Wednesday, October 1, 2014

Attacking the problem areas: coat closets

It started with this cupboard back in May:

And the difference was amazing.  Something about the bright white walls motivates me to keep everything clean and organized.  I had long planned on taking care of the coat closets next but then the bathroom project happened and I didn't have the time, energy, or desire to mess up any more of the house.  Once we had mostly recovered from that mess, I was able to get back to some of my mostly free little projects.

We have two coat closets flanking the built in bench in my office.  Neither of these are full-height (about 5 feet). Fun fact: we have no closets in our house that are full height (anything taller than me).  My wedding dress hangs on the back of our bedroom door because there is no closet tall enough for it.  All the built ins are really nice because they offer a heck of a lot of storage.  A few problems with them though:

1) The insides were painted mustard yellow, a color we never saw in this room.
2) They are built ON TOP OF the carpet.  WHY???  It wasn't even the carpet we tore out to put down the bamboo.  Why would you build permanent cabinets on top of carpet??  WHY????

This is what the lower closets looked like a few months ago:


It was a pretty straight forward process to taking care of these: empty, pull up carpet/padding/staples, paint, do a second coat, refill.  I got 3 of the 4 cupboards done before surgery.  Now that last one is going to bug me for 6 weeks but still pretty happy with the finished ones. 
Comparing the original mustard yellow (top cabinet, still unpainted) with the fresh white on the bottom.
This is our actual coat closet.  While getting ready to put everything back in we did another coat purge, eliminating a few more.  Now there are only 11 (Matt has 6, I have 5).  Awhile ago I had switched out all the random hangers so at least they were similar shades of blue.  And we even have room for some guests coats in here now!

We also added some hooks to the cupboard doors:
Umbrellas on the left, my winter scarves on the right.  The lower hook on the left will be for Luke's coats, once we determine which ones he'll be wearing this fall & winter (we have some options).

We were also able to make room at the bottom for our snow boots and NOTHING else.  So nice not to have it all crowded!

The cupboard to the right of the window seat also got a makeover and more organizing packed in.

For now, all the strollers are being stored on the front porch which really freed up some space in here.  We added a hook to hang the ironing board from so it would stay more upright, freeing up floor space.  The hanging organizer is from IKEA and holds my sewing kits, miscellaneous mending thread, extra vacuum parts (bags, mainly), and the iron.  Most of those things had previously been stored in the cupboard directly above this one. 
We also added some baskets to the door, which I am super excited about.  These hold extra ironing supplies, lint rollers, and compressed air (mainly for computer cleaning).  I looked multiple places for baskets that would fit on this door and ended up with these at Walmart.

Quite the comparison from the beginning:

The last project I finished before surgery was the cupboard above the ironing board one.  This was a pretty quick paint job, even with multiple trips up and down a ladder.  This cupboard holds my cupcake carrier, our small soft sided cooler, and a few larger serving trays that don't fit in the kitchen. 

The green, blue, and white boxes hold various computer related things like empty cd or dvd cases and instruction manuals for our cameras.  The box on the lower right is my yearly file system.  It has a hanging file for each year 2005 - 2014 and is where I store various mementos like special thank yous, wedding invitations, birthday cards, etc.  I can fit 10 years in one box which I think is pretty good.

Now the only cupboard remaining is the one above the coat closet.  The mess is a little different than it was when I took this picture in February but still a mess.  Painting this will be one of my first projects off crutches. 

Until then, I just admire the ones I did get done and am amazed at what a little white paint, time, and organizing can do.


Lauren said...

It looks great! You are so right about that white paint. I might have to paint our coat closet now too...

diana said...

Such a difference! And good way to get the cupboard cleaned out and only the needed stuff back in!