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Since we moved into our house about a year ago, I have been plagued by what to do about the corner of our kitchen that is our “outerwear dumping ground.”
With two adults and three children, we have a lot of stuff – coats, hats, boots, shoes, galoshes, purses, you name it. And since we typically use our garage as our main entrance, the coat closet located by our front door is not exactly convenient, at least for storing the kids’ things. So, keeping everything shoved into this one small corner of our kitchen has been the imperfect solution up until recently.
Perusing inspiration plans online has been challenging because this corner is not very big – each wall is about 33″ wide, which does not leave a lot of room. Then one afternoon I came across this post for crate locker cubbies on That’s My Letter and I was smitten! (Seriously, click the link and you’ll be just as obsessed!). With a few modifications, I knew that this would be the solution I was looking for to help me manage the chaos.
I set about hunting down the perfect crates – tall and not too wide, but deep enough to provide some real storage. I ended up finding crates that were 27″ long, 12.5″ wide, and 9.5″ deep. Home Depot has a great deal for them as a two-pack. These aren’t the highest quality of crates (the slats are pretty flimsy and the wood is rough), but for my purposes these worked out just fine, especially since I got four of them for around $75.
This project is perfect for any beginner because you’re technically not building anything – just assembling and painting!
- 27″ x 12.5″ x 9.5″ crates – however many you want to use, I chose to stack mine 2×2
- Wood glue
- Quick-Grip clamps
- Cordless drill
- Hooks for hanging coats and backpacks – I used these
- Paint of your choice (I used a mix of Charcoal and Linen White Rustoleum Chalked paint)
- Minwax Polycrylic Protective Finish
- Ryobi Airstrike Brad Nailer with 1.25″ nails, or hammer and nails
Now that I had my crates, turning them into “lockers” was incredibly simple! I used wood glue to attach the crates to each other top to bottom and at the sides, with some Quick Grips (and any other clips I could find in my kitchen!) to keep the sides together until the glue dried.
I also used 1.25″ brad nails with my Ryobi Air Strike brad nailer where the crate tops/bottoms were attached to each other, to provide extra support (you could also use screws or regular nails). The slatted sides are too thin for the brad nails, so I simply made sure to glue them well.
After the glue was fully dried, I took a 1×12 from my scrap pile, cut it down so that it was about 4″ longer than the crates, and attached it to the top of the crates using wood glue and 1.25″ brad nails. If you don’t have a saw at home, you could easily get a 1×12 cut down at a hardware store, or just skip adding the board.
On the sides where the two crates are joined (and therefore, the thickest/strongest spot), I added hooks for hanging coats and backpacks.
I still need to add a topcoat of polycrylic to the lockers, especially where wet shoes and boots will be placed, but otherwise, it is complete!
And to help minimize the overall clutter in this corner even more, I raised the coat rack that my husband and I use to make sure the kids have easy access to their lockers. I am also limiting him and I to one coat each on the rack, with the rest of our coats and all of our shoes and boots to be kept in the (inconveniently placed) coat closet by the front door.
This was such an easy, inexpensive project for clearing up the kids’ outerwear clutter, and I simply love that the kids each get ownership over their own little “lockers” and will hopefully help us to keep things organized over the winter!
As a bonus, we now have a set place to keep the endless amount of papers that get sent home from school, and have some wall space above the lockers to add even more organization.