Thursday, March 14, 2013

Quick fix: The coat closet

Hello and happy Thursday! Sigh. I love Thursdays.

So you know when you have an issue in your house and you deal with it every. single. day. and then one day you figure out a reeeeally simple solution and it feels like you’re on top of the world and the most brilliant person ever?

Well, that happened to me the other day. The problem started back in August, on the first day of school.

Suddenly that day, a trail of little Bubby stuff started showing up every day right after school. We didn’t have the hat and gloves back then of course, but now we’re graced with their dumpage as soon as he walks in the door:

after school shedding

The shedding continues into the family room or kitchen:

after school shedding

And usually ends on the family room rug or sectional:

after school shedding

EVERY single day my call was the same – hang them in the laundry mud room!! (I’m still getting used to the fact that we have a REAL mud room now. GLEEE.)

But thing is, the mud room still looks like this:

yellow mud room

Bright yellow, which I think scares the boy (it’s starting to me), and the hooks (that you can’t really see) are hung too high. And those hooks are filled with bags and hats and stuff we don’t use day to day which I know makes TOTAL sense. But the real issue is that he’s too short to reach them.

Add to that, in the morning we don’t head out to the bus stop that way, we leave via the front door. So I started having him hang them on the outside door knob to the coat closet that I organized back in September:

coat closet organization

I am THRILLED to say it has stayed organized!

But having them on the outside of the door was annoying. Every time I went to get in there one of them fell off and it was just awkward. Here’s the thing -- I know I could hang his coat and backpack in the closet every day, but really? I don’t want to. I wanted an easy spot for it all that he could easily access.

So I was about to just sort through the stuff in the mud room and move the hooks down so he could reach but honestly, I don’t really want to mess with that space again until I start the built ins in there.

But then…then the perfect solution came to me while cleaning out the storage room a few weeks ago: 

drapery tie backs coat closet

It’s drapery tie back. I’ve mentioned before that I use them all over the house, and I mentioned in the coat closet post that I used them for our scarves. They are awesome because they are really deep and long and hold a lot of stuff. Way better/bigger than a normal hook.

I don’t use tie backs on our drapes anymore, so as soon as I found this one in the pile ‘o stuff in the basement I did a little happy jig cause I knew exactly where it was going:

drapery tie backs coat closet

I just installed it right in the middle of the door so it was at the perfect height for the kiddo.

We have solid wood doors so it’s easy to drill these right in. If you have hollow-core doors you will probably want to use anchors, at least if you’re going to hang something heavy like a coat or backpack. Something like scarves would be fine without an anchor I imagine.

So simple it’s just silly, but it WORKS! Now when the shedding starts I immediately point to the closet and he knows where it all goes:drapery tie backs coat closet

I should have made the vacuum cord pretty for you…but I didn’t. ;)

Funny how it’s easier for him to help when he can reach where he’s putting them. Huh. Who would have thought. :)

Until we get the mud room done this is a perfect solution for us. You’d think it would get in the way of the door shutting but it doesn’t – once in a while I have to move a scarf out of the way, but for the most part it’s no problem.

And here’s the reason it takes me 50 pictures to get one good one:

  Nutter

These two. And the cats. All little photobombers.

And the shirt…I die. I know. :)

Have you figured out a simple fix for something that was driving you crazy? Isn’t it the best feeling ever?? Well, at least pretty high up there. Organizing makes me HAPPY.

40 comments:

  1. This is brilliant! We're moving into a bigger place soon and I cannot wait to implement some of your ideas! Thank you!

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  2. I have used your Drape Tie Back idea in several of my closets...life changing!!!:)

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  3. Great easy fix! I have the same issue with my 4 and 6 yr old....drives me insane. I have to find a good place to do this, we use both doors. Your little guy is getting so big! LOVE the shirt!

    MarLaney

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  4. Thank you so much for this great fix! Never commented on your blog as I am neither a blogger nor have any fancy accounts to comment with an online identity but I have gotten so much great stuff off your blog and those you link to over the years, I have shared some on Facebook to give you credit :) commenting today becuase I realize how hard bloggers work to create, implement and then share these ideas and I don't want to be a silent beneficiary any longer without letting you know how much your work inspires me in my everyday life of making our house a home. with four small children we constantly have to think outside the box to make our house work for us and look nice too so thank you! I have had a pair of drapery holders sitting in storage that I just never could part with and you have matched them to the spot in my hallway that I'm too cheap to buy hooks that would get used everyday...a perfect match I never would have connected without you, thanks again. I think I said thanks enough to make up for all the comments I never made before ;)-Traci

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    1. Thank you Traci! Keep them coming, I love hearing back from you all! :)

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  5. Love! Btw, where did you purchase the rug by the door in the mud room?

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    1. Thank you! That was from Target a couple years ago. Pretty blues and greens in it. :)

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  6. We did that same thing at our old house when we didn't have a mud room. I used the plastic (3M or similar) hooks with the sticky, removeable backs and they held up kid coats and bags just fine ;)

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  7. Yes, yes, yes! Little things like this make me do a little jig too! I had that moment today when I had a light bulb moment about my washi tape storage. It is the little things, I tell ya! Bliss.

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  8. Oh how I love this idea! My son's hat, coat, and gloves are strewn all over the house. This is the perfect solution! Thanks for sharing!

