How to deign for closet door

Storage space in the home is typically treasured among homeowners, especially that of a closet. But we don’t necessarily want our belongings out in the open for everyone to see. Closet doors are essential, but often forgotten about when it comes to home décor.

Don’t let your closet door become a boring feature of the room. You can work with what you already have to create unique décor for your room. Create a new look for your room with these closet door ideas.

Why Style Your Closet Door?

Though you may not think of your closet door often, it’s a great opportunity to add a unique look to your bedroom. Often, these areas go unused as just doors but are typically a large feature in your room and is helpful to hide extra storage and items within your closet.

If you’re thinking about starting new, this may require more than just a coat of paint and a little bit of time. You’ll want to call a pro who can help install your new door, especially if it’s a sliding closet door where work will need to be done on the existing wall or a change in door structure. The average cost to install a door is $813, but this all depends on the cost of new door and if there is any remodeling to be done.

There are many options when it comes to creating a unique look with your closet door and can be an instant update to your bedroom. Additionally, there are many DIY options when it comes to decorating your closet door that will give you a new style in no time at all.

1. Sliding Barn Door

Closet sliding doors are a great way to save space in your room. They don’t fold out like a traditional accordion door, so you instantly create more usable space. If you love the rustic look, a sliding barn door will help you achieve that theme in your room. If you’re having trouble finding a barn door, distressed wood doors are another option that still helps achieve that look.

With sliding closet doors there are typically two options. One option is to have your door slide into the wall, or a “pocket door.” These disappear into the wall so it’s completely out of the way when needed. However, this does involve some restructuring of the wall itself, so it’s best to contact a pro.

The second option is to hang the door with a closet door roller kit, where the door slides outside of the wall. This can be found at many local hardware stores and includes everything needed to hang your closet door. Be sure to find a kit that meets the specifications needed for thickness and weight capacity.

2. Closet French Doors

If you need a room update that will never go out of style, French doors for your closet is what you’re looking for. French doors open outward into the room leaving a large space for you to look through your closet. Try adding a bit of molding to the door to frame it further or paint it a sleek white to keep your French closet doors looking clean and timeless.

3. Modern Glass Doors

Rooms with a contemporary look will benefit from a modern glass closet door. Frosted glass sliding doors are a popular option for homeowners who want to hide their storage space while giving a new look to their room. Layered glass works here just as well and can often be framed as a traditional door with wood.

If you’re concerned about damage to the closet door glass, consider an acrylic option which has a similar look but comes in plenty of styles to find the one right for you.

Greenhouse To Playhouse Ideas

Is your backyard lacking style? Could you use more storage space outside of your home? Or, are you looking for a unique way to upgrade your home? If you answered “yes” to any of these questions, building or repurposing a shed might be the answer.

Before you jump to old, outdated images of your grandparents aged shed, cluttered with lawn furniture and gardening tools, think again. Modern shed designs have many trendy variations, with functions beyond storage. From building new to just a few upgrades, see how you can transform the look and function of your backyard with these shed designs.

Considerations Before Building

If you’re not planning to repurpose an existing shed, you’ll need to plan for your new shed addition. Before deciding on a shed design, you’ll want to plan for the build and the budget. Most cities require a permit to begin new construction in your yard. Be sure to look into any homeowner’s association or neighborhood policies in regards to sheds to ensure you’re compliant with all ordinances.

The average cost to build a shed or playhouse is $2,844, depending on the size of the structure. If you plan on updating your existing shed design, these costs will become significantly less.

Greenhouse & Potting Sheds

For the green thumb, having a place to give plants the care they need is rarely found inside the house, at least not without a little mess left behind. If gardening is your hobby, a greenhouse or potting shed is a must.

Greenhouse sheds are primarily composed of glass windows and recycled materials to create a growing space with natural light. This is an instant focal point in your backyard to truly show off your hobby. Plants sit in the shed, growing in the light through the partial greenhouse roof and temperature-controlled environment. They also provide a way to garden on rainy days!

