I have been checking in on Deme's blog, House for Five, for a few years now. I love her style and approach to working on her home. In fact, she has made quite a few appearances around here over the years as well.
What struck me about today's coat closet project, is that her before image looked just like a hundred other entryway closets I have seen. Underutilized.
Another thing I loved is that with some very simple updates, she was able to make a HUGE difference in how her family utilized the closet. Here she is now to talk about how a little rethinking got her a long way!
Any superstar tips for keeping your entryway closet organized?
"Take the time to build new habits. The kids were used to tossing their stuff onto a pile and going along their merry way. It took awhile to teach everyone to use the new system, but after a few days and consistent reminders it was like second nature.
The other key for us has been to keep evaluating and tweaking. We had a pretty solid plan going into this project, but once it was all set up we found that all the smaller winter items like mittens, scarves and hats were still littered all over the closet floor. The simple addition of some wire baskets quickly solved the problem. We also have to give it a regular purge and return any rogue sweatshirts and ball caps to the bedroom closets."
What items did you find were essential when organizing this space and why?
"Hooks, hooks, and more hooks. The biggest issue with the closet's old layout was the single rod for hanging clothes that was beyond the reach of our little ones. Anyone who couldn't reach a hanger just chucked their gear onto the growing mountain of the closet floor. It's amazing how effective the addition of a second row of hooks at kid level has been for us. The kids have plenty of room to hang their coats and bags, and they don't need our help to take care of their belongings.
The lidded boxes on the top shelf were also a game changer. One holds off-season clothing items, another holds on-the-go items like sunscreen and various refills for the car (wipes, hand sanitizer, etc.), and the third holds some of our most frequently used tools (tape measure, level, hammer, etc.). Having these items contained but accessible has been fantastic."
What did you do to go the extra mile and "make it pretty"?
"Originally I had grand visions of wallpaper or a bold wall treatment for this space, but I realized our gear had plenty of color and pattern on its own and didn't want anything too distracting. So, we carried the same wall color that's in the rest of our entry and living space (Irish Mist by Behr) onto the closet walls. We gave the trim a fresh coat of crisp white paint, and we left that lovely natural stained wood shelf for some warmth. I shopped the house for storage items and containers that were easy on the eyes and in the end we ended up with a great mix of open and concealed storage."
What items did you DIY to stay on budget?
"This was a pretty simple DIY project that's easily doable in a weekend. All it took was some minor demo, a little patching and painting, and few pieces of trim. All things my husband and I knocked out together."
How has this project impacted your life for the better?
"This small corner does a big job for our family. Before we could never find what we needed and there was a lot of frantic scrambling as we tried to get everyone out the door. Important things were lost in the abyss and there was a lot of junk taking up precious space. Clearing out this closet and a few minor changes to make this space actually work for our family's needs has made all the difference in (mostly) smooth goings and comings from our home."
How about a side by side view?
I have always been a lover of hooks. In fact, I have rails of them all over our home. They are especially fabulous when kiddos are involved. It is so much easier for them to hang items on hooks. Use them in the entryway, their bedrooms and even for their towels in the bathroom. You will be glad you did.
And I am sure Deme is glad that she did! Her closet looks so much bigger! I guess a cleaned out space will do that. But a few other items stuck out to me as well:
- Adding matching boxes creates a whole new visual impact to the closet. Not only is the clutter concealed, but things will be much easier to find in the future.
- Deme painted out the closet so it would flow seamlessly with her home. It is always a giant win to paint your closets. I mean it, the odds are in your favor, you really can't lose.
- Deme added trays to protect those floors! Smart move because winter is gross.
- By removing the closet doors, her entrance most likely feels much more grand! Another reason why I love to do this? Removing doors holds everyone so much more accountable to take care of the area. Now if someone were to toss something on the floor, it will get seen much quicker!
- As much as I love a pretty wall treatment or fancy wallpaper, I think it is great that this project really came down to removing doors, painting, and installing hooks. Visually, Deme was right that less is ultimately more!
- Those little hat and mitten baskets! So, so cuuuute! And practical, but did you see how cute they are?
- Her family can easily maintain the new space, and their days are now running smoother! That is always my favorite part!
* All images courtesy of House For Five
ATTENTION!! Want to be featured in a Reader Space edition? Have an awesome organizing story to share? I am looking for projects that have made a positive impact to your life, big or small. They can be anything from an organized drawer or cabinet to an entire room. Please submit your story and photos to firstname.lastname@example.org, and I would heart to feature them right here on the blog!! Photos should be high resolution and unedited. Please include a description of the project and how it has changed your life or routine for the better! Oh, and no worries my friends, we will NEVER judge "before" pictures because that just wouldn't be nice! Only love goes on at this blog!