Thursday, October 18, 2012

Entryway Clutter: Seasonal Accessories

After I addressed the jacket and shoe clutter at my entryways, I turned my attention to seasonal accessories.  Until recently, we had been storing all seasonal stuff together in the closet at the garage entry.  I used old, plastic utility shelves and a combination of large plastic bins and baskets to store cleaning supplies, work rags, and seasonal gear out of sight.  It was functional, but not all all pretty.
Storage shelves used to hold all seasonal gear.
Last month, we completed the laundry room update.  I relocated many of the closet items into my new wall cabinets.  I further optimized my new storage by placing bins of off-season stuff atop the cabinets.
Off-season gear is stowed in bins above wall cabinets
Now I had a surplus of shelf space in the closet.  And, as I mentioned in my previous post, the over-the-door coat rack was no longer working for all our jackets.  I was able to ignore the closet for a couple of months or so after school started - we were not accessing swim gear or jackets!  And then, the temperature dropped.  Cooler weather forced me to act.  So, I removed the old, plastic shelving, put the coats on hangers and looked for a new storage solution for seasonal accessories.

Seasonal Accessories:
Seasonal sports/outdoor equipment and larger, bulky things are stored in our garage.  The seasonal accessories that I need to store in my entryway includes the following:

  • Cold Weather Stuff:  Hats, mittens, scarves
  • Hot Weather Stuff:  Swim suits, beach towels, bags, sunscreen, bug spray, goggles. 

Finding a Storage Solution:
I needed a storage solution that only took up half of the closet, so as to not crowd the jackets.   Becasue I could not shorten the existing plastic shelving, I placed two shelves above the existing wire mesh shelf (to extend vertical storage) and tossed the rest of the shelves in the garbage.

After taking careful measurements, I knew to look for a solution around 2' x 4' in size.    No heavy construction needed to solve this storage issue!  I ended up choosing a 6-cube organizer at a favorite store.  Once assembled, I filled it with six of my lined storage bins and topped it with a stackable plastic storage drawer.   Half of the storage  bins hold seasonal stuff.  The others hold rags, tennis towels, and pet supplies.
6-cube organizer replaces shelves.
This worked well enough, so I went about finding a new home for the beach towels.  My solution was to load them, and all the extra tote bags and backpacks into my storage bench.  This bench was emptied earlier in the week when I moved all the shoes into the shoe cabinet.
Bench serves as off-season storage for beach towels. 
Trust me, this past week felt a lot like musical chairs around here!  I switched winter gear for summer gear and lived with things this way for a few days.

After a few days, I re-evaluated the organizer placement.  I decided to give the jackets more breathing room, and allow for expansion, by flipping the organizer on its side.  The measurements showed it should fit.  But, because it was not flexible, I had to disassemble it and reassemble it in the closet.  Really?  This was not hard, but it sure was awkward.
Organizer placed, coats hung, seasonal gear switched.  Phew.
I'm so glad I took the extra effort.  Now, I have more breathing room and expansion space for additional jackets.  After replacing swimsuits and goggles and sunscreen with scarves and hats and mittens, the entryway is officially clutter-free and ready for fall and winter.
Back entryway clutter officially contained!  
Eventually, I'll sew some additional storage bin liners so they all match.  Right now, I am just happy this entryway clutter is contained!

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