Thursday, September 7, 2017

Linen Closet: Organized

Not only did our front room get some major upgrades over the summer but, as always, working on the floor project snowballed into more.  (It seems to be impossible to just stop at the planned project...more always gets added on.)

This time it was Matt's office.  We had always planned to do the floors together since the same carpet continued in there.  My craft area reorg (which is part of Matt's office) was planned and mostly done before the floors (you can see the shelves in progress, in a mess, here).

What wasn't planned was our linen/game/gift closet.  This isn't going to be the most effective "look what we did!" post since we have no good befores...since when we tore the room apart this project still wasn't planned to be a part of the upgrades.  And the inside of closets isn't something I regularly photography unless I know I am changing them.  So...oops.

With a small house, our closets and cupboards often have to do double, or in this case triple, duty.  Our bathroom is tiny and has very little storage, at least for big things like extra bath towels and larger backup toiletries.  Those things go in here.  We store games and some of Luke's toys in here.  And between this and my new craft shelves (which are coming to a post near you soon-ish too), it's also storage for gifts/gift wrapping supplies.  A lot of things have to fit in this cupboard because there is just nowhere else for them.

For 11 years we had a combination of storage cubes and plastic drawers in here.  Like these:
temporary location during all the floor work

which were a pain because they would occasionally fall apart and the holes meant we lined some with broken down cereal boxes so smaller items wouldn't fall through.  They weren't pretty but they worked.  For a long time.  But once we took everything out to get to the floor and saw the space empty...we knew we could do better.

When we first moved in, Matt wasn't nearly as confident in his woodworking skills and we kept saying that there is no way we'd be able to build shelves in this cupboard because of the chimney that goes through it, the shelves couldn't be just straight across.  Fast forward 11 years and he knows a little more.

So, what was initially just redoing the floors became, let's build (*have Matt build*) shelves in this cupboard!  We repainted the whole thing (which desperately needed it) during poly-setting days and it got all new trim.  This was already a huge improvement!

Then Matt built shelves, wrapping around the chimney.  It's so wonderful having a handy husband.

The building process took a bit, between finishing up on the floor, working on adoption paperwork, and regular life things but once they were done I got the lovely job of filling them.  Which I LOVE.  Although sourcing baskets for them wasn't the easiest since they are almost two feet deep and I wanted to maximize my space.  But here is where we ended up:

We have these Pillowfort bins on the floor for Luke's toys and games: one for building things (Legos, K'Nex) and the other for games we play with him.

The rest of the bottom are some more craft things that didn't fit in my shelves - the 12x12 scrapbook paper I kept for projects, kraft paper for wrapping presents, and fabric scraps for stuffing.  

We have stacks of games and puzzles.  All our extra bath and beach towels.

The bins along the right side are our gift stash.  These were very important not to be clear since we have a quite a few future gifts for Luke (which, of course, I track as an asset on a spreadsheet and expense as we use them...if don't understand that sentence you probably never took an accounting class).  I also have some presents for new babies and even our godson's birthday next spring. (which, yes, is also tracked on a spreadsheet).

The coral baskets along the top are extra toiletries and personal care items that don't fit in the bathroom - our body wash bottles that are too tall for the vanity drawers, extra toilet paper, extra boxes of tissues, heating pad, etc.  These aren't regularly full which is good because how much we have in "inventory" changes all the time.

I debated coral or blue baskets for waaaaaay too long but ultimately went with the bright coral because I don't have much of an excuse to use it elsewhere in the house so a closet that's mostly hidden is a good spot for it.

Every time I'm in this cupboard I am delighted by how much easier it is to get what I need, how I don't have to worry about the shelves collapsing on me, how much better the space is used and things are organized.  And Luke can easily get to his Legos (and for now they all fit)!

It can definitely be a pain when one large project (the floors) snowballs into another project, ensuring the house will be torn up a little longer (always my least favorite part) BUT, when it's all done and the house looks better than when we started, it's always worth the mess, time, and money.

And having a new space to organize (and an excuse to buy something at Target) will always delight me. 

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