In this post I will show how I put an old set of lockers in a place in my home lots of people wouldn’t expect and I’ll share how totally useful they are in what might be the busiest room of the house.
Nope, I didn’t put them in the kitchen 😉 When the school where I teach English was changing things up in the locker room and I saw the banks of seafoam green lockers that held my gym shoes as a 7th & 8th grader up for grabs, I jumped on the opportunity to bring them home with me even though I had zero plan of where to put them.
What I mean by “bring them home” is I sent my husband to collect them. What followed was a none-too-thrilled phone call where he asked me if I knew how heavy those lockers were. I told him that I truly had no idea how heavy they were. My thinking is typical that husbands and dads can lift and fix anything. Call me old fashioned but I was a bit surprised to find out that they were in fact really, really heavy. This brings me to my first point of advice for when you rustle up your own set.
Lockers are heavy. Plan accordingly. You may need an extra person, a dolly, and probably a pickup.
They were wrangled home and then I took about a whole season to decide where to put them. I thought they’d be hidden on my porch, out of sight and where the dog would get to enjoy them the most. I thought for a long time they’d be most useful in my laundry room/pantry area that I refer to as a “back porch” Let me digress a moment- who else calls the mudroom/laundry room/pantry area a back porch? I know I’m not the only one, Wildflowers. Language is so fascinating 🙂
I vetoed the back porch idea because space was tight as it was and they measure 13 inches deep by 38 inches wide.
In our home, there is a sort of strange nook in the bathroom that as luck would have it measures about 40 inches wide. I had a wicker hamper sitting there but it really wasn’t maximizing the storage potential in our modest home.
Once I decided, and some manly-man friends were visiting to help move them in, I wiped them down and made room for the guys to bring them in.
Now, our single bathroom is storing ALL of the towels. All of them. AND it is conveniently next to the shower which is obviously better. I also have 4-bed pillows in the tall locker, which is the BEST place ever to store extra pillows. Before they were stuffed onto shelves to only fall out again.
When you get your lockers in place, here’s tip #2.
Anchor lockers to the wall.
My husband screwed them to the stud, through an existing hole in the lockers. Now, they are safely in place and I simply can’t clean behind them. Double win.
The worry my husband had about putting the lockers inside the house was a valid one since we have small kids. He worried that they would smash their fingers in the many tantalizing doors and/or put one another into the tall locker and the result would be more smashed fingers and a lot of crying out of everyone.
We remedied this with a couple of steps. I said I would get pretty locks (skeleton keys I think they are called) for the bottom lockers if the kids played with them too much. My husband drilled a hole from the top of the tall locker down through the door of the tall locker and dropped a nail into the holes, effectively locking it shut. Pillows in, children out. I haven’t had the pleasure of finding pretty locks because the novelty has worn off and no fingers have been smashed.
Lock it up. No, YOU lock it up!
(Double points for catching the Wedding Crashers reference).
So there’s my upcycle gem of the season. My towels don’t smell like gym socks, by the way. Metal is SO great for cleaning; a hot rag once-over was all it took to get the bathroom ready.
Do any of my dear readers have lockers in unexpected places? An unusual upcycle? Share in the comments below!