Monday, September 5, 2011

The Coat Closet - Take Two

How was your weekend?  Are you enjoying the day off today?  The kids are home and we are spending the day doing absolutely nothing.  And we are loving every minute of our do nothing day!

Last week, I re-organized the coat closet (that is in our basement) that I organized back in March of this year.  Did you get that?  Yeah, I had to reorganize what I already organized because it wasn't working out very well.  It looked good until we went on vacation and had to get our luggage out of that closet.  It was such a hassle!

Honestly, I don't know how I got the luggage up there in the first place!  Not that we travel all the time or anything, but fighting to get to your luggage is no way to start a vacation.  So, I had to find it a new home.  Which of course led to a little closet makeover because that's how I roll.  Plus, it was kind of perfect considering that I made a promise to myself, my house, and this blog that I would spend 30 minutes or less each week during the month of August organizing something in my home.  So here's how it all went down and without spending a single cent - awwww yeah!  I realize that it's September now, but I sort of forgot to share this last week.  My bad.

This closet is in a narrow hallway in our basement.

Boring and basic right now, but I have a plan!

The door at the end of this hallway leads to the garage.  This is where we all come and go.  Basically this is the employee entrance.  :)  Although it was kind of a cluster coming and going through this hallway because it was too tight to have backpacks and coats hanging right there opposite the coat closet.   It was a nice idea in theory, but it never really functioned all that well.  If you had anything in your hand (like a purse, coffee, keys) you had to set them on the floor while you put your coat or backpack on.  I thought about taking the doors off of the closet and building a bench inside to create a little built-in mudroom action.  However, the more I thought about that idea the more I realized it would be another good-in-theory-but-not-at-all-practical one.  I mean where would we store all of our coats not to mention the hubs casual wear because Lord knows I'm not giving up anymore of my master closet space to him.  ;)  Kidding, kind-of ....... okay, I'm dead serious.

So instead I opted to create a little entry foyer/ mud room action inside our coat closet.  This way we'll have a drop spot and the concealed storage that we really need.

The command hooks (bought them months ago with a coupon) on the doors are perfect for backpacks, bags, and scarves.  I pulled in an old Ikea end table that I've had for years to use as a drop spot.  Now, I have a place to set my coffee down without the risk of one of the kids kicking it over which may or may not have happened numerous times before.

I never show you all my crochet projects but the grey hat with the red flower is one that I made for my daughter last year. 
Pillar candle holders make great hat stands and the white dish is perfect for spare change.  It's nice to have a little spare change by the door.  If I'm in a crazy mood and decide to let the kids buy their lunch instead of packing it, I won't have any trouble finding them some lunch money.  ;)

That dish was a wedding present!  It's nice to see it being used everyday as opposed to only on taco night.  ;) 
What I love most about this closet re-org is the lamp.  I love lamp.  I may as well be the dad from A  Christmas Story.  It's not a leg but I still love it even though it's not fra-gi-le.  ;)  Seriously though this hallway is windowless and has just one overhead light, so the lamp really helps to brighten my day.  Thankfully the closet had an outlet so bringing in this Target lamp that I already had was really easy.  No electrician needed.  I just used an old tray to give it a sturdier base on this wire shelf.

I already had the art canvas too (used it here then made a change so it was just collecting dust in a closet).  Bringing it in made the closet look a little less closet-y.

The basket of stuff is for essentials - vitamins, chapstick, sunscreen, lint roller, band-aids - like I said, essentials.

The chalkboard labels and baskets I already had.

Now instead of luggage I've got photo storage.

The photo storage bins were an OfficeMax purchase a few years back.  It's much smarter to store light-weight items that you don't need to get to very often in out of reach areas - lesson learned.  No more fighting with the closet to get the luggage down!

The hallway looks like this now.

Nothing blocking the exit.  Blank and ready for some personality!

Spending just 30 minutes and zero dollars on this closet re-org was well worth the effort.  It really has made a world of difference in our morning routine.  I believe the first time my son saw the lamp in there his words were and I'm not exaggerating, "Mom, this is genius!"  HA!  I told you the lamp was the best part.  ;)  In my opinion, every closet should have some lighting!

So, do you have a mud room and a coat closet or is yours all-in-one like mine?  Where do you store your luggage?  It's hard to find a good spot for it -don't you think?  I'm still working on finding the right place to store ours so I'll let you know when I find it a home.

Hope you have a great Labor Day!  It's the official last day of summer in my book.  I still can't believe it's already September!!!


  1. you should offer up your services organizing friends closets- you could make some money and do something you like and are good at! :)

  2. You did an excellent job of planning and carrying it out. I love the lamp in the closet.

  3. Yet another reason why I love you. It looks fantastic. I love the idea of the hooks on the door. And I love that there is a light in there.

  4. Hi Carmel - great post! I would kill for a basement closet. Actually, I would kill for a basement! We have zero storage in our house (old 1901 miner's cabin). Your redo looks great.

    BTW, my son loves Lexington and UK!

  5. I would kill for a hallway closet in my entrance, let alone a mudroom! This apartment has nothing - not even hooks on the wall (concrete) and I would SO love to have somewhere to hide things away.
    You did an amazing job - I just love the feeling of being organized - it would make me smile every time I opened those doors :)

  6. What a wonderful transformation. I fully understand what you mean, unorganized closets drive me crazy. I am loving that your closet had an outlet, I was seriously thinking how on earth does she have a light on in there?? Well one that is not on the ceiling. Our entry from the garage leads to our kitchen which has zero room for a "mud" area, but I did re-do our coat closet (much smaller than yours) which is in the living room. I absolutely love it!! It's amazing what you can do when you really begin to combine functionality with aesthetics. Oh, and our luggage is living in another random closet completely out of place...guess I'll tackle that one day.

    Have a great day!
    If you want to check out my closet go here:

  7. My 10-yr-old just walked into the room as I was reading this and she said, "that is a really organized person"! The closet looks immaculate. Carmel, I have nominated you for the Versatile Blogger Award on my site today. You deserve it :)

  8. Thanks everyone and thanks Lisa for the award! xoxoxo

  9. I would love to have a closet this big! Love the lamp inside - perfect!

  10. To quote your son, this IS genius! We sort of have a mud room/laundry room, but the entrance to it is on the opposite side of the house as the driveway so we never use it! I'm in the process of redesigning our entry living room area, and hope to incorporate something like this. Love that it's behind closed doors so guests don't have to see it, but it's totally convenient for the family to use. Thanks for the inspiration (I'm pinning it ;-)

  11. I love your fifth home. I also live in e bluegrass state. It is a beautiful place I have called home all my life.

  12. I so love this idea! The drop spot is so smart and I love the hooks inside the doors. So practical, and you're so right about it not crowding the hallway! I love how your practicality and style work so well together. So, where did you end up storing the luggage? :)


Be nice or I'll tell your mom! xoxo -C


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