Similarly, potting sheds are a place to bring some of the outdoor gardening tasks indoors. They provide a place to start plants for your garden. Some may include a partial glass roof, but more often, they provide light through side windows, so you can see what you’re gardening. From pots to small shovels, potting sheds also act as garden storage. Keep this in mind as you plan your shed design.

Shed Playhouses

What better for a child then to have their own outdoor playhouse? They are just the right size for kids and will help spark imaginative play. You’ll be the talk of the block with these shed playhouse ideas.

  • Fantasy: For the princess in your household, she can now have her own castle.
  • Whimsical: For an old-time classic look, a whimsical shed playhouse will be a beautiful focal point and will inspire playtime.
  • Log Cabin: Boys will love this fun, creative space.

Whatever the style, it should reflect your child’s interests and give them a space to be themselves. Consider adding different playtime features, such as a slide, swing or fake kitchen. Of course, safety should be the top priority when it comes to shed playhouse design. Contact a pro to help.

Pool Shed Ideas

Get rid of the plastic storage box near the pool and really enhance the look. A pool shed provides beautiful storage for water toys, equipment and other items you need to enjoy your pool. Many of these sheds tend to be smaller than the average design, as their primary purpose is for storage. Bigger designs can also function as changing rooms before jumping in. You can add purpose to the outside as well by including towel and bathing suit hooks. Reclaimed wood, white paint and nautical décor will really add a great look as you sit poolside.

Man Cave Sheds

Man caves are very popular right now and are a great way to repurpose an older shed. Create a personal space with a man cave shed, giving him a place to escape and enjoy. A man cave shed can have many elements of a man cave room, like a recliner and memorabilia themed décor.

To really give the shed the man cave treatment, you’ll need electricity for a small fridge or television, if it’s not installed already. Contact a pro to help give your shed the full man cave treatment.

Retile A Shower

Nothing in the home lasts forever, including tile, and since the bathroom is the most trafficked room in the home, retiling a shower is a project one must consider. Even more so, a shower gets rid of dirt, sweat or any other unwanted growths on your body. As such, it deserves to be as clean as possible.

Existing tile can only be cleaned so much. Many choose to revitalize their bathroom by retiling the shower. It can be a lengthy and sometimes timely project, but those who do bite the bullet almost always agree that it is well worth it.

How to Retile A Shower

Retiling a shower consists of completely knocking out the existing tile and installing new tile. For those of you with larger showers, this is by no means a short project. However, before you can get started, you must first choose your existing tile, which I will get to later, and gather all your tools. The tools you will need to retile your shower are:

  • New tile
  • Utility knife, chisel or putty knife
  • Hammer
  • Sander
  • Scrub brush
  • Grout
  • Grout trowel
  • Mortar mix
  • Mortal trowel
  • Paint remover
  • Tile spacers
  • Caulk
  • Goggles
  • Gloves

Step 1: Remove Old Tile

First, remove the shower head and shower handle. You may need a drill or screwdriver. Then, cover the shower floors to prevent damage from falling tile. You can use multiple towels or cardboard.

Take your hammer and chisel and start from the bottom corner. Gently place chisel on side of tile and use hammer to push the tile out. Start gently. As you move on, you may have to use some real elbow grease to get these tiles out.

Some of the shower tile may chip, but your goal is to get each individual piece off by itself. As you move your way inside the shower, you may have to the use putty knife or flat bar instead of a chisel. Go across one row first and then move your way down. It makes the process much easier.

Once all tile has been removed, chisel off any remaining mortar as well.

Tip: Be very careful with tile along the wall and ceiling. Use your utility knife and make a cut along the top, bottom and side tile along the ceiling, floors and walls. Be very careful with these tiles. You don’t want to ruin the walls, ceilings, or floors.

