January 12, 2010

Pure Organization Project #2: Coat Closet Makeover

Here’s our mess of shoes before:  (so embarrassing! 🙂

Hope you had a great weekend!  Ready for Project #2?  (In case you’re new, we’re attempting to do an organizational project almost every week of 2010.  I’ll show how I did it & then I’m inviting you to come along & do the project at home & send me pics.   This way, we are sort of holding ourselves accountable to each other 😉 Before I get to Project #2, I wanted to share some reader photos of Project #1 from last week.  Thanks so much to everyone who followed along at home!  I love how each person took her own unique angle on the project.   Here’s my version:
Tina, in Austalia, used these beautiful Martha Stewart tags for her leftover paint:
She wrote, “I used simple twine and my precious Martha Stewart gift tags that I have been saving (lets face it they are too gorgeous to give away on a gift only to be tossed into a bin!!)”  SO pretty!!!
Berta, in Virginia, used this cute little bear container below for her paint:
Yvalie used these mini paint cans for her leftover paint.  She attached typed labels (the words are in German) to the cans along with a sample of the paint on the lids.  How cool?!!!  Love that perfectly clean metal:
And finally, Jennifer found this great idea in Parenting Magazine of using pversized pill boxes for your paint samples.  perfect!!
Thanks so much to everyone who joined & is planning on joining in!  Just knowing we’re working on the projects together makes it less of a chore!!
And now onto Project #2:  Organize the Coat Closet
I’m actually embarrassed to show you the ‘before’ pic of our coat closet.  Yes, we’ve been living like this.   We threw our shoes in the bottom of the yucky closet where they got smashed & lost.  An overflowing box sat on the shelf and it housed all of our hats, scarves, mittens, gloves, etc.   Miscellaneous items like extension cords and shopping returns got thrown in the mix.  Uggggggh:
And here’s our coat closet now:
We took all of this…
… And removed it so we could paint the walls in aqua paint (leftover from our basement).  The best part about this project was that it cost $0 because we just used things we already had.
The first the step is getting everything out & starting from scratch.  For me, I enjoy projects so much more when they can be a little pretty.  Clearly the closet would be just as functional without the aqua paint, but opening the closet door & seeing this fun color just makes me happy, so it was really worth repainting.  (Thank you Dave!!)
Next on the “pretty list” is matching hangers. They’re a MUST. If you don’t have them already, just head out to the store & grab some- even Home Depot sells them. I love Ikea’s (cheap!) wooden hangers & have been using them for years so I can tell you they hold up well.
The closet door is an often-underutilized space for storage.  Here, I hung a canvas shoe organizer and filled it with all of our winter accessories:
If you have kids, you can put their things at the bottom to encourage them to put their things away by themselves:
We’re trying really hard of getting into the habit of heading to the coat closet with all of our winter gear on instead of dropping it off in the entryway.  (Our coat closet is up the stairs & down the hall-  argggg.)  It looks like we need to put Christian’s hat on the next row down:
I put our lint-rollers in here for a quick fix on the way out the door:
I switched out the overflowing box on the shelf…
…with a basket we had.  The basket is a lot bigger & (now emptier) and we’ll juse it to corral miscellaneous items like shopping returns and anything too large to fit in the door organizer.  (I think empty overflow storage is a good idea if you’re anything like me & just need to stash things for quick clean-up sometimes.  When they get too full, make sure to clean them out. )

And now it’s so much better!  Dave made this awesome angled shoe rack out of leftover wood:

It’s a shelf attached on the sides with a little lip at the bottom so the shoes don’t fall down.  We put it in all the way at the front for easy access to the shoes and because there’s hidden dead space in the back where I put the shoes we rarely use.  (Again, another overflow space:  it’lll get messy but I won’t see it on a daily basis and when it gets cluttered, I’ll reassess.)
Having the shoes down low, again, encourages little ones to help:
Christian was so proud of himself for putting away his shoes (a little crookedly! 😉 on the shelf.
“Yay!!!” he said:
This project has made us feel SO much better!!  I don’t dread stuffing shoes in the closet or rummaging for Christian’s hat when we’re running late.  Everthing has a place and that’s the key to getting it right:  just make sure everthing that will realistically be in the closet has a spot.  (1)  Then, use your door for storage (2) by getting a shoe organizer or some other type of system, make sure to use matching hangers (3), and add in some type of empty overflow space (4)- like the basket.   Finally, if you’re anything like me, making it pretty (5) somehow- whether it be paint or wallpaper or color-coding your coats or a pretty box or anything else- will make you so happy when you open that door.
Hope you enjoyed & I look forward to seeing & hearing about your projects!! (Just send me an email by Sunday if you want me to include your project in next week’s post.)   Did anyone else join in last week?
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