We moved into our brand new home over 14 years ago. K was 3 and she picked the bedroom with 2 windows - I think she envisioned watching for Grandma and Grandpa to arrive for visits. The next biggest bedroom became the office with the computer desk, etc. It had the biggest closet which was great for our extra storage. Since we naturally had the master bedroom, that left the "fourth" bedroom as a nursery for D. We moved in just five days before D was born which meant a scramble to get moved in and ready for our new arrival. We discovered the door to the fourth bedroom didn't work. You could pull it closed but it wouldn't latch, which meant it wouldn't lock either. Since we were rushing to get the nursery set up, a non-latching door was not a concern. A baby doesn't need to have a tightly-closed door anyway. And as she got older, the fact that it wouldn't lock would be a bonus, she couldn't lock herself in or lock us out (we'd later find this was a very good thing with this strong-willed child).
A few years later we moved the office to the first floor dining room space, freeing up the bedroom with the big closet. K decided she wanted a change and a bigger closet that would hold all her clothes and toys so she switched rooms. D was ready for a big-girl bed so we moved her to the room with 2 windows, leaving the fourth bedroom free. What to do with it? I had an art table tucked away in the basement and a sewing machine that I'd have to haul out to the kitchen table when I wanted to be creative. So we decided the fourth bedroom would become mine - my sewing room, craft room, art studio - my office. It worked out great. The door didn't latch, but no big deal. There was no reason to lock it or keep anyone out. The only time it was a problem was at Christmas when I'd want to wrap presents in there and I'd worry that the girls would walk in and see their gifts. I would just threaten them that they were not to come in under any circumstances until I told them I was done.
So here we are 14 years later. The non-latching door is just one of the quirks of our house that we've grown to live with. The fourth bedroom is still my office. We've put a single bed in there - it can be used by a houseguest now, as long as we warn them that the door doesn't latch. Or I can (and do) sleep in there when snoring (his and mine) interferes with sleep (his and mine). The only problem is our dog. He likes to push the door open during the day when we're not home. He goes in, jumps up on the bed and digs around, tearing the blankets and sheets off the bed so that it has to be remade each day. I started barricading the bed with the ironing board (see? there is a use for that thing!) when we left each morning. It was a pain in the butt - one extra thing I had to do in the morning rush, sometimes I'd forget to put it in place, or sometimes I'd do it and he'd still find ways around it. More often than not I'd be making the bed when we got home.
Yesterday, my wonderful husband got out his screwdriver, hammer, chisel, powerdrill, toothpicks, woodglue and extra long screws and he re-set the strikeplate 1/2". I think it took him all of about half an hour. At long last, the saga of the non-latching door has come to an end.
It's amazing how something so small and seemingly simple can make such a difference. As I pull the door shut and hear it latch, I can't help but smile.
11 months ago