Duo Ventures

Tuesday, December 18, 2012

Organizing: The Coat Closet

As you may know, we have taken on the task of purging & organizing every room & closet in our house.  Yes, every space (go big or go home, right?).  So far we have finished with the kitchen, the linen closet, & more recently, the pantry.  As part of the pantry organization process, we removed all the non-food items that we had originally been storing in there.  Those items included light bulbs, cleaning supplies, paper towels, plastic cups & flatware, portable cooler, plastic bags, & so on.  

Our goal was to find another home for all of that stuff & the best option: the downstairs coat closet.  In addition to the items from the pantry, we had to fit coats/jackets, scarves, hats, gloves, a vacuum, TV trays, extension cords, kleenex, TP, & a drawer storage unit in there.  Um, yea.  A lot of miscellaneous stuff.

Here are the key points of this project: 
  • painted
  • installed three adjustable shelves
  • added baskets & bins for storage
  • created a gift wrapping station

Here's a shot of what the closet looked like when we started- 
the closet is fairly deep & there's a lot of wasted wall space:

First we had to clean, purge, & empty out all the items in the closet:

After we cleared everything out we painted with some leftover living room paint (Wheat Bread-Behr) to get rid of all the scuff marks & scratches on the walls (it may seem weird to paint a closet, but it makes all the difference.  Plus, our closet walls were especially grosssss):

We decided that to best utilize the space, we would need to install shelving on the right wall.  After locating the wall studs, we installed 3 adjustable shelves from Home Depot:

 We had to make sure that the TV trays would fit underneath the bottom shelf 
& that the vacuum could fit on the right side of the shelves:

The closet is 3'2" wide, so even after adding 12" wide shelves, we still had plenty of room to walk around.  Here it is after all of the shelves have been installed: 

At this point, we began putting some things back into the closet.  We got rid of all the mismatched hangers, & instead, hung all our coats using some extra wooden hangers we had leftover from our Laundry Room Makeover (part of Mel's OCD- hangers have to be uniform in size & color):

We added an over-the-door shoe organizer to hold cleaning supplies 
& free up some space under our sink:

 On the left wall we have some hooks where we store more cleaning supplies.   The Swiffer sweeper & mop wouldn't fit on the hooks, so Mel added 
some thick rubber bands (we were out of zip ties):

Usually, we get all our baskets from Garden Ridge because they have a huge selection of sizes, shapes, materials, & colors.  This time, however, we couldn't find the right size we needed for the new shelves.  So instead, we picked up eight fabric bins from Target that were on sale.  All the bins are labeled with some Martha Stewart Name Badges from Staples:

While we were at Garden Ridge, we were able to find three baskets that fit perfectly under the angled wall.  We keep all our winter accessories (scarves, gloves, & hats) here:

We also had to find a central space to store all of our gift wrap & supplies.  We had an extra storage unit laying around, so Mel turned it into a portable gift wrapping station (more on that here).  Most of the wrapping paper is stored on the top shelf inside a clear box from the Container Store:

Before & After:
Hope you enjoyed a little organization action!  
Four spaces down & only a million more to go...

Mel & Nader

Our thoughts are with all those affected by the tragedy in Connecticut


  1. Wish my coat closet was that big. Glad I discovered your blog. I started the decluttering / organizing the entire house last year (need to get back on it) and enjoying the organization redos.

    1. It’s definitely big, but oddly shaped - isn't it? It was definitely a bunch of wasted space before we added the extra shelves. I love all of the cute mudroom/foyer closet makeovers people have done on Pinterest. What room are you working on organizing next?

  2. Right now I'm working on redoing the bedroom that I had converted to an office and craft room. Did the office part when I first moved into the house (about 8 years ago) and never did get around to converting the closet to a craft area. Well, back in May of this year, I realized the office area just wasn't working for me anymore and needed a redo, which gave me an opportunity to finally get to the craft closet, too. Since I'm also getting new flooring, hopefully, in 90% of the house, it will give me another opportunity to do further decluttering.