Handy Husband Home Improvement

“If the women don’t find you handsome, they should at least find you handy” ~Red Green

Lucky for me, my husband is both!

How do you get through the dull, dreary days of winter? January seemed like it had 734 days, and I was lucky to be in the sunshine and warmth of California for 10 of them! So I have nothing to complain about. The lack of sunshine here in southwestern Ontario has been getting to people, though.

Last Friday, I mused to Derek that our kitchen pantry was getting too full and disorganized. You probably know what it’s like: when you move, there are a million small things to take care of. At some point, you decide to deal with some of them later. That’s what we did with our pantry. We moved a bookcase and a small shelf that had been part of a full wall wardrobe into it and said, that will do for now. Almost three years later, it’s stopped “doing”.

Cluttered pantry is the size of a big closet. It has canisters and packages all stuffed into a bookshelf and another, smaller shelf. Spices are in magnetized containers attached to a metal Farm Produce sign on the inside door. On the other door is a blackboard (painted on) with chalk.

I had just reorganized Derek’s treat/chip shelf but it was clear that we needed a more efficient system. Derek grabbed onto this idea like a barnacle to the side of a boat. It was something to focus on rather than a slower-than-usual month for voice-work, and the lack of sunshine.

Derek measures the width of the space. He's wearing a denim Harley Davidson shirt and looking serious.

Within a few hours, he had purchased and cut pieces of melamine and pine boards, and was painting the pine that would serve as cleating along the walls to hold up the shelves. He was consulting with me on whether I wanted dowels or boards for stability (boards would give it a more orderly look, I thought) and how far apart to place the shelving. On Saturday, this project moved at lightning speed.

It might not surprise you that there were no studs in the walls, and the closet wasn’t square. Derek had to make lots of little tweaks to keep everything straight. This is where experience comes in.

Inspector Cuddles gave the workmanship his paw of approval.

The bookshelf went upstairs to my craft/drumming/plant room. The smaller shelf and another like it went to neighbours. My love for organizing things is well known. But it’s got to get messy first. That’s where the fun is!

The finished pantry has five built-in shelves that span the width and are deeper. With everything organized, there's a lot more space now.
The slim shelf on top is perfect for recipe books that are starting to collect beside the microwave.

This project doesn’t make a lot of difference to anyone but us. Unless, as my pal Mary Anne says, organizing stuff is your “house porn”! It makes a lot of difference to the flow and ease with which our home operates. And I don’t take Derek’s skills lightly. His built-in pantry shelving cost about $125 in materials and a day’s labour. And I’m so grateful when he actually wants to bring my little ideas to life.

5 thoughts on “Handy Husband Home Improvement”

    1. Thanks, Brenda! Yes, you know Cuddles refuses to compromise. In fact, just now, he insisted that I rerecord an audition because it’s not up to his standards. 😉

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