Tuesday, March 19, 2013

Shelves in the Closet: What a Happy Thought Indeed!

For any other Jane Austen nerds out there, you may recognize the title of this blog post as a quote from Pride and Prejudice. Elizabeth Bennett expressed this statement dripping with sarcasm at Mr. Collin's excitement over shelves in the closet. She would probably utter the same statement to me if she had been in my home the past week as hubby and I installed shelves in one of our closet.

We are blessed to have a lot of closets in our home, especially considering it was built in 1955 which was an era that they did not put a lot of closets in homes. We actually have two closets in each of the three bedrooms. This is especially wonderful because I have 15 boxes of children's books that were given to me by my aunt when I graduated from college. They are for my classroom, but I do not have room to store them  at school. The pile of boxes not only made it difficult to find the books I wanted to take to school, but I also hated the fact that our guest bedroom was cluttered by a huge pile of boxes. Plus, why have a pile of boxes in the room when you have a closet like this! Empty space crying out to be used efficiently. There is a second closet in this room that can hold a few coats and have plenty of room for guest's clothes and suitcases when they come to stay. So why not make better use of this closet?

We started by measuring the closet and deciding how many shelves I wanted. I decided I wanted six shelves and we would put them 10 inches apart. We multiplied the length of the shelves (which was the same as the width of the closet) by six to figure out how many boards we would need. We went with 1x12 boards in 8 ft long sections. We ended up needing 3 boards to make our shelves. Then we bought several 1x2 boards for the braces on the shelves and on the walls to hold them in place. We originally bought more wood than we needed, but we were able to return them after we finished the project.

My hubby cut the shelves and braces using his circular saw and chop saw. He loves any project that lets him use his power tools. Then I helped him put the braces on the shelves using the nail gun! Yes, I have discovered the love of a nail gun. I'm pretty sure that I will steal the nail gun in any future projects!

Once the shelves were finished, hubby installed the braces in the closet that the shelves will sit on. Then we put the shelves in to let them acclimatize to the space before we painted them and the closet. After they had acclimatized for several days, it was time to paint the shelves and the inside of the closet. We had painted the closet when we moved in, but there was a gross looking section where the old shelves had been attached to the wall and the plaster had been damaged by pulling the old shelves off the wall. So after hubby patched the wall and sanded, it was time to paint!

I totally took advantage of a glorious spring day to paint the shelves outside

After painting the shelves and the closet, a couple of the shelves that had been a super tight fit no longer would go in. Since the hubby was at work and I wanted to get to work on putting books away, I attempted chopping a sliver off of the shelves by myself. I'm not gonna lie, the chop saw is a bit scary, but I did it and it was awesome!
The finished shelves!
So after a day of alphabetizing and putting away hundreds of children's books, here is what the closet looks like now:

Isn't it beautiful! And I can easily find any of the books I want for school and the guest room can be reclaimed! So yes, Elizabeth Bennett: What a happy thing to have shelves in this closet!

What spaces in your home could use reclaiming? I'd love to know what you are working on and what you think of my new book closet!

Have an inspired day!

Kelsey Noll

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