I shared the plans for my closet storage makeover just two weeks ago, and I’m thrilled to report that I’ve already made some progress on this project! As a reminder, here is what I’m going for:
Essentially, I’ll be adding in shoe shelves along the bottom and a drawer/cubby system on one side to give us more useful and differentiated storage, shrinking the coat rack to allow for this, reorganizing, and painting it so that it actually looks kind of nice.
Last weekend, I headed off to Home Depot to stock up on all the supplies I’d need. Am I the only one who always finds that these trips take like 3x longer than I think they should? In this case, I was alone, so it was slow going finding someone to help me get down the sheets of plywood I’d need, and then getting them cut to fit into my car. I eventually got it done, however, buying two 4×8 sheets of plywood (cut in half the long way), screws, drawer slides, and attachments for the coat rack. This trip also proved that a Prius can hold its own in the “fitting big pieces of wood” category.
I decided to start by building the shoe shelves along the bottom, and then deal with the side storage after I have that constructed. Unlike my picture above, I decided to make two shelves so that we’d have three rows of shoe storage (with one being on the floor).
I started by measuring the closet carefully, based on the idea that the shelves should be 12″ deep along the back and as deep as the indent along the sides. Armed with those measurements, I mapped a plan to construct the identical shelves.
Essentially I planned to cut a long shelf for the back, and then add on side pieces to fill in the weird side space that the closet has.
Then it was time to construct! By making the shelves 12″ deep, I was able to use the plywood efficiently by just cutting one 2′ wide piece down the middle, and then to the correct length.
I then cut out the little side pieces and then used my jig saw to cut out the notches to fit around the interior trim. In total, this part of the project used less than 1/2 of a piece of plywood for my pretty normal sized closet.
Of course, I tested them at this point against the closet to be sure my measurements were correct!
Once satisfied, I used a kreg jig to attach each of the small pieces onto the long shelf.
It was particularly handy to have large clamps for this, which were a new impulse purchase that I got myself a few weeks ago. I only had smaller clamps before meaning I had nothing to hold large pieces in place. Having these made me really happy, and made Brad happy, too, since I didn’t need to interrupt his football watching to help me attach the screws. (He’d already done his part by doing a lot of measuring and marking in the closet.)
It’s always satisfying to see a vision come together… even if the vision is just a pair of very oddly shaped shelves.
Of course, I’d be lying if I said the construction came together perfectly… and that’s not what we do on this blog. I had cheated my measurements a little short knowing that I’d have to wiggle it into place in the closet, but I hadn’t taken that into account for the way I cut notches for the trim (which had been based on it laying completely against the side walls). Once I assembled it, I needed about 1/4″ more in the notches for it to actually fit into place. To make life easy getting it in, I used my jig saw to take off a little more:
After that, they fit in nicely, with enough wiggle room to inch them into place.
So how do they look now?
That’s right, they’re still simply strangely shaped shelves leaning in my closet. And you can’t even say that I tricked you given the title of this post.
With everything else going on this weekend with work to catch up on, my writing group, and my weekly writing goals I didn’t have the chance to get them installed on braces, and I didn’t want to rush the job just for a post. Still, this was the bulk of the project, and I know that I’ll get them up when I move on to the side structure And just holding them in place was a little exciting – I can’t wait to have that much shoe storage!