One simple change gave this tiny closet the capacity to hold twice as many coats—and look fantastic doing it.

By Marty Baldwin and Meredith Ladik
Updated June 10, 2019
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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.

Comments (40)

Anonymous
February 11, 2020
This is super-misleading. Shame on you BHG. They didn't double the storage space, they removed a bunch of stuff that then had to go somewhere else. Also, switching to hooks would drastically reduce the storage capacity (just look at the big empty column of space up the middle.) I bet you have a story in the archives where a professional organizer replaces hooks with a hanging bar to create more storage.
Anonymous
February 19, 2019
Nothing new. Name of your mag should be Better Homes and Ads. Bought BHG half a century ago as a new bride. I ran into old copies from the 70s, cleaning my attic. I have a couple of 2017 copies and had to check the date because I couldnt tell the difference between 1970 and 2017. I got a free subscription which I did not renew. I rarely bother with your websites. Between all the annoying videos and ads, I dont have time for DSL to load. This is a new century. Youtube is full of videos of DYI plus websites. People can cruise the world via internet. And yet DHG hasnt caught on and shows the same stuff over and over. I hate videos and slide shows which load as separate pages. Perhaps I am too old to learn what you offer, already know it. But, I question younger being impressed by the trivial tripe BHG offers recycled from the last 50 years either.
Anonymous
February 19, 2019
My computer won't accept PDF! Whatever happened to slide shows or or little videos? You lost me on this one! If this is the future, let me know and I will discontinue.
Anonymous
February 19, 2019
Hate videos. Greatly prefer slides.
Anonymous
February 17, 2019
I agree with all the comments about the annoying popups. I also would prefer slides to video.
Anonymous
February 17, 2019
Put my 2 cents with everyone else's. Videos won't even load on my computer, ad banners at top make it impossible to view entire picture when scrolling, forcing me to constantly scroll up or down for every slide. Each time I try to open a video, I get an ad and then just black, so I never get to see instructions, etc. The unexpected ads that play (without being chosen) are so loud I am startled. Extremely frustrating. Have sent feedback on more than one occasion and nothing has changed, so my guess would be, no, no one is listening -- or caring. Perhaps they should bring back good old fashioned paper magazines that can be enjoyed on the sofa with a cup of tea/coffee -- and they don't cause carpal tunnel!
Anonymous
February 17, 2019
To everyone who has a problem with the adds, pop-ups, videos, etc. you can continue to add and keep my name to that list, as well!!! One of my biggest annoyances is the large, horizontal add bar at the top of the page that covers more than 1/3 of their content making it very hard on the eyes. You can't view the photos as a whole and the entire video content is, sometimes, obscured, as well. I visit other websites from other companies that will have a large drop down advertisement on the top of the page, also, but on every single other website, after a few seconds, the add closes, and the full page is displayed. I have contacted BHG personally with my concerns. The answer I received was simply to become a registered member, not just add my name to the email list. I AM a registered member and have been for years (I even double checked to make sure I was still registered with the site), but that does not change the way the pages are presented to me. They know their website sucks now, but they don't seem to care. BHG seems to be more concerned about their advertisers, these days, than their consumers. BAD FORM!!
Anonymous
February 17, 2019
All I got out of this was a Nissan commercial. Can’t see the before and after. Useless to me.
Anonymous
February 17, 2019
All I got out of this was a Nissan commercial. Can’t see the before and after. Useless to me.
Anonymous
February 17, 2019
In response to some of the other comments, I have come to believe that the pop-ups and other complaints are on purpose they are wanting us to want to actually to subscribe to their magazine. That's just my opinion.
Anonymous
February 17, 2019
Poor quality video, poor choice of closet arrangement. I could do better with my coats and jackets on a bar and hanger than with hooks like those that ruin clothing. The video runs far too fast for anyone to get any benefit from watching it, and it takes far too long to load. Still photos of reasonable size are much better than a poor quality video. Text beside or below photos. Limit ads to still banners that stay where they are placed, not popups, or videos. To the members who commented that the closet has too little space for shoes and coats: This arrangement is allowing only one coat per family member, in this hall closet, which is reasonable. Additional coats belong in the person's bedroom closet. Probably one pair of shoes here per family member also. IMHO shoes belong in the person's bedroom, not a coat closet.
Anonymous
February 17, 2019
It is the usual comedy of five pieces of clothing in a closet with some new design tricks. If you only have five or six hanging items in your closet why bother "expanding" the space. This current one looks like they lost space in the hanging area since it only has hooks and no bar to hang coats. Tailored coats do not retain their shape or look there best when hung like a dishrag. Trying comment but darn irrelevant pop up video is covering 1/3 of this writing box. I thought BHG was about making things easier, prettier, healthier or cozier not irritating.
Anonymous
February 17, 2019
I was about to agree with all the negative comments until I scrolled down the page.
Anonymous
February 5, 2019
That closet looks really nice, good job. Thank you for sharing.
Anonymous
August 14, 2018
Shown the same old over & over. I don’t warch videos either. And who want all that clutter exposed in a room. Buy an amoir.
Anonymous
May 15, 2018
I hate the videos and much prefer slides. I hate the pop-ups and ads, like everyone else, and do not visit the site as much as I used to.
Anonymous
May 10, 2018
I would like to see the before picture also. Often there has been a "purge" to get the closet to this status and it is not always sustainable. You should move add content exclusively to the side and muted.
Anonymous
May 6, 2018
