Wednesday, September 12, 2012

The coat closet (dun dun dunnnn)

Hey there! How are ya? I finished up a little organization project yesterday that was an easy one, but it ended up taking me weeks. I started at the end of August and just did little bits at a time. I guess organizing exhausts me all the sudden? I don’t know. But it’s finally done so I thought I’d share how I got from messy to organized in there.

Our coat closet is one of those weird spots – we really don’t need to access most of the stuff inside all that often, but the vacuum is in there, so I see it a LOT. And a few weeks ago I opened the door and all the sudden was totally fed up with the mess growing inside:

messy coat closet

For awhile this is where the box hid, and since I’ve just started stuffing stuff down in there, and up on top. Out of sight out of mind right? Sometimes this is a good thing. ;)

Thing is the stuff on top would fall on me every two or three times I’d open the door, which was fun:

And it was to the point where I was having to force the vacuum in there to put it away:

And then the cords would sneak out under the door when I (shoved it) closed and of course that’s always pretty.

I started by taking everything in the closet OUT. Cleaning supplies included three brooms (two big ones and one little) and two vacuums (one big and one little):

WHY three brooms? I don’t know. I decided to keep one in there for easy access from the kitchen.

I pulled out all the stuff off the floor and kept saying, oh yeah…wondered where that went:

It’s quite fantastic all that you can fit at the bottom of a closet.

These were down there too – one is a bag full of stuff from my last car clean out. And by car clean out I mean throw everything in a bag, bring it inside, stuff it in a closet = clean car!!:

That’s not how you do it? ;)

You’ll never guess who I found as well:

Um. Wow. Mom of the year. A new Elf “twin” would have had to show this season because I would NEVER have found him.

Next I went through everything I had pulled out. I think I got rid of 10 pairs of gloves. I think two or three pairs per person in this household is just plenty. Am I wrong? Same went for scarves. I love my cutie scarves for the fall and spring, but the heavier winter ones – I think I can get by with four, yes?

If I hadn’t worn a coat in five years (and yes, there were some in there), it went to Goodwill. Coats that didn’t fit the Bub anymore were pulled out too.

I even went through the pool bag – we hardly ever go to a pool and it was quite evident. The Bub’s arm floaties were in there and he doesn’t even use them anymore. There may have been some year old fruit snacks inside. May have been. And earlier this summer I found mail from last summer inside. Yet again I must remind you how ON IT I am.

The pool bag will live in the garage till next summer. And the shoe cubby I use up above the shelf got organized and labeled. The left side is for summer items (things I don’t keep in the bag), the other four are for winter. And I labeled them so, cause that’s how I do:

shoe organizer for glove storage

One line of “winter” cubbies is for the Bub, one for me, one for the hubs. The fourth is just extra stuff.

I had tiny hooks in the closet for scarves that held about…one scarf. Not so helpful. So I decided to use some more drapery tie backs (I use them for organizing all the time because they are so deep):

I installed them inside the closet door – one for the hubby, one for me:

scarf storage organization

This is the hook I tried to fit them on before:

We all see why that didn’t work so well. ;)

It only took three weeks and $10 spent on the tie backs (I’m using all my other ones elsewhere), but we now have a nicely organized coat closet for the winter:

organized coat closet

And the best part is the at least a few of the coats will go into the mud room here in a few weeks, so there will be even more space in here! We don’t use it for coats all winter – they stay hanging on hooks in the mud room.

For a hot second I considered painting the inside of the closet a fun color, but we car barely see the walls in there anyway, so that was a no go.

Here’s a before and after:

Nothing earth shattering, but it FEELS so much better when we open that door!

And I had to keep the little bitty vacuum. :) The Bub loves to vacuum (I know, he rules) and uses the real one now, but I’m not quite ready to let go of the little one quite yet. Kindergarten was hard enough.

Have you tackled a declutter project lately? How do you organize your winter and summer STUFF? Feel free to share any great ideas!

71 comments:

  1. I laughed when I read how you clean out your car. I do it EXACTLY the same way. It is always a big surprise when I clean out the closet and discover all the "treasures" that I had pulled out of the car. What amazes me is how much jewelry I find in those bags!

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  2. Looks great! I really need to clean out my kitchen closet - I may find treasure!

