Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Ah, That's Better...

You may remember a paint job I started in March. That fresh coat was the first step in a plan to reorganize a little space we use daily: the coat closet. Somewhere there is a before picture, but I can't seem to find it, so we'll just skip to the after shots, which were not taken during the best time of day for lighting in this space. But, sometimes, you have to let the lighting go and enjoy your "ah, that's better moment" before a toddler takes a marker to your wall or some other such incident and the moment has passed. So without further adieu, or marker fiascoes, welcome to our new closet.

My concept was simple: make it functional, make it organized, make it helpful in streamlining our day, and if possible, make it pretty. Oh, and make it as inexpensive as possible. Following the paint job, I brought in items to organize: a bin for each family member to house hats, gloves, scarves - basically any small out-the-door items; a shoe rack for frequently worn shoes to be dropped as we come in the door (behind the door with Audrey's backpack is our garage door); a canister for umbrellas; and a large basket for blankets (this closet is about ten steps from our family room where blankets for cuddling or building forts are a necessity).

Next, I maximized space and strove for a little more closet-bang-for-your-buck. I wanted to add hooks to the doors, but was afraid of actually drilling holes in the doors. I ended up using Command adhesive hooks (they're removable) in different sizes, depending on the items I wanted to hang. On one door is a large hook for cloth shopping bags and two smaller hooks that will eventually be Nathan's, but for now will be used to hold bags like Audrey's swim bag. I can pack it the night before with her suit, goggles, towel, etc. and simply grab it as we head out the door for swim lessons. The other door has two hooks on Audrey's level, which she uses to hang up her in-season coats and her backpack. I had originally thought it would be fantastic to have a bulletin board hanging above these hooks to tack those shopping lists, permission slips, and things I always find myself searching the desktop for as I'm trying to scoot everyone out the door. But, I wasn't sure how to do that without drilling a couple holes. My solution: more hooks and a couple strands of clear twine. Clothespins make it easy to hang those lists and the hooks do double-duty to hold keys (I attached some velcro to a piece of ribbon this morning to make an easy key "wristlet").

Just to add a little whimsy (they are really misshapen and a bit awkward, but let's call it whimsy) and a bit more organization, I made a tag for each bin. These were made from scrap fabric and stenciled using freezer paper (I feel like I've shown snippets of them from time to time on here as I worked on them). Of course, like most of my best ideas they were stolen. You can find my inspiration here. Now there is no confusion over whose bin is whose. Audrey's is kept on the shoe rack so she can grab things and return them herself. Of course, being in her reach, it also contains some items that may or may not be deemed out-the-door necessities.

There you have it, a more organized closet that doesn't have me stepping back for my own safety when I open the doors. One that's helping us to get out the door just a bit quicker these days. Most of the purchased items were found on sale. The hooks that weren't I used a gift card for and the container for the umbrellas I found for $10. But, sometimes, you can't put a price tag on the peace of mind gained from an organized space. Ahhh...now, just don't open my kitchen cabinets.

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