Midwest Windows Direct

Many pros get into the business for the money. Others do it because they were raised on it. Very few join the contracting world to teach homeowners a thing or two about home remodeling. For 15 years, Steve Cotton has been educating homeowners everything they need to know regarding windows, doors and siding.

Seven years ago, Steven started Midwest Windows Direct. Now serving virtually all of Northern Illinois, Midwest Windows vows to maintain a 100% customer satisfaction rating through education and open communication.

Let’s see how Steve climbed the window industry from the bottom up.

Jacob Hurwith: What are some of the services you offer?

Steve Cotton: We handle all replacements of windows, doors and siding. While we do not do repair work, we will take on any window, door or siding replacement or installation project.

Hurwith: What do you love about the business?

Cotton: I got started in this business because there was a need in the industry for someone who could walk homeowners through the process. We needed someone to teach them and not take advantage. When I started, pros were not getting into the needs of the homeowners. They were not educating the homeowner. Homeowners need to be educated as to the details of the project and how we can help them.

Sadly, people were being ripped off. I wanted to be affordable and energy efficient. Overall, I want to sell you something that you will like and be able to use for a long time. In the end, I’m just an everyday working person.

Hurwith: What are some of the most frustrating aspects of the business?

Cotton: The hustle and bustle can sometimes get to you. You get the deposit, but now have to get project completed. You are busy what seems like all the time. Averaging 65-70 hours per week is tough.

When other people are spending time with their families, you are taking on new projects.

Hurwith: What is your favorite remodeling story?

Cotton: One time, I had a customer who received 10 estimates. The prices were so different and she was so confused. A single mother with a 2,500sf home, she was torn between everyone to the point that she didn’t want to go through with the project. She was taken before by a pro and she was scared going forward. It seemed like everyone was pushing her.

She was really afraid, but I was able to convince her to move forward. I went out to her home five times. We emailed back and forth and I think all that eased her mind. I walked her through the installation process and we got the project done. The job was originally for windows, but grew into siding as well.

Now, whenever she does work around the house, she calls me for advice.

Tips for Refinish A Bathtub

Refinishing a bathtub is the easiest and cheapest way to bring new life to your very dated (or very dirty) bathtub. Those of you who don’t have the time or patience to clean your tub often or want to restore your old, unique tub you don’t see nowadays will greatly benefit from a bathtub refinishing, also known as reglazing, project.

Fortunately, bathtub refinishing doesn’t cost more than $142 and can be completed for less if you choose to take it on as a DIY project. Nevertheless, by comparison to a new tub, refinishing can save thousands.

Now that the major benefit is out of the way, it’s time to get to work. See how to refinish a bathtub below.

Refinishing Bathtub Costs

As most reglazing projects are done without pros, the costs tend to stay below the $100 mark. According to our cost guide, the average minimum cost of tile or bathtub reglazing is $17 and the maximum is $142. If you are eager to take this project on by yourself, there are plenty of refinishing kits at The Home Depot.

Nevertheless, if you hire a bathroom remodeling professional, expect the price to increase.

Materials Needed

Like any DIY project, certain tools and materials are needed. While I am going to cover multiple ways to refinish a bathtub, some or all the materials below will help you transform your old grimy tub to the masterpiece it once was.

  • Bathtub Refinishing Kit
  • Sandpaper
  • Hand Towels
  • Paper Towels
  • Paintbrush
  • Paint Roller
  • Caulk
  • Utility Knife
  • Paint Stripper
  • Abrasive Cleaner
  • Masking Tape
  • Masking Paper
  • Rubber Gloves
  • Plastic covering
  • Epoxy
  • Abrasive Pad

How To Refinish A Bathtub

There are a few different ways to refinish a bathtub. As long as you purchase a refinishing kit (or hire a pro) and follow the instructions, your new tub should come out just fine.

Below, I will discuss both the short and long ways to refinish a tub. While I would always recommend the long way (as it provides a more thorough covering), the short route gets the job done.

