Around the Home 002: Open Shelves DIY Closet Makeover
Welcome to the second installment of “Around the Home” which shares of all the projects and adventures we have going on around the house. It may include any organizing, cleaning or tidying tips, or some home improvement projects we're working on. This post is all about our closet DIY makeover.
This week's theme is all about ACHIEVEMENT. Since I work in the education field, I definitely get the term “achievement” pounded into my head, and it usually has to do with test results. But for as long as I can remember, I don’t think I’ve subscribed to that idea of achievement. When I think achievement I think of completing something. I think of the feeling after a job well done, or the feeling of starting a project and seeing it through to the end.
Now by that definition I should be getting a dose of dopamine each time I complete my laundry for the week. I kid, I kid. But for serious, I think that achievement has more to do with putting in effort and blood, sweat in tears into creating something. Whether it’s crafting a skill, running that mile under your goal time, building that headboard, or baking that cake, I think that the effort and patience put into the final product is what creates that sense of accomplishment. So needless to say, I definitely felt like a boss after redoing TJ’s closet with this DIY Closet Makeover.
We knew we wanted some type of open shelving in this makeover. TJ has a limited amount of space available in his "closet" (e.g., spare room) due to the lack of furniture there. We just don't have the time or money to invest in new closet furniture or wardrobes until our next home so we're making due with what we have. And that means a lot of open shelves.
It also means a lot of mess.
So when we thought about what he needed, everything seemed to be piling up on the floor (see below, in all its glory). We needed to go vertical.
Knowing that we needed to go vertical let us know we'd need to be making a trip for open shelves. I knew that I wanted this DIY closet makeover to be done on a dime, so I had previously looked into the brackets and shelves. I also measured and knew we had 66 inches of space between the two shelves.
Seriously. This man is hurting for some vertical storage. (And some neat and tidy organizing ;) which is where me and my iced tea come in).
We started out by making a trip to our local Menards and knew exactly what types of shelves plus brackets we wanted.
I may have been a bit more excited than TJ for this trip.
We walked right over to the shelving/closet section and found some wonderful boards we figured would be perfect. We really liked the "cottage" finish and chose these because other boards would need to be sanded. The finish on these was perfect for clothes because the little splinters on real wood boards would snag clothes. That and we figured real wood would be pretty heavy on the brackets we wanted to install.
Second step involved getting some brackets for these nearly 12 inch boards. We settled on these black 8 inch ones.
Because of our drywall, I knew we would want some mounting screws. I picked up this package for about $2.
I am soooo happy I walked around the other side to find that the boards were only $11 versus the other sticker price of $14. Every dollar counts!
Because the boards were just a bit too long at 8 feet, and we needed 5 feet 6 inches, we had the guys at Menards cut the boards. Now not going to lie, because they used a miter saw, the edges did not line up well and I spent 1 hour sanding down the edges to get them somewhat even. Next time I'll have my dad teach me how to use our handsaw (I'm still too scared to do this on my own) so that I can get a clean cut. I was a bit bummed with this process, since it took asking 4 people where we could get them cut, one staff member telling me they didn't do this, (yes, Menards, I know you can do this. We've done this before) and 40 minutes before getting just two boards cut. Oh well, next time I'll know better.
Once we got home I started by clearing out the room. I measured between the shelves and got some blue painters tape, put it in a "straight" line across 55 inches (so there would be 5 inches on each side of the brackets), and then put a straight edge level on top of the painters tape to see if my guide was level. Once I adjusted it, I drilled holes in the wall for the mounts before hammering the little plastic guys into the wall. Then I held up the brackets to the wall, put a screw in, lined it up with the mounts, and pushed the button on our cordless drill.
I did this a total of 6 times to get the brackets set before putting on the boards. Once we got the boards on the brackets I set the level on top to make sure they were straight. Some were better than others due to the screws adjusting the brackets ever so slightly, but overall the little bubble was between the two lines or juuuuust slightly outside of it.
Not going to lie, I was pretty proud of this. TJ had to head off to practice to help with the local high school's baseball team, so I got all of this done independently. There were a few curse words, some scrapes and bruises, but overall I like the look of how it turned out.
CARVING OUT TIME FOR PROJECTS IS A MUST
What I learned about this is that I need to carve out time to complete projects. I have such a creative energy that I often find myself lying on the couch thinking “get up and do something!” and struggle to just start. How many of you have found yourself scrolling through instagram for an hour and half and then realize you’ve run out of time to start something productive? Me times 10. If I haven’t planned for success ahead of time, by say, getting the dishes done the night prior or getting out the supplies I need, I will definitely let projects build up.
And what happens then is I feel a sense of worthlessness and failure. Definitely not the feeling of achievement I’m striving for.
So what I do throughout the week is set myself up for time to complete weekend projects. If I need tools or supplies, I’ll stop on my way home from work. I might make sure that the physical space I need to complete the project is clear and tidy so that there is room for work. I might also mentally (or realistically) schedule time into my week or calendar so that a block of time is dedicated to the project I want to complete. I also tend to listen to podcasts right before starting something so that I have a mental coach or motivation to get started.
After reflecting, I’m super curious about what you all do to feel accomplished and seek achievement in your life. Do you have any tips or tricks for this?
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