The closet in our master bedroom would be better suited to serve as a broom closet in a studio apartment. Rather, we cram into it enough clothes for six months for two people, plus all our shoes and boots.

The closet in our master bedroom would be better suited to serve as a broom closet in a studio apartment. Rather, we cram into it enough clothes for six months for two people, plus all our shoes and boots.


We know our room is the master bedroom because it is the one with the bathroom. Also, it is situated far, far away from all the rooms designed for offspring.


When we first moved into our house, we took out the bar for hanging clothes built into our closet and installed organizers. Our goal was to make efficient use of the limited space. By making use of the attic and other closets in the house, we are able to make it work.


Correction: We were able to make it work. Then we lost closet space in a spare room that recently lost its "spare" status.


At first, Hubby was distraught at the thought of relocating all his extraneous clothing, including his collection of coats. If that really bad winter happens as the wooly worms predict, Hubby is set.


He was perplexed, however, that I took the transition in stride. When one considers I own more clothes than he, it makes sense I would be the one feeling overwhelmed at the thought of relocating half a wardrobe.


But I already knew it was time to thin the herd that is my wardrobe. I decided to clean out our little master bedroom closet and make room for the stuff that migrated into the upstairs closet. Any overflow could be stored in the attic. I was not worried.


Hubby loved the idea of going through clothes and donating underused items. But after assessing his wardrobe, he concluded he would need space in the attic to hang his coat collection. That was when he decided he was handy enough to install a bar within the rafters of the attic. How hard could it be?


For Hubby, a reference librarian, finding information is a passion. Handyman work around the house is frustrating, annoying and a list of other descriptive words that are less than positive. But the process for figuring out how it should be done is a task he is always ready to tackle.


My uncle was the first person he called. My uncle learned carpentry from his father-in-law and has built everything from dining hutches to designer decks. Hubby ran his idea by my dad’s brother, who thought it feasible. They discussed how and what to measure and came up with a materials list.


Next up was Hubby’s brother. Another brilliant handyman, my brother-in-law asked probing questions. More in-depth information was shared. The materials list grew.


A close friend — and DIY junkie — was the last person with whom Hubby consulted. This last conversation had Hubby feeling confident he could do what YouTube demonstrations made look so easy.


Before Hubby ever made it to the hardware store, I spotted a wardrobe hanging rack in a sale circular. It was a closeout special. Problem solved. For much less than Hubby would have spent on his materials list, I picked up the solution to our shrinking closet space problem while out for milk and eggs.


Although he was happy to save the money, I could see his balloon of handyman project dreams deflate even as he opened the box. Within hours of the wardrobe rack purchase, Hubby had his closets cleaned out, donation pile sorted and his extra coats and other items neatly hanging on the newly assembled rack in the attic.


A few days later, I made my way up to the attic to see his handiwork. It looked good. It looked like a great place for a few of my dresses, too. I brought up several full-length, plastic covered dresses and slid them in next to his wool jacket.


When we ventured back into the attic for the Halloween decorations, we were devastated — Hubby more so than me. I felt a pang of guilt. The rack had collapsed, bringing down all the coats and dresses and a few adjacent boxes in a twisted mess of metal and fiberglass insulation.


We cleaned up the mess. Then Hubby got out his materials list and went shopping.


— Micki Bare is a columnist for Courier-Tribune in Asheboro, N.C., where she and her family reside. She is also the author of Thurston T. Turtle children’s books. Email: mickibare (at) gmail.com Blogsite: http://navigatinghectivity.blogspot.com