Until a couple of months ago, this closet held Jonny’s clothes. The second, and only other closet in our house, held mine. I started wondering though if I might be able to squeeze Jonny’s clothes into my closet (it’s about the same size as the one in these pictures) and free up some space for some of the kids’ clothing. Neither one of us has that much clothing, so, that’s what I did.
It’s really too bad that I didn’t take a real “before” shot of this closet. The interior walls were constructed of multiple materials: some drywall, some plywood, and some exterior siding. It was a mess, even emptied of clothing. In the first photo, Jonny had already begun to replace the wood with drywall. After installing drywall on the walls and the ceiling, and then of course taping and mudding, sanding and painting, he started working on the shelving. After much discussion, he sketched out what I wanted and then began to work. We debated between pine shelving and melamine (a particle board covered with an easy to clean white laminate surface) and ultimately decided on the melamine. I think this is the first time we have ever chosen to use a particle board product for any project, and in this case I am very glad we did. The closet looks clean and bright, and will be easy to maintain.
For years, the girls’ clothing has been stored in an armoire in our living area. In fact this armoire stands about five feet from our front door. It’s not the best place for their clothes, but it was the best we could do until now. I have been constantly picking up clothes from the floor around it, and closing the drawers and doors for a very long time. It’s not the sort of mess I wanted right next to the front entrance of our house. I was extremely excited to move their clothes into the newly finished closet that is actually in the room where they sleep-so convenient! Each girls has a large shelf at the bottom of the closet to hold her everyday clothing, and then a plastic drawer that holds undies and socks. I didn’t purchase those drawers for this purpose, but have had them as long as I can remember. The upper shelves along the right hold an assortment of things such as sweaters, some of Keats’ clothing, and the girls’ pajamas. Wicker baskets holding some of those things would add a nice touch, but aren’t necessary. We needed to make this project as inexpensive as possible, and only purchased the necessary building materials (in case you’re curious, we spent about $120 total.)
On the floor beneath the shelving there is a basket for dirty laundry, another plastic drawer for holding bathing suits and other odd things, and a stepping stool for reaching the dresses (Larkspur can reach them with the stool. Beatrix cannot. This was quite intentional.) Yesterday Larkspur carried her basket of dirty laundry downstairs and Keats helped her start her first load of laundry. She and Beatrix will be doing their own from here on out. Right now there is a novelty to it so they are eager and happy to do it. That won’t last, but I know they can do it, so when the complaints start, I won’t have to doubt whether I’ve given them too big a job for their age. Typically kids are able to do far more than we expect as far as housework goes. At least that’s been my experience. It may not be perfect and done the way I would have, but they can do it.
So, welcome to my new life of only doing laundry for three (soon four.) I am so very happy about this wonderful new development.
Thank you, Jonny. I know I am a very ornery pregnant lady (possibly more so this time than typical) but I am very, very thankful for all your hard work.