Monday, November 12, 2012

Done With Closets

When we went back for our second look with fresh eyes and to make an offer on the house we ended up buying, I took along my camera to take a picture of the way 'it was.' I didn't start doing that practice at first when we bought our first house but when I did, it always made me feel better looking back at how things were and see how much sweat equity in your house can do. With that said, the above picture was how 'it was' when I looked at it with fresh eyes. What I saw were sliding doors with worn out tracks and rollers that were always falling off and required super human strength to push open.

Normally I would have just fixed the roller and/or track to get them working once again but other factors that presented itself after we moved in swayed me to redoing them. You see, my wife's clothes, purses and shoes took up one whole closet and half of mine. The stuff of hers that was in 'my' closet were things that she accessed all the time requiring me to first close her door and then open mine several times a day. Also, it wasn't that she owns a lot of stuff (though it is many times what I own) but that it just wasn't well organized. The pictures below show what I mean.

This was her closet shown above, a basic two rod system. My closet looked exactly the same except two thirds of it was taken up by a prefab bookshelf that the previous owners had left behind probably out of embarrassment. I say embarrassment because they hadn't been bothered to move it when recarpeting the room and had carpeted around it leaving a square of much lighter colored carpet in its place. I think you can see that in one of the finished pictures. When I put hardwood flooring down, that will go away.  My wife used the bookshelf for her purse, shoes and jewelry storage.

I'm actually surprised that the rods held up the weight of our clothes over the last three months. Every support looked just like what you see above and below. The one above had two scabbed in pieces of woods to act as shims and a bracket attached but only the bottom screw into the stud behind. In fact, since it wasn't even touching the rod, it wasn't support anything.

This one was still in place but had only one screw (in the stud fortunately) at the bottom and an air gap at the top. The shelf above was 40 year old particle board which was about as straight as a partially cooked lasagna noodle.

The supports at the end held all the weight of the clothes and looked as you see above. Evidently they cut the rods short or couldn't get them long enough so they used the old extra screw as a shim trick and put a couple more screws in for good measure.

In the other two bedrooms, I had replaced similar closet stuff with off the shelf wire mesh closet rack that you can get at your local box store. It does a good job but lacks the flexibility to make other arrangements and also just isn't as solid as I would like it. So I set out to build my own custom made closet system. Unfortunately other projects took my time and I was looking at a month before the new baby was to arrive which will certainly cut down on project time. Also, by the time I started sourcing out what I wanted to do, I was about three quarters of the way to buying a custom designed closet system. So I ended up going the latter route and I must say I am extremely pleased. It had the flexibility to do exactly what I want and change in the future if needed, looks the way I wanted it too, and was made out of the same materials that I was going to make it out of. The closet above was my old closet, (notice the mismatched carpet) that is now my wife's closet. She needed shelving for her shoes, purses and sweaters as well as places for her jewelry. It is hard to see but I got her two belt racks that slide out on a track that come with plenty of hooks for hanging necklaces and other stuff off of it. Also there is a valet pole for hanging her stuff that she can't dry with electric heat.

This one is now my closet. Since I don't do dresses, I have four compartments to store my shirts which technically means that I have two compartments and my wife has two overflow compartments. Since I don't own many pairs of shoes or any purses, I got drawers which means I can now vacate the two drawers I do have in our dresser and it is now all my wife's drawers. I also got a belt rack and a tie rack along with a valet pole for my wife's wet clothes since every stitch of clothing I own can go through the dryer. Up above both closets is the usual head space for other miscellaneous things not needed on a daily basis such as a shotgun, journals, camera tripod, etc.

I still have yet to do the doors and I'm not sure what I want to do. Right now I am thinking of some solid panel french doors on each but I may go to the more traditional bifold doors to save on space. One thing is for certain though, the sliding doors are gone and the struggle for me to hold onto my measly two shirt rods and drawers begins. I'm pretty sure my wife is ultimately trying to get me to store my clothes in the garage with the rest of my things.


edifice rex said...

Oh, I long for the day when I have closets like that AND and master bedroom! just have to finish the first half of the house...maybe one day.

Ed said...

Edifice Rex - Well our master bedroom is nothing to brag about for sure. It is small and the attached bathroom is so small that I have just enough room to turn around if I am careful and watch my shoulders. Mostly it is just my wife's bathroom and I use the one down the hall with everyone else. someday I would like to add on to this house and remedy that situation with a bathroom two people can fit in with room to spare.

Vince said...

That was a wholly inefficient use of space in the first place. Far better to square off a 60^ft room. Both the top and bottom together with the divide is pure waste. About 100 cubic ft. Far better to make it a walk-in. The you'd have an extra 4ft of rail space at least.

Ron said...

Your storage system looks like a big improvement over what was there. Well organized storage definitely makes a small space seem larger.

geri said...

I wish I had your talent to reorganize our closets like you do. Our place could use some big time storage space and organization improvement, but that would mean spending a lot of money, so we just have to make do with what we have.

sage said...

yep, sounds about right, the woman has 2/3 of the storage space!

Ed said...

Vince - Well both the original closets and the new closet have space going all the way up to the ceiling so you are able to store stuff efficiently if you have the shelving which I now do. Unfortunately, the bedroom isn't big enough to allow the space for a walk-in closet without losing the bed.

Ron - It most certainly does. Because of the closet system, we have eliminated one big piece of furniture so we gained space elsewhere.

Geri - There are some pretty cheap closet organization systems out there. For the other two bedrooms, I used a system by Rubbermaid that involved screwing vertical tracks to the back of the closet wall and then you have infinite possibilities of choices for creating shelves, baskets and such. You can do a whole closet for less than $200. The reason I went away from that for this closet is because you can't put the shelves as close together, can't have drawers though they do have wire baskets, and they are open mesh wire instead of solid wood which was the look I was going for.

Murf said...

That carpet is hilarious. And I thought I was lazy! :-) It looks nice. Now, let's talk about the blue paint for a bedroom wall color. :-)

Ed said...

Murf - All paint colors were chosen by my wife so your beef is with her. :)