I am now the proud inhabitant of a honkin’ big new closet. A 10 x 16 foot addition to one end of the house, to be exact. And yes, I am aware: if I need a bigger closet, then I no doubt have too much stuff. But more on that subject in a minute.
We took down the brick from the end of the house, extended the house ten feet, and cut a door in the wall leading into the existing bedroom, my son’s old room, that I had taken over for a computer room. If you have done much remodeling, you are aware that one thing leads to another; in this case the existing bedroom and bath wound up with a redo as well: new textured walls, fresh paint throughout, and new carpet all matching the closet. Not a bad deal, I must say. But here, let the pictures tell the story.
IMG_0006The bricks come down and saved to be used on the new outside walls.
IMG_0008 Getting the foundation ready.
IMG_0029 Pouring the cement.
IMG_0055 Framing up begins.
The door cut in the wall that connects the closet to the house.
Pedro laying bricks. He recycled the original ones and mixed in a new batch we were able to find that are a fairly good match. After a little time and weathering, they will blend in reasonably well.
After the computer room was all painted and finished, thanks to Raygena Barrett,  and the closet was finished,  it was time for the carpet. Jesus and his son Luis did a wonderful job adding that final touch.
Ray, Alex, and Pedro pose in their finished masterpiece. They also did the earlier remodeling on the house. Lueras Construction Company does beautiful work.
This is how it looks on the north side. And here is the finished end, which faces east, and then you see  the south side.
And here is the finished closet!
Empty it looks all shiny and new and perfectly neat. I really hated to move into it and clutter it up with all that stuff!  Now everything has a place. The sewing machine goes in the space you see in the picture above. The closet door is a pocket door, not the door you see, which is on a closet in the other room. All my clothes, shoes in their boxes, jewelry, ironing board, sewing materials, labeled boxes of photographs, cactus books, hobby supplies, and just about anything else that will fit into a basket to look neat and tidy are now in the closet. I even have a nifty three-step ladder/step stool so I can reach all the high shelves easily. And it has its own little air conditioner/heater so it will always be comfortable. I have even set up my 8-foot folding table to work on a project and had room to spare to get around it.
As to the issue of  having too much stuff, King Lear said it best when answering  hateful daughters Goneril and Regan over the question of how many knights he could keep when he told them, “O reason, not the need! Our basest beggars/ Are in the poorest thing superfluous.” I know I have been blessed with more than I need or deserve, but as I move into the closet I am making hard decisions and culling perfectly good clothes that I know I won’t wear again or don’t really need and taking them to the Thrift Shop where perhaps someone can really get some good out of them. I am finding I have a little harder time with little trinkets and treasures that I really don’t need but can’t quite let go of yet (see “Memories and a Coffee Can,” July 23), but I am getting there.
So now I have the luxury and comfort of going through baskets, drawers, and hanging things at my leisure, sorting, reliving memories, working, sewing, whatever. All those stories about people coming out of the closet? They have different reasons, of course. But I just may not want to come out of mine.