Back in September, I converted the closet in my sons’ shared bedroom into an office for my oldest son, Jack. I was able to rescue a curbside castaway table and repurpose half of it for the desk. (I gave the other half away to a DIY Del Ray reader who completed a similar desk install.) Jack was ecstatic when the desk was finished, rushing home from school to do his homework in the privacy of his own office, working on top-secret presents during the Christmas holidays.
But I wasn’t done yet, there was still the issue of storage and lighting before I could call this hack a success. Finally, five months later, the office transformation is now complete.
For lighting, I added a desk lamp connected with an extension cord to the outlet behind the dresser outside the closet. I also found a bulletin board on Freecycle for the left wall where Jack can proudly display cherished mementos such as certificates of achievement and sporting event ticket stubs.
On the desk itself, Jack keeps a box full of art supplies and his oatmeal can of colored pencils.
Along the back wall, I hung one large shelf and two ledge shelves for Jack’s growing collection of football action figures. I had purchased the shelves from IKEA a while back for other projects, but never used them. His favorite figure, of course, is Redskins quarterback Robert Griffin III of whom he has an action figure and a football card.
In this photo, check out the odd way the manufacturers characterized former Green Bay Packers QB Brett Favre (#4). All the other football figures are wearing their full jerseys, pants and cleats, but Favre is sporting a half-shirt, layered shorts and what appears to be tennis shoes. Why Brett? Why are you showing off so much skin? What did you do to deserve this? (Yes, that’s Justin Bieber behind RGIII.)
The final storage necessity was a place to store books. Previously, the kids’ books were stacked on an ugly particle board shelf in the room and scattered throughout the living room downstairs. After weeding out the “baby books” and videos and either freecycling or passing along to friends with younger kids, we had more space for the books the kids actually still liked to read. Adios Wiggles, it’s been real!
I’ve been working on a similar decluttering project in our basement, and in doing so, cleared off an entire bookcase that was the perfect fit for underneath the desk. Jack and his younger brother Calvin were adamant about organizing the books on their new shelf themselves, which was just fine with me! (Note ugly particle board shelf, below right.)
In the end, I think they did quite a good job — I can tell where they get their organizing genes.
And best of all, now we can get rid of the ugly particle board shelf that stood between the closet and the dresser.
To make it more convenient for the boys to read when they are downstairs in the living room, we’re using this old soda crate as a book caddy. They can keep their current reads in here, just as long as they don’t spill out onto the floor. You gotta keep the clutter phobes happy too.
So for little to no money, and after a fair amount of decluttering and reorganizing, this tiny and useless closet where stuff was lost and forgotten has finally been transformed into a functional and organized workspace. Tada!