Cubby Love

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)

And these…

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? 

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Filed under DIY Tips, Projects, The Lottery House

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