Making a mudroom out of a molehill

In January 2014, back in the old townhouse, we had the good folks at Closet Factory come in to design and build a fancy hall closet for us. Took a day, looked real nice, cost some good money. It took us another four months to get a guy to install closet doors. Took two different contractors, looked real nice, also cost us some more good money.

Then we moved out a few months later. Dammit!

Here we are in the new house, and while we have a closet for coats on the main floor, there’s no true mudroom. When we come through the garage into the laundry room, we stacked our shoes on an old Linens ‘N Things era metal shoe stand, but shoes were always falling off. Backpacks were strewn about the laundry room floor. Kids jackets and coats were sometimes hung on wall hooks, but fell off.

The mess threatened our very existence. My smart beautiful vivacious wife couldn’t sleep at night, concerned about our family’s very survival against the insurmountable mess directly below our bedroom. We considered burning down the house and starting fresh.

The mess was annoying.

We called Closet Factory to come in again, but the price estimate was high. Namita did some good research, and learned that some folks had purchased specific furniture from IKEA and other items, and created their own mudroom for a fraction of the price. We were sold. Well, she was sold, but I was frankly a little intimidated by the project. A lot of brand new territory in the world of home improvement, and I certainly didn’t have all the expertise, know-how, or tools to do it.

We returned from our Nashville trip during Labor Day weekend (Saturday), and we went to IKEA on Sunday with a shopping list. We also went to Home Depot to get some of the other items, like white paneling. The kids and I were soon dismantling and removing the shoe stand and wall hooks, opening heavy IKEA boxes, and assembling furniture.

Our friendly neighborhood Jason offered to come over to help with the tools and know-how. It took some time, and an additional trip to Home Depot, to get the top cabinet installed, the wainscoting / paneling up, but this bad boy is….. still in progress. At least it’s in use though. Here’s the rundown:

1. The furniture is assembled and in place, and the two bookshelves are now secured to the wall.
2. I used the new impact driver to tighten up the wall supports.
3. We still need to paint the wooden supports for the top cabinet.
4. I need to place some shims under the bookshelves to ensure they stay level and are fully supported.
5. I need to put the floorboards back on the wall on either side of the new unit. This requires measuring and cutting the one large piece into two separate pieces.
6. I need to install the new coat hooks with the strongest wall anchors I can find.

And that’s it. Done. And it will still be cheaper than $2000. Also, we get some new tools and experience in the process. The person who came up with this idea and posted their ideas online also jazzed theirs up with crown molding and other little touches. We’re not sure if we’ll do all that, but I’m considering it for aesthetics.

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