Having too many coats and shoes to fit into a closet is definitely a first world problem, but it is one that my large family has. I have tried several different ways to organize our outerwear and shoes in the coat closet in our dining room over the years, but I always end up with tons of stuff crammed in, even things that shouldn’t be in the closet.
Last month I decided enough was enough. After the too small shoe organizer was “mysteriously” broken I started brainstorming ways to reorganize the closet.
My final idea was rather drastic because I literally took the doors off of the closet and
forced asked my husband to build me a bench/shoe box. However, in spite of my drastic idea, for the past month we have all been loving the simplicity of our new system.
Shoes that we wear in public (We have play shoes on our patio.) go in the box, the coats we are currently wearing go on the hooks, and the younger kids’ backpacks go on their hooks, too. Such a simple method of organization has eliminated a ton of clutter from our lives.
I wish I had taken a better before picture, but I have been out of the routine of blogging for so long that I forgot until I was halfway through. Just picture tons more stuff on the floor and a closet rod that had more coats on it than signers of the Declaration of Independence. Ok, so that is a bit of an exaggeration, but there were a lot of coats.
You can see the tiny shoe organizer I had in this picture and how it is broken. It wasn’t working for us anyway, so I wasn’t too upset. Now that I think of it, I think the organizer was broken when one of my children, who shall remain nameless, sat on it while playing a game of hide and seek. 🙂
After I removed everything from the closet, and took the sliding doors off, I prepped the coat closet for painting. I am going to have to repaint our dining room anyway due to some water damage, so I thought it was a great time to pick a completely new color.
I had such a cute little helper!
After a coat of primer and two coats of paint, I was ready for my husband to help. All I had to do was tell him what I wanted and he was able to make a sketch, come up with a materials list, and then make the box. He is cool like that.
He made a frame using 2×3’s (You could use 2×4’s. My husband thought 2×3’s would do the job and be a little cheaper.).
As you can see he made a rectangle around the perimeter on the floor (He even put a few screws into the floor to hold it in place better.), and then he added upright pieces in the corners and made another rectangle on the top.
After the frame was built he measured some 1/2 inch plywood and cut the top piece to fit snug on top. Then he cut out the piece that was going to be the lid so he could use the rest to screw into the frame.
As you can see I painted the plywood before he used finishing nails to attach it to the frame. He had measured and cut it, made sure it fit, and then I painted it.
I did want to note that I purchased the type of plywood that was already sanded on one side and was only 4 feet wide so I could get it into my vehicle.
He then attached the front piece to the frame using finishing nails.
Next, we attached the lid. We used four 2-inch hinges. To determine where to place them we set the lid on the frame and evenly spaced the hinges and then used the screws that came in the package to attach them.
The final step was to attach spring lid supports that keep the lid open when we are looking for our shoes. (Be sure to get one left and one right spring.) We just followed the package directions for attaching the springs.
This picture shows our new shoe box/bench in action. As you can see, we used the walls as the sides of the box. We could have used plywood, but we decided to take our chances with shoes being thrown into the box. This saved us money, and we haven’t had any issues so far.
I had purchased a 1×3 piece of wood to attach the coat hooks to. My husband made some special cuts to get the wood to meet properly in the corners and then I painted the pieces.
My husband used a stud finder and a level to determine where to screw the 1×3 pieces into the wall. After the pieces were attached we did some measuring to decide where to place the heavy duty hooks I purchased.
We installed 7 hooks, and we are only putting 1 in-season coat on our hooks. The littlest kids also put their backpacks on their hooks. The rest of our coats are in our clothes closets. We can only wear one coat at a time, so only keeping one coat out at a time has cut down on our coat issue.
We are loving our new coat closet nook! In this picture I hadn’t taken down the sliding door track because I wanted to be absolutely sure I didn’t want to use the doors anymore. I have since taken it down.
The shoe box/bench is nice to sit on when we are tying our shoes, and apparently it is good for sleeping on if you are five. 🙂
I thought some of you might be interested in the breakdown of how much I spent on this project. Obviously, I could have done nothing and saved about $100, but my sanity has been saved since we completed this project, so I think it was worth it. No more clutter, you can’t put a price on that.
- 7 Heavy Duty Hooks $3.99 each ($27.93)
- 2 Packages of 2 inch Brass Hinges $2.81 each ($5.62)
- Spring Lid Supports (Left & Right) $3.59 each ($7.18)
- 2 Sheets of 1/2 inch Plywood (2’x4′) $8.37 each ($16.74)
- 1 (1″x3″) 8 foot Board $1.47
- 5 (2″x3″) 8 foot Boards $1.79 each ($8.95)
- 1 Gallon of Paint $23.74
- Primer (already had)
- Screws (already had)
- Finishing Nails (already had)
Total Cost: $91.63 (+Tax)
So, for just under a hundred dollars we were able to turn our dysfunctional coat closet into a space that is not only functional, but adds a nice touch to our dining room.
As you can see from the picture at the beginning of this post that I made a vinyl sign with my Cricut. I think it adds a nice touch. Plus, I love that Bible verse.
While it was a little scary to think about not having doors on our coat closet, I am so glad we did it.
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