Furniture renovations for the win

I'm pretty good about using things as I need them and not just using, say, a nightstand when I need a nightstand. Thinking outside the box, as it were. When I was growing up, I had a loft bed, and the top of my tall dresser was my nightstand. I've used file cabinets, actual nightstands, upside down trash cans, stools, chairs, and most recently: a small bookshelf.

Bookshelves are great for nightstands. They don't come too far forward, so you aren't trying to scoot around them getting into bed. They have lots of storage space for the room they take up, and if you want things on them to be hidden you can put them in decorative boxes/baskets.

The problem with my bookshelf was, it had to be placed in such a way as to either block the outlet from being usable at all, or else pulled 3-4 inches away from the wall to allow the plugs some room. Of course, pulling it away from the wall presents other problems, namely earrings and pill bottles getting dropped behind it. Not helpful. Also due to my mobility issues, I needed my plugs a bit more accessible than being on the floor in a plug extender or behind a piece of furniture.

This was my solution: Putting a 1x4 on the back to extend the depth of the top shelf, while leaving a gap behind the remainder of the unit. The shelf doesn't need to hold anything heavy; my lamp is rather light and could stay toward the front anyway, and the rest is pill bottles in a light basket, my phone, and whatever else gets shoved up there that stays for a few days before being cleaned up again.

I also screwed in a couple screws to hang a plug extender right next to my head. Ok it's actually about a foot away from my head, especially the way I sleep, but it's not on the floor and that's what's important. (That I actually did in our last apartment, and then we spent three weeks finding the exact extender plug that matched the holes because we didn't label it. It's labeled now, and will also not be removed from the unit again.)

It is properly level, it curving up a bit is an optical illusion. I used "mending brackets" on it because my original plan of L-brackets wouldn't work; the back is attached by being inset a bit like a puzzle, as are the sides, so there wasn't a solid spot to screw into except on the top there. It's not ideal, I would have preferred a smooth top, but it is effective and it was a fast solution. If possible, I still recommend L-brackets underneath instead.

You can see the two screws for the extender plug there, pre-unearthing it from a box. And the Goodwill sticker at the unit's front left corner (top, here). CLEARLY it needs some love in the form of a good sand-down and painting job. But in the meantime, it's FUNCTIONAL and that's what's most important to me. Besides, it's usually covered by baskets and a lamp anyway.

Speaking of the lamp, due to the trim at the floor on the far side, there is a 1/4 inch gap between the unit and the wall. Perfect for running the lamp cord down to the outlet behind, so that I can focus my extender plug on things like my computer, phone cord, and whatever else I may need to plug in but not leave there or have maximum slack for sitting in bed.

Now, does anyone want to come over and paint it?

What DIY projects are you working on right now?


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