Brooding On

Storage Problem Solved

The problem:  With 5 busy people in this house and all their school, dance, soccer, AWANA, bike, and cold weather gear, we were having trouble finding WHAT we needed WHEN we needed it.  And don't even get me started on shoes!
So, this pic is what we started with.  This armoire is actually a TV cabinet that we had been using as random storage.  (We sold it for $50 to a FaceBook friend.  That basically covered the entire cost of the project.)  The baskets below are holding the kids' shoes.  The doorway on the left leads to the garage, so this is a highly trafficked area and  one that was not working as hard for us as it could.  It was time for a redesign.
Below is where we were attempting to hang the myriad things we need to be able to grab on our way out the door.  To say that it is overcrowded is a gross understatement.

Solution:  Now, here is the solution I came up with for that wall.  The only thing that stayed was the mirror.  Everything else is new (well, not really "new," just repurposed).

And, here it is once we moved all our gear in.

Here's what I did.  I started with three stacking bookshelves that we already had and lined them up side by side to create a bench.  The collapsible fabric storage cubes hold the kids' shoes.  They each get two cubes and a small space for boots between their cubes.  Lots of stores have these cubes, but I got mine at Home Depot.  I like them because they have lots of color options and have the little pockets that allow you to label the contents of each box. 

To create the seat cushion on the bench, I repurposed an old closet door that we had in the garage, topped it with upholstery batting, and stapled on the fabric (which I already had).  Also in this picture is the 8 ft. piece of pine I bought to stain and use for the long row of knobs.  We bought knobs from IKEA (cheap) and mounted them to the board to create 15 hangers.

For the boot drying rack, I topped a rimmed baking sheet with a cooling rack.  It fit perfectly! Also, it took up the space at the end of the bench that was leftover once I had my cushion on.

For the top level of storage, we cut and painted some IKEA shelving that used to be in the playroom and added more Home Depot storage boxes. 

All told, this was a super-cheap project that allowed us to repurpose a lot of things we already had on hand and left us with a much more usable space.  And the "grab your shoes, backpack, and umbrella" part of our morning went a lot more smoothly today than it has tended to in the past.  :)