For the last two months, I've had the ironing board set up in a corner with beach towels and vacuum cleaner attachments on top of it, and a giant box underneath it full of all the things that previously lived in our laundry room in Allen. I like things to be where they're supposed to be. I like things to make sense. I don't like to have to dig for stuff or move a thing to get something else behind it. I'm freakishly OCD about spaces being organized, uncluttered and functional, especially the ones I have to work in often. So this ironing board multi-purposing wasn't really working for me.
I knew exactly what I wanted for this space...which is why it looked the way it did for so long. I wanted a storage cabinet in that corner where the ironing board was living...like an armoire or a TV cabinet, only not quite that big. I wanted it to be just slightly taller than me, because that's about as far as I'm willing to reach to get to the things I use daily. I wanted shelves on the top with doors to hide the stuff inside (because laundry stuff isn't beautiful,) I wanted drawers on the bottom, and I wanted it to be WHITE. I also didn't want to spend more than $150 for it.
I looked on Craigslist every week from June until August. I texted a few people about some cabinets that were close but not quite perfect for one reason or another, and fortunately none of those people ever texted me back, because I would have totally been settling if I had bought any of those cabinets. I've been to every thrift store in the greater Birmingham area...multiple times...and never found what I was looking for.
And then we found out about the World's Longest Yard Sale. Yep, that's actually a thing! Craig found out that this amazing event happens the first weekend of August every year. It starts in Gadsden, AL and continues all the way up Hwy 127 to somewhere in MICHIGAN! Guess how happy I was to find out that Gadsden is only about 30 minutes from our house!
On Friday morning, I woke everyone up at 6:00am and asked them if they wanted to come treasure hunting with me. Surprisingly they all did, including Craig, so we took two vehicles (one to carry people and the other to carry stuff...and also because some of us needed a little space from each other) and we caravaned slowly up Hwy 127. We thrifted our way all the way to Signal Mountain, TN (just north of Chattanooga) and although we had seen some crazy things and found a few fun treasures, we still hadn't found a white cabinet for the laundry room.
Finally at 4:30ish we stopped at a giant tent filled with furniture...and shoppers! In the very back corner, there was a mostly white cabinet in two pieces that weren't quite fitting together very well. The drawers on the bottom half were crooked. The shelves from the top half were laying on the ground next to the cabinet skeleton along with two glass doors covered in butterfly stickers with Dora knobs. And the whole thing was covered in a layer of dust. It looked pretty rough.
But...I looked at it for a LONG time, and touched every part of it, and realized that the glass wasn't even cracked and that underneath all the dust, there wasn't a single scratch on it. The whole thing just needed to be girded up a little. It was the right height, had everything I wanted, and it could be WHITE again. The little yellow price sticker said $60! Craig was not thrilled. But I loved it. All I needed to do now was find the guy selling all this stuff. When we finally found him and dragged him to that back corner, I asked him if he would take $30 for it, and he said no he couldn't possibly do that, "How about $37?" (Um...hooray! I would have paid $60 for it.)
Even while they loaded it in the van...even while we continued to thrift our way through more of Tennessee...even as we drove my FIND-OF-THE-CENTURY home, Craig still was not convinced that it was going to work. He hauled that pitiful thing into the house and we spent an hour securing drawer bottoms, attaching glass doors, and tightening and cleaning the entire thing, and only when we moved it into its new home in the corner of the laundry room, did Craig finally see my vision.
And now, I don't care if I accidentally leave the laundry room door open and people walk into the house and see it.
Best treasure hunting day ever! Best $37 I ever spent!