Not all storage is created equal, and this closet makeover proves it. Before, there was a list of problems: The rod-and-shelf setup couldn’t hold the family’s and guests’ 20-plus coats; Kids couldn’t reach coats without help; An overstuffed hanging rod limited access to garments; Out-of-season items took up too much space. See how a seemingly simple swap doubles its organizing space for accessories and more.
Professional organizer Deborah Cabral of The DeClutter Coach asked homeowners Christy and Tony to “think outside the box” to gain a more open and flexible storage space at their home’s entryway. “I suggested they remove the hanging bar to make way for coatracks (with hooks) installed on three walls of the closet, at two different heights,” Cabral says. “With their many hooks, coatracks work very well on a daily basis for a busy family. It is quicker and easier because they have everything they need right at their fingertips.”
Before the coatracks could be installed, though, Cabral had the couple clear out the closet and think hard about what really belonged inside. “Get rid of items that are ripped, broken, stained, or no longer needed,” Cabral says. “Only pieces that will be used most often—coats, hats, gloves, umbrellas, and shoes—belong here.”
To ensure the small closet remains easy to use and maintain, Cabral suggested that Christy and Tony limit items to just two in-season coats and two pairs of shoes per person. Off-season clothing and extra shoes are now stored in closets in each child’s room.
A pair of slim wire magazine baskets—one for the boys, one for the girls—hangs along the back wall, stashing sunglasses, bug sprays, and other items needed before heading outdoors. Items in the coat closet will be changed out each season.
To set up the new closet, the couple removed the clothes rod and positioned the shelf higher on the wall to make way for two rows of coatracks built from wood 1 x 6-inch boards. The lowest rung allows their youngest sons Tucker, 4, and Hudson, 2, easy access to their things.
Replacing the existing shoe rack with a shorter version helped the couple gain a few additional inches of wall space above. Christy painted the rack white to match the wall rails and brighten the floor area. Labels on the rack’s front edge assign spots for everyone’s footwear. At the top of the closet, woven bins store items based on the weather—rain, sun, and snow. A new motion-sensor ceiling light aids visibility.
Floral metallic wallpaper, a white-painted shoe rack, and a striped indoor-outdoor rug contribute a bright, airy feeling. The closet’s new setup pleases parents and kids alike. “I can’t believe how much bigger the closet seems. It feels like a walk-in closet,” Christy says.