House For Six


A Quick Coat Closet Makeover

Deme CrinionComment

The coat closet makeover has to be one of my all time favorite projects.  They give you such a big bang for your buck in the function department, but don't demand a ton of time or resources. All it takes is a little creativity and resourcefulness.  

Our most recent closet makeover was small scale, but made a huge different in how we come/go each day....and how pleasant we are now that we don't have to wrestle a snow gear monster before greeting each other.

Quick, easy, and budget friendly coat closet makeover

We're dedicating an entire room to laundry/corralling our kids gear (those lucky ducks), but James and I were still in need of a space for us to drop our own bags, shoes, and jackets.  There's a tiny little coat closet right next to the garage door we had been using.....which mostly consisted of jackets on hangers above a heap of jumbled shoes, more jackets, and bags on the floor. 

It was like being welcomed by a crap avalanche every time we came home and opened the door. Super serene and welcoming, right?

With the rest of our house in disarray, I needed to claim myself a corner of sanity.  So during one naptime a couple months back I pulled everything out, dug through our extra hardware for leftover hooks from our last coat closet project, and grabbed a can of leftover paint.  

I didn't let myself get caught up in design details or color schemes and just focused on getting it DONE before the baby's chants of "Up!" rang out from her room.  I didn't even take before pics. #badblogger   

I started like I do any organizing project and pulled everything out of the closet.  I wiped down all the shelves and baseboards, then grabbed a paintbrush.  I wanted something darker that would hide scuffs and dirt, but the only colors I had were a deep but bright blue we used in our shared boys' room and the black paint we used on our shutters and garage door when we painted the exterior of the house (post on that coming soon!). 

More neutral felt right since I do have some colorful accessories, but that also meant that two coats were needed.  Since I was in a time crunch I opted to only paint the section below the shelves and leave the top lighter.  I set up a small fan on a chair to give the drying process a boost. 

Once it was dry enough, I grabbed our drill and screwed in some hooks.  I screwed them right into the existing trim so they're extra secure.   I also had these simple shoe shelves from Meijer (just $10 each). I planned to use them in our boys' room, but they didn't work and they were the perfect side-by-side fit in here.  Well almost...   

They fit with 1/2 inch to spare going wall to wall, but the quarter round along the baseboard took up just enough space that these would not sit flat on the floor.  So, I pulled off the quarter round and figured James could cut the trim pieces to fit around the shelves if we really wanted a more finished look. 

For now, we sort of forgot all about the missing quarter round because with just a little paint, a sprinkling of hooks, a few baskets, and some shoe shelves, we now have a high functioning sliver of a closet. 

Quick, easy, and budget friendly coat closet makeover

I've taken the hanging rods off of closets in exchange for hooks in the past, but this closet is quite small and we do keep multiple coats in here during the fall and winter months. Keeping the rod and a few hangers seemed a good way to store multiple coats and keep the hooks free for bags, purses, scarves, etc.

Quick and easy coat closet makeover

That woven basket keeps some of my running gear and gloves, while the bins up top hold on-the-go resupplies, tools, and off-season items.  

Quick, easy, and budget friendly coat closet makeover
Quick, easy, and budget friendly coat closet makeover

Definitely my favorite kind of project: quick, minimal investment, reuses what we already have on hand, and makes our lives less chaotic. Since I was able to use leftover paint and hooks I already had, the only cost was the $20 spent on the shoe shelves, but even if I did fork out the cash for hooks and a quart of paint, I think this could have easily been an under $50 project. Cheers to that!

Quick, easy, and budget friendly coat closet makeover

Our Summer Coat Closet

Deme Crinion2 Comments
I had high hopes for taming our family's explosion of shoes/bags/coats when we tackled this front hall closet makeover last winter.  Granted it still gets messy from time to time, but for the most part this closet is the hero of our entry.

When I first planned out the space I had the impending winter slush and bulky snow gear on the brain. So, I thought I would show you how we made a few tweaks to accommodate these busy warmer months.  Here's what she looks like lately...

While summer days are relaxed, our calendar is also busy...we still have piano lessons, T-ball, swim, and some fun summer camps.  We also take advantage of the free days to get together with friends.

Translation: a lot of gear. 

Storing our bulky winter items away opened up a few hooks, which means my bag lady tendencies have been fully reinforced to accommodate.

We've got a swim bag (with towels, goggles, and sunscreen)....

