26 October 2009

Customizing the clothes closet

I love to hear other people tell stories about events that I experienced. Their point of view is naturally different from mine. The things they think are funny are often subtleties that eclipse my awareness. So it is always with pleasure that I listen to Cristy tell stories about the episodes of our moving experience.

Today, Cristy is my guest blogger, but I am her proxy. I am retelling the story she has relayed, in her voice, about one of these experiences. (Taking a few editorial liberties here and there Cristy, hope you don’t mind.)

The master bedroom has 2 clothes closets. Both are large enough to accommodate a twin bed and both have 10-foot ceilings with 3 layers of hanging space. One of the closets is slightly larger than the other, and since Diane’s collection of clothes and shoes rivals the inventory of the nearest department store, she took that one.

She made it clear from the outset that she required adequate storage space for her shoes and was not averse to hiring a professional closet consulting firm to build out the space. I thought a trip to Lowe’s might be in order on the off-chance that we could defray this expense with a lower cost solution. We found some simple wall-mounted shelving for shoes and purchased enough for about 14 linear feet of storage. She was ecstatic. After I installed it, shoes flew into the closet in mere moments filling up the space. It was an impressive display, if I do say so myself.

Five minutes later, she informed me that the closet was still not up to par. The bars for hanging clothing in the closets are not adjustable and are positioned to accommodate shorter items. She needed more space for longer items. But, she had a recommendation: just remove one of the shelves with its attached hanging bar. Then the one above it would have more clearance at the bottom. Sure, sounded reasonable enough. Anything to avoid that professional build-out.

She said she would get started on it herself. A few minutes later she returned and said that she could not get the shelf to budge. I went to take a look. She had removed the screws that connected the shelf to the mounting bracket, but the shelf was securely affixed to the wall and the supporting ledge with nails and caulk. We would have to dislodge it.

I took a hammer and rapped the lower side of the shelf a few times but, sure enough, it did not move. Diane took the hammer, and with impressive force, whacked the lower side of the shelf a dozen times. I looked on with astonishment. My girlfriend of the gentle and compassionate nature, the one who doesn’t kill insects and is a vegetarian, was hammering the sillystring out of this shelf.

She. Wanted. It. Gone.

With a renewed spirit, we both whaled on the shelf until it finally broke free and we pulled it out of the wall. She didn’t stop there. She moved right to the hanging rod and began pulling and twisting to see if it would dislodge. Together we pulled. Again. Then a budge. Another big tug. Then we noticed we were tearing away the top layer of dry wall. Oops.

She grabbed a hand saw. Plan B. Cut the rod out. Two self-inflicted bleeding wounds later (one for each of us), the closet was perfect.

I’m glad we don’t do this sort of work for a living, we would probably kill ourselves.

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