I don’t know about y’all, but January usually rolls in with a frenzy of purging, cleaning and organizing around my house. I love that the ladies at 11 Magnolia Lane put this great series together each and every year to inspire users on all sorts of organization projects. In fact, if you are joining me from another stop in the series, welcome. I’m delighted you’re here! You can learn more about me and this little piece of the internet HERE.
If you’ve been around for a while, you’ll know that I am in the final stretch of completing a 2 year bucket list that I put together to celebrate my 40th birthday. Number 16 on said list, “Do something super useful with our coat closet (it is so underused that my type A+ personality is actually annoyed by it)” has just been marked complete and I’m excited to share the details. First things first, here is a peek at what it has looked like for the last 8 years:
So, you see, it is really just your typical hall closet. It’s located in the main entry way off of the front door and really is a nice space for coats. Before starting this project, and any of our other home projects, we usually start by really thinking about how the space could best be used for our family. On doing this, I realized that we don’t actually need a coat closet for a few reasons. First, 90% of guests coming in to our home do so via the “friends” entry in the garage. With the boys and dog, the door is usually just standing wide open :-) Second, here in the south we very rarely have a whole bunch of people coming over with a whole bunch of coats that need to be hung up. In 8 years, we have never once hung a coat in here. With that realization, we started brainstorming what to do with the space. As a blogger, I really wanted to knock this out of the park. To come up with a super ingenious and lovely looking space that would go viral on pinterest. Here’s how my top 3 went down:
1.A darling mudroom type space with a bench and hooks and stencilled walls BUT
- we already have a mudroom AND space in the garage for hanging things
- we don’t need a place for guests to hang coats re: above
- I’d have to stage the space with all sorts of things I don’t need like umbrellas, cute hats and throw blankets
2. A mini library with tiny u-shaped shelves going the whole length, width and height of the closet with a darling glass door and new light BUT
- that’s expensive and would require an electrician and custom door
- we don’t currently have a plethora of books with no home
- both of my boys AND Honey now all read e-books and I read library books so our collection of books won’t be growing tremendously over the years
3. A fancy dry bar area with fabulous glasses, a counter, custom wine rack, lighting and outstanding wallpaper BUT
- that’s expensive
- how many bars does one family need? we already dismantled the one in the basement and turned the original one in the den into a banquette
- my boys are little and balls and nerf darts are constantly in motion, do I really want nice glasses displayed on shelves right here?!
- AND my boys are only getting older… and so are their friends… do I want to have free for all liquor hanging out in the middle of my home?!
So at the end of my “bright ideas”, I opened the closet up to suggestions from family. My favorite came from Daddy-O via email, in order of perceived need:
1.Jail cell for the boys and dog (bwahahahahaha… although if Elsa were a bit smaller it would make a darling replacement for the crate with a cute dutch door)
2. Elevator – so I can get to my suite when the time comes for me to move in (wait, I thought y’all were moving in with Sister… ha!)
3. General storage
4. – 10. just blank… he had no ideas
11. Coat closet (LOL…. right there with you)
So after I pulled myself off the floor from the hysterics of his list, I zeroed in on number 3. Hellooooooo…. what you NEED is general storage. Just look at the space now. The one shelf is full of STUFF and the floor of the closet is full of STUFF. So, I had to put my dreams of going viral with the new “best idea under the sun” to bed and just be a real life human being… I need a closet with some shelves and nothing else. This is a real house where real people live. :-)
With the help of Honey… he’s such a great guy that is super handy and ALWAYS up for my projects… we emptied out the closet and got to work. We decided that the height of the existing shelf was at a good place for getting stuff up into the closet considering the height of the door. Honey was able to leave the two wood pieces it was sitting on and just filled in the holes.
From there, we divided the rest of the space from there to the floor evenly to fit a total of 4 shelves. He also made them deeper to use the full space of the closet. He has done quite a few projects around here and had almost enough scrap wood to finish this whole project.
After this, he gave the whole space a new coat of paint from a can we had left over from other projects. Sure, I considered doing a fun new pop of color, but I made myself remain practical…. no point in purchasing a $35 can of paint for a storage closet. I barely recognize myself. He went ahead and painted the ceiling in here the same color to keep things easy AND because I’m pretty sure it hadn’t been painted since the house was built in 1964. He cut the shelves and painted them with left over trim paint from the rest of the house. I dropped the ball on these progress pics. While he did this work, I did the following:
- went through the stuff that was originally in the closet and purged
- took advantage of the 50% off sale at Michael’s for all baskets and storage containers and stocked up
- realized that I now had much more space than I had stuff for and was able to clean out another cabinet in the mudroom, cull my camera equipment, and give it a new official home in the closet
I got up extra early to load the shelves up this morning before work and snap a few pics. I have to say, I am REALLY happy with where we landed. This closet was and continues to be home to a menagerie of things – decorative items that I frequently rotate through my dining tables; toys for my niece; and now ALL of my camera and video equipment!
The new baskets keep things looking tidy and neat. Not to mention, I think I’ve never gotten the kindergarten mantra out of my brain “a place for everything and everything in its place.” (I mean, Mother WAS a kindergarten teacher.)
It feels really good to have this done. Not only did I make a practical, usable space, but I also emptied out a second cabinet in my mudroom AND got a good bit of stuff to donate AND checked another item off the 40×41 bucket list AND I didn’t spend more than $100. Yippee!!!!
UPDATE 1/18: After living with the basket situation for a whole week (ha!) I decided that, while cute, the two buckets and wire baskets didn’t maximize storage space on the shelves. If you look closely, you will see that I didn’t cut the tags off in fear of this. So, I returned those and bought more of the regular rectangular basket size. Here’s the final look:
Also, MANY of you have asked about the castle!! I bought it for CeeCee about a year ago to have to play with at my house. I mean, I’ve been wanting a reason to buy it for years. It is from Disney Store, but I believe this exact one is no longer offered.
I’d love to have you pop over and check out the rest of our home tour!! To ensure you don’t miss a minute of the goings and doings at Dixie Delights, I’d be *delighted* if you signed up for my newsletter here:
Last but not least, be sure to hop over to some of my favorite bloggers to check out their best organizing ideas and inspiration!
Have a fabulous long weekend!!
DIXIE DELIGHTS DELIVERED