As the Holidays end and the New year begins, it is common to get the itch to clean and organize. My coat closet is one that I go through about twice a year. Years ago I had this novel idea to assign each family member a plastic shoe box with their name on it to hold their hats, gloves, and scarves. It seemed great, in theory, and even looked organized on the shelf, until the children actually started using them. They would climb up to look for their things, open lids and grab what they were looking for, while the rest spilled out onto the floor and there were hats and gloves everywhere while scarves dangled from the shelf. Forget replacing the lids. It never happened.
*WARNING: Extremely blurry and disturbing photo, proceed with caution!
Though boxes are great for many things, they aren’t always the perfect organizational answer. So for a couple years now I have been keeping my mind open for any alternative ideas. Then the other day when I was helping my girls clean their room, hanging clothes up in their armoir, I happened upon their old shoe organizer that they no longer use.
It took me a long while to think of what to do about our dilemma because I tend to think that just buying more totes and shoe boxes will solve all our disorderly issues. I’ve come to realize that thinking outside the box often opens our minds to the best solutions for our needs, which is why I’ve called this post “coat closet organization – thinking outside the box”!
It was when I was cleaning up in the girls’ room that this idea occurred to me, I could use it to organize the coat closet! I hung it using picture hanger hooks. Then I went through each shoe box and kept only the things that the children still wear/fit, discarding the rest into a goodwill bag and put all the scarves in one sweater box.
I assigned each person 2-3 pockets, according to their needs, then labeled one of the pockets for each person. Subsequent pockets being assigned to them unless otherwise labeled.
Next I labeled the boxes on the shelf so they can be easily identified as well.
Now there is more room for scarves, spare gloves, and a first aid kit. I found I even have an empty box or two and a metal basket for guest items.
I think it’s important to go through the coats often and clean out any that either aren’t worn or don’t fit anymore. This also provides more room for items that are needed and used regularly. We bought the two drawer organizer at the bottom of the closet for pool items and sports equipment years ago. It has proven to be the perfect solution for us for those things.
It is so soothing to open a closet where I can find what we need right away and don’t have to shove things away from the door jam just so that we can close the door.
I’m happy to say that it is a far cry from what it was before.
I feel like I can breathe easy again!
I am excited that I might have found the solution to my ongoing problem! The best part about it, is that I was able to get the closet organized in under 45 minutes, including vaccuming, and it is more apt to stay clean and orderly.
For more closet organizing ideas, visit me over at my blog and tell me what methods have worked best for you!