Monday, April 30, 2012

Coat Closet Organizing

Back in January, I shared some organizing goals I had for the year. I tackled one pretty quick, but the others got pushed lower on my 'to do' list. After all, I have all of 2012, right?

Well, considering that it is now April...almost May, I thought I needed to get going on some more organization. A few weeks back, I tackled the coat closet. Here's how it turned out:

This is the large closet at the end of our laundry room. Our laundry room is also the entryway to and from the garage. So,this closet holds coats, shoes, and all the other weather-related gear. It also holds our vacuum, mop, and broom. Like closets often do, it also became a home for random items that don't really have a place. Here's a reminder of what it looked like before:

I started by deciding what things needed to be stored in this closet. Based on the location, it has to function as our coat and shoe closet, but also needs to hold reusable shopping bags, small outdoor toys and our large cleaning tools. Anything that didn't belong there got relocated. For example, I used to keep extra rolls of paper towels in this closet, but found a spot for them in the bottom of my pantry.

Next, I went through our shoes. I took some of my dress shoes to my bedroom closet since I wear them less often. Then, I grouped my shoes on one side and John's on the other.

I purchased a rolling plastic box from IKEA to hold our sandals and Levi's shoes. This makes it easy for him to get his shoes out and put them away. (Please look past the scuffed up walls. I could have earned bonus points had I painted inside the closet, but I didn't want to tackle that.)

I decided to move my vacuum and cleaning things to the other end of the closet. That allowed the other end of the closet to be coat and shoe space only. They are a little more "out of the way" when not in use than they were before.

Then I went through our tubs of hats, scarves, mittens, and gloves. I weeded out any that we don't use anymore and organized them by who they belong to. I added labels that I downloaded from Better Homes & Gardens for free.

I corralled our reusable shopping inside one of them. Now it's easy to grab a bag or two on the way out the door if we need to. I used a basket from IKEA to house the smaller outside toys: bubbles, velcro catch game, frisbee, etc. A box of chalk is also on the shelf. Again, as we're going outside, it's easy to grab something to take out with us and everything's not falling down on us. I also labeled it by tying on a label with a ribbon.

Our umbrellas used to sit on the shelf, but they'd often fall down and get lost under shoes. To solve this problem I mounted removable hooks just inside the door of the closet. There was an unutilized few inches and it's the perfect spot to hang our umbrellas.

Finally, I straightened our coats a little. I'd like to say we got rid of some coats, but we are coat hoarders. I will admit that we've had many of our coats for a long time and we have a hard time letting them go. Truthfully we should each have just a few hard-working multi-purpose coats, but we don't. We have more than we need. But, I do promise that neither one of us is buying a new coat anytime soon.

We have lived with our newly organized coat closet for about three weeks now and it seems to be working well for us. It is staying pretty neat with just a few reminders about putting one's shoes away. And it's nice to not feel like you're leaving or coming home to a mess when you walk out of or into the house.

So, that's another organizing goal I can check off. What about you? Have you organized anything lately?

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