My wee house has only 3 closets. The wool room is a superb 8 feet by 4 feet. The closet in my room is not. It is pitifully small, a mere 30 inches wide as is the hall closet. Besides the wool room, there is a 60 whole inches of storage space. That is it. Zip. Nada anything else in the entire house. Apartments have more.
When I moved here, I changed out a full sized laundry pair in the laundry nook, to a stacked unit. The result adds another 38 inches of storage space. I bought a massive, sturdy resin shelf, 2 feet by 3 feet. It fits reasonably well and the price was right. The high parts hold the Christmas stuff, the deep, things I don't need very often, but wanted to keep and the fronts...
The fronts became a place for piles of small stuff. Piles of small stuff meant that a bunch of stuff that should have been on these shelves, had no place to go.
Like the tub full of cords and assorted things. Like that ironing board cover that kept falling off. Like the stuff I used to keep in the junk drawer. I have no junk drawer and as a lifetime believer in the necessity of a junk drawer somewhere in your home, this one really hurts.
Where do you keep the glue gun? The picture hangers? The wall anchors? The leftover bits from building all that Ikea furniture? The shoelaces you keep for emergency ironing board cover repairs? Stuff like that got tucked on the shelf in an assortment of bags and little containers and threatened to cascade down every time I walked by. A mess like that breeds mess. Pretty soon you start leaving the small screw drivers there instead of putting them in the nice and way to full tool box. You start to fear impalement from a cascade of little things!
If you don't have a broom closet, where do you keep your cleaning supplies? ( Always always keep cleaning products out of reach of small ones, even if you don't have a wee one in your home. I shudder every time I see an organiser blog that keeps them under the kitchen sink.)
All that stuff went to the shelves. It isn't what I want to see, right across from the main bathroom, right in the middle of where I pass a thousand times a day. It isn't a mess any more,
but it isn't really what you want sticking out in public. (Particularly the cleaning stuff. Best where the wee ones cannot see it too.)
A friend linked me to Spoonflower, where you can custom print the most amazing fabrics. That link should take you to the Spoonflower page for a book printed fabric. Wouldn't it be lovely to turn an ugly view of open shelves into books? Perfection.
But, at Chez Needles, we are all about making do, and using up. Besides, a print of that nature is a little dark for my only corner with no natural light.
What I do have is this.
It was once meant for my master bedroom for curtain panels, some pillows, and little accessories for an elegant bedroom that never quite happened. All that ever was completed was this. It now hangs on my display rod in my study, a sweet reminder of pretty dreams and a kind of stitching I love to do.
I made a cover for the shelving. A plain straight hanging curtain like thing that I am going to fix to the shelf with the sticky back velcro, accumulated while making dolly clothes. Once again, the most marvellous thing happened. This fabric is wide enough to go around the two exposed sides of the shelving. It will be tidy, right to the wall! That meant what I allotted for the wide side of the unit, is left over, at least another 4 feet by 60 inches of fabric...which got me to thinking about the space I haven't recovered yet.
That 3 foot by 4 foot space from the top of the shelves, over the dryer and all the way to the wall. That space that goes from plenty high to store bankers boxes to 3 feet high over the front of the dryer. Lots of delicious storage space for things like the Christmas tree. (digression alert)
I love Christmas, and am so sad that these last few years have left me bereft of Christmas spirit and decor. I am very much looking forward to Christmas and have all sorts of plans, but at the same time, I recognise the fundamental problem of Christmas. Where do you put it all? Currently, the tree is in that hall closet and I still don't have any outdoor decor (I mean to fix that this year.). There is zero room for coats in a closet traditionally intended for coats, and which I, personally, could really, really use for sweater storage. (end digression)
I mean to recover this space by putting shelving up there over the top of the washer/dryer. It will go all the way to the other wall and will sit on the top of the shelving, making the space on that last top shelf 6 feet wide and 3 feet deep! Masses of storage for all kinds of things. Why, there might even be room for the guest pillows and the down duvets I have (a project plan for another day).
I thought about expanding the shelf for a while now, but honestly, I didn't because having all that stuff, all those things, even stored in tidy containers on an organised shelf, open to the world, just becomes clutter. It's like having your basement in the hall. Clutter and feeling crowded breeds stress and angst. It detracts from an otherwise very nice home.
That large piece of fabric left from the shelf cover made this storage recovery happen. I intend to curtain that off as well. Again a flat plain curtain, hanging from a tensioned curtain rod or a shower rod, whichever is cheaper. There are only a few things to purchase to make it happen: a single piece of pre-finished shelving, some 1 x 6, a couple of brackets, a pack of wall anchors and the rod. And then I will sit and wait for my assistant to arrive. (The assistant is tall and he can reach all this stuff. He can also move the washer and dryer. The price is a nice chicken stir fry. I got it covered.)
I intend to knit. And rest. I chased grandkids yesterday. I'm tired. I will contemplate why our creator made small children move so fast and grandparents move so slow.