The following is a guest post from regular contributor, Sharon at Mom of 6.
I find that one of the most challenging areas in my home to keep organized is the area right by the front door- because my kids walk into the house and immediately drop to the floor whatever jacket they were wearing, whatever backpack they were carrying, and they also like to kick off their shoes right then and there too. Unless I create a good home for all of these items nearby, they will just pile up on the floor until no one can even use the front door! So a while back my husband and I got to work on creating an organized kids coat closet where everything would have a home. (And where we would insist that the kids had to use to store their things!)
Our Closet System
When we first moved into the house, we invited one of those fancy-schmancy closet organizing companies to come out and give us a price estimate on what it would cost to create a closet system. After my husband and I picked ourselves up off of the floor- we decided to explore other options that we could do ourselves that would cost a lot less money. That’s when we found about (and fell in love with) a company called Easy Closets. Their site allows you to go online and enter the dimensions of your closet, select how you would like to lay out the system- whether or not you just want shelves, hanging space, if you would prefer drawers or even wire bins. Then they manufacture it to your exact specifications and ship it to your home in less than three days! (Okay- perhaps it will take a bit longer if shipping to Canada). With a little DIY effort on a Saturday afternoon, my husband and I were able to put together this closet system so that our kids coat closet would be both beautiful and functional. (And no, I am not affiliated with Easy Closets in any way… I just love them!)
A Place for Shoes
With 6 kids each owning several pairs of shoes (sneakers, crocs, dress shoes, hiking shoes), if we didn’t have an organized system to contain it all- there would be chaos. I purchased inexpensive Sterilite containers ($21.97 for 6 at WalMart.com) that line the floor of my closet, and each child has one bin to put all of their shoes into. We have additional bins that we use for snow boots and sports balls- so anything that the kids are carrying into the house can immediately be put away in the closet.
Hooks for Backpacks
My kids have school backpacks and sports backpacks. Sports backpacks are kept in the kids coat closets so they can grab them as we are heading out the door to an activity. We keep our school backpacks on this awesome backpack rack that my husband built just for this purpose, and it stands in the corner of our dining room because that’s where my kids need to access them to do their homework.
(I know… he should sell them….)
Storage Bins for Gear
The kids coat closet is used for a lot more than just coats! Mostly it holds gear that my kids need for the various activities- soccer, football, horseback riding, as well as sunscreen, snow pants, etc. Using the same Walmart Sterilite bins, I created a container for each child and sport. I put these bins on the shelves where they can eat easily access them, labeling them with their name and the activity. Inside of the bin contains everything that they need to get ready for the sport- cleats, shinguards, socks, etc. The beautiful thing about the system is that if I’m driving kids around on a Saturday and they are going to more than one activity, all they need to do is grab the bin out of the closet and take it with them in the car. It really helps us to stay organized.
Some gear is too large to fit in one of these bins, such as my son’s football equipment, so that we place in a large duffle bag that sits on the floor of the closet during that sport season, but that will be placed into the basement or the garage when the season is over. Having all of the gear in one big sports duffle helps us when we need to grab it and go!
Hooks and Hanging Bars for Coats
Each kid has two hooks that they can use to hang up two coats- whatever ones are currently in season (right now it’s lightweight jackets and raincoats). On the hanging bars we hang up coats that are not in season- winter coats, down vests. It is so much easier for kids to hang items on hooks than on hangers!
We use the drawers to hold items like mittens, scarves, hats, and umbrellas- things that the kids can easily pull in and out of drawers as we are rushing out the door. (hmmm… this space looks like it needs some decluttering!)
Don’t Forget the Air Freshener!
With all of that sports gear stored inside…. well- the kids coat closet is going to be a bit stinky. I like to place one or two air freshener discs on the shelves, and replace them regularly to help keep the space fresh. I also keep a bottle of Febreeze in there to use when things need a little extra “freshening”.
How do you keep your kids coat closet organized? Please leave us a comment and share!
If you get a chance, I hope you’ll stop by to see me at Momof6 – a place where I write about organizing your home, using a family calendar, creating household routines, hosting at-home birthday parties, and holding a DIY summer camp! You can also find me on Facebook, Twitter (@sharonmomof6), and Pinterest!
All of the posts in this 31 day series can be found by clicking on the graphic below.