The Short Way of Bathtub Refinishing

  1. Purchase a bathtub refinishing kit.
  2. Remove everything from the bathtub and all surrounding bathroom supplies.
  3. Turn on your bathroom fan or open all windows. If you do not have a fan or windows, throw in some fans and leave them on throughout the process.
  4. Time to prep and clean the bathtub. Use an industrial bathtub cleaner to thoroughly clean the tub. I recommend going over the entire tub at least three times. You can rinse off with water in between each clean and use sandpaper for tougher stains.
  5. Dry the tub (a hair dryer comes in handy).
  6. At this time, some reglazing projects call for a hydrofluoric acid rinse. If you choose to use hydrofluoric acid for your refinishing project, make sure you let is stand for 10-15 minutes and then thoroughly rinse the tub with cold water.
  7. Dry the tub.
  8. Using the masking tape, cover all tub edges as well as the plumbing including the cap, spout, handles, showerhead and toilet if close by.
  9. Cover the walls of the shower with your masking paper.
  10. Take your reglazing materials, be it an epoxy, paint or a spray bottle, and mix well. If you are using a can, shake it for 60 seconds.
  11. Take your spray or paint, and slowly move in one direction across the tub.
  12. For painting, go slowly and always move in one direction.
  13. Paint on a few thin coats, waiting at least 30 minutes between each coat (read the instructions to see how long to wait).
  14. For spraying, try to spray in one direction.
  15. Apply a few thin coats, waiting at least 15 minutes between each coat (read the instructions to see how long to wait).
  16. Let the tub sit without removing any tape for 2-3 days.
  17. Remove all tape and coverings (slowly).

Expose The Bathroom To Light

Boosting natural light in the home is a top priority for many homeowners. A bright and cheery room is something we all strive for, but isn’t always easy to achieve. One place guaranteed to make this undertaking tricky is in the bathroom.

Windows offer up a practical and, depending on the size of the project, budget-friendly way to add attractiveness and extra light to your bathroom. One challenge that prevents many homeowners from installing new windows is not knowing what’s out there. See several window ideas that’ll expose your bathroom to light without exposing you.

Are you ready to install new windows in your bathroom? Contact a pro today and get up to four free quotes from window contractors in your area.

Glass Block Windows

Installing glass block windows in your bathroom is a popular solution because they not only add light, but also security, privacy and style. You also have the option of installing a film window in the center of your glass block border that opens to add air flow.

If you’re going this route, industry experts recommend hiring a pro to help you install your new windows. Glass blocks need to be properly secured and sealed to avoid any unfortunate aftermaths.

Window Film

Window film is a hot commodity on the market right now! If you haven’t heard of this product, then you’ve come to the right place. Window film is a simple, inexpensive and aesthetically appealing window covering that adds privacy and light to your bathroom with little hassle. You’ll be glad to know that they come in a wide variety of colors and designs to appease every homeowner’s taste.

You can purchase these films at your local home improvement store. This is a simple DIY project that can be completed in a matter of minutes. Decorative film improves the look and function of your bathroom windows without destroying the glass. While your number one concern is privacy, these films also allow you to spruce up the look of your bath at the same time.

If you’re building a home or installing new windows in your bathroom, it’s a good idea to consider how the design of the frames can help provide privacy. Small, thin or unusual shapes draw in light and hinder views from the outside in. Put time into planning the right solution because while windows are nice to have, you don’t want to feel uncomfortable in your own bathroom while you’re getting ready.

Fresh Shine On Old Countertops

Countertops are the foundation of your kitchen. The cleaner and shinier the better, however, there isn’t a universal method for putting a fresh shine on your countertops. This is why it’s important to not only learn general cleaning techniques, but also instructions for cleaning your specific type of counter.

The cleaning method you use to make them shine depends upon the materials in the countertop. From laminate to granite countertops, applying the right cleaning techniques will give your countertops back their shine. See tips for putting a fresh shine on old countertops and instantly improve the look of your kitchen.

