Coat Closet Organization Overhaul
Welcome to the first installment of my "Get Organized" blog series where I'll share with you how I'm happily tending to the needs of my family by making it easier for them to go about their day while I cheerfully pick up behind them.......
How'd that sound? Motherly? Eh. Pleasant? Ish. Real life? Heck no! What I have to say is... I've finally had it with the slob people who live here and some of the spaces that we use on the daily that are absolute disaster zones and prone to driving me mad. So I'm on a mini-rampage to clear up some of the clutter and figure out better, more useful organization that uses spaces for all their worth. Like the coat closet that sits at the entry to the house from the garage basically in our kitchen which is usually overflowing with shoes and coats. I'm overhauling it. But it's just the first on the list, so I guess this is probably the first in a Get Organized blog series. Buckle up!
The Unorganized Coat Closet - Before
The closet situation in this house is really unfortunate for a "forever home." Our old house had so much more closet space overall, so when we moved in here, I tried to make due with what we had: a few cube boxes for winter gear, a shoe shelf for the kids, and hooks on the door to hold kids coats.
But after two years of making it work, and literally shoving the door shut because shoes almost never make it on the shelf, I'm done.
Coat Closet Storage Solutions
When thinking about how to get a wrangle on this disaster zone, I knew I needed to maximize the unused space under the coats and up above the shelf. I needed something different for kids shoes that would contain better and not just be an open dump zone. And I wanted to also figure out how to get the kids winter gear in here which was creating a different clutter zone in the laundry room. I measured what would be "empty space" once everything but the coats were out and started shopping. Here's what I found and how I put it to work.
Kids Shoes and Winter Gear
Contain. Contain. Contain. This was what I was after. I wanted to find something that gave them dedicated zones - with their names on them. I decided to find something with drawers which could contain but also close. I found this little metal shelf with fabric storage bins that I knew I could assign to each kid individually. And with the help of some bin labels, make it obvious where they need to put their things. It almost fit perfectly, and has a little extra space on the side to hold the oversized rain boots (or snow boots) seasonally under the long coats.
These labels were a great find - they're plastic, reusable and came with the markers. They slip right over the lip of the basket and can change as we need them to.
Winter Accessories Storage (Hats, Gloves, Etc.)
We were using three standard 11x11 fabric cubes for our winter gear and things were usually overflowing. The ceiling in our closet is pretty high so I knew I wanted to figure out 1) if I could get bigger bins for each of us and 2) if I could add another level to take advantage of the height. I found a fabric bin in a cute grey and black that matched the shoe shelf which came in two different, larger sizes (a 15x11x9 and a 16x12x12) which I thought would be nice to have some flexibility while sorting through. Plus, a new wire stacking shelf helped get one of the larger bins holding the less used stuff up even higher on top of two of the smaller bins. These guys got labels as well.
Sidebar: We had these hangers already because I think a coat closet looks even more organized when the hangers match. It's the little details for me.
Other Seasonal and Miscellaneous Outdoor Wearables
Stashed and tucked in any crevice we could find within the closet were things like umbrellas, ball hats, hand warmers, ponchos, sunglasses, etc. All those miscellaneous wether related wearables. I thought I could use the back of the closet door more intentionally than just a variety of ill-placed hooks for coats and set out to find some sort of magical over-the-door storage. I thought maybe one of those shoe caddy may work but then found this guy - which has four single wider pockets with three small pockets up top. This was perfect for creating a few categories of gear: rain (for umbrellas and ponchos), hats, sunglasses and masks... the category I hope I don't actually need moving forward but for the time being have a huge stash and no where great to put them.
The width allowed me to add two Command hooks back in for kids coats which is helpful so they don't have to try to reach for a hanger. It'd be great to have a real mudroom/locker system some day but for now, this should make things a lot easier for the kids to find what they're looking for - and let me simply shut the door on the mess.
Quick and Easy Closet Lighting
Ok, this was far from necessary, but I thought it may be cool to add some lighting to help see a little better getting things in and out of the drawers. There's one can light outside the closet, but it's pretty dark especially when rummaging around the bottom. I found this set of 6 LED puck lights with a remote that simply stick on. I put three lights down each side of the closet walls one high, one about the height of the rod and one down to illuminate the shoe shelf.
The remote has a variety of different settings and fit perfectly in the top pocket of the over the door storage. These lights had a motion sensor option but simply opening the door didn't activate them all so I'll stick to the remote option which is super simple.
Let there be light! It's a cooler LED light color than I prefer, but almost feels like a "shop light" in the way I helps illuminate.
I can get the remote to turn on all lights or just a section pending where I point the remote.
The bottom set really does make a different for seeing in the bins.
That's a wrap on organization rampage #1: closet organization! Now, what's the over-under going to be on how long I can get my kids to stick to the plan and put their crap where it goes? I believe in them! So probably like, a week?
Need an organization fix? Here's what we used:
Five-bin Fabric Storage Organizer Shelf affiliate
Bin Label Clip Tags and Markets (34 piece set) affiliate
Wood Suit Hangers Target
White Metal Stackable Shelf 23" affiliate
Over the Door Storage Hanging affiliate
Set of 3 Large Bronze Command Hooks affiliate
Set of 6 LED puck lights affiliate
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