When we first moved to Columbus we didn't have a dresser. Our clothes stayed in piles on the floor, but the problem with piles on the floor is that no matter how often one folds and stacks them neatly, one's room never looks clean...so I really really wanted to find a dresser, ASAP! The other problem, though, is that I am picky about my home decor. Not just any old dresser would work, oh no, I wanted a dresser that I really liked. Which, it turns out, is quite difficult to find when one has a budget of approximately $0. :) I scoured craigslist and the thrift store almost daily, but after a few weeks of coming up empty handed (they were all either too expensive or too ugly), I was starting to feel a little desperate. So, as any desperate person would do, I took the matter to the Lord. Now, I recognize that finding a pretty dresser is probably last on the infinitely large list of problems people pray about, but I've always felt that if something is important to me then it's important to God (He is our Father, after all). I commenced praying, and the next day went to the thrift store. I walked to the furniture section in the back and there was this (in case you didn't click on the previous link):
I think angels started singing when I saw it, and I just knew it was meant to be my dresser. Now, I will admit that this was not quite what I wanted, but it was so much better than anything I had previously seen for what it cost that I was willing to take what I could get. Also, it was $20.
I decided to buy it, but then faced another obstacle. The thrift store has a policy that the customer has to get anything they buy out of the store (no help from employees allowed), and there was no way I, with my 6 month old Owen, was getting this dresser out of the store and into my car alone. Thus began my agonizing wait for Casey to return from school so that I could send him to buy my dresser (I was really hoping no one else would buy it in the intervening hours). Casey got home that evening and after dinner I sent him to the thrift store with a description of the dresser. I thought it wouldn't take him more than a half hour. Two hours later, Casey walked in the door with his own story to tell.
At the thrift store he found the dresser just fine, bought it and somehow got it out to the car on his own. Right before hopping in the car to leave he noticed a small family standing outside their car, parents looking rather flustered. They had apparently locked themselves out of their car. Casey approached and asked if he could help, and ended up giving the husband a ride home to pick up a spare car key. During his conversation with the man, Casey told him about my dresser (it was rather conspicuous in the back seat), and how I thought it was an answer to prayer. When they got back to the thrift store parking lot the man pressed a twenty dollar bill into Casey's hand and said, "The dresser's on me". So there it was, my miracle dresser. Here's the after:
Now for the continuing story (bless you if you're still with me). This dresser worked well for our purposes for about three years, but as I mentioned before, it wasn't quite what I was hoping for. In addition, Casey never liked it and the drawer tracks were all broken, making getting clothes out each day a little treacherous. About six months ago we started combing garage sales as a family, looking for a bike for Owen. We never found one, but we found a number of other things (surprise!), one of which was a dresser. At first sight this dresser was...struggling. It had shiny black paint, ugly contact paper in all the drawers, and a drawer broken in half at two of the corner joints. But it had just the shape I had wanted! And casters! And drawers that worked! (Aside from the very obviously broken one sitting on top of it) And! And! And! There weren't prices on anything at this yard sale and I was almost afraid to ask. Dressers like this went for upwards of $90 on craigslist, and we weren't even in need of a dresser. It kept catching my eye, though, and finally I asked Casey what he thought. Of course he thought we already had a dresser...and this one was broken...and a little ugly (the paint was pretty bad), but he could see that I really liked it, so he encouraged me to ask how much they wanted (that's true love). I approached, and asked, and..."How about $25?" Umm, hello beautiful bargain dresser; however, that still was a little much for a dresser we didn't need. I casually asked if they'd be willing to negotiate. "How much?" "$15?" Wonder of wonders, she agreed, and I bought it (not quite sure how to get it home...this one was a good amount larger than the previous one). The whole drive home I assured Casey that I would fix it up really fast (it took me about 3 months...) and we'd have a spectacular dresser with drawers that worked! Casey still seemed a little miffed that I'd bought it, so I assured him that I would go home and sell our other dresser (pictured above) on Craigslist for $35. I listed it that day, and it did indeed sell that very day for $25, and was gone by that night. Woot, a $10 profit! Because of this, we ended up with our clothes on piles on the floor for a few months again, but I think it was all worth it. And Casey has mentioned that he appreciates drawers that don't fall on his foot. ;) THE END.
Dresser before, sans broken drawer (you can see it being clamped on the right).
Dresser before, drawer fixed!
Dresser top in progress. Seriously like 5 layers of awful paint.
Mostly finished with the removing paint from the top (I was going to do the top natural wood...then it didn't work).
Original hardware (I might end up changing it to something a little lighter)