Before and After: A storage closet under $200


We have lived in this house for a year and I have to admit something: I’m not totally moved in. Things were shoved in closets on moving day with the idea that they would be carefully, lovingly, thoughtfully organized. Guess what? We had a baby instead.

Among the chaotic nooks was the small room where our furnace is. The room was never touched during the remodeling process and I’d never so much as dusted in there. It was getting crammed with random stuff, so much so that I worried I was going to burn the house down. There was no functional storage. I decided to give it a makeover before I killed us all. (The picture above is AFTER I took out all the piles. Except for that lovely roll of toilet paper.) The challenge: make it clean and functional for under $200.

Step one: Clean. I vacuumed, wiped down the walls and the window and used half a box of Swiffer pads on the floor. It was SO gross. Floor turned out to be gray, not brown! I let everything dry overnight.

Step two: Paint. I am totally not a fan of crazy paint colors, but there is something kind of freeing about painting the inside of a storage closet. I went to the Pantone section at Lowe’s and picked the shade that happened to appeal to me. It happened to be red. “Poppy Red.” The walls were full of holes. I did my best to patch what I could, and then just went for it. Sure they are rough looking, but it’s a closet! Doesn’t have to be perfect.

I also painted the floor with some charcoal-colored floor paint. That made a huge difference.

After that, I hung some Rubbermaid closet shelves. They require only a hammer, drill and level. Easy-breezy. And, finally, I replaced the light fixture with an industrial pendant. (My brother helped with that. No one was electrocuted.) I also happened to have new outlet covers lying around, so I switched them out. Here it is ready for some stuff:

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Total budget: Paint, $30, shelving, $150, new fixture, $30. Total spent: $210. Not too shabby.

Here it is in use. (The rug I had already. It’s a runner from Urban Outfitters, bought on super sale. Great place to buy sale rugs, fyi. And the wall art was a Christmas present from Aunt Barbara. )

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Julia Oโ€™Malley is a journalist who lives in Anchorage. She writes about culture, family, home, the environment and food in Alaska.

2 thoughts on “Before and After: A storage closet under $200

  1. NICE! I like the red as well. It makes it look cheery. And, don’t feel badly about not finishing the move-in. You’ve had other priorities, but it must be really nice to see it finished.

    Like

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