{House} Another One Down, 37 to Go

Two weeks ago, I attempted to remove a doorknob.  It didn’t work out well.  Then the other day my mom sent me a video with some home hacks, and one was using a rubber band to help with stubborn screws.  I had some rubber bands lying around, so I gave it a shot!

Sadly, all it did for me was ruin a rubber band.

But breaking out the screw driver again led me to trying the other screws, and one of them decided to come out!

Now there’s only four more screws left on this door and jamb, and 11 left on each of the other three doors.  At this rate, I’ll get them all unscrewed by 2019…

PS.  I considered just painting over the knobs again, which aesthetically would be fine.  But that doesn’t solve the issue that the doors don’t latch, and I’d like to fix that!

{House} Hannah Loses Another Battle

For a friend: TLDR, don’t paint the doorknobs!

I alluded to the fact that the doorknobs in my apartment were painted with the walls and doors, and I decided to tackle them before I paint my apartment.  There are only four doors (three closets and one bathroom), so I thought this would be quick and simple.  Especially since this post made it seem so easy!  And it’s chemical-free, which is always a plus in my book.

Literally every part of it is painted.  The doorknob and plate…

…the latch…

…the strike plate…

…and the cute interior knob!

Because there’s so much paint all over them, the doors don’t close and latch.

Only one knob out of the bunch is unpainted–the inside of the bathroom.  It’s such a cool silver, I wanted the rest of the knobs to match!

I started with chipping away at the paint around the screws on the interior knob.  It was quite easy to remove the three screws on the inside!

Then I attacked the latch, and removed that plate.  It required some prying to get it free from the door.

But then I got stuck on the front.  I was able to remove the bottom screw, but the top screw wouldn’t budge.

I moved on to the screws on the knob itself.

Again, chipping away the paint was easy, but these screws wouldn’t move either!

So I’ve tried to remove one knob and failed.  Maybe I’ll settle for using a chemical stripper after all.

{House} Second Time Around

After way too many hours of work, I had one support for the closet shelves installed.


I checked the mark I had made the day before and then drilled the first hole for the second support.  I started with the top hole and then installed the second support and checked that it was still level with the first support.


Once I was satisfied with the levelness of it, I marked the spots for the next three holes.  I had to slightly loosen the top screw to be able to drill the holes, but it worked out.

In case you didn’t believe me that I used my hands with the 1/2″ drill bit, here’s the proof!


After the holes were drilled and the rest of the anchors and screws tightened, I fiddled with them a bit to ensure it was perfectly level.


This is the shelving unit I’m using (though the supports are from MintCraft).  The going-out-of-business sale that I frequented didn’t have enough shelf supports in the size I wanted, so I ordered more online.


I had also befriended someone in those last few days that was able to cut a longer shelf in half so I’d have enough shelves.  Like the true math major I was, I got the math wrong, and the two halves aren’t equal…

But it’s installed!  And it looks great!

diy install yourself shelves shelf closet kv mintcraft adjustable

As I was admiring it, it didn’t seem level with the existing rod and shelf.  Back out came the level to see where I went wrong.

Well look at that!  The original shelf isn’t close to level!


Then it was time to actually use it!  I had a plastic set of drawers from my last apartment that I was looking to get rid of.  I put most of those things on this shelf, and also swapped some items with those in my dresser.


I need a few bins for some smaller items, but I’m very excited for this addition!

{House} I. Do Not. Give Up.

My mother can tell you a lot of stories about how growing up I was would do something over and over and over until I was successful.  As an adult, I’m not sure if that’s because I’m determined or just stubborn.  Either way, this felt like one of those stories…

I’d been wanting to install the shelving unit I bought for my closet, and I finally found the time to do it.  First I had to move my DIY clothing rack (which still doesn’t have a base and wheels).


I measured where I’d like my shelving supports to go and got to work.  I had these toggle bolts (purchased like everything else at the going-out-of-business sale).


Note: if you’re going to do this yourself, please buy these anchors instead.  They’re much easier to work with!

The back of the package said how big the hole needed to be.


A half inch?!  I have a set of drill bits, but the largest I had was 1/4″.  I tried using it anyway, and then making the hole wider by moving it around, but I wasn’t successful enough to fit the toggle thru the hole.  Off to a new hardware store that’s still in business, and I came home with this.