We've got our sports bag (that red lady on the top shelf)...

T-ball is the current calendar hog, so this bag keeps all that baseball gear in one spot, ready to grab and go. 

Those adorable green striped bags were actually birthday party favors that my dear friend HAND MADE.  They've become our favorite library bags and the initials help the kids be a little more responsible for their own books.

And of course, the diaper bag....ideally fully stocked, but usually missing some key item.

Seriously, guys - bags!  It saves us so much time getting out the door when all we need for a given activity is corralled to one spot.  #bagladyforlife

One thing I thought we would ditch during the warm months is the boot tray.  But, oh contrare.  It has been a very rainy summer thus far and having a place to set down wet or dirty shoes is something we're going to need all year long.

The wire bins that used to hold each kid's winter hat and mittens are now great for summer hats and sun glasses.

I think I will forever sing the praises of the hook.  Removing the original rod and replacing it with a bunch of hooks made all the difference in our closet going from this:

to this:
coat closet makeover

and now this:

You may not have an entire closet to dedicate as a drop zone, but even mounting a few extra hooks to a wall right next to the door where you enter the house can make a huge impact in smoothly getting in/out of the house.  Believe me, this area is not always tidy but it certainly saves us a ton of stress and frantic searching of things. It's definitely keeping our summer days a little more relaxed and organized.

How do you manage all the summer activities?  And by the way, what happened to July?!?  I'm in denial that August is right around the corner.

Thanks so much for reading! We would love to hang out!
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Coat Closet Makeover

Deme Crinion6 Comments
I'm a firm believer in not living with something that isn't working for you.  Even if it means breaking a few house rules.

James and I are quite capable of making a mess on our own, but throw a few kids in the mix and the house can get out of control in 5 seconds flat.  Especially that area where we come and go.  It's like a magnet for chaos.
We're fortunate to have a full size coat closet between our garage entry and front door.  But even with all that glorious storage space, most of the time it looked like this.....

How?! Well, the closet was great for anything that belonged on a hanger...beyond that it wasn't offering much in the way of practical help/organization.

First, we have little people that can't reach the hangers.....
Next, we have bags for every activity.....
Then there's the random stuff we would like easily accessible but just ends up buried among sweatshirts, backpacks, and I think that's an extention cord I see on the ground. 


With the winter fast approaching, the amount of "gear" needed to get us out the door multiplied overnight and if you can even imagine it (don't let your head explode), this closet got even worse.

It was time to make this space start working for us and I'm thrilled to say that with just a few small tweaks and additions we finally have a space that is working overtime for our whole family.
coat closet makeover

I started by pulling every last thing out of the closet and taking inventory of what we particular, what was contributing to the mounds on the floor.  I put away anything was better stored in another room and came up with sketch/plan for organizing the rest.
coat closet makeover

The plan was fairly simple - ditch the closet rod....add lots more accessible hanging storage...get the bags off the floor.

We started by pulling off the doors and taking down the rod.  This alone was a huge improvement and having the doors off made the space feel larger.  Sure, it's nice to be able to hide our messes behind closed doors, but they were old and rickety and just one more thing that got in the way as we were all trying to find or take off our stuff.

I liked the simple lines of the support piece below the upper shelf, so we added another piece of trim in a similar size halfway down the wall and gave them both a fresh coat of white paint.

Of course, in my grand scheme I wanted to do some amazing wall treatment in here....maybe some wallpaper or stencil.....but in the end I realized that our gear already had a lot of color/pattern and decided to keep it simple by painting the walls the same light neutral that's going throughout the rest of our living, dining, and entry space (Irish Mist by Behr).

Next came the hooks. Seriously, you guys.  Hooks.  Sometimes we can just make things too complicated. Every hook has two prongs and they were the easy answer for maximizing our hanging space in a way that the kids could maintain. These are all from Home Depot in an oil rubbed bronze finish.
coat closet makeover

Then it was time to fill er' back up!
coat closet makeover

James and I claimed the top row of hooks for our coats, scarves, and bags.  Although, our daughter can reach these too.
coat closet makeover

We do have more jackets than this closet holds, but we only keep our most frequently worn numbers here and the rest are in our master closet or off-season storage bins.
coat closet makeover

Adding hooks to the narrow side walls gave us even more storage and enables our bag hoarding tendencies.  We have bags for library books, school, and varies other sports/lessons throughout the year. 
coat closet makeover

Having a designated space for the bags eliminates the frantic dash around the house trying to find missing shin guards when we should be piling everyone in the car....most of the time anyway.