Ready to start your kitchen remodeling project? Connect with a pro today and receive up to four free estimates.

Solid Surface

Solid surface is typically available in matte, semigloss and gloss finishes. These countertops do require a bit of extra care and maintenance and, depending on the quality of materials, can cost more than other countertops. See below for shining specifics depending on the surface type.

Glossy

  • Clean the surface with soapy water and an ammonia-based cleaner (i.e. Softscrub, and avoid cleaners that leave behind residues.)
  • For extra shine, clean with an abrasive household cleanser like Ajax or Comet and apply gently with a sponge. The bleach in them doesn’t hurt solid surfacing, but it does take five or six wipe-downs to get rid of the residue.
  • Do this once a month to maintain the original level of gloss.

 

Semigloss

  • Increase the frequency of cleanings with an abrasive cleanser and sponge.
  • It’s a process that’ll take time and repetition to reach a higher gloss.

If you want a super polished gleam, your counter will have to be refinished. This isn’t an easy job, but it’s usually easier and cheaper than replacing the countertop. If you’re not willing to maintain a glossy surface, maybe you’re better off leaving it matte or semigloss. If you’re looking for something quicker and shiner, then hire a professional countertop fabricator who can bring the surface to a high polish for you. This typically includes sanding and thorough polishing.

Ceramic Tiles

Tile countertops are popular in kitchens and baths alike. Keeping your tiles clean will not only make them look brand new, but also keep them sanitary. Bacteria and microorganisms get into the grout, which is a porous material. This has the potential to make your countertops unfit for hosting food.

Get rid of dirt and germs and avoid staining by wiping down your countertops after every use. You should do a deep clean two or three times a year. Follow these steps provided by DIY Network on how to clean ceramic tile countertops.

  1. Remove the day-to-day dirt by wiping off the countertop with a commercially prepared tile cleaner, or make your own cleaner.
  2. Start with the grout because it’s the dirtiest part of the tile counter. Tile doesn’t stain easily but grout does. Spray the grout with a grout cleaner. You can also use a mild bleach solution. It’s a good idea to wear gloves when using these types of products. They contain strong cleaning agents that could irritate your skin.
  3. For deep stains, allow the cleaner to sit for 10 minutes. Use a toothbrush or other small scrub brush to brush the grout. This is where much of the dirt from daily use and, often, mildew accumulates.
  4. Start at one corner of the counter and work your way across the surface, cleaning all the grout lines. Don’t scrub the tile itself with the brush because it could scratch the tiles.
  5. Let the grout air dry, then seal with a commercial grout sealer. This will protect your grout from coming out and help it resist stains and dirt.
  6. Should you seal the tile? If you have glazed ceramic tiles, you won’t need to seal it. Unglazed tile countertops will need to be sealed with a commercially prepared tile sealer to protect it and make it stain-resistant.
  7. Finally, rinse the counter and grout with hot water. This will make a tile kitchen counter food-safe, and a bathroom counter germ-free.

How to Remodel Your BathroomI

DIY bathroom remodeling is not only a popular trend going around the U.S., but it’s also one of the most valuable. In fact, on average, bathroom remodeling projects yield a 60% return on investment. As such, you may not only get to enjoy the luxury of using an updated bathroom, but the monetary return as well.

Nevertheless, bathroom remodeling is not easy. To make a difference, you need honest advice from the pros. As such, we rounded up six common DIY bathroom remodeling projects and the steps to complete each without a pro.

If you feel some these are biting off more than you can chew, be sure to contact a professional bathroom contractor near you.

Bathroom Remodeling Costs

Before we dive into each project, we must cover the average costs. According to our bathroom renovation cost estimator, the national average for a bathroom remodeling job is $7,920. This price includes hiring a professional. Therefore, expect your DIY bathroom project to be much less expensive (expect longer completion time though).

