Wednesday, February 06, 2013

Coat Closet Organization

We’ve lived in our house for four and a half years and every winter we have the same problem.

Coats all over the house.  Wet shoes all over the house.  Tons of clutter right as you walk in the door from the Garage. No where to have the kids sit down to take off and put on their shoes!  A massive problem.

And heaven forbid it snows and the kids want to go play in it or the Hubby needs a pair of gloves!  Yeah good luck with that. 

Well this year was the year I fixed the massive winter-gear problem!

Lets take a look at the closet first. Here is what it looked like before {it’s pretty scary!}

Coat Closet Before Picture explaination

We had all the gloves, scarves, and hats on some hanging shelves.  All the boots and work shoes were just thrown into the bottom of the closet.  Not even all our coats could FIT in this closet because of the way the rod hung.

We shoved the coats in there as best we could. The dummies who built this house really didn’t use their brain when they installed the closet’s rod.  It was way too far forward!  The slanted wall on the right made it pretty much impossible to hang any coats for the right 12 inches of the closet! The picture below shows where the hanger should hang in order to fit coats on that end since there’s a slanted wall. There was at least 6 inches of wasted space at the back of the closet.  The rod being so close to the front also made it hard to close the door and hide the mess!! 


So that was the first thing we changed! Now we could hang coats along the entire rod and actually fit ALL the coats in the closet!  I got some non-slip hangers to keep the coats from falling off the hangers—worth a couple extra bucks for sure!!DSC_1846-2

They fit!!


Before moving the rod, and because we couldn’t hang hangers on the right end of the closet, I had a hanging shelf organizer.  Except, it wasn’t too organized.  It was open on the back so stuff I put on each shelf sometimes fell out the back and onto the floor.  It didn’t really fit well either because of the slanted-wall-rod-thing either.  But at least I could partially use that space. 

To fix that awesome problem, I gave each person a bin and they sit on the shelves of the closet. One basket for each person—Scott, Me, Luke and Sam.  In each basket is everyone’s hats {both summer and winter hats for the boys}, and gloves. Since we are tall, Scott’s and my bins are on the upper shelf.  DSC_1851-2

I could fit one more up there, but I wanted the boys to be able to get their own stuff someday—especially Luke who can do that now. So in order to accommodate the boys’ bins and all the work shoes and boots that we keep at the bottom of the closet, we needed a shelf.  There was definitely plenty of room for it!Bottom of Closet

I knew the basic concept {similar to this idea}—we used 1” square dowels, painted them and then screwed them into the wall on the back and each side of the closet {so the shelf could just sit on top}.  I bought a 15” deep already painted shelf at Home Depot and had them cut it down to 34” long for me.  Then I came home and set it right on top of the wood pieces we screwed into the wall.  Installing a simple Shelf

Shelf Added

Now I could have twice as much stuff at the bottom of the closet and use all that space better, too! Luke and Sam’s bins rested on the shelf and all the shoes rested on the floor. 

My own bin wasn’t big enough to hold all of my scarves, so I needed another solution. 

I was going to screw a towel bar onto the back of the door and hang them from that. But literally 10 minutes before my hubby was going to install it, I remembered I had an accessory hanger from IKEA not being used in the back of my clothes’ closet!  It was pretty much perfect.  And I still have lots more room on it for my ever-growing scarf collection.  I plan to install a couple hooks on the door instead to hang umbrellas.

Scarves on an Ikea Accessory Hanger

I forgot to mention that all of the snow pants went into the plastic bins at the very top of the closet.  They aren’t used very much, but now they won’t keep falling off the shelves! There’s actually two—one for snow pants that fit everyone now, and one for snow pants that don’t fit anyone at the moment {Luke’s old pants for Sam to wear later}DSC_1851-2

That’s it!! Lets see that again:

Coat Closet Before Picture explainationOrganized Coat Closet

So MUCH BETTER!!!  We actually have a functional closet now!

I will fill you in on the rest of the Garage Entry tomorrow! It’s not as dramatic of a transformation, but it still makes our lives easier!


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  2. That looks fantastic. It makes me want to tackle our front closet now.

  3. That really looks great. Think I might need some bins for gloves and boxes have seen better days. I actually looked for some heavy duty hangers at the store a couple of days ago, because I found one heavy coat nearly falling off the hanger. When I tried to straighten it, I found that the weight of the coat had stretched the hook part of the hanger and it was almost straight! The shoulder parts had sagged too. Guess we need heavy coats to keep warm in Ohio winters.

  4. Moving the rod! - Genius. :-) (This post makes me want to tackle out master closet/craft room...or maybe "want" is a strong word, perhaps "idea passing through the transom of my mind" is better.)


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