CLOSETS! Those spaces behind closed doors that can be even scarier than the kitchen sink is after a long day. Do you have one in your house that you have to cram everything into and shut the door fast before stuff bulges out and it won’t shut? I did.
This closet has been bothering me since the day we moved in. The structure of a closet is IMPERATIVE to making it work for you. You can be as organized as you want, but if you’re trying to fit a square peg in a round hole its not going to work! This closet had floor to ceiling shelving that was spaced less than 6 inches apart. It is located in our foyer, right as it opens to the living room. We tried to figure out what the previous owners had used the closet for. Maybe CDs? Wine closet? (that’s a lot of space for wine!) Do you have any ideas? The space was so small, a DVD sitting upright wouldn’t fit, so we know it wasn’t that. We decided to make it our media/game closet, with a few miscellaneous items like bedding for our pull-out couch and futon when guests come. But the close together shelves weren’t working. We had ripped one out some time in the past, and just dealt with the rest.
I even bought baskets that would fit and grouped DVDs and old VHS’s, but I had to lift the shelf above it to pull the basket all the way out, I’m not kidding you…
Then I had an all-out fit with the closet one day as I was trying to get a movie out for the kids. I could not pull the basket out. Let me just tell you how angry I was. I had to apologize for “the way Mommy acted” when I was done. I decided that although we are working on our kitchen right now and we don’t need another project to side-track us, I could at least do a quick fix on it to get it functioning! I waited for my awesome mom to come visit for a couple days, and when she did I went for it!
Here’s what I did:
I took every other shelf out. I decided that less shelves spaced farther was better than more shelves spaced closer.
Then I applied the faithful sheet rock mud :) Pulling out those sinkers made some nasty holes!
I had to let it dry overnight so that it would sand good for me. Look how much better it looks already with the shelves spread out!
The next day, I sanded and cleaned away and put everything back in that would FIT. Anything that didn’t fit and wasn’t needed here, I found a home for somewhere else. Like the VHS home videos that need to be transferred to DVDs.
I didn’t paint (though it needed it and painting really uplifts closets!), because this was a “quick fix” for us and I needed to get back to the kitchen quickly. Here’s how it turned out.
Up close of the top shelves. Notice how even the games didn’t fit right when the shelves were closer together. I put things used the least frequently at the top:
Next few. The games fit SO much better! I have one shelf designated to adult games, and one for kids’. One of our favorite things to do in the evenings is play games, we really play all of these! And the kids’ games and movies are at a level where they can reach them.
And… the bottom of the closet where all the junk used to get shoved in! You can see the floor now! Keeping items off the floor makes a closet look so much cleaner. The only thing I’m keeping there is my exercise mat:
I designated a little “movie” section down low, where the kids can reach it too. Adult movies in one bin, kids’ full movies in another, kids’ clips of 30 minutes or less in the third (I love having short 10, 15, 20, 30 minute kids’ shows to choose from if I need a shower, to make a phone call, or finish something up). Blankets rolled up beside the movies. On the next shelf I have floor pillows and wooden food trays for great movie watching too!
I am REALLY enjoying not having to lift shelves to get stuff off of them, and not doing the “shove move” as I close the door anymore. I don’t dread getting something out. And I don’t dread putting things back when we’re finished with them either!
If you don’t have tons of time and money to pour into a little closet like this one, a quick fix with something as simple as reducing (or adding) shelving can make a HUGE difference. Store stuff in the place you use it. And DON’T store things that you don’t use!
What are your closets like? Will a quick fix work for you?Melissa