January 25, 2012

Coat Closet Organization

This is our coat closet.  It's a wreck.  Obviously.  About a year ago, we put four hooks on the door so that the children could be responsible for their own coats.  It helped with independence, but certainly was not a miracle-worker for organization.   If I were to do it over again, I would invest in Command Hooks, which require no screws and can be removed without a mark.  I still love having the hooks available at the children's heights.

Update: See our updated small coat closet organization now that we have FIVE people's stuff in the closet!  It's so much better!!
At the bottom of the closet, I had used a shoe organizer topped with two wicker baskets.  I thought the baskets were working to corral stuff, but really, I think they were just a dumping ground.  We would lose items like hats, gloves, and even shoes in the baskets.  (This closet is rather dark with no electrical lighting in it.)  We keep our backpacks, diaper bag, and my purse in the closet, too. 
The top shelf had a box for winter items and a basket for baseball caps.  Obviously, the basket was overflowing.  In addition, some outdoor sports items were there.  (Yes, my husband has a lot of ball caps.  Some were disposed of, but he still needs multiple hats for different uses like yard work, sports, or just to wear.)  That ball glove is mine, and I don't think it's been used since I had Big Sis.  (She is five!)  I don't think it needs to take up valuable real estate in the coat closet.
I don't think it is unreasonable to have two, possibly three coats in the closet for each person for different weather conditions that may happen this month.  It is unreasonable to keep a coat in the closet that no longer fits though!  Guilty!
It's important to make the most of what you do have, right?  I am also trying to be content with what I have or at least spending very little to make the closet a happy place for me.  I spent about a month trying to figure out how to improve our coat closet and make it better organized.  Fully disorganized, this closet was often on my mind.  (Looking online didn't help solve my problem, but if you do not have a mudroom, like me, maybe this or this will help you, though they did not work for us.)   
I think I have finally figured out what works for us.  What did I do?

  • First, I removed everything from the closet.  WOW!  That was a lot of stuff!  I also swept and mopped the floor while it was empty.
  •  I sorted the items in the closet.  Many items needed a new, appropriate home or to be given away.  (A few hats went right to the garbage can.)  Some things that left the closet: snow pants, too small shoes, summer shoes, rarely worn shoes, too small coat, summer shoes, some sports equipment, and definitely the baskets!  I had to remember that we each have our own closet in our bedroom to be utilized.
~ On this top shelf I replaced the diaper wipe box with a plain white box.  (It's free and slightly more attractive than the purple and yellow box.) Several items were removed to a more appropriate place in the house, donated, or even thrown away.  The hats now fit in the basket.  I did leave my neck pillow there for when we travel.

~ Limited it to having two coats in the closet for the kids.  My husband and I have three coats.  Once it warms up, I will make it a point to remove the heavy winter coats and add lightweight jackets, as needed.
~ I also had a spare hanging organizer of the small variety.  This is working so much better than the baskets. Essentially, it is a cubby for each of us.  We each have a little cubby there for hats, gloves, and such.  Little Sis's shoes are so tiny (and clean) that I am keeping them in her cubby.
 ~ The shoe organizer works when we limit the number of shoes we keep there to about two per person.  (I rarely wear anything other than my Crocs or sneakers during the week, and I now keep my dress shoes in my bedroom closet for Sundays.)  On top of the shoe organizer we can keep (from left to right) the library bag, Big Sis's backpack, the diaper bag, Brother's backpack, and my purse. They really do line up nicely!  In three and a half years in this house, the library bag(s) have never had a real home.  I am so excited to have it off the dining room's floor!
Here is the new, much more organized closet! 
Once I figured out that I could line the backpacks and bags on the shoe organizer, cleaning it out was a quick project.  We have been using the new and improved closet for about two weeks now, and I continue to love it!  Oh, and total cost was $0!  I really thought we'd have to put in a low shelf of something to get us organized, but I was able to do it all with just removing inappropriate items and adding the hanging organizer!  I do know the white box could be improved upon, but for now I am quite content!

What do you think?  Do you have any suggestions for improving it further?  

UPDATED: See our new and improved organized coat closet!  The shoes became out of hand, but we found a great solution for us!

You might also like our organized small pantry.  

8 comments:

  1. If you have any neutral/solid colored wrapping paper you could cover the box (easier if you're not set on keeping the top flaps--and the inside doesn't need to be pretty). And if you want you could add a label tag to the box.

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  2. The wrapping paper is a really great idea! Thanks, Krista!

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  3. Very nice! I need to organize my coat closet! :P
    I like the hanging organizer! I actually have one of those floating around too!

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  4. Great job! I'm so ashamed of our "coat" closet(it's really just a catch all spot), I couldn't make myself post a picture. ;) You've inspired me!

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  5. Great job! I recently did our linen closet, but have been avoiding our hall closet for years. It is on my to-do list for February. I'm hoping to include some of your ideas. Thanks for sharing.

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  6. I like the hooks on the door for the children's coats! THat's an awesome idea. We have an accordion type door on our coat closet so that wouldn't work but I like it all the same! We have a coat tree by the door with hooks low enough for the kids to hand their stuff on. During the winter our tree looks loaded down and positively scary but in the summer we look a bit more organized. =P

    Like your header! ;D

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