Still Cleaning the Garage Utility Closet

Memorial Day - found flag IMG_2897

Memorial Day

My patriotic closet:

Perhaps it’s due to the May-June-July confluence of Memorial Day, Flag Day, and Independence Day, but I see I’ve painted my garage utility closet a patriotic red, white, and blue.

Yuck. It's the garage closet before painting IMG_2566

Yuck… better keep this photo small.

One nice thing about blogging my clean-up is that I can start to feel like I’m making a little progress. Here’s the poor old closet with the stuff and the old shelves taken out: can you believe it’s been cleaned and prepared for painting?

Next, here’s my paint-in-progress photo. When I found the paint from my red front door I considered painting the entire floor red, then realized a floor should be as close as possible to the color of dust.

Garage closet -  painting floor the color of dust IMG_2610

Primed and painting…

I wanted to use up my leftover paint, and it only made sense to match the rest of the garage: cream with blue trim. Then I couldn’t resist a decorative flourish and painted the trim with that front-door red.

Here it is after Handyman Don (my friend Donna’s husband) installed my new Container Store shelves:

My garage utility closet with new rug IMG_2932

After I tracked up the light colored floor I got carried away and bought a rug. I have a decorated utility closet.

My other inspiration for this flag of a closet is inside the house. This crocheted flag is a piece from Bob’s family. He told me it was made by one of his grandmothers, but now no one else in the family knows which grandmother.

Crocheted flag re-framed DSC_0216

Crocheted flag in its new frame.

After Bob’s death I started going through the house deciding what to keep, and found the flag. The old frame and mounting were deteriorating and were not acid-free, so I had it cleaned, restored, and re-framed. Here in the US, we had 48 states and 48 stars for a long period of years (1912-1959), so it’s hard to date this piece exactly. The restorer told me the dyes in the thread date to the 1930’s, but it could have been made any time then or in the years following. Here’s a close-up of the crochet-work:

Bob's grandmother's crocheted flag - detail  DSC_0216

I’d love it as a folk art piece even if it didn’t come from family.

But back to my “new” utility closet. I’m working on cleaning out the rest of the garage, but I still haven’t put anything away in the closet. It’s so pristine I can’t bring myself to clutter it up. Any suggestions on how I can get over that?

For a previous post on cleaning out this closet click here.

16 thoughts on “Still Cleaning the Garage Utility Closet

  1. You’re giving me inspiration to clean out a utility room in the closet. Heaven knows what I’ll find. One plus is that the shelves are sturdy, but I’m not so sure my energy will extend to paint. Love your patriotic decor AND the flag.

    • Mickey: it took me MONTHS to get myself to finish the cleaning in that little corner. The painting part was fun. Now I’m working on cleaning out the rest of the garage but I’m too ashamed to show the ‘before’ pictures of that. So far, at least.

  2. I think you should re-purpose the utility room closet. It is so fabulous that it is too good for the ‘uglies’ of houselife. You can find alternative methods to store that stuff.

    I think your utility closet should become a ‘Prop’ closet. I can’t remember if it’s Christopher Lowel, Lynette Jennings or Martha that first advocated it. Put all of your seasonal display items on attractive display on the shelves (not in boxes where their creative charm is hidden away)

    One thing I would do first before putting anything in the closet…since it’s in the garage I’d give it a once over with spider spray to discourage them from establishing residence in the ‘prop’ room.

    just a thought…
    -k- of k&p Catalano

  3. You are really making progress! I think it’s nice to enjoy the empty closet for a little while and celebrate your achievement. Once you fill it up it will never be as pristine again. We had an empty room before my youngest child was born, and now it is full of toys just like all the other rooms. Sometimes I look at the mess and think back to the days when it was totally empty.

    • But your room isn’t ‘messy’ with toys — it’s full of toys and life! You’re right about enjoying the empty closet though. I’m still working on the rest of the garage-mess, so we’ll see how much else I can get rid of. Thanks for commenting!

  4. I love stories about little successful projects. Obviously, they are more complicated than the first glance at the finished product. Grandma Whoever would be pleased.

    • Ah yes, too bad I have so MANY of these little projects. Good health to you; I was reading your blog this morning and it brought back memories — I’ve been through years of treatments with my friend.

  5. Pingback: Sisters unite – my first ever award nomination « Pip Marks

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