Kid’s closet debacle

Do you ever wake up with a strange compulsion to just tear something apart? Please tell me it’s not just me…

That’s what happened at the beginning of this week. My victim? The kids’ closet.

ugly closet doors
ugly, finger-pinching closet doors

This wasn’t really a planned project. Well, it kind of was, but it wasn’t really planned out. Nor was it planned for that day. But for some reason, I just had to tear into it.

All three of my kids share one room. I know, we’re crazy… but we only have two bedrooms on our main floor, and our basement is unfinished, so it’s the only option. Anyway, I’ve been wanting to “finish” the kids’ room for a while. It was the only room in the house that wasn’t really going to change much as we reconfigure the floor plan, so it seemed like the safest room to actually work on (this whole house has been a series of doing and un-doing projects, but that’s a different post for a different time). We built a dresser for Owen (I’ll be sharing those plans soon!), and so I needed to rearrange their room to make everything fit. After purging a lot of stuff, I decided that the perfect solution was going to be to move the big dresser that Owen and Barrett currently share into the closet to save space (Barrett and Georgia will share it until I get a dresser built for Barrett). It felt like the perfect idea since those sliding doors have been haunting my dreams for the last 4 years. I’ve seriously wanted them gone for that long.

For some reason, when I walked into their room on Monday morning, I knew that was the day. It was time for them to go. I had been looking around at them for a while and every time I thought about taking them down, I was deterred by the fact that it seemed kind of impossible. Like, not actually impossible, but just really time-consuming and difficult. There wasn’t going to be an easy way to get them out.

I should probably stop here and put in a disclaimer:

I AM NOT A PROFESSIONAL. PLEASE DO NOT TAKE ANYTHING YOU ARE ABOUT TO READ AS PROFESSIONAL ADVICE. ALWAYS READ SAFETY PRECAUTIONS, WEAR SAFETY GEAR, AND HIRE A PROFESSIONAL WHEN IN DOUBT.

There. Whew. Now that that’s out of the way…

I surveyed the scene one more time and determined that the easiest way to get these suckers (I can finally call them that now… on Monday morning, I was referring to them differently) out was with my trusty circular saw. I looked several times to see if there was a way I could lift the wheels off the track at the top… nope. I tried removing the bottom track, but couldn’t get the doors to slide far enough to either side to remove all of the screws. So, I cut across the bottom of the door to free it from the bottom track.

ugly doors with saw
Just two doors, swingin’ in the breeze

With both doors detached from the bottom track, they were dangling freely from the top. I spent a good 45 minutes finagling, trying to lift the wheels off the top track, sliding them every which way. Finally, exhausted, sweaty, and sawdusty, I grabbed a hammer, screwdriver, and a pry bar. I worked again to lift the wheels off the track, but nothing happened. I couldn’t just leave the doors dangle, so I mustered all of my anger and started just prying on the top brackets.

The first door finally came down with a loud and dramatic “pop,” but the second door took a lot more prying. I think at one point I started beating it with a hammer, but I can’t quite remember because I think had a mini rage-blackout. Anyway, they both finally came down, but not gracefully.

empty closet

Victorious, I swept the sawdust and started wiping down the closet. I was so happy to have those finger-trap doors out of my life for good! I started moving the dresser into the closet when… I remembered why you should always measure twice.

My dresser was small enough to fit inside of the closet, but not quite small enough to fit inside of the closet opening. >facepalm<

white dresser in closet

Seriously. I had just fought to get those doors off of that closet and the stupid dresser wasn’t even going to fit?!

I couldn’t let this tiny issue ruin my whole plan. I need to re-trim this whole house anyway, so I figured, why not take off the closet trim. The 1½” I would gain in the opening would be enough to shimmy the dresser into the opening. So, I went to work tearing out trim.

Yes! Success! Until… I went to open a dresser drawer. D’oh! Not my finest moment. The drawers wouldn’t open all the way, because they, too, were set too wide for the closet opening.

So, here I sit with a rough-edged pink closet (I completely forgot this room was that color when we first moved in) and a dresser that doesn’t really fit inside of it. It looks like the plans for Barrett’s dresser are getting bumped up to this fall, and Georgia’s probably won’t be too far behind it.

empty closet

All in all, I’m not completely considering this project a fail. Those heavy closet doors have pinched my fingers enough for me to know I wanted them gone before it happened to one of the kids. It won’t be hard to re-trim the opening, and honestly, it’s only a matter of a few years before we open that wall up anyway to make our master suite, so… we’ll just call it a lesson learned in planning and measuring.