I always need an incentive to start a renovation project. With the bathroom, it was the first tile popping its way off the wall while I was showering. Ouch.
But nothing in my daughter's closet leapt out to get me. So I'm a little embarrassed to admit it, but I just kept watching the water stains spread farther across the white wall this summer. We should do something about that, I thought. And that's about as far as I got.
Then the town announced its annual fall clean-up - free dumping for a weekend - construction debris, old broken down appliances, you name it. Anything that can't be recycled and doesn't require guys in white suits with giant gas masks, you can dump off at the town barn - absolutely free. OK, you know I'm all over free like white on rice.
So I took my (well, my husband's) hammer out and got to work last weekend. Mad at your kid? Ready to off a spouse (not literally, please . . . unless you're going to give this reporter an exlusive)? Hammer down some drywall. It's chaos therapy. I felt like yelling "Towaaaaaaaaanda" like the Kathy Bates character in "Fried Green Tomatoes." I didn't - the windows were open and the neighbors were outside. They already think I'm nuts, no need to clear out any doubts.
There's nothing fair about how long it takes to put up a wall compared to the seconds it takes to destroy one. In less than 10 minutes, the floor looked like a cokehead's dream come true, and I was in dire need of a drink . . oh, I mean, shower. And that was just the walls. I still had the ceiling to rip down - where the water had left a sweeping stain that would have made Mr. Rorschach do the happy dance. For this I needed help. My horizontal challenge combined with arms that will never master the boardinghouse reach meant even my Towanda hammer throw wasn't getting me anywhere.
With Jonathan working his magic outside the closet, and me standing in the thick of it, the top sheet of rock and a long chunk of insulation came down - raining white dust and black mold with a little fiberglas for a splash of color. And standing in the middle of it? Yup, little ol' me. Yes, I'm a glutton for punishment - but did I mention free disposal and free therapy . . .
And my ulterior motive? After sending my husband and our long-suffering neighbor/handyman extraordinaire off to the hardware store, for all the fixings for a new closet, I got to do a little shopping of my own. With the in-laws incoming for a fall visit (yes - that will be you come Thanksgiving, so no cackling), I'm doing my mad dash cleaning. A new closet means new places to stash the mess!
My favorite find - which you've been waiting for since you started reading this thing - the Joey and Jane Days of the Week from KangaRoom Storage. A sturdy canvas, the hanging organizer fits on the bar (which we were able to salvage from her old closet), and puts shelves back where those of us with a lack of patience for remodeling just don't want to rebuild. Because it's vertical, the five shelves make smart use of the space, allowing moms like me to stack the outfit bottoms that match tops already hanging from the bar.
For moms with school-aged kids who aren't quite ready for the responsibility of dressing themselves, there are "days of the week" labels so you can show off how Martha Stewart you are (again, please, don't rub it in) by setting up outfits in each shelf on Sunday and letting them take the wheel for the week.
And, if all else fails, it's the perfect size for storing some of the stuff you don't want company to see but they want to know where to find. Open the closet door and point - "There, I didn't throw out your raggedy, dirty piece of blanket that you rescued from the bottom of the rag bag. But if you take it out while company's here. . . . "
Oh, and the best part? It's just $30. So hop on over to send your clutter secret to the land down under!