15 Jul 2013

The Great Bedroom Closet Project of Aught-Twelve

Wherein I start a project, discover a trap door, and eventually realize I need a better plan than ‘build some shelves’.

So in other words, Tuesday.

Years ago I cleared floor space with the brilliant discovery that an old dresser fit neatly in my bedroom closet. Between that, a tie rack discovered… somewhere, and existing hooks and nails, the closet had functioned fine, if somewhat unimpressively, for storing the bulk of my clothes.


Long time readers of this blog (Ezra? You still out there?) may recall the one addition of significance to this closet, a shelf made of reclaimed tongue-and-groove boards. That added some capacity to what is ultimately a small, under-stairs closet, but ultimately this space needed a Plan. Shelves would need to be built. Hooks re-positioned. Perhaps a robot butler could be added, thereby reducing the hours I spend in sartorial confusion.

But before any of those options could be given serious consideration, I needed to know with what I dealt. I needed to clear the closet all the way, back to bare walls.




I was wondering where that went.


And under the lovely, fifty-plus-year-old yellow carpet, is fifty-plus-year-old tar paper.

This bit of baseboard was added over the carpet.
I decided to pull it and possibly add it back later.



Here’s where things got interesting. I was rolling up the tar paper when something odd caught my eye:


That looks remarkably like a hinge, I thought to myself because saying
it out loud when working on my own would just be foolish.

There are a very few places in my house that have not been thoroughly explored or their secrets otherwise laid bare by various cleanings, paintings, movings, or improvings. Said places at this point are the crawl space under the back room, and anything with wall-to-wall carpet. That includes this little closet… until now:


Its presence: awesome. Its purpose? Not clear. It goes straight to the basement, and not a particularly particular part of the basement. Presumably it predates the installation of the gas and water lines. My guess is it was access from the kitchen to cellar storage, back when the house was built and the staircase didn’t yet exist.

Neat as this is, I’m not looking to add an escape chute to the closet. Yet. With the floor boards uncovered for the first time in decades, I thought a good sanding was in order. 80 and then 120 grit on a random orbit sander took less than an hour. I’ll have a separate post about debating stains and sealants.


So now I have a cleared closet, with a sanded floor and a trap door bonus. Fresh, empty, ready to be molded into a proper clothes-storing-system.


 And all of my clothes are in the living room. I should figure this out quickly…


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