The lower rail is obviously dedicated to the little people around here.  We gave them plenty of two prong hooks for a lighter sweatshirt or fleece and a heavier coat.
coat closet makeover

The hooks have been fantastic, but we found that all those cold weather extras like scarves, gloves and hats were still littered all over this space.  So, we screwed in a wire basket for each bambino and that was the game changer.
coat closet makeover

coat closet makeover

We have a narrow shoe cabinet from IKEA (this one here) just across from this closet.  It houses most of our shoes, but we needed a place to put our wet boots after a snowy outing.  I was e-stalking all the pretty trays, but eventually practical and budget friendly won the day with these boot trays from The Container Store.
coat closet makeoverThey're a really durable plastic, so I won't worry about rust like I would with a metal finish and for only $7.99 a pop, they couldn't be beat.  I would still like to add some river rock for drainage, but so far they have been perfect for our wet and muddy boots.  Not to mention easy to clean!

Back on the top shelf we have even more storage.  I picked up these lidded bins for just $4.99 a piece on a Target clearance aisle a few months ago and they turned out to be a great solution for all those remaining items that were previously homeless.
coat closet makeover
Bin #1 has small off-season items like sun glasses and sun hats.  Bin #2 has our on-the-go items like sunscreen and bug spray, and various refills for the car (wipes, hand sanitizer, etc.).  Most of James' tools are stored out in the garage but Bin #3 has a handful of small tools that we reach for on a regular basis like a tape measure, hammer, screwdriver with adjustable bits, level, etc.

I had originally planned to have some sort of umbrella stand on the floor, but since we needed two boots trays that ate up most of the floor space, I moved the kids umbrellas to a basket up here.  And now I don't have to worry about one of these "swords" poking an eye out.
coat closet makeover

And that wraps it up!  It's amazing what a little trim, paint, and hooks can do for a space!  One last before and after?  That's my favorite part too.....


coat closet makeover

We're fortunate to have this closet, but I know many homes are completely lacking in the entry storage department. If you don't have space for a cabinet or free standing storage, you might be able to nab some wall space......sometimes just a few hooks can make all the difference!

*How do you corral all the coats, bags and shoes you need to get in/out of the house each day?  How do you get creative with limited or non-functional storage options in your home?

Thanks so much for reading! We would love to hang out!
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31 Days of Life Simplified, Day 9: A Purged & Organized Closet

Deme Crinion1 Comment
The first space on our purging radar for this 31 Day series was our master closet.  I have no idea why....

...the shame!

...the horror!

My goal for this closet was to simply get it purged of clothes that didn't fit or that I didn't wear and to get it organized....worry about the pretty stuff later.  There were my regular clothes, maternity clothes, and all sizes in between.  Turns out a little editing down and organization can do a world of good in the pretty-up department.

The only things in this closet now are items that will take me through my last trimester or regular clothes that I can still use as layering items (i.e. regular flannel unbuttoned over a maternity tank).  The rest went into storage bins under our bed.

Let's all breath a collective sigh of relief...
The drawers hold shirts, sweaters, pj's, jeans/pants, workout clothes, undergarments, and socks/tights/leggings. Everything else is on a hanger.  I also moved my summer shoes to the top cubbies.  The shoes I wear most days are downstairs in our shoe cabinet.

I found that if I tried to create stacks of clothes on the shelves they just ended up in a heap.  I couldn't tell what was clean or dirty because nothing stayed folded.  Now that all clothes are either on a hanger or in a drawer, I can leave this space open for accessories or who knows what.

This side of the closet was the biggest improvement.  We ditched the catch all shelves and my long dresses can now hang freely and my taller boots have a place to land.

How about a side by side for that one?

I'm using a pant hanger to corral my scarves but would like to change this up eventually.

I still need to address my belts and jewelry, but it's a huge relief to know that I can actually wear everything in this closet.  I like that there's extra space to breath and miraculously, the nervous twitch that used to strike when I walked in here has vanished.  Now, onto that coat closet!

I would love to hear how you keep your closet from turning into chaos!  How do you keep things organized?

*This is part of the 31 Days of Life Simplified series...catch all the posts right here!

Thanks so much for reading! We would love to hang out!
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