DIY Bathroom Planning

Before you start your DIY bathroom remodel project, you must ask yourself six essential questions. By asking and answering all six, you will know if this bathroom project is not only worth your investment, but time as well.

The six questions you need to ask yourself before every DIY bathroom remodeling are:

  1. What is in the bathroom remodel budget?
  2. What do I need & what do I want?
  3. Who will be using the bathroom & what is its function?
  4. How long can the family function without this bathroom?
  5. Do I want to install energy efficient products?
  6. Do I need more bathroom ventilation?

For more tips and guidelines into this six questions, please see DIY Bathroom Remodel Planning.

DIY Bathroom Ideas

Painting

Time to jump into your DIY pants. I am going to start off with the easiest and most prevalent DIY project around the house. Believe it or not, new paint can transform your bathroom from 1980s drab to 2010s fab. Whether you go bold with dark blue or casual with stripes, new paint will not only give new life to an outdated bathroom, but make it feel larger as well.

Making your small bathroom feel large is not as hard as it sounds. There are easy, proven painting tips that can make your small bathroom feel like the lavish master bath you deserve.

  • Use light colors
  • Keep all same tone
  • Blend tile color & wall color
  • Paint ceiling & wall same colors
  • Paint vertical stripes to make it seem taller
  • Paint horizontal stripes to make it seem wider
  • Use light colors on doors, windows & molding
  • Color unexpected accents
  • Paint a statement or accent wall

To see how to take advantage of each tip, please see 10 Painting Tips To Make Your Small Bathroom Seem Larger.

Showers

We spend much of our time in the shower and fortunately for DIY homeowners, there are a few easy DIY shower projects you can complete without a pro.

Clean & Unclog Shower Drains

The first shower project is not so much a DIY project as much as it is DIY maintenance. With long hair myself, I know what it’s like to see hair all over your shower drain. Anyone with longer hair knows the struggle of cleaning your shower drain. Luckily, there are a few over the counter ways to unclog/clean your shower drain.

  • The Baking Soda & Vinegar Solution: After pouring boiling hot water down your drain, add a ½ cup of baking soda and let it sit for 10 minutes. Then, add a ½ cup of vinegar and one hot cup of water. Cover the drain.
  • The “Gorilla Style” Method: Bend a metal coat hanger so that the hanger portion forms a hook. This is a great way to fish out any clumps of slimy hair that might be clogging your shower drain. With an old plastic grocery bag acting as your catch-all for the mess, quickly tie the bag shut when all the gunk is gone to contain the odor. Pour baking soda down the shower drain. Then, add vinegar and immediately plug the shower drain with the rag. Wait 20 minutes for tougher clogs.

Create The Perfect Farmhouse Style Bathroom

I want you to take every stereotype you have about farmhouse bathrooms and throw them out the window. A farmhouse bathroom isn’t for everyone, but I want you to decide for yourself if it’s something that appeals to you after reading through this article and viewing the abundance of mix and match styles this design has to offer.

Creating a farmhouse bathroom is an exciting project because it encourages you to mix textures, personal style and special features, without too much trouble. Learn how to construct the perfect farmhouse bathroom by familiarizing yourself with the key interior design elements.

Are you ready to remodel your bathroom? Contact a pro today and get up to four free quotes from bathroom contractors in your area.

Farmhouse Style

Start by narrowing down the style you prefer for your farmhouse bathroom. You need a foundation and overall theme to jumpstart your project before you start decorating. For example, a contemporary farmhouse bathroom will look different than a country or rustic farmhouse. No matter what way you go, remember that it’s all about the details and individual pieces coming together to tell a story.

Farmhouse chic focuses on keeping the décor elegant and simple, but also includes a punch of farmhouse flair. This bathroom is the perfect example of chic, with a white color scheme, dark flooring, a corner window, custom mirror and bathtub. It proves there’s a way to integrate a farmhouse twist for just about everyone’s taste.