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  3. Must be something about fall and the change in the temerature, I just wrote a blog post about cleaning the closet yesturday. We are on the same page, but you got it accomplished and I'm still 'thinking' about it. Love the large hooks, I need something like this for tote bags. Thanks for sharing!
    Lori in Atlanta

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  4. Where did you get the shoe cubby?

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  5. Yeah I clean out my car the same way too. I was looking for something this morning and was trying to remember how many car clean out ago was that item removed from my car. If I could remember that, I would know which bag to look in.

    Then this morning when I pulled it to my spot at work, I started a whole new bag.

    When will I learn.

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  6. I LOVE opening the door to a newly organized space. When someone needs a coat or scarf I can hear you saying, "OH, I will grab that for you, dear!" Looks awesome. And cracking up about the lost elf!!

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  7. I always love to read your posts! You make me laugh.

    Great job on the closet! I need to get a shoe cubby for my closet so I can grab and go. Great idea.

    Thanks for all your great posts!!

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  8. I am forever stuffing stuff and getting annoyed when it comes tumbling down. I'm on a clean sweep of my closets too and can I tell you how happy I am? Your scarf hooks are genius and I can't wait to copy cat that.

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  9. Very nice! And yes, that is how I clean the car, and the purse, and sometimes even the office. I love your blogs and wonderful ideas. Thanks for sharing :)

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  10. I can NEVAH find scarves and gloves and hats... of course they are all mine, but still. Think I need to do the cubbie thing in my hall coat closet too. Thanks for this great tip!

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  11. I'm sad that you don't have any black coats :) LOL. We're the same way ... why is everything we buy different cuts/styles of the same color?

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  12. I have a closet similar and need to get in there and de-clutter. I just organized my guest room and it took a month or longer. How do we acquire so much stuff?

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  13. Your coat closet is similar to mine. I have coats, board games, hats, gloves, scarves, etc. in there, plus our vacuum and carpet spot cleaner. Kind of a mess! It is on my list to get cleaned up. Thanks for the motivation. Great idea for the drapery hooks. I never thought of that. :)

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  14. Anon, I've had that cubby so long I can't remember! I have seen similar ones at Target and Walmart though!

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  15. This is awesome! I totally get a high when organizing. I feel a kindred spirit in you ;) Ha! I almost feel your 'sigh' as you admire your new closet. Looks awesome and thank you SO much for the awesome tie-back hook idea for scarves. Totally stealing that ;)

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  16. Erica -- I feel you. Stephanie, that made me laugh out loud! There is ONE cream one, you just can't see it. ;)

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  17. Are you sure your "car clean out" bags are yours and not mine? We seem to use the same method! :-)

    I love the idea of the tie-backs as hooks. I'll have to remember that.

    Thanks for the motivating post. I need to tackle some organizing projects, and appreciate the gentle nudge!

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  18. That shoe cubbie on the shelf is an idea I must do! And the tie backs for hooks...genius! Thanks for such great ideas.

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  19. I loved your tie-back idea so much I just highlighted it on my Facebook page :)
    https://www.facebook.com/#!/pages/Visual-Meringue/368949206468796

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  20. Looks a thousand percent better for sure! I like using those over the door vinyl pocket shoe holders for the boys' closets - that way their gloves and hats and belts and whatnot (not to mention shoes) have a place to live with the rest of their things. Our "coat closet" is more like storage - but yes, that includes the vac!

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  21. What an amazing job you did!! I LOVE the purple vacuum cleaner!!!

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  22. Glad to know I'm not the only one who keeps her vacuum in the coat closet! I really need to get on mine, it has empty boxes on the upper shelves form when we moved in 16 months ago, ack!

    Jessica

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  23. That is how my husband cleans out the car... I find the bags in random places. Hmmm. Love your closet though and I loooove that idea of using curtain tiebacks as hooks. Oh yeah, that is a winning idea. I am always frustrated by the shape of most hooks. Thanks for the laugh this morning and the great ideas!

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  24. I do this for my scarves: http://pinterest.com/pin/285767538825235860/

    and I use a clear shoe holder on the back of all my doors that open out-
    ( we have a few sliders...no extra storage there) so we have lots of slots for gloves, hats, sunglasses etc.

    I'm all for whatever works!

