Of all my projects, this might be one of the more mundane, but it was a game changer for me. Let me set up the scene.
When I moved into my house, the built-in closet doors did not shut and even if the doors weren’t too big for the openings, both of the cabinet latches on them were broken. So, to keep the doors closed, I would push them in until they wedged themselves shut. Not to mention that this weirdly-sized closet didn’t really provide good storage. Two rods ran the width (not the length, like a normal closet) and that was all. It wasn’t ideal, and I lived with it like that for over a year and a half before one day I woke up and decided to do something about it.
If you look at this picture, you can hopefully see the painted-over cabinet latches (who does that?!) and the doors that don’t quite close.
So one weekend I added shelving. I used the existing duct work as the distance for my first shelf and then put another shelf to make them fairly equal distance. I cut the wood, primed it, and installed the shelving.
Then I painted, caulked, and then painted again. Then I decided to use some MDF trim pieces to edge out the shelves (this makes the shelves look like they’re 2″ thick and minimizes the parts of the brackets you can see).
Then the next weekend I planed down the closet doors (on the hinges), then removed the doors, sanded down the rough spots, spackled holes, sanded the spackle, cleaned the hardware, primed bare spots, reinstalled the doors on their hinges, painted everything (including the backside of the doors), and then installed new cabinet latch hardware on the front.
For the first time since I moved in, this closet is actually functional (in both storage and operation).
It was much longer than I’m used to for my projects– usually a weekend is all it takes, but the difference blows me away. It still looks pretty similar to what it did before (especially from the outside), but now I’ve gained a ton of useable space. Now it’s hard to remember back to the wedged doors and wasted space.
Here’s a before and after: