Let’s be honest: in spite of the fact that our house seems to be fairly well organized, there are a few skeletons in the closets. Namely, the master closet. If you promise not to share this picture with my mom, I’ll let you in on a little secret:
My side of the closet is a hot mess. The worst part? It’s looked like a train wreck for ages. So every morning, I have the joy of stumbling over the pigsty on the floor while I try to pick out work clothes or pack my gym bag. Not exactly a lovely way to start the day, truth be told.
So, in an attempt to tame the mess, Tony and I built a 2-cubby storage bench from the amazing Ana White. The plan was for a 3-cubby bench, but space limitations took us down to just 2 cubbies. Once the build was done, the next step was caulking the seams and using wood filler on screw holes and knots in the wood.
I slathered on the wood filler (this was still in my “more is more” stage)… and got tired head just thinking about all the sanding I was going to have to do. So the storage bench became a permanent fixture on top of our work space in the garage, which was 1. inconvenient and 2. insane.
Nonetheless, it camped out there for well over a year, until the hubby politely requested that I get my storage bench outta the garage. So I set the tired-head aside and sanded for a million years (using an electric hand sander and also doing some manual sanding). Next up was priming the bench with some Kilz…
Then it was time for a top coat (or 5). I used some leftover paint from my Union Jack project to my storage bench looking bright and white. I cut in using a small sponge brush, and relied on a mini foam roller to get nice, even coverage on the body of the piece. The last step was adding a protective coat of Minwax (we use water-based Polycrilic in a satin finish) to keep my storage bench from getting damaged by the hustle and bustle of closet life. Pardon the junky picture!
With my bench painted and ready to roll, I had just one thing left to do: find some baskets so the bench could live up to its storage requirements. Of course, this was where I ran into some major issues. There were lots of baskets I loved, like these…
Crate & Barrel Sedona storage tote (too deep)
World Market’s Julia lined baskets (too short and too deep)
Or these (swoon)…
Wisteria’s insanely cute lined wire baskets (too short. Sigh)
What I needed was an 11-inch cube, and none of these super cute options would even fit into my storage bench. The best fit I could find was in Target’s Closet Maid Cubeicals storage bins, which lack a little something in the looks department (you can also find them online at Amazon.com).
They do maximize my storage space, at 10.5″ W x 10.5″ D x 11″ H, and they were cheap, so they had a few characteristics in their favor. I’m definitely still on the lookout for some cuter (but still economical) baskets, but I also had a wild idea that some grosgrain ribbon stripes could add a little pizzazz to the front of my baskets.
Pizzazz or no, it’s pretty killer to be able to walk across the closet floor without tripping on boots, hats, or goodness-knows what else. All told, we spent about $3o on the wood to build this project, $0 on finishing supplies, and $12 for the baskets. Not bad for a solid wood piece that’s custom-built to our closet’s dimensions!
Yay for a little bit of new-year organization. Have you tackled any organization projects so far this year? Am I the only one with a closet that could double as a garage sale?