Not only are the pop-ups annoying and distracting, but your pages are so full of junk, that they won't even load properly. And don't say it is my junky computer, because it is a gaming computer, which is kept in tiptop shape by my computer tech son. And it is JUST your site.
Anonymous
May 5, 2018
Please go back to pictures and print. A too fast video with a couple of pop ups doesn't cut it. I have almost stopped trying to look at anything on your website due to the incessant pop ups and ads. I won't try again.
Anonymous
May 5, 2018
I agree with the commenters.
Anonymous
May 5, 2018
Please. Fewer pop ups, ads, etc. Your site used to be more enjoyable and pleasant to navigate. Now it's beyond annoying. Whoever in marketing research steered you this way did you a disservice.
Anonymous
April 30, 2018
video is too fast and does not allow time to take it all in. Would prefer photos and text.
Anonymous
April 30, 2018
I hope you are listening to what your consumers are saying. I often never get to see the product due to the annoying popup advertising. This website is the worst. Please change it.
Anonymous
April 30, 2018
I agree with the others-i haven't enjoyed this website in a LONG time. I really want to read some of the articles, but the "price" of doing so is just too high - it makes me really angry. Your content is still good - I wish I could turn of the advertising - constant flashing and popping and taking up all the space - and I just want to look at the damn pictures and ready the article, but you are making that really difficult! Its hard to follow the article for more than a sentence or two before something gets in the way. The annoying pop-ups and constant distractions - for instance right now on my screen I there are 4 moving/flashing advertisements, in addition to something in the corner that's really irritating and the banner about the sweepstakes at the bottom. Who cares about that! What about my article! Its a real bummer and its incredibly annoying. Too bad, because I used to really like the content and used to find it very helpful, but now it comes with a price - the angst! I still like the magazine but no longer look at this website. In fact, I still haven't found the article on the closets I was interested in. Oh well, I've just had it with this site. At least offer a button that says "don't show this again" or something!! I may be back, but not until its fun again. Thanks, Laura B, Minneapolis
Anonymous
April 30, 2018
Hope BHG is listening to their subscribers. I agree with vwbugs1967.
Anonymous
April 30, 2018
I really don't find the BHG page user friendly anymore. I jumped on board years ago with the 100 Days of Holidays, that's not even a pleasure anymore. Ads & repetition. Bummed.
Anonymous
April 30, 2018
Does not leave enough room for the coats hoever.
Anonymous
April 29, 2018
I agree with the other commenters. The website was better before, as well as this closet. Lots of wasted space this way. Most cloths should be on hangers. The little video is distracting. Way too many ads. I loved the BHG website in the past, but not so much now. New isn't always better!!!
Anonymous
April 29, 2018
If you want to ruin your coats, do it this way, otherwise, put them on hangers. Reorganizing the original layout would have gained more storage space, looked better, and worked in the real world where more than one person lives in the home and owns more than one coat. The video was blurry and popups really interfere with content. I realize you're in the business to make money, but give the readers some value for their time imvestment. I'm losing interest fast as well, and I've been a reader for 30 years
Anonymous
April 29, 2018
I really don’t see a big difference in storage space at all. I think most people prefer hanging their clothes on hangers not hooks and, in fact, would be able to get a lot more clothes into the closet in the original version. Also, a lot of clothes would end up with a bump in them from the hooks. Who needs that? Two thumbs down for the new closet.
Anonymous
April 29, 2018
What was swapped? I cannot see the video-it is blurry. and the comments (captions) are obscured by the line progressing from left to right as the video runs.
Anonymous
April 29, 2018
Please tell me WHO only has 4 tops or jackets? Same with shoes. I wouldn’t have a storage problem if I didn’t have more clothes than that to fit in each closet.
Anonymous
April 29, 2018
Your stie is quickly turning into an ad scam. I visit it, and your advertisers, because you give me my info FIRST. I can choose what advertisers I want to visit. Now you are shoving it down my throat. I am quickly loosing interest in BH&G. And because I don't have the best high-speed server, I never got to actually see your closet video. Think about us and we will come. Think about your pocket book and we will leave.
Anonymous
April 29, 2018
gr8ful4joy is 100% right. When I freeze video to see photo, it blurs. Way too fast & too short & immediately back to commercial. You're using it just for ADS & it shows - cut the Hucksterism in favor of Information. No clue why double hooks would give me more space. & you don't show photo USING double hooks, or if you do, I can't see it!
Anonymous
April 29, 2018
I too would prefer pictures with written comments below. It takes forever for these little videos to load and sometimes will keep the page from loading at all. I have Max speed by AT&T. They are too fast to read and see as well.
Anonymous
April 29, 2018
The video looks nice but isn't very user friendly. I prefer written instructions and still pictures. All the pop up ads while trying to type comment are very distracting.
Anonymous
April 29, 2018
We did this with each of our hall closets and it works beautifully.
Anonymous
April 29, 2018
Another problem is the captions that cover a good portion of the screen. If you cannot control that, at least reprint the information below the video so it can be reviewed simply by reading.
Anonymous
April 29, 2018
The video was blurry so I couldn't see it and yes as already stated, way to fast.
Anonymous
April 29, 2018
I love these videos and articles to guide and assist in making better choices for home living --- BUT -- they run too fast to read and also see the step by step changes! Slow down!! It is annoying to have to run and rerun the video many times to get the info presented. I've tried pausing and backing up, but it doesn't always work. Frustration leads me to quit trying and disinterest in attempting other ones offered. I'm betting your intent isn't to annoy and frustrate which loses the viewers interest in what you are presenting --- so just do it right in the first place. Slow it down so the script can be read and the visual studied.