House For Six

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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