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Baby Steps to a Better Coat & Game Closet

Like most people, our coat closet does not just house coats. It holds board games, shoes, a vacuum, my yoga mat and of course plenty of coats. I thought it was time to reorganize a bit…I found these easy steps online and pretty much followed them one by one. They are very basic and simple, but it helped to get my coat closet in much better shape.

The one shelf in the closet was a complete mess. It was like a game of jenga to get things down! When sorting through it, I found hand weights, a puzzle, an umbrella, several decks of cards, a poker chip set, empty gift boxes and even an old winter coat and ski pants wrapped up  tightly in a plastic bag (upper right corner). 

Before_games2_web  Before_coatsbottom_webcrop 

On the floor, the vacuum was taking up a lot of space because it has a rather large footprint in an awkward shape. I was trying to use a cardboard shoe holder (on left) for tennis shoes, sandals and other random things. The yoga mat was standing between the shoe holder and the vacuum, loosely rolled and not in its case.

Before_shoes  Progress_shoes
 
I also found wrapping paper in the corner. (….which led me to my detour project in the middle of this: wrapping paper roundup!) My tennis shoes were NOT working out with this method – some were falling out, and I had shoved others on top. The flip flops fit well into the compartments, so that was plus…..I guess…? 

I got out my shoes and the shoe holder to assess the situation there. It is a good place for us to keep our sandals that we slip on to run out or go get the mail, so the shoe holder was going to stay. (I do need to paint it or something because that floral pattern is not my fave!) I just need to figure something out for my tennis shoes. 

Progress_coats I took all of the coats out to see if any could go to Goodwill. No dice. We actually wore everything that was in the closet. I put them back in order by length: vests together, short coats together and long coats together.

At this point, I found a tote that was going to be the home for my tennis shoes for now. I feel like it's not the best solution, but it will keep them together and from falling out all over the place. In reality, I probably need to only keep 1-2 pairs in the coat closet – the ones I wear most often – and put the others up in my bedroom closet.

With the closet empty, I took this rare opportunity to vacuum the floor and wipe down the baseboards and walls inside the closet. Now was ready to put everything back in…

I stacked the games in two piles on one side of the shelf up top. We don't use the games very often, so they can be stacked high. When I need one, I can always get the step stool. At least now they are neat and sturdy – no more jenga stacks! I used a small plastic bin (on right) for our decks of cards. The coats are arranged by length: short things on the left above the shoe holder and long coats on the right.

After_coats_games2   After_bottom_of_closet
On the floor, the shoe holder is still there. I feel like there is a better solution, so I will keep looking around for other ideas. I found several options online, but I'm not sure if any of them will work for me. I like it for now to hold our most-used sandals, and I also put the hand weights in the bottom compartments since they were the heaviest. In another closet I found some resistance bands and small dumbbells, so I put those in the other compartments along the bottom. My yoga mat is now in it's carrying case and leaning in the corner (which you can't see in the pic). The tennis shoe bin and the vacuum fit next to each other, and when we need to get the vacuum out, we will slide the shoe bin out for easy access.

Through this process, I realized a few things:

1. It might be best to find a new home for our vacuum since it is the biggest, most awkward item that takes up the most room. Also, the height of it doesn't make it the best fit in the coat closet. We vacuum the most downstairs, which is why we have stored in the coat closet.

2. I need to find a new shoe/sandal holder or put in some shelves on the bottom. My husband and I need to pick only one or two pairs to keep in the coat closet that we wear the most and move all others up to our bedroom closet. 

3. If we can find room in another closet, it would help to store heavy winter coats somewhere else in the off-season.

I realize that my coat closet is in better shape than it was, but I still think it needs some work. Please let me know if you have any ideas or suggestions. Hopefully I will have another post in the future about my new & even more improved coat closet!

About Megan G

I'm a easy-going, hard-working, sport-loving gal from Michigan who is proud of her midwestern roots. Graphic designer by trade and a sports fanatic by heart. My friends tell me, "Meg, you need to slow down!" but usually I don't listen :) Some of my favorite things include traveling, playing and coaching volleyball, going to sporting events, going to the beach, finding new ways to be creative, seeing new places, and helping people and the environment.

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2 Responses to Baby Steps to a Better Coat & Game Closet

  1. Megan G March 9, 2010 at 3:07 pm #

    That is an excellent idea actually! I have my brain wired to HANG coats (maybe it’s because I’m from Michigan and we wear our winter coats the majority of the year!). A tote is a great idea, especially with our mild weather in Charlotte, I can keep the heavy coats in a tote for more than half of the year. Good call!

  2. lauren March 9, 2010 at 3:01 pm #

    What an improvement! Would you be opposed to storing your winter coats in a tote, perhaps in another area of the house if the closet wasn’t available?

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