Aug 27, 2013

A Linen Closet Update: Part 1

Three years ago we redid the bathroom in our house. The linen closet was a disaster - sticky contact paper that had melted to the boards, crumbling plaster, peeling paint. My sister, the most amazing sister ever, sanded down all those disgusting boards and painted them. With enough plaster and paint the linen closet became a clean, safe space to store towels and linens. However, we still had storage issues in the bottom half - we weren’t using the space efficiently at all.

So each shelf is actually two shelves, a front and back. And see that front bottom shelf in the above picture (from 3 years ago when we first redid the bathroom)? Well wasn't actually there in real life, because we like to keep a plastic rolling cart in the linen closet to hold all our little things. And the bottom shelf was actually 3" too low for the cart, so the front bottom shelf had to go. The lack of storage definitely made for a lot of piles on the closet floor, which led to a lot of mess. It only snowballed from there and we've lived with this task on our to-do list for 3 years.

Except the mess got worse and worse. Here's what it looked like when the cart was pulled out - a total disaster.

Finally, 3 years later, I felt like I had to fix it. Until now, we’ve kept all of Oliver’s towels in his room in his dresser, but now his clothes are getting bigger and he needs more dresser space. So I wanted to move his towels to the linen closet, but there was no room. Plus he’s now tall enough to reach things he couldn’t before, so for his safety we needed to move a few things into the linen closet that we didn’t have room for in its current state.

It was finally time to raise the shelf brackets up 3” so we could have a full shelf over the cart. And then I wanted to put up new brackets halfway between the floor and the shelf to add a new back shelf behind the cart - effectively giving us a lot more usable storage space.

First I emptied the closet. The floor could use a new coat of floor paint, but the cart caused the existing damage and I didn't have the motivation to tackle that during this current project. Next time!

To raise the support brackets, I needed new pieces of wood. I grabbed 4 pieces of scrap 2x4s from the garage that looked like it would fit and tested it out. They worked great. I even found a piece of scrap plywood that I was able to cut down to make the new back shelf behind the cart. After confirming everything fit, I took it all back outside to prime and paint it. Of course, priming and painting always take longer than I think thanks to all those sides and drying time between coats. And then I also realized the batteries for the new nail gun needed to be recharged. So I had to put the rest of my construction plans for the closet on hold and wait. (To be continued in Part 2...)

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