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  25. Might be a good idea to have the Elf make an appearance NOW to remind the kids to be good! :)

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  26. um, can I say I'm glad I'm not the only one who "cleans" the car (or the house, or whatever) by stuffing stuff in a bag and hiding it? I am finding all kinds of wonderful (and not-so-wonderful) things as I slowly unpack our house. The one we moved into more than a year ago. Yikes.
    Love the idea of the drapery tie-backs, you're one smart cookie :)

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  27. Love the new hooks for the scarves! I have all sorts of organizing projects I need to work on!!

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  28. Just finished my closet and I love walking inside every morning. Plus, I discovered all sorts of cute clothes I completely forgot I owned! Tips here: http://hammer-and-heels.com/2012/08/23/one-day-closet-makeover/
    XOXO, Anne

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  29. Love the idea of using curtain tiebacks for hooks... in fact I do believe I am going to use them to hang my ironing board. It is currently hanging behind the door but I would like to move it elsewhere! Now if I only I could get a move on as far as finishing the "other" projects before I move onto the closet.

    Have a wonderful day!

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  30. I am so confused…. is there a different way to clean out a car?? Looks great!

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  31. It looks soooo nice! Thanks for the great tip about the curtain hooks. I had never thought of that!

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  32. I really, REALLY, need to organize my coat/craft/gift wrap/crap closet. I tend to toss everything in the 'hidden' closet, forget about it, then tear through it looking for something. You've inspired me, and I must act while I am inspired.

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  33. From one stuffer to another, WELL DONE! Isn't it amazing how much such an unglamorous project can make you breath easier and feel so accomplished. Oh boy do I have some boxes and bags to tend to...

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  34. It looks great! I have a large closet under the stairs that I can't even walk in. It's on my to do list now that the kids are back in school. Maybe a little bit a day?

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  35. It looks great! We have a closet like that under the stairs, we use as a "computer room" well the shelves are home to...well everything LOL

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  36. I love the idea of using the shoe rack on top as an organizer for winter stuff. I also just toss our stuff on the top shelf of the closet. This would make more sense. I had a similar experience with our coat closet. You found mail at the bottom of your's? I found a CANTELOPE. No joke.

    Also, I "clean out" my car the exact same way. Months later I make my husband clean out the bags. That's how I roll.

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  37. I did our coat closet not too long ago. I got an over the door shoe hanger, the kind with a bunch of pockets, and that's where we stash mittens, and hats, and scarves so I'm not always finding them and putting them away for the kiddos. Up higher I have my gloves and sunscreen and other stuff they don't need access to that needs a spot so I don't forget it when we are on our way out.

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  38. Your before kind of reminds me of Monica's closet on Friends. I think we all have a space in the house like that, where stuff tends to accumulate. Great job!

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  39. What a great post! You gave me a lot of great ideas on how to organize my messy closet! I wonder sometimes how it got so bad in the first place :) Never the less, I'll be organizing it this weekend using some of your tips from this post!

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  40. That is a great idea for the shoe cubby on the top shelf. I'm going to have to find one. Thx

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  41. Last weekend I tackled our linen closet. My husband needed to get into the attic and the only way up is through that closet so we had to empty. It was kind of a forced organization project, but once I got into it I didn't mind. That's probably the one closet that stays fairly organized because it's all shelves and everything is easy to get to. I got rid of a handful of things and rearranged some stuff so it flows better. My kitchen counters are my next project. I dread the thought.

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  42. Hooray for organization!!! We recently had built ins installed....well almost installed anyways, I'm still waiting on the tops to come in. Anyways, one part is a desk, with file drawers. I couldn't even wait til the tops got in to take all my super disorganized yet super important papers and file them away, label maker tape and all. It feels good huh!!??

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  43. What a big improvement, inspiring and definitely some great organizing ideas :)

    http://barnyardchic.forumotion.com/

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  44. OMG...love the large hooks for scarves!! I have 6 extras and I doing this tonight with at least 4 of them...2 on each hall closet door!!! Thanks and keep up the good work!!!

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  45. Oh it looks so great! Those tie backs are fantastic. I know it'll be nice to have a great coat closet once the cooler weather starts.