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  9. I just made the exact same life changing change! 3 hooks inside the doors for 3 kids who have no interest in learning how to use real hangers! Much better than the pile of coats left in front of the coat closet door

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  10. Hooray for you! I have an 8 and 12 yr old with hooks at their height in our laundry room. And still every day I have to say "hang your things up" and they toss their shoes in a heap on the boot tray. Drives me nuts!!

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  11. We have a row of low coat hooks where they can hang their coats and stuff. Really helps but it didn't have a good place for backpacks. So beside the door, I added a low hook that is made for holding plants in the garden. Nice and sturdy and I can easily hang two or more backpacks on it because it is so big - yet it curves up so it is safe.

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  12. Hooray for you! I have an 8 and 12 yr old with hooks at their height in our laundry room. And still every day I have to say "hang your things up" and they toss their shoes in a heap on the boot tray. Drives me nuts!!

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  13. Thats a great idea to use the drapery hooks! lol at the vaccume chord! :-)

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  15. I put a row of hooks at child height all across the inside of the closet door. We have a shoe shelf on the floor of the closet and bins on top of it for hats/gloves etc. My kids will still walk past the closet and toss their coats on the chair! Grrrr!

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  16. My kids always threw their coats on the floor in our front entry. It dawned on me one day to hang hooks on the lower part of the door too! I wanted to use what i had, so i found two command hooks but no sticky stuff, so i hot glued them onto the door. they work great for coats! By the way, you are genius! i had not thought to use drapery hooks for coat hooks! that's an awesome idea!! i am pretty sure i have a couple of those in my basement....at least i hope i didn't get rid of them.

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  17. Awesome idea!! And that shirt is the cutest

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  18. Oh my gosh! This is my number one problem in my house right now. We have NO mudroom and it is killing me! We have the trail of stuff in our house times 4!!! UGH!!

    I am hoping to create something for my boys' stuff soon. :)

    xoxo

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  19. Okay seriously.... Am I the only one that appreciates that this is a brilliant idea but can't get past that these pictures make it seem like its been years since we've seen "the bubs". I know it hasn't been but if I didn't know better I'd guess his age to be teenagerish

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  20. Wasn't trying to be anonymous on that last post but I also don't have a blog or account... And teenagerish is a word :-)

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  21. In our new house we have a mudroom. Since we don't have lockers yet, I merely attached a long 2x4 to the wall with many screws stuck in it. It is the perfect temporary place to hang the coats. Some are higher for the taller people, some are lower for the shorter people. But everyone has a spot. Still, the jackets ended up on the ground. The boots were scattered here and there. So I took all the jackets and boots and everything else I told them a million times to clean up and tossed them far outside, in the snow. I loved it because I could remain emotionally detached and didn't get upset in the least! They hated it. They had to go get them, put them on cold. They now remember to put their things away. End of story. (Makes me sound like a terrible mom but I'm really not - just creative!).

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  22. I did something similar at the beginning of last school year. Found a cute decorative knob thing. (It's an old doorknob mounted on a decorative framelike thing) It's hanging on a small wall right by our door from the garage. It was a HUGE duh moment, like why did i not think of this before??? my daughter's coat and backpack actually end up on that hook at least 95% of the time. I feel like I can't really ask for better than that.

    I just recently used a command strip hook on the wall right next to our piano to hang the little tote that my daughter uses to carry her music back and forth to lessons. We let that thing float all over the house and drive me crazy for at least 6 months before it finally hit me that a hook by the piano might make sense.... duh.

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  23. Love the tie back solution since you posted it the first time. I'm keeping my eyes open for some cheap ones to use in our closet. I can't wait! It will make such a difference.

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  24. i did the same thing also with a hook for his PJ's on the bathroom door. i didnt know about the drapery tie backs, i'm going to change mine out asap. i was wondering what i could use to keep them from falling off all the time!

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    Replies
    1. Thank you! He's part chihuahua, part rat terrier -- a ChiaRat! :)

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  27. I get ridiculously excited about simple solutions like this. I have the same problem with the trail of stuff that gets left through the house after school because they come in the front door instead of the back where the mudroom is. Hanging that big hook low enough for your son to reach was kinda genius! :)

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  29. I really need to do this to my own coat closet! Love the quick fix!

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  30. My dog is totally a photobomber too.. ha!
    I love the lower hook in the closet.. I would have never thought! SO clever! : )

    Kayla
    www.lovelucygirl.com

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  31. My solution for the millions shoes strewn Everywhere was to put a big basket next to the door. Now kid finds his shoes and I'm not stepping on them as I walk to the house

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  32. I know what you mean about how great it feels to find a solution to a problem that dogs you every single day! ;) I just installed roll-out shelves in my kitchen and I feel like I should hear the Brooklyn Tabernacle Choir sing the Hallelujah chorus every time I open a cabinet door. ha.

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  33. I had the exact same problem! The tiebacks are a great idea, especially as your son's backpack gets bigger the older he gets. My 10 year old's backpack can't even fit on a hook any longer. Crazy!

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  34. I put a shoe organizer (the clear pocket type) on the back of our closet door. Each kid has a row according to height. No more searching for hats gloves sunglassss scarves whathaveyou. I use ths higher up ones rows for my stuff and things like sunscreen and squirt guns. I put a regular hanging shoe organizer in the closet and gave the top shelf to my husband for his keys and wallet. Shoe organizers for the win.

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