Organized space of the week… Coat closet.

December 10, 2012

Hello, friends of A Bowl Full of Lemons! I’m Ginny from Organizing Homelife. I’m a homeschooling mom to four kids and a pastor’s wife. I blog about how I keep my home and life organized. I love offering tips & tricks, easy recipes, DIY projects, and free printables. I’d love to have you visit sometime!

Do you have an area of your home that is a constant source of frustration because of the disorganization that lurks there?

I had organized and re-organized our front hall coat closet more times than I could count. It seemed to be stuck in an eternal state of disorder. No matter how many times I β€œsolved” the problem, it was never truly solved. I dreamed of a perfectly organized closet that my family of six could make the most of. One that kept all of our “stuff” in order, allowed easy access, and generally just functioned well.

But my problem was that it wasn’t in our budget to purchase an organizational closet system. I tried all types of bins, hooks, and baskets to tame the mess. But nothing ever seemed to solve the problem.

Finally, one day as I walked past the everlasting messiness, an idea hit me.

Here is what our closet looked like before:

Hooks, rods, and shoe bins were not easy to reach for little hands, so the kids found their own solution: dump it until Mom loses her sanity, then clean it up.

Another major problem with this closet was that it housed everything from backpacks to snow pants, cameras to shoes, and everything in between. Now, just so you know, I am a huge fan of getting rid of excess clutter, but our home doesn’t have many closets and everything we kept in this closet, needed to stay there.

So what was the solution?

I decided we should cut the lower shelf in half and put up a “wall” in the middle. That way we could put two coat racks on the left side of the closet – one above the other, and keep our shoes, backpacks, lunch bags, etc. on the right side.

I quickly got to work and washed the walls and ceiling and put on a fresh coat of paint. Isn’t it pretty? It just makes me happy. πŸ˜€

After we determined where we wanted to “split” the closet, we went to Lowe’s to purchase the center board. We found exactly what I was envisioning in the “organizing” aisle {shocking, huh?} for about $18. We got some metal “L” brackets for a few dollars to attach the board to the top closet shelf and the wood floor.

Then we bought a large support bracket for less than $2 to hold up the shelf.

Then we hung the rods for the coats. I didn’t anticipate this, but by using two rods, we actually gained about 8 inches of coat hanging space! They were about $11 each. Adult coats hang on the top, and finally the kids can hang up their own coats on the lower rod. Yay! Here’s to teaching kids independence and responsibility!!

And speaking of responsibility, we added 4 double hooks on the right side of the closet. Now the kids can each hang up their own backpacks and lunch bags:

We put a bin {crate} on the floor to hold the kids’ seasonal items. In winter, it holds the kids: gloves, hats and scarves. In spring, it holds: soccer shin guards, cleats, etc. In summer, it holds: swim goggles, water shoes, etc. It makes these items accessible {so they have no excuse not to put them away!}:

The lower shelf that we cut, still has plenty of space to store my Don’t Forget Me Bin and a bin for hats, gloves, scarves, etc. for my hubby and me.

I made some new labels for my Don’t Forget Me Bin. And, I have a surprise for you lurking in this long post – some FREE printables! {You can download and print out these labels here}:

On the top shelf, I have a space to keep the camera bags. I even had space to store the travel DVD player, binoculars and the tripod:

I have a spot for my purses:

…and bin for insect repellant spray and sunblock:

I have two smaller bins to hold miscellaneous things like sunglasses, etc.

I found this little unit at a garage sale a while ago, and it just happens to be the perfect size to hold the kids’ Bibles! They each have their own space and they are ready to go when we’re running out the door to church.

These fabulous shoe bins were also found at a garage sale last summer. I think I paid $5 for them! They are great for keeping everyone’s shoes together. The kids and my hubby have two bins each for their shoes.

They are plenty big to hold a number of pairs of kids’ shoes.

They even have space for my hubby’s grubbies. πŸ˜‰

Are you wondering why I don’t have bins here? Well, lets just say that I don’t apply the “less is more” rule when it comes to shoes. πŸ˜‰ I keep mine in my own closet.

I whipped together some labels to keep it neat. They are all available for you to print for free. {You can download and print out your choice here}

Here is my organized hall closet:

For about $50 {board, brackets, rods & hooks}, our closet has been saved from disorder! It’s been working great, and I’m so thrilled to have found a solution that really, truly SOLVED the problem.

Now when people come over, instead of dying of embarrassment if I needed to hang up a coat, I actually love opening my closet. πŸ™‚

Have you seen my Fridge Organization
{& a Free Printable} post?

13 comments on “Organized space of the week… Coat closet.

  1. Crystal says:

    I love the reorganized closet. You did a fantastic job!!!

  2. I love it Ginny – what a difference!
    xo, Becky

  3. Bridgett says:

    Love it! I’m new to your blog and I love your ides.

  4. This is fantastic!! I was just staring into my coat closet this morning (a very similar sight to your “before”) and wondering how to tackle it. Who knew creating a wall and shifting a few things around would do the trick! It’s so nice when you find the solution that really works πŸ™‚ Thanks for sharing!

  5. Lori, Galloway OH says:

    Genius! So when are you coming to my house to do my closet? πŸ™‚

  6. Laura says:

    I love it! You did a great job! That’s one of the biggest problem areas in our house, but we rent so I’m not exactly sure what to do with it.

  7. Shelly says:

    I really like the end result. My coats are all ankle length. I’ve been thinking of a coat rack we could just hang coats on and stick in the corner. But want one with lower hooks the kids can reach. Haven’t worked out a solution for my home yet. Thanks for encouragement to keep on trying!

  8. That is what I call thinking outside the box…love the finished product.

  9. Natalia Magdalin says:

    I noticed that you have accordion doors on your closet. I know that those tend to make it hard to reach the inside corners/walls. Have you considered taking out the doors and putting in a curtain for easy access yet hiding things from view? I could also add color and pizazz… πŸ˜‰

  10. Elise says:

    Love this…my hubby and I are struggling with what do do in our front closet with our two little kids…. Question for you…how many feet across is the inside of your closet? Would love to copy this but I’m thinking mine is smaller?…

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