Except that it was too thick to fit into my drill!  Not wanting to give up yet, I held it in my hands and manually widened the existing hole.  It worked!  It also cut my hands–who knew that drill bits were sharp!  LOL

Using that process–and a pair of heavy duty gloves–I was able to get the four holes drilled.


These toggle bolts require that the screw and toggle bolt are on the piece being screwed to the wall before they’re inserted.  This was the easiest part so far.


But of course it couldn’t be that easy!  Given that the walls are plaster, the two inch screws I had weren’t long enough to get the toggle all the way behind the wall.  Back to the hardware store I went!

Yes, they remembered me from just a few hours ago, but they were helpful and I walked out with these three inch screws.


It worked!  I needed to tug on the screw a bit so the toggle would catch on the wall and the screw would tighten.  It took a little finesse, but I was persevered.  I used the level again to make sure the support was straight and then tightened all the screws.


Ta da!  One perfectly hung support!


Then it was time for the other side.  I had researched this kind of shelving unit, and the best tip I read was to add a set of brackets and a shelf to hang the second side.  This ensures that the holes line up perfectly so that the shelves are level.


There aren’t any pictures of that process, as I’m only a woman with two hands, but I marked a few spots on the wall for where the second rail should be installed.  And since the co-op has rules about when you can make construction noise, I had to stop there for the evening.

Time to rest up so I’m ready to tackle the second side and then fill the shelves!

{House} The First Big Project

The closets in my apartment are unique, because the closets are extra deep.  One of the closets already has shelves all the way up the back, with a tension rod in front.


It only took a few hours for me to realize that this is incredibly impractical.  In fact, I had to remove some dresses just so I could take a good picture of it!

The other closet only had one top shelf (tho there are supports for a second, higher shelf) and a normally hung rod.  This left about 18 inches worth of space between the door and the clothes–and in a small apartment, every bit of storage space matters!

After dealing with the other closet, I figured out that a moving clothing rack would be the most practical solution, since it could be rolled out of the way to easily reach the shelves behind it.  However, most garment racks are larger than my closet, which is just two feet wide.  Also, since the other closet is for dresses, I wanted a double rod to hang more short items like shirts and skirts.

So like any good DIYer, I decided to make my own!

There are a lot of posts about how to make your own garment rack on the internet, but these two (this and this) caught my attention as being some of the few with two rods instead of just one.

Again, the hardware store going out of business came to my rescue!  It took a little digging to get all the right pieces, but for less than $70, I got:
– 4 1″ diameter 36″ long pipes,
– 2 3/4″ diameter 18″ long pipes,
– 4 tee connectors for 1″ pipes to 3/4″ pipe,
– 2 floor flanges for 1″ pipe, and
– 4 castors.


I had browsed prices at Lowe’s and Home Depot, and those prices were pretty comparable to the prices at the hardware store before the 50% discount.  This project wasn’t exactly cheap, but it could have been much more expensive.

The pipes needed a thorough cleaning, and then they were ready for assembly.  I started with the top bar: an 18″ pipe with two tee connectors.


Then I screwed in a 36″ pipe to each tee.  As I’d learned, the next part was tricky: attaching the middle bar.  I started off by adding a tee to the end of one of the long pipes.  Into that tee, I added the second 18″ pipe.


Then I screwed the final tee into the long pipe and lined the middle bar up to it.  I unscrewed the 18″ bar from the left in order for it to be screwed into the tee on the right (hard to explain in words, but easy to understand when you’re doing it).

img_7355I guess this is the part where I got too excited building something to remember to take pictures, but the remaining steps involved screwing the last two 36″ pipes into the tees, and adding the floor flanges.  I had to stand it up, lay it back down, and fiddle with it few times to get it to stand up without being held (especially since the floor is a little uneven in the closet), but I eventually got it worked out.

I wasn’t able to find a piece of wood in the dimensions I’d like for the bottom support and casters, so there’s still a part II to come.  But that didn’t stop me from putting it in place and hanging clothes on it!


In order to get the clothes to hang properly with the rack in place, I needed to move the shelf that was already in the closet.  It was just made up of two pieces off 1 x 12 wood (which weren’t nailed down), so it was very easy to move one to the upper support.

Now I just have to install the shelving unit I bought on the wall behind it.  And maybe spray paint the pipe garment rack so it doesn’t look so industrial.