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  46. Love it! Will be getting some tie backs for sure. Also love the color of your walls. Can you tell me the name of it? Getting ready to paint!
    5morts@polarcomm.com

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  47. Oh it looks fabulous. I love it when something gets organized and you can really use it. This is wonderful. Hugs, Marty

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  48. Ahhhh.....love reading about the organization of a closet. Thanks for the fix. Ha!!! Also, I laughed out loud for real when you showed the picture of the little hook. :-) -Anne

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  49. My closet is so full that I can't even fit my Dyson in there. I have all of our snow boots in the bottom of the closet too and don't where to put all of those. NOT ENOUGH SPACE!!
    Any suggestions on where to put snow boots and snow suits. If we have a mild winter again like last then the snow stuff might have to go bye-bye.
    I usually tackle my closet as soon as the weather is cooler and we have to grab a jacket, but now you've inspired me :)

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  50. Super job! Your newly organized space looks great! My problem is, after I organize a space, I don't want to let anyone near it!

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  51. Nice,This is so much more than i needed!!! but will all come in use thanks!!
    Bathroom Remodeling Arlington VA

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  52. It looks great Sarah!! Doesn't it feel good to organize a space?! I'm with you though, it totally exhausts me! Maybe I'll tackle my next organization project this way...little bits at a time! Love the idea of using the drapery hooks for the scarves!!

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  53. I love what you did and you have inspired me! I'm going to get a shoe cubby and those tie backs! Brilliant!

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  54. I have been dying to do this...hopefully this weekend. Good Job!!!

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  55. Wow, you are my hero! I have bags of stuff in the basement that I had "stored" in the coat closet and decided to, instead of going through the bags, just store them in the basement. So years from now, my children will have to go through them or maybe they'll just rent a dumpster, who knows....

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  56. I "try" to keep my closet shelf organized with baskets... but I must trade them for a shoe organizer. The tie backs are perfect for scarves and the deeper hood will also be better for tote bags!
    Thanks for the inspiration!
    Maybe if I take a "before" picture now I'll get inspired to finish it up in a few weeks! LOL
    Jan

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  57. Yet again you inspire me. My coat closet better watch out. We don't use it, except to store the vacuum and winter coats. But it's filthy in there. Up top I have a square IKEA box full of winter mittens and stuff..I'm going to see if I can get a tall cubby like you have to fit in there (this closet is also a triangle) and purge what we don't need/use. Thank you.

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  58. Life is just better "organized"! Good for you!

    We go through our closets and dressers about every six months. What we haven't worn, doesn't fit, don't like, etc. goes to the thrift store. Seasonal stuff goes into a labeled boxes. (Ex.Summer gloves and hats; Winter gloves/hats; Winter clothes, etc.)

    This project will take place again soon since summer is waning and winter is on the way.

    So we rotate stuff rather than try to make room for all our seasons here in ND. Annddd....when my stuff gets too much for the space I have, I get rid of things. The less is more approach works for me ;-)

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  59. Thanks for the idea of using drape tie backs for holding larger items. Just picked up a pair at Ross for five dollars and plan to use them to hold all my big 31 utility bags in my own closet!! I am going to pass on this great hint on my own blog. Thanks for sharing.

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  60. LOVE the drapery tie-back idea. So smart! Closet looks great!

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  61. I LOVE the scarf idea and had to Pin it. It's another one of those ideas where I can't help but slap myself for not thinking of it. I stuffed all my scarves into a drawer and most of the time forget about them. Hanging them up would be much better and I'd actually remember I have them! :)

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  62. Love this... like other comments here I had to laugh about the car cleaning...I have used that exact same trader joes bag to clean out my car as well and then dump it in a closet or basement for months...only to discover gum, lipstick I thought I lost etc etc. Great idea with the shoe rack to use up the empty height and drapery hooks are brilliant.... looking for them on amazon as I type this.

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  63. Sarah, it looks great and I know it feels great when you open it. Amazing how those little things can make us so happy, like vacuum cords not sneaking out. :)

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  64. It is always good to see the house that are organize and all things are in proper place. The room become looks wider too.

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  65. LOVE the idea of using drapery tie backs as hooks. Thanks for the brilliant idea!

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  66. I JUST cleaned out my hall closet too :)

    I LOVE the idea of using tiebacks as hangars! I have a pair that I was going to yard sale because I don't use then anymore. But yet I could use scarf hooks!

    Thanks so much for that tip!

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  67. How funny, I swear fruit snacks are in every bag in my house. Love the clean=out=the=car method, works every time until you have to deal with the dreaded bag-o-stuff. The closet looks great!

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  68. Organization makes me giddy! Great job!!

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  69. I loved the "dun dun dunnnn". That's the sound effect of my house these days, not just a closet. Ha! You did good, looks awesome :)

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