Small Coat Closet Organization

Back when I began this blog, I shared how I organized our small coat closet.  It's been almost two years now, and with a fifth person's shoes on the floor, it just wasn't working.  It seemed the shoes were always thrown into the closet and then it took a while to find them.  It was truly a mess.

I know that some families keep shoes in their own bedroom closets.  We are a shoeless home (meaning we try not to wear shoes inside), and that just does not work for us.  (We're too lazy to carry them upstairs and downstairs, I suspect.  I need convenient!)  We each have "good" sneakers and play sneakers in the closet, along with a pair of Crocs.  I suspect many of us have a fourth pair of shoes as well.  Finding a way to organize these shoes was absolutely necessary.  With winter's approach, I knew that we would soon be adding a loose hat or scarf to the mix, too, and I wanted to have this closet organized.

Organized Closet
I decided that each child needed their own bin for shoes and any loose items like hats.  First, I looked at the Dollar Tree for bins.  I thought the bins there were close to what I wanted in size, but not quite large enough since the children's feet are sure to grow.  At Walmart I found 20 quart bins that fit perfectly across the width of my closet and hold plenty of shoes.  (The bins are the type that come with lids.  I did not want lids to be used in the closet for the shoes though.)

Involve the children.  I called the children over to the closet and showed them the bins.  Each child quickly found their own items from the coat closet floor.

Clean the floor.  After the children's shoes were off the floor, I swept the shoe shelf and floor.

Personalize it.  I typed the children's names in a Word document.  I used the same font and font size for each name, but the children did choose colors for their names.  The Algerian font was perfect for the shoe bins.

The shoe bins sit on top of a shoe organizer that we've had for years.  My husband and I can keep our shoes organized on the shoe shelf.
Below is a closer look at the whole closet.  
Hooks.  The hooks on the door allow the children to hang their own coats and backpacks.   (Well, two of them anyway.  We will need to reconsider this soon!)  We screwed hooks into the door, but if we were to do it again, I would definitely use Command Hooks.  They are strong but can be removed without damage to the wall!  (We use them on the back of the children's bedroom doors.)
Shoe Bins.  The shoe bins are doing a wonderful job of containing the shoes.  Even Little Sister, who just turned two, knows which bin is hers.  The kids like that they can just throw their shoes in the bins and then find them easily later.  I think this casual approach to organizing the closet will work well for us for a long time!
Shoe Shelf.  This is a small closet (just like we have a small pantry).  Two additional bins could fit for the adults, but the shoe organizer works very well.
Hanging Shelf.  At this time, I have kept the hanging shelf in the closet.  My husband and I will still use this for our hats and such.  I think the children will still use it for sunglasses and other random items that do not belong in the shoe bins.
Box of winter items.  We still have the plain box of winter items on the top shelf, along with a basket of my husband's baseball caps and such.

Perfect?  No.  But the shoe bins are a perfect solution to our crazy closet mess.  My husband and I are discussing possibly adding a piece of wood horizontally to a small space to let all the children hang their coats and backpacks.  The downside is that it is by a bathroom door, and the backpacks would block the door a bit.  Another thought is to make a backpack tree.  My husband's grandpa makes coat trees all the time.  I wonder if a simplified version might work for the backpacks.

How do you organize your closet?   

Small Closet Makeover
Kid-Friendly Garage Solutions
Freezer Organization
Counter Clutter
Clutter-Free Support Group on Facebook
Organized Small Pantry

~ Annette {This Simple Mom}
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  1. We have shoe bins also, and they work at times and other times they don't. It's really random.

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  3. Thank you for this information, it is really important to be organized at your home, especially in your closet because it contains a lot of items that you will be using on a consistent basis.


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