How Hard Can It Be?

Does any task attempted following this question ever turn out well?! I doubt it.

Most recently, this phrase came back to bite me when I wanted to reverse the swing of our bathroom door.

The door currently swings into the room and takes up enough space that we are unable to create any storage space (other than the hooks over the door for towels). By reversing the swing, the door would open into the alcove between the linen closet and the bedroom door, and I would open up an entire bathroom wall for storage! Exciting, no?!

Let me show you a floor plan to help illustrate my plan:


Now generally speaking, I DO understand that this would be a huge undertaking if you had a regular door and hinges in place already. But as you can see on the floor plan above, the dotted line shows that the bathroom door was designed to be reversible!!

The door frame is metal, and there are plates covering the alternative locations of hinges and latches! See?


You hardly notice they are there, unless you’ve been pouring over the floor plan looking for ways to fit in more storage space! I love options!

So with this lovely little information and DIY scheme in mind, I happily shopped for the perfect narrow cabinet to hold linens, bath toys, etc.

I knew exactly what I wanted. The tricky part was going to be finding it (not to mention in the right size, and at the right price). I really wanted glass doors and pretty wooden details. Unfortunately, even when I found a piece with the look I loved, it couldn’t be considered if it wasn’t narrow enough to keep the bathroom feeling open and spacious.



Source: IKEA, $499, too deep


Source: Pinterest


Source: Pinterest


Source: Etsy (SOLD), via Pinterest

Apparently, the mint green cabinets really do it for me…

Still, you’ve got an idea of what I was hoping to find. I didn’t feel like I was asking too much, but I certainly wasn’t finding anything narrow enough, either.

These were my top choices at the end of antique/thrift store hunting with Mom:


Price: $175, An intriguing option…but not what I pictured originally at all.


Price: $125, Not as much glass or wooden detail as I really wanted


Price: $85 – Yes, this IS a gun cabinet. This was Mom’s top choice :)


Price: Not for Sale. They “desperately needed it for shoe storage” – clearly…

I still want this one. I can’t get enough faux bamboo!

So, which one did I decide on?

I actually walked away from all of them. I was getting mixed signals from the hubby as to whether or not he supported my idea, and investing in furniture that he doesn’t want in our apartment is never a good idea. The more I thought about things, the more I realized that we had some time to grow into our storage needs. Why buy a cabinet before I know exactly what is going to go in it? I wanted to see if I could manage without it.

That should be the end of the blog entry, right? Well, it’s never quite THAT easy, is it?

When I got home from North Carolina, I decided to move things around a bit, just to see how moving the office to the bedroom was going to go. Hours later, I was SO thankful that I didn’t get any of that furniture!

I’ll share all of the surprises and complications I ran into later (ugh), but for today, all you need to know is that the double-wide hamper needed a new home, and that the bathroom door reversal and new “wall of storage” was the answer to my prayers.

I asked my husband to help me switch the door around on a Saturday morning. I figured we’d be done by lunchtime.

Well…there were a few complications I didn’t think of, and a few additional road blocks that made our Saturday task pretty impossible.

Where do I begin?

  • The screws and plates had been painted over so many times that we had to scrape them with exact-o knives, box cutters, and anything else we could find to break the seal and allow them to turn even a smidgen.
  • The hinges actually needed to be detached from the door as well as the frame, and reattached on the opposite side of the wooden door.
    • I was hoping we could just turn the door upside down…but as my husband intelligently pointed out the door knob wasn’t in the middle of the door, and we didn’t want the handle to be a foot higher than it was meant to be. (He saved me from big embarrassment on that one).
  • The door would need to be carved out to allow for the new hinge placement.
  • The holes from the hinges on the formerly hinged side would need to be filled and painted.
  • Basically, we needed to buy a new door…
  • Most importantly though…The screws altogether refused to turn or come out of that metal door frame.

At the end of a few frustrating hours, we’d seriously only managed to remove those two screws below. We also stripped two more screws, and managed to remove ONE plate. (woo. hoo.)IMG_2162a

(Those are my tools. Yes, iced coffee is absolutely a tool, and NO I did not make my husband use the pink hammer…though sometimes I do).


One plate down…3 left to go.


We worked SO hard trying not to strip this little guy. He just wouldn’t cooperate.

After a stinging defeat, we researched tools for removing stripped and difficult to remove screws and I headed out to Home Depot for Speed Out first thing Monday morning.

Due to a series of vacations and completely lazy weekends, we didn’t attempt to use the Speed Out until this past Saturday.

Despite the inspiring infomercials and a few DIYers appearing shocked at its effectiveness in their own YouTube tutorials, the Speed Out did NOT work for us. I have no idea why.

We decided it was time to give up.

I’m deeming our door “formerly-reversible.”

The hamper is jammed in the bathroom for now, but I have a PLAN!

Failure is not the most exciting DIY topic to write about…but it could have been a lot worse. I could have attempted this whole thing by myself! And just MAYBE, ended up with an upside-down door and a handle about the height of my shoulder.

This project is most definitely a

Di why

Here’s hoping that changing diapers will be easier than this!