Saturday, December 31, 2011

Coat Cubbies

I thought our system of having a couple hooks for coats & hats worked acceptably... Until winter hit.

Last spring, I put up two hooks outside the closet; One for the kids, one for us (and one in the closet for my purse and diaper bag).  But soon sweatshirts were replaced by light jackets, replaced by heavy jackets, and finally replaced by a layering of both the heavy and light jackets.  One hook for two sweatshirts = fine.  One hook for 4 coats, a light jacket, and an occasional purse = the picture below.

This was hook was actually under a pile of clothes when I found it.

So in the meantime we were back to the old standard of coat 'hanging'.  And since I'm already complaining, our mittens and hats storage needed some help too.  Several years ago I made some cute bins out of a few old diaper wipes boxes and scrapbooking paper.  Those worked well at first, but as we had more heads and hands to cover we found they weren't spacious enough.  There was always an avalanche when I both put them up and took them down. Finding stuff was a pain too. They were stored up higher than I could see, I always had to take at least one (usually all) of them down to get what I wanted. It always seemed like we had way too many of offseason hats and no current ones.  Plus things there was no way the kids could put their stuff away themselves.   Bleh. 

Unfortunately, it was usually all over the floor and not piled up like this.
So, we were back to occasionally hanging up coats when we feel like it (sometimes breaking those stupid plastic hangers), but usually just tossing our coats on the floor with other outerwear and bags.  But no longer!

After a couple days of begging, my husband approved my taking on another project.  I decided to keep it simple and only make two cubbies and to put some sort of simple shelf on the bottom of the cubbie.   I also wanted to be able to hang up the offseason clothes on one side of the closet, and as we're renting, I didn't want to invest to much into the design/materials.   I'm hoping to repurpose this wood if doesn't work in our next home.   A quick online search told me the baskets I was planning to get from Target were 10.5" wide, but I opted to give us more coat room and build it 12.5" wide and hope for the best.

Once the design was done we were off to the lumber store.  I bought (3) 12" x  8'  x 3/4" and (3) 2-packs of hooks.  The screw I had, but I'll add them to the cost as well.  It was around $53 for the lumber, hooks, and screws, which was more than I was hoping, but still within what I was willing to put out.  I came home and started working on it right away.  The usefulness to construction difficulty has got to be the highest ratio of projects I've done.

I used my inexpensive mini krieg jig and a powerful corded power drill for the pocket holes, hand saw for the cuts, and my stupid-can't-hold-a-charge-cordless-drill for setting the screws... and it still took only about 1.5- 2 hours to get to the point below, despite a one-year-old's 'help' and the stupid cordless power drill.  After adding in the a couple boards for backing and hooks, I stopped at this point to wait until I bought baskets; I wanted make sure I got the height of the shelves right (and go to bed).  That turned out to be an even better decision than I expected.

I really wanted to get the project completely finished, so despite being a bit small for the space at 10.5" x 10.5", I was planning on settling on bins I knew I could find same day and not shopping around. I was planning on picking up some of Targets standard baskets, which were on sale for $5.99 this week.  However, I got totally lucky and instead found baskets in their 'dollar store' section up front.  They were perfect!  Only $2.50 each and 12" x12"!  Just the width and depth of the space I was hoping to fill.  I went home, found the right height for the shelves and fitted those in! 

 I'm really happy with it so far.  I moved the winter hats, mittens and babylegs out of the boxes above into the black bins.  I left the summer stuff, sunglasses and some of the less frequently used winter stuff up top.  It really great to have those separated.  It actually feels like the number of hats and mittens we own has doubled just by having them all together.  Really.  I've already found it so much easier to find winter accessories and put them away when I'm done. And also very important....  My floor now can be used for it's intended purpose- walking!

1 comment:

Jorge said...

Hello Cassie

I've spent 4 years of my life (my wife too) trying to make our house look like "our dream", that is a big amount of time and money, and many things that can't be measured like sweat and sometimes even blood, but I have never been able to make a piece of furniture...

You make easy things that look hard, and you look too a DIY-PRO, congratulations!