Farmhouse Mirror

One of the most important features of a farmhouse bathroom is installing the right mirror. It’s something that seems like a small detail, but it’s actually very significant to getting the right look down. A long, horizontal mirror with a wood frame is just one example of how to easily incorporate a farmhouse feel.

In addition to a long, framed mirror, a round mirror with a wicker border will do the trick. Not only does it add an element of surprise, but it also serves as texture, and texture is always a good thing. Paired with the right vanity and countertop, you have a winning combination.

Farmhouse Wall Décor

Picking your farmhouse wall décor is one of the best parts of creating a farmhouse bathroom. Floating shelves, ladder shelves, wicker baskets, quirky signs, plants and unique containers will make your bathroom come alive. Although you want to decorate with lots of different kinds of pieces, you don’t want to go overboard and create clutter in your bathroom, so be careful. Make it simple and organized and it’ll be attractive.

Back to school project and DIY

It’s back to school time! Remember the thrill of seeing fresh school supplies laid out neatly on the table, trying out that cool backpack for the first time, and wondering who your new classmates would be?

As a fun-loving parent, you can add to that excitement by creating DIY projects that will enhance study time and encourage them to keep things neat. They’re fast, too, which is perfect for the back to school rush. Here are a few ideas to get you started.

1. Build a new bookshelf

One of the most exciting parts of back to school are all the new textbooks a student will receive. Even though they might not be able to take the books home, you can provide supplemental tomes that will encourage them to study, as well as fiction and non-fiction books appropriate for their age and grade level. But where will all those new books go?

That’s where your DIY bookshelf comes into play. Though you could make a simple bookshelf of sturdy plywood, where’s the fun in that? Create a floating bookshelf instead. Simply install sturdy L-brackets on the wall at regular intervals, creating either a vertical or horizontal shelf area, depending upon your available space. Then stack books directly on those L-brackets to create what appears to be books that float against the wall.

It’s such an easy DIY that even little kids can do it — with some help from you, of course.

2. Give them a “new to you” desk

Is there a desk in your home that is really comfortable, has been around for ages and fits just right in that perfect corner? This is the right time to make that ‘old’ desk new again with a fresh coat of paint and a few little embellishments.

For maximum fun and minimal mess, drag the desk outside for painting. Allow your kids to choose the colors, give them a paintbrush and let them work their magic. To make things seem even newer, add little details like a pencil rail (held down with double-sided tape), drawer organizers made of small strips of wood (painted in complementary colors, of course), and side folders attached with small strips of Velcro. The result is a desk the kids will be proud to call theirs.

And if you don’t like the colors they choose? You can always paint over it when they go off to college.

3. Explore new storage options

If your kids have a habit of dropping their backpacks on the floor, followed by shoes, outerwear, and anything else they might have been carrying, you could wind up with a hefty pile of school stuff right inside the front door.

Corral all of that with dedicated cubbies and hooks. The hooks can fit neatly almost anywhere, but if you don’t have enough hanging space, a colorful coat tree will suffice. For cubbies, create simple wood boxes of plywood, paint them in your child’s favorite colors, and stack them in a nearby corner. For the youngest kids, make sure all those boxes are clearly labeled, so they know exactly where things are supposed to go.

Of course, how often they actually put things in those proper places is another story…

4. Create a snack crate or two

Kids usually burst through the door with food on their minds. The refrigerator is probably the first place they go after getting home — and they might dig through it until nothing is where you left it. Remedy that problem by creating a dedicated space just for their snack craving.

This DIY is two-fold: Start with a sturdy plastic crate that will fit nicely in the fridge, and stock it with things the kids love, such as bite-size veggies or cheese in individual containers and juice boxes. Then turn your attention to a favored spot on the table or counter, where you can place a handsome wooden crate for non-perishables, such as granola bars or handfuls of nuts in single-serving containers.

Turn the kids loose on both crates with paints of their choice to help them get excited about having space of their ‘own’ to use after school. The more ownership they feel over the crates, the more likely they will be to eat the good things inside them.