Monday, August 17, 2015

Storage Solutions

Well, we've only got a week left until school starts and as usual, we've crammed a ton of work into the last few days.  We are settling into the newly painted room, and the painter just finished in the kitchen about an hour ago, so things are starting to fall into place.  And not a moment too soon, since my parents are scheduled to arrive for a visit tomorrow.

So the whole motivation behind switching bedrooms was to come up with a better storage solution for all of our clothes.  For months now, Lance has been working on an idea for a clothing rack that can go in the bedroom and will look like a nice piece of furniture instead of just a generic rack.  His inspiration was something like this one from Oilfield Slang:

Big Bertha Industrial Garment Rack

However, we've found that most racks like this cost upwards of $900, and we were looking for a more affordable solution. Up until this point the only expenses we've had for this room have been paint, primer, and new curtains* (and of course blood, a LOT sweat, and even a few tears), so we weren't looking to break the bank on a clothes rack. 

*not counting the trip to the ER when Lance's back seized up after carrying the table tops by himself...

Luckily, Lance found some old table tops that he was able to get for free, so all we had to buy were the iron pipes.  This required going to a couple of different stores to get enough pieces and I was surprised to find how much a bunch of pieces of pipe cost (though still WAY cheaper to build it ourselves). Overall, we ended up using somewhere around $200 for the pipes (I'm not sure of the exact costs, since we made some last minute changes and have quite a bit of pipe left over to return to the store). 

The design for the rack went through countless revisions, and for a couple of months now, I have been finding sketches like this one all over the house:

First it was going to have two shelves on the bottom and be L-shaped, then we decided to eliminate one of the bottom shelves to leave room to store laundry baskets underneath. Then we made it shorter than originally planned and opted out of making it L-shaped because it would take up too much space. Even today when we were putting it together, we decided to attach the top shelf differently so that it would be a little lower (ie so that I could actually reach it). The nice thing is that the pipes just screw together, so it isn't too hard to change things up as needed. 

Lance started by cutting the boards down to size- which required some assistance from his stepdad since the boards are super heavy and I am waaay too much of a weakling to help hold them steady on the table saw. 

Then he stained and put on a couple of coats of poly and attached flanges to the bottom.

Finally today we were able to put the whole thing together! 

We had to put wood pieces under a couple of the feet because of course our floors aren't level (NOTHING in this house is level or square! It makes me think of the Weasley's house from Harry Potter). 

I feel like this makes our bedroom look like a Banana Republic store :)  I'm also acutely aware of the lack of color variation in our wardrobes! We are planning to put either metal or wood bins on the top shelf and possibly on the bottom, too.  

In the closet, we also added a second clothes bar and some hooks to give us even more storage space (obviously we aren't done moving all the clothes in there yet).

Overall this has been a really good opportunity to purge a LOT of things from both the bedroom and the kitchen.  I think we will be dropping off a pretty big load of stuff to St. Vinny's this week! And now, I should go get started moving things back into the newly painted kitchen! 

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