A few months back as I was frantically trying to get the kids ready for school, something happened.
Yup! Wanna know where?...Believe it or not, right INTO my entryway closet. Yes, you read that right. As I was shuffling through the collection of coats and backpacks on the floor (because that's where they live, duh) of my extremely cluttered entryway closet, and was simultaneously fighting with my vacuum hose and elbowing my way through random empty hangers... I lost my balance on a ziplock bag full of batteries and FELL... right onto the floor in the closet.
(aka: the dark pit of clutter-prone despair)
From the outside, this closet doesn't seem to appear as much of a threat or pit... just a regular ol' coat closet.
And even in these next pictures you can see that it doesn't look so bad (because I actually picked it up, for the photo) but let me assure you, this random, space-sucking-dumping-ground has definitely been an issue for us in this house! It never stays clean, there is virtually no storage, and the huge 36 inch door either has to be completely open or shut to allow for anyone to even pass through the already small entryway.
So, on with my story... while I was sitting on the ground in our embarrassingly messy closet and coats continued to tumble down on top of me, I realized something...
This closet was actually really HUGE!
Literally it was just a big open cavity of space that had been installed under this decorative garden shelf and it was TOTALLY being wasted! I then stood up and starting taking inventory of how deep the closet was on each side and even knocked on the walls a bit to quickly do a "is there anything really behind here" test and surprisingly, nothing seemed to be in my way from making this closet a LOT more functional!
Once I realized this fact, I pretty much did what any normal DIY girl would do, who just realized that there was an un-decorated space in her house that COULD be better organized and utilized...
I started ripping everything out, throwing it on the floor and grabbed my hammer.
Once I had most everything down in the closet, that I could do on my own without any major tools... I called in reinforcements. (aka: My Dad). Only a few hours later he pulled up with his truck full of goodies and we were elbow deep into a full closet demo in no time flat.
Welcome, my friends to a short little series on my blog that will now be referred to as:
Part one of this series will be...
How to effectively remove a door, it's molding and casing from a wall, in just 3 easy steps!
Step1: Use a utility knife and cut into any caulk or putty that has been used to gap spaces between pieces of molding on your wall or trim.
Step 2: Using a large and small crowbar, start to work your way under the trim around your door and pull back the molding to remove it.
Step 3: Once your molding is all removed, take a crowbar and wiggle free the door casing. At this point, you may also need to remove any door shims and/or use a hammer to bang the casing free out of it's tight fit.
Ta-da! Now you're door is out! Wasn't that so easy!?
I have to say that people remodel their homes everyday, but knowing simple steps to removing a door with the LEAST amount of damage is definitely some valuable information, don't you think!? When Cason and I did this for the first time, in another location in our home, we just stood there and weren't even quite sure where to start! So even though this little mini tutorial may be common knowledge for SOME of you, I have to say that I would have appreciated it about 2 years ago when we were starting in on our home remodel and were totally clueless.
Okay, so now that the door was gone, and the shelving unit was outta there, we were in business! With no plans at all, just my wild dreams of a beautifully organized, functional spaces in my head and my Dad's insanely-impressive knowledge of all things home improvement... we started in on sketching out lines for a larger space.
Since we were taking risks and goin' all "This Old House style" up in this space, I knew that we HAD to find the best way to really create a feeling of a larger overall entryway for our home. So with a little guidance from my 'handyman' telling me what I could and couldn't do... I decided to take my little hallway closet to the MAX!
Let the drywall cutting begin!
First we started by measuring out where we wanted our cuts to be with a level and pencil. Then in order for us to make sure we had the straightest lines, we used a chalk string marker.
Once everything was measured and marked correctly we got out our multipurpose tool, attached on the drywall saw blade and went to town!
Demo Tip: Be smarter then me and COVER any furniture that you don't want blanketed in a 2-inch-thick pile of fine, hard to clean-up drywall dust, BEFORE you start cutting into your walls. Bleehk!
Guess who came home from work riiiiight at this point in the demolition process?...
Welcome home honey! (blush)
So... something you have to know about me and my Dad, is that we are VERY similar. Both a bit OCD, very creatively hands-on, and quite a determined people. So once we had made up our minds that this project was happening... we may or may not have just jumped in head first with little explanation to the somewhat clueless guy on the right (in the above photo), about what was REALLY goin' down. ha!
No worries though, once he got his head wrapped around it and I frantically explained my "vision" he hopped right on that crazy train and started sketching and brainstorming along side us.
While the cutting process was underway, my Dad and Cason yelled at me... "Okay, figure out what you want to do next, Shelley!" Gah! I honestly can't tell you what a HUGE rush this was for me. Building and designing something from scratch! Literally able to make all of the decisions on my own, so that my space turned out EXACTLY how I wanted it! So my first stop, was Pinterest... of course.
There have already been SO MANY great closet/mudroom transformations done and posted online, so I wanted to get a feel for a few of my favorites and what elements I liked BEST in them, before I did anything else.
Here were a few photos that I really loved:
After a little inspiration, I shut down the computer and the next few weeks were full of hardware store trips, sketching, painting, painting and ... oh, did I mention painting!?
Stay tuned for part 2 of our Project: "Entryway Closet makeover" series.
It will be all about how we planned and implemented the perfect customizable look for our new entryway nook! (also known as... The Fun Stuff!)
Till then... Happy Tuesday!