Personal Statement

Personal Statement

Monday, January 2, 2012

Countdown to the New Old House: I Score a Craft Closet

New finish-out at the homestead is actually third on my list of "good things to come out of The Event."  Second is "new plumbing and electric and a reinforced foundation, translating into peace of mind that the house isn't going to come crashing down around me."

First on the list is additional storage.

To paraphrase Ron Burgundy, "I love storage. Storage-y, storage, storage."  Isn't it a beautiful word?  And a beautiful concept?  If you live in an old cottage house like ours, you are used to dealing with space and storage constraints.  Actually, that's a big part of what attracted us to our particular old cottage house:  as old cottage houses go, it didn't totally suck on the storage side of things.  Two walk-in closets in the master (one small, and one ginormous - an addition, of course, because "ginormous," "closets" and "built in the Twenties" don't go together).  Two more walk-in closets in the middle bedroom.  Broom closet in the hallway that could be converted into a pantry, and an honest-to-goodness laundry room, meaning that the washer and dryer were no longer located against a wall in the kitchen.  (Before you say, "WHAAAA?" I promise you that that's where the washer and dryer were located in most of the houses in our neighborhood when we moved in.)

However, there has always been room for improvement.  And those improvements are in process.  Meaning that the great mental chess match is underway:

If I can move the candles to a Rubbermaid tote under the bar sink in the kitchen, and the charger plates into the cabinet over the fridge, that means that the entire chiffonier can be devoted to table linens.

If all of the table linens are in the chiffonier, that frees up two drawers in the chest in the living room, which means that all of the kids' board games have a place, and the wicker chest in the corner can go bye-bye.

Et cetera.

The most exciting "move" on the mental chess board:  more-than-adequate pantry space in the actual kitchen means that:  the hallway broom closet that we converted into a pantry becomes my craft closet; the existing craft closet (in our bedroom) becomes, with the addition of some deep Elfa shelves, one-half off-season clothing storage and one-half throw pillow and blanket storage; and the second closet in C's room can be devoted entirely to kid storage.

Again, this excites me more than knowing that my house is aesthetically pleasing and/or structurally sound.

Being a good wife, I asked for permission to claim the hallway closet for a craft closet.  Okay, perhaps I didn't ask for permission so much as notify Spouse of my intent to appropriate.  But I did lay out my business case:  the hallway closet is one of those annoying closets that is as wide as the doorway plus a foot or so on either side of that opening.  As such, it totally sucked as a pantry, because anything stored to the left or right of the door opening was completely out of sight and, therefore, out of mind.  Lots of dead space.  Now - as a craft closet, those "wings" can be occupied by the random stuff that we only use once or twice a year, like birthday party supplies and fabric yardage.  The middle space I plan to fill in with the stuff I use all of the time.  Oh, and the Elfa rack on the inside of the door?  Perfect for ribbon and wrapping paper storage.

Didn't believe me, did you?  All you need to do is add a bungee cord to help corral the wrapping paper rolls.

Spouse agreed to my craft closet business plan, and I have already procured from The Container Store clear plastic shoe boxes and accessory boxes (half as deep as a shoe box but the same width) and sorted into them my decorative scissors, glue sticks, glue guns and so on.  Everything is getting a chalkboard label.  I have visions of a closet stacked with similarly-sized, chalkboard-labeled containers, the monotony being broken up by a single lazy susan (also already procured from The Container Store) bearing mason jars filled with paintbrushes and scissors and a sugar dispenser holding my twine.

Seriously, isn't that the cutest thing ever?  I have a serious twine addiction.  It is one of the most useful products ever invented by mankind.  It can be ribbon on a present in a pinch (perhaps you have heard of brown paper packages tied up with string?), you can use it to attach gift labels, and it's a great way to seal storage boxes when you cannot remember where you put the packing tape.  So I am now the proud owner of a sugar canister (purchased for ONE DOLLAH) to hold my twine.

Also planning on edging one of the shelves with a length of measuring tape.  You know, so that I can measure my twine, when measuring is needed, right there while I'm standing in front of the craft closet.  And then I can spin my bad-ass lazy susan and select a pair of scissors with which to cut said twine.

Now we're cooking with gas.

Floor space in the ex-pantry will accept my ginormous tackle box of acrylic paint and the equally ginormous Creative Memories tote which is now largely empty (on account of how I have already moved the scissors and cutters and other ephemera from my days as a "scrapper" into their own labeled clear plastic boxes).  This is a good thing, because the Creative Memories tote will be the perfect place to store the library of the boys' artwork that I rotate seasonally through the big magnetic chalkboard display wall.  I already have their artwork sorted into scrapbook sleeves . . . but those sleeves (ahem) have, to date, been stored in a two-gallon zip-top plastic bag shoved under the skirts in my clothes closet.  (I toss it, and then it slides back out, so then I stuff it.  It's all very scientific.)

So, let's review:

Creative Memories tote that formerly occupied a corner of the master bedroom proper:  in the new craft closet.

Kid artwork that was formerly (rather tenuously) wedged into the corner of my clothes closet:  in the Creative Memories tote.

Former craft closet:  ready to be converted into another use.

It's enough to make a girl weep with joy.  Seriously.

(Images above courtesy of Choose Craftiness' Blogspot blog, and Martha Stewart.  For links, visit my "Organize Me, Baby" Pinterest board at

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