because I needed to paint, he replied 'Are you going to drywall as well?' Oh, ye of little faith. A neighbor so kindly dropped by that night with three wood shims, a prybar, spackle and a multi-use paint tool. I could have kissed her. 
The next morning, I spent a good hour plus gently loosening, pry, pry prying and then putting a little muscle into it once I'd gotten a good purchase. I was trying to leave all of the pieces intact so we can reuse them to create more storage in other areas of the house and donating what we don't end up using.

Next to deal with the dingy paint color. I used just one good coat of Enamelware by Martha Stewart color matched to Behr Ultra Paint Plus Primer in satin finish. I plan to use the same color on the bathroom in the next few months. 

These were taken about 8pm after I was done painting last night.

The carpenters came at 9am, and when they were done at 2, this is what I have now. I couldn't be happier!

Shoes and bags will all have a home, and there will no longer be a shelf full of shoes sitting just under the window. These windows are the front of my house and if the light was on in the closet, you could see stuff sticking up from outside. Not attractive.

The shelf on top is a full wrap around if you need space for baskets of winter sweaters or other seasonal clothes

Jared's end has both a belt and tie rack that pulls out from the long-hang bar

Laundry baskets! I love that these will be integrated into the system instead of taking space on the floor

There is a row of four wire baskets at the very end, and they pull all the way out and are removable.
The system is fully adjustable and if I find that I need something different as time goes, we can always have them come back out and make the changes we need. I couldn't be happier! Now to put all of our clothes away. In rainbow order, of course.

Updated with more photos for your viewing pleasure-J and I stayed up after he got home from work last night and got it all squared away. It feels so nice to have a home for everything with room to spare. I have a few ideas to decorate the shelf below the window simply.

the second pull-out scarf rack houses my race medals
swimsuits, running tights and running skirts

I added this branchy thang to hang my necklaces under the window-purdy! 

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