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It may be just another closet to you …

… but to me, it’s a project nearing completion.

Besides, it’s actually two closets. And it’s what you get when you have a long hallway left over after your plans have been repeatedly unplanned by reality.

Here I’m standing at the back of the second (utility) closet, looking into the nicer clothes-closet-to-be.

The clothes closet portion has a tongue-and-groove wood ceiling, which I installed yesterday (a pleasant job, for a change). And it will have proper baseboard and crown moldings.

Here I’m standing in the clothes area looking back into the utility closet.

Befitting a utility closet, it’s much more utilitarian. No wood ceiling. Non-fancy 1×4 trim. And yes, ExpatNJ, it has potential to be a short-term safe room, especially given that water and some food will be stored there. But for the moment, the two closets will be divided only by a curtain, so it’s not a secure room at all and may never be.

Here’s detail of the ceiling. I love this lightweight T&G pine. It’s attractive, inexpensive, and easy to put up. Same stuff I used on the bedroom ceiling.

The clothes closet is seven feet long and will have a customizable wall-mounted organizer plus a couple storage cabinets. The back closet is five feet long and will remain ugly as sin. But it will fit the water heater, one large steel storage rack, two small wall-mounted racks, a hanger for brooms and mops, plus enough space left over to collect random junk. Always an important function for any closet. 😉

Tomorrow I prep the floor (removing staples and old carpet bits and filling cracks), sand it lightly, and paint it gray. Then baseboard and crown moldings are all that’s left to do. Aside from hanging the bi-fold doors that have been cluttering up the house since I found them at a long-ago charity sale.

Can’t hang doors until after The Wandering Monk returns, bringing needed bits he promised last month. So let’s hope he does return. The signs look good for him making an appearance next week.

So yep, it’s just a closet to you. But to me it’s not only a project nearly done; it’s the godsend that will finally let me — after almost five years! — begin storing awkward and homeless items in their proper, and final, places.

And remember, I started out back then buying a house with not one, single closet in it. Not a coat closet. Not a bedroom closet. Not a pantry. Not a linen closet. Nada. Unless you count that unthinkable monstrosity I’ve showed you before. And you wouldn’t count that, would you?


  1. rochester_veteran
    rochester_veteran January 4, 2018 2:51 am

    Nice job, Claire! I like that tongue in groove wooden ceiling!

  2. MamaLiberty
    MamaLiberty January 4, 2018 2:51 am

    Do you have a drain in that closet for the water heater? It’s a very good thing to have. Many years ago, the bottom of a water heater burst and the hot water flooded the small closet it was in, then seeped under the wall and flooded a storage room. I wasn’t home at the time, so everything in the storage room that was on the floor was destroyed. A good part of the wall and the floor was destroyed right along with everything else. It was a very expensive disaster.

  3. Cindylou
    Cindylou January 4, 2018 6:55 am

    I agree with Mama Liberty… drain that sucker. Our builder put a separate water heater in our bedroom… plenty for us to always have, right? Well, there is no drain for it. We’re on a thick cement slab (Florida) so no afforadable option to re-plumb. The water heater has failed twice. We’re on out third… and we put in commercial grade. Each time we dealt with massive flooding in our carpeted closet and bedroom. Believe me, you won’t regret it, and the home you’re in, with all its headaches, is easily plumbed for a drain.

  4. Claire
    Claire January 4, 2018 7:03 am

    There’s no drain — yet. But thanks ML and Cindylou for raising the issue. Although that water heater is only a few years old, I worry about it going bad. And Cindylou is right that it would be easy to add a drain.

    I’m sorry you two had to learn the hard way …

  5. Comrade X
    Comrade X January 4, 2018 9:59 am

    I hope somewhere in all of this remodeling there was a not so obvious compartment added, just a thought.

  6. larryarnold
    larryarnold January 4, 2018 4:00 pm

    Me too on the drain. Our water heater is in the laundry room, which is not drained. (Slab-on-grade, like most homes here.)

    It was our washer that decided to flood. Fortunately the floor is a step down, and the overflow went into the garage. Which was bad enough, but not a disaster.

    Down here the (electric) water heater has to be up on a stand, off the floor. It supposedly prevents it from igniting any vapors from the garage.

    Your utility closet looks as nice as the ones in our bedrooms.

    Yeah, stuff accumulates to fill the space available. I was doing an architecture project once, a kitchen renovation. The other students all blocked the space over the refrigerator, where I added a cabinet. The students said it was unusable, because it was too hard to reach. The prof opened the existing cabinet, which was crammed with the Christmas platter, the Thanksgiving turkey-roasting pan, and other such once-a-year items. There’s a reason older-than-traditional students get better grades.

  7. Mike
    Mike January 5, 2018 12:56 pm

    It looks like things are coming along well and I’m glad to see there is a glimmer of light at the end of the tunnel. The pine is a nice touch and, if the wood is not sealed, the faint smell of wood is always a good thing.

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