Monday, February 17, 2014

The Storage Swagger

Once Megan completed her artistic stenciling masterpiece it was my turn to swagger in and build some storage space. Swagger…storage? I consider myself a bit of a pro when it comes to maximizing a useless space, and this closet was no exception. The job required some basic wall mounted, floor supported and hanging storage solutions.
Left side of closet before
Right side of closet before
I started with the hanging solution in mind. We want the kids to be able to grow into this space so our first concern was to make the distance between the hanging bar and the first shelf tall enough that as their clothes got bigger I wouldn't have to go back in and build something new. Because I can never be pleased by what a store has on their shelf, I decided to build my own bar hangers using bit of 1x4 shaped, glued,and screwed together.  I needed three for the length of the pole.

A 10’ 1x12 cut in half made for the main shelving unit supported by wall cleats and a scrap 1x4 ripped in half made for some more than adequate floor standards. I could have just screwed this vertical support right to the face of the shelves but that would have been tacky, and I always have to make projects more difficult so I cut out notches in the bottom shelf to blend in the mating pieces.
My helper
A little glue and Kreg pocket holes later I was dusting my hands off with that unit.
Shelving and trim painted with a semi-gloss white and hanging bar painted with leftover dark grey

The other organization plan for the space was a single shelf on the right side of the closet.  I once again measured and drew up all the pieces I would need to cut and headed back out to the shop. Wall cleats, main shelf top (this time made from ½” leftover birch ply) face frame, etc. My extra time spent in the frigid shop was repaid when all the parts fit right the first time. Woohoo I proclaimed silently, as the kids were sleeping just down the hall, and set about caulking all the joints for that absolutely seam free anal retentive look I strive for in all my projects.

Our final organization system plan was to move a great dresser that my dad built for E when she was born and now has graduated on to F into the closet under this shelf. Our current plan is to keep F’s room as non-cluttered as possible because sooner or later he is going to learn he can just throw a leg over his crib and be free. Megs is convinced his first order of business will be to tip the well-built dresser on top of himself in triumph of his first escape. I am less convinced in the nature of his first action of freedom to be defiance, but it does make the room really nice and clean looking. The dresser also fits perfectly in the end of the closet, almost like it was made for the space.

Megs and I have got a pretty good routine underway over the last couple of projects. We have found it much easier to have Megan prime as much of the raw wood as possible before I set about cutting it all up and installing. One, it is much easier to paint a slab of wood at working height with a roller than it is on ladder or hands and knees, any more times than your have to. Two, Having primer on it ahead gives Megs the opportunity to change her mind at the last second and paint the project whatever color she wants after she sees it in the space, which happens… a lot.


Megan (wrapping up the post since Andy is in China now):  After I finished all the final painting (shelves and trim in semi-gloss white and clothing rod in dark grey), I went to organizing all the closet chaos into bins.  Mostly these bins house wrapping supplies, next size up of kid clothing and extra diapers and wipes.  I would have really like to get new bins/boxes that were all matching and coordinated with the new stencil colors but luckily my insanity passed and I used bins I had around the house.

 The final result is fantastic.  It is pretty crazy how joyful I feel every time I walk into this closet but thinking back to where it started at:
 I think my giddiness is justified.

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