Kids’ Closet Re-do: in progress

One of the busiest semesters ever is over, and now I’m in this interim period when Jax is still in preschool (have I mentioned how much he loves school by the way?) and I am awaiting the arrival of our second baby boy (due July 21). I believe they call this phase nesting?

We’re going to have the baby in a porta crib in our room for at least the first 6 months to 1 year, but all kid things are going to be combined into what is now Jax’s room. Eventually they’ll share the bunk beds, but in the immediate future, the boys’ stuff will be sharing a closet. By today’s standards it’s not an enormous closet, but it can be a walk-in if organized properly.


I should have taken a true before picture, complete with 1950s wallpaper, carpet, and the huge mess of storage I had in there. It is embarrassing, really. We could only use about half of the clothes bar because the back of the closet was jam-packed with no less than a full-size crib and mattress, a porta crib and mattress, a jumperoo, a bouncy seat, endless stroller parts (bassinet, travel bag, etc.) and boxes and boxes of clothes Jax has grown out of (and some that are anticipating his next growth spurt).

After clearing everything out this is what we were dealing with:

What a mess! But the awesome thing about decades-old wallpaper is that it comes right off. It was the easiest part of the job, and then revealed this old flakey pink paint and some cracks that required serious spackling. The light fixture in there had also developed a problem with the switch, so what you see above is actually the new fixture awaiting final installation by Seth, the engineer turned blogger who still gets recruited for all things wired in the house.

First I used spackle to fill in the major cracks and let that dry. A professional with a sander would sand this down, but since this is really a $50 fix-up project and will be out of sight, I was probably more sloppy than recommended.

I also took a scraper to the pink paint and tried to get off as many flakes as possible.

The first part I painted was the trim: you can see the difference one coat is already making on the right. Once two coats of the trim and the ceiling were dry (I waited a day), I taped it off and tackled the walls.

Starting to look much better!

While waiting for the paint to dry (each coat took a day of drying, and I didn’t want to be doing this while Jax was home, adding to the wait time) I organized all of the old clothes into air-tight boxes with size labels and moved a lot of them downstairs to our newly organized laundry room. We picked up a dresser on craigslist that I plan to refinish to match and then put along the back wall. For now, this is the progress, so I’ll post more in a few days with the final (or finished-enough) result!