April 30, 2019 9:21 am

Hallway Closet Update

As part of my ongoing “small-improvements-can-have-big-impacts” updates to the house, I made a few changes to our hallway closet that have really improved its functionality.

The refresh actually began when I discovered that a mouse had been having a grand old time in the closet eating all the kids’ leftover halloween candy. It had left… evidence. In addition to setting out mousetraps around the house, I pulled everything out of the closet — all our bins, sheets, towels, and rags — and commenced washing it all and reassessing what really needed to be in there.

(The mouse was dispatched and we took some measures to help ensure it doesn’t happen again.)

I was able to get rid of some old blackout curtains we hadn’t use since we moved out of our old apartment, and I moved our sheets from the hallway into the specific bedrooms to which they belong. This made a big difference in the number of things I actually needed to fit in the closet.

I ordered a bunch of glossy white IKEA bins to replace the mismatched dollar store bins I’d had in there previously. I also committed to “folding” our towels in little jelly rolls versus flat-folding, which made it easier to choose a single towel without upending the whole stack.

Glossy white IKEA bins
Gotta work on not overstuffing the bins but it’s all a work in progress!

The crowning achievement was purchasing a battery-powered motion-sensor light for the ceiling. There isn’t a hardwired light source in the closet, so previously you were at the mercy of the ambient light in the house or the horrible fluorescent hallway light that doesn’t do a great job illuminating the contents of the closet. The motion-sensor light automatically turns on when you open the door, stays on for a length of time, then shuts itself off once the door is closed and it doesn’t sense any more movement. It has been a GAME-CHANGER. I marvel every time I open the closet and can actually see what’s in there.

Overstuffed IKEA bins and a motion sensor light!

In the future, I would like to drywall the closet (the back “wall” pictured in orange/brown above is the back of the fiberglass shower enclosure) and build actual shelves in there so we can stop using the wire shelving rack and have a more solid, built-in solution. For now, though, this is working much better than what we had before!

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