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My Coat Closet Blues

Lately, I’ve been struggling with one of life’s deep questions: “Should I completely revamp the coat closet, or does it just need some tidying up?”

We bought the closet before we even moved, thinking it would be a cheap, easy way to have an instant coat closet. It is, but the gray and black aluminum and plastic don’t exactly match the wood that is everywhere else in our house, namely the rest of the furniture and the interior walls.

And honestly, it looks cheap.

Here’s what it looked like before I tidied it:

It uglified that corner of the house.

However, it had also gotten cluttered. So I wondered, do I really need to replace it to make that corner nicer, or would a good declutter do the trick?

The top shelf used to contain a tin with miscellaneous small tool things: picture hangers, small nails, string, even a vinyl pool repair kit (we had a vinyl pool at one point in the suburbs). Under the tin was a clear plastic storage box of math games.

Above the shelf hung an old pair of child’s sunglasses that B hasn’t worn in forever.

Here’s what that shelf looked like before:

First, I emptied the tin and found better homes for the items inside. I earned a small (1/2 cup) Rubbermaid food storage container by combining the two containers of picture hangers and dumping the nails inside one of the containers that I’d emptied.

Then, I got rid of all the games, placing the deck of cards in the desk drawer where it used to be. I say “all the games,” but there were only five or six plus a book of math games we no longer need.

I cleaned up the sunglasses and put them in the Goodwill pile. Here’s the “after” photo for that shelf:

I hung up two caps that had been lying around, and moved two puzzle boxes down, but did that after I took the above photo.

The next shelf down had a box full of winter gear – gloves, hats, a scarf. B’s old winter coat – very dirty and clunky-looking the way it was lying there – lay on top.

Here’s a photo of what was inside the box, minus a couple of B’s winter items:

That clear box that had housed the math games? I put my and J’s winter items into it. I had another clear plastic box lying around empty underneath our bed, and realized it was just the right size for B’s winter things. Here’s what the shelf looked like when I got done with it:

Oh, and his old coat his now in the Tuff Shed. One day I might use it to cover up a kale plant on a very cold winter’s night. Or something like that.

Second shelf from the bottom housed three pairs of shoes I never wear anymore. No, make that four!

One pair went into the garbage. The others…

Remember the old box the winter clothing was in? Yep. I put the other shoes in there. That box is also in the Tuff Shed. If no one wears those shoes in the next two years, I’ll throw them away, as well.

Now that shelf is holding two pairs of J’s shoes that don’t need to live on the shoe organizer since J only wears occasionally, as well as the winter cleats.

Here’s what it looks like now:

Here are the before and after photos of the shoe organizer during this process:

Basically, I was able to clear off the top and make room for J’s slippers.

Here’s what the coat closet looked liked when I was all done:

Notice that from the bottom of the main closet space I removed the portable plastic table that we no longer use for anything, which made room to hang B’s outwear from the bottom rod.

Neater, but I still can’t get over the color. And it’s general cheap appearance. But I have a solution! I’ll tell you about it when we make the change and I can snap a few photos. 😉

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