Sunday, May 15, 2011

Adventures in closet building

The closet before

The boy has a man cold (poor little bunny) but we soldiered on and installed our Martha Stewart closet organizers this weekend. Part of that soldiering on might have been Greg drinking tea in bed while I sanded and painted but I'll never tell since I made him use the table saw while I cowered on the kitchen steps.

The system is actually pretty easy, though we had a few extra prep steps. Follow along!

For starters you'll want to get rid of this old timey shoe rack. I am totally down to keep stuff that is original to the house, but this is right smack in the middle of where the main closet unit will go.

Hey, that's the dishwasher! Wave to the kitchen--the kitchen that you can now see from the bedroom!

Take off the trim that used to hold up the shelf and scream your freaking head off because there's all kinds of ancient dessicated spiders back there. Make Greg get rid of them and then roll your eyes when he leaves LEGS behind.

Marvel at the system you've jury-rigged in the living room.

Add 2x4s and drywall to the space where the shoe rack had been.

Make sure to measure a few things wrong so you have to hack down the drywall with a kitchen knife. Measure a few more things wrong so you have to shim your 2x4s to get the drywall to sit flush with the wall. Then tape and mud your seams with some old joint compound you found in the basement. It's a little dry, but what's the worst that could happen?

Attach the metal rod thing to the wall studs. This is all that lies between your shelving system and disaster, so do it right. Accidentally knock the drill onto your big toe and throw a temper tantrum, declaring that you're hungry and you need to take a break. Go eat pizza, you big baby.

Spend a good hour or so trying to make sense of the various boxes that are in your office. Ponder why on earth you would have ordered four sets of 12-inch shelves. Once you've made sense of where things are going, hang the shelves on the metal rod thing. But first make sure to sand your new drywall ahead of schedule, ripping the tape. You know what? More dried out joint compound should fix that.

The smart way to do this would be to stop, let the compound dry, let the paint on the area where the trim was dry, paint the drywalled area and let THAT dry, but meh, screw that. Let's build it now! You can paint that area the next time Greg goes away on business. You wouldn't rather be eating a big salad and watching Vampire Diaries and sleeping with all the pillows; you're gonna want to paint some spot in the closet you never look at.

Assemble your system. Make the most beautiful pilot holes the world has ever seen and brag to Greg that if people got Academy Awards for drilling holes, there would be a little gold man on your mantle right now.

Stage your closet like they do on websites, as if people have the room to place one pair of shoes on a shelf. Once the pictures are taken CRAM, BABY CRAM.

Pour yourself a glass of wine and eat the spaghetti sauce from a jar because you're so freaking tired. High-five each other incessantly. You did it! You didn't kill each other!

Seriously though, we're really happy with our system. Of course, these shelving units are being held to the wall solely by a notch that attaches to a metal rod. And the notched units are made out of pressboard. These aren't going to last forever but they're pretty good considering we spent $350 for the whole system.


  1. sleeping with all the pillows!! hahahahaha.

    that poor little bunny video slays me every time. it's SO TRUE!

  2. Looks awesome! As usual, your description of the realities of DIYing it is spot-on and hilarious. Your closet looks awesome!

  3. Super! Just what I was looking for. :-)