Sorry to everyone who wondered where our regular post was yesterday! This post was scheduled, but somehow errored and didn’t send, and I didn’t realize until the evening. I even took a picture to prove it. So weird!
Anyway, here is your usual insightful, helpful, and relevant content!
Half-makeovers served me well when we first moved into the house and everything was ugly. It was really satisfying and necessary to go for some quick fixes, like in the kitchen, to create a decent environment to live in while we took on projects. But now that things are looking better, I’m ready for more permanent solutions. I don’t want to waste my limited time on projects that will only last a year or two.
So I am leaving the bathroom alone until we do a real renovation on it. But what to work on next? The next big project is a true renovation in the kitchen, but I am just not ready to cause that sort of long-term mayhem in my home.
Instead, I am taking on a smaller and more limited project: the front closet.
This is the closet that is right at the front of our main hallway, central to the kitchen, living room, and dining room.
We use it to store shoes, coats, hats/gloves… and board games. It isn’t working very well.
There are several problems with it:
It’s all the way across the room from the front door. This problem isn’t going to be fixed, and is why we have some storage by the entryway for the stuff that we use all the time – a few shoes, jackets, and my purse and work bag. It is simply true that we won’t actually go all the way to the closet every time to put things away.
It’s “deep” on the sides. There is a good amount of space in the closet, but the storage extends past the door frame on either side (and particularly on the right side). This makes for the worst kind of storage: hard to access, hard to see, easy to forget about what you have crammed in there.
It’s not organized, and there isn’t a way to organize it. There aren’t a lot of different spots to put things. We added a hanging shelf and a few baskets, but overall we’ve just got a lot of stuff piled in there. With so little structure, even if we did use these storage spots for what we intended them, it would still overall be messy.
It’s filled with stuff. We have never cleaned this out… just moved all our stuff in there and kept adding more. We use probably 5% of the stuff in here on a regular basis, and another 10% seasonally. Not good stats for one of the most accessible and central storage spots in our house!
I can’t fix everything about this closet. I obviously can’t knock it down and move it across the room… not without destroying the beautiful dining room that I just finished. However, I can fix most of the rest.
Here is my tentative plan:
The main goal here is to build out more divided storage. The shelf along the top is working about as well as it can be, but we need another place to store board games since it’s really inconvenient to keep them up there. For the rest, we need a lot more storage options.
I plan to add a shelf along the bottom so we can have two levels of shoe storage… hopefully leading to rows of shoes rather than piles. On the deepest side, I plan to build out the space with a series of cubbies, including a few drawers or wire baskets, for things like hats, gloves, and fancy shoes that should be kept separate. Finally, for these cubbies to be accessible, we can’t have the hanging coats pressing up against them, so I plan to replace the full coat rack for one that ends partway across and is supported by a bracket.
However, before starting any of this, we have to deal with the ridiculous amount of stuff we had crammed in here…
Progress Step #1 – Clean Out
… so we did a quick clean out. It was pretty painless, we just took everything out, and IDed things to keep, things to give away, a few more decrepit things to throw away, and a few things to move to storage in the basement.
We then moved everything back in (since I’m not actually starting building this right away and don’t want to have coats and shoes all over the place in the meantime).
I think the after photo makes the case even stronger than the before photos that this closet really needs some work, since this is about as pretty and organized as it can get. Now I’m really excited to do the project!
But before I do, any suggestions that I haven’t thought of for closet storage? What do you think of the plan? What works for you?