Many years ago we scored an antique armoire. Simple. Basically sound. And free.
It sat in our garage for a while, used as storage for grimy cans and dirty tools and since in its former life, before it came to live with us, its abode was a maintenance shed, it was comfortable and cozy holding our WD40.
Then our family grew and so my grandma's dresser moved from our bedroom to the kids' bedroom, and we decided to overhaul the armoire to hold our t-shirts and Army socks. I inspected and measured and imagined the piece of furniture looking new and beautiful in my bedroom. It was all a dream. That armoire was filthy and homely! So I called a furniture guy and paid him whatever he asked to strip the piece and repair the sagging molding and wimpy backing. When he returned the piece to me, clean and solid, ready to be stained, I kept it to myself that I would have paid him double! We stained and poly'd the piece and put it in our bedroom. And there it lived for more than eight years.
And then we moved. And we ended up with a master closet that can truly deserves to be called a master closet. And meanwhile we had had four more kids. And so the armoire found a place in one of the girl's rooms. Three years later we moved again - to an itsy bitsy place, temporarily - and so the armoire hung out in storage.
We returned to our home eighteen months ago. I can still picture myself standing in the living room watching the movers (who may or may not have been using illegal substances) bringing in the armoire . . . and dropping it on the threshhold. But the base molding remained in their hands. Not even an apology, thank you very much. Just some muttering and pretending they hadn't done anything wrong. Instead of to the bedroom, I had them cart my faithful friend down to the basement . . . to the "graveyard" of other forlorn furniture. (That was the first of TWO armoires that they broke that day. Perhaps some day I'll vent on the whole "movers who shouldn't move anything" story.)
Hmmm, was it really a whole year later that we (and I use that term loosely, as I had nothing to do with it, but My Hero had everything to do with it) finally got around to repairing said armoire? yes. And then I (really, truly, ME) painted it. A lovely aqua blue. Lovely, I tell you. And then we (he and my daughter - I have a bad back you know) hauled it upstairs and parked it at the top of the staircase, to replace the measly table that had contributed to our "traditional but junky" look.
But I didn't strip the tacky contact paper (it was cool in the 90's) off of the shelves. Or fix the two broken ones. And I lost the little doohickies that the shelves sit on. And so I piled a bunch of crap inside the armoire, locked it up and left it. Useless . . .
UNTIL TODAY! "Finish Armoire" has been high on my list (not to mention the writing I'm supposed to do for my Writing Group tomorrow) and today I finally did it . . . finished the project (okay, well mostly finished it). I still couldn't find the doohickies and decided stripping and repairing the shelves was the thing overwhelming me, so I headed to Home Depot. I LOVE that those nice men in aprons cut the shelves exactly how you want them . . . when you want them . . . which is NOW! I found some more doohickies and headed home with them and the six new, clean, white shelves.
Remember how I mentioned the armoire is antique? Well, the doohickies aren't and so they weren't exactly . . . compatible. But a wrench used as a hammer ('cause I couldn't find the hammer) bent them a tad (and bruised my thumb more than once) and I was able to force them to fit the antique slots. And then . . . my favorite part!!! Organizing. Bins, baskets, drawers, and labels.
In case you're still reading and are pretending to care even a tiny bit, here's what's in my armoire.
Top Thelf: Picnic items: fly guards (the meshy things that keep flies off the food, or traps them inside on some occasions!), utensil carriers, serving tray, and so on.
Next Shelf: Eight drawers with scissors, batteries, sunglasses, flashlights, headphones, etc. And cookbooks beside them.
Next Shelf: Three baskets with returns/drop-offs for stores/friends, light bulbs, and packaging supplies for the girls' bread-baking business.
Next Shelf: Child #1 homework bin, art supplies, play dough
Third-from-Bottom Shelf: Child #2 and #3 homework bins, school supplies basket (calculators, pencils, scissors, ruler, crayons)
Second-from-Bottom Shelf: Three baskets with hats, gloves, and scarves (Taking bets on if said items will be returned to the basket where they belong)
Bottom Shelf: My winter boots. (Everyone else has a locker in the garage). Coupon file.
I still plan to glue whiteboard inside the doors (Mr. Home Depot cut it already) to write where my returns go - so I don't always have to sort through the box. And I need to find a couple more bins for the art stuff & play dough - but it's fair to say that I'm 95% done.
I didn't do it all . . . but I did do something. AND THAT FEELS GOOD!