There is one thing about my house that I don’t particularly love… and it’s that I don’t have a formal entryway. My front door is next to my fireplace, right in my living room. You just walk right in. If I could extend the area and add on an entryway area, I would. And maybe if I stay here, eventually I will.
This also means that there is no entryway closet either, but there is this little closet under the stairs and on the other side of it, in the little hallway to the right that leads to the stairwell to the garage – still a favorite space – and to my office, there’s a sort of tucked in open closet (across from the little bench you see in the photo above) where I hang all my coats and leave the shoes I wear more frequently.
Well this little closet under the stairs had very little function and while it began as a place I stored the dog leashes and my foam rollers (workout gear) and other little necessary items I didn’t want left out in the living room, it had eventually become the place where I’d just throw extra blankets and pillows and everything else I had no place for. Essentially, a junk closet. It was a mess. See for yourself…
What an embarrassing mess! I am a person who prefers organized closets, for everything to “have a home” and when I’m not using it, it goes back to its home because I don’t like clutter, but this closet had become the home to all the things that didn’t have a home.
Recently, and with a little help, I decided to clean it out and add a few little shelves just to make it a little more functional and it made a HUGE DIFFERENCE. It really turned a completely useless space into a space that has purpose now. The large drywalled box you see, which unfortunately takes up most of the walkable floor space, is the chase for the heater return vent and can’t really be moved. .
Here’s a look at the whole closet before and after the shelves were hung…
We bought the pre-laminated wood shelves in a rustic color that closely matched my home in two different sizes and using simple white brackets, staggered the shelves around the three walls to try to get the most of the space. I actually loved the contrast between the wood shelves and white brackets, which I felt added a modern touch, so that made it super easy. Without having to stain any wood (though we did have to cut one piece down) it was a simple project that took about an hour or so and has really made SUCH a difference in how I can utilize the space now.
We also hung a little rustic wire basket with hooks along the bottom on the inside of the door for the dog leashes and any random little stuff I may need to store there. I think it works perfectly. Here’s the exact basket I bought from amazon.
While at first I really wanted to use it as mostly an entryway closet, it ultimately morphed into a combination entryway/DVD closet, because yes, I still have a ridiculously huge DVD collection, even after separating out the ones that I no longer wanted.
AND while it’s far prettier as an entryway closet, I thought it would be important to show you how I really ended up using the space, though the photos are far less interesting (lol).
But either way, it makes me happy knowing that what’s behind that little door under the stairs is neat and tidy and far more functional than a mass of random stuff that never had a home.
Below: This corner has gone through so many plants, it’s sad actually. The return heater vent blows almost directly on it, so they don’t have a chance, though I did have one elephant ear that lasted almost a year… generally they don’t last long at all. This is the first time trying a money tree here and I love the fuller look. We’ll see how long it lasts though.
* See this little corner in June 2013 for a look back at my living room evolution.
Does it make you feel better after organizing a space or closet? It definitely does it for me… like removing the clutter and chaos externally (even if behind a door) also removes a little clutter and chaos internally.
Have you guys been cleaning out your house this new year? It seems like the perfect time to do it and get a fresh start.