Monday, October 15, 2012

Entryway Clutter: Jacket Hang-ups

It's finally cooling off in Atlanta.  And that means it's time for the sweaters, jackets, and coats. So, I set about my annual purge and purchase of kids' coats.  You know - out with the old and in with the new.  I also addressed the coat storage situation.  Sounds simple enough.  However, this turned into a full-blown reorganization project for me this week - a long over-due reorganization project.  Keep reading to see how I optimized storage in my closet and made order out of seasonal chaos.

How to Contain Coat Clutter?
Based on what we saw during our house hunt, coat closets are rare among newer homes in Atlanta.  It's as if someone thinks we don't wear coats in the south!  Trust me - we wear lots of coats in Atlanta.  You do not often see a mud room in homes down here, so we often make do and get creative with stowing stuff in various locations.  For example, many homeowners hang coats in the garage, in the basement stair landing, etc.

Closets A proper coat closet was high up on my must-have list for a new home.  I am amazed at the number of homes we viewed that lacked a proper coat closet!  I guess they assume we all want to buy an armoire or use a coat tree?  Our house not only features a front hall closet, but also a closet off the garage, adjacent to the laundry room.
A coat closet in the front hall...
And, one for the back entry.  I reorganized the closet this week.
Over-the-Door Coat Racks In addition to hangers, we also use an over-the-door coat rack in the front hall closet.  Why?  Even though we own plenty of hangers, experience has proven that my people are far more likely to hang a coat up if it's easy.  Coat racks are much easier than hangers.  Of course, hanging the coat up as one enters the house via the garage is even easier than walking all the way to the front hall.  So, I added another over-the-door coat rack to the back closet.
Over the hanger coat rack was over-used!
It got so much use last year that it began to bend from the weight of all the jackets.  And, jackets that  hung closer to the door hinge were constantly getting caught when we closed the door.  Every week or so during the winter and spring, I moved a stack of jackets to the front hall closet (properly hung on hangers, of course).  I decided not to repeat this extra work this fall, so I removed the coat rack and re-purposed it this past week.  Now, it holds brooms and bags in the closet.  Here's how I did it:
  • I asked my husband to remove the hanger part (using a hack saw): 
Removing the hanger from coat rack.
  • Then, we hung it inside the closet using small electrical cable wire clamps, nailed into the studs, to hold the rack in place.
the coat hooks are attached at the studs for stability. 
  • My steam mop, brooms, and reusable, canvas shopping bags hang from the hooks.  
Project Re purpose Coat Rack Complete!
Wall-mounted Coat Racks:  When we lived in Savannah, I hung two coat racks on the wall at the garage entry.  One for adults and one for kids.  These racks got lots of use
Two wall-mounted coat racks hung by garage door in our old house.
I initially thought the over-the-door coat rack would work for my youngest child in this house.  However, he is still a bit to short to reach.  And, because he still has trouble with hangers, I decided to hang a coat rack in the adjacent laundry room  (behind the door) for his jackets.  I also store aprons and laundry bags here. 
The rack was re purposed from the garage - it originally held rakes, shovels, etc.  I spray painted it white and attached it to the wall studs behind the door.
Coat rack in laundry room for younger child's jackets.
When door is open, only a small portion of the coat rack is visible. 
If anyone is entering the house via the basement, they can hang a jacket or hat on the wall-mounted coat rack next to that door.
Wall-mounted coat rack by basement entry
Phew.  Coat clutter has been conquered.  One week into the fall and I can honestly say the system is a success.  Check back with me and my closet clutter projects.  I came up with some good ideas for containing shoes and other seasonal footwear. 

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