When we bought this house I was really happy about this coat closet. It’s size was at least twice the size (if not three times the size) of our small one prior. And it’s in a really nice location.
Nothing much to complain about -- other than the super, super, super smelly carpet in there. And the fact that I wanted to update the doors and paint.
It’s hard to tell in the photo here, but the paint was a very drab almondy-beige-yellow-tan -- so that was always something I was looking forward to freshing it up with white paint. But…you know, our whole house needed to be freshened up so the coat closet wasn’t high up on the to-do list.
Over the years it collected everything. And even though I’ve cleaned it out before, you know the story, it gets messy again.
In this photo you see a lot of coats. Personally I probably had at least 8…? Maybe more?
Then add in the kids coats, Blake’s two plus hoodies --- it all added up and there wasn’t room for company’s coats.
At the bottom there’s a drawer I had our extra winter stuff like gloves, scarves and hats -- you can see I was excellent at keeping it under control.
And then an explosion of shoes and boots. (That were supposed to live in that laundry basket.)
On the upper shelf I have some board games inside a diaper box (that I can’t see into, so I don’t ever remember we have them) Our hair cutting supplies and just random stuff shoved up high.
I mentioned I’ve been “Marie Kondo”ing. (I still am, but I’m kinda taking a more free form minimalism purging form. But I still love her idea of thanking the items you are sending away….I thought that was the dumbest part of her book at first -- but it turns out to be kinda amazing once you do it.)
So I cleaned house in the coat closet. I went and tried on each of my coats.
I’d been accumulating them over many years, and most fit really improperly so those went. There was one spring coat that fit just right, and I still thought was adorable, but it was no longer my style whatsoever. I was never going to wear it. So I thanked it for being awesome and sent it off to find someone who could love wearing it.
I was down to one coat which I wore the winter of my last pregnancy. (It was a great “maternity” coat because it was a standard fit padded jacket but with sweater sides, so that part stretched and shrank with me.) I still really like it and feel like me in it.
And so in the end, only one coat in all that mess brought me joy.
But I wasn’t sure it would be warm enough without the baby-belly-heater in the depths of winter. So I wound up shopping for a down jacket that could be used for every situation. A little dressy, a little everyday. It’s a long black puffer, with gold hardware and buttons on the sleeves for pizzaz.
(And I was right to think I'd need this warmer coat these days. I'd be super cold without it.)
This number of coats makes so much sense for me -- it feels really good to let go of the excess.
This spring I may need a new spring jacket-- we will see. I can probably just get away with my padded jacket or some of my sweaters.
Anyway, after getting rid of my coats -- the closet was much less cramped. I went through the kids stuff, and made similar calls about keeping and passing along. (We’ve been often given to by friends and family.) And pared them down to one coat each. (At least allowed in this closet. I have a couple spares upstairs just in case.)
I addressed our shoes.
And then I added some hooks to the back brace so I could hang my purse and gym bags.
And it was feeling so magical that I decided we needed more hooks down low for the kids to be able to hang up their own coats. (As opposed to leaving them all over the place when we get home.)
Well that wall brace needed to be painted…and as you can see...
now the closet NEEDED to be painted white.
Plus I was excited to rid myself of the dirty gross.
Turns out the paint in the closet was oil based, so I had to use some kind of primer to handle that. I chose my go-to BIN shellac.
The linoleum in here was still smelly (it was under hardwood floor planks we just kinda set in, not nailed down.) So I made sure to cover that with shellac once I had the walls done, to seal out the smells ,before I put the hardwood back on.
On either side I put one hook up high that can hold hats.
On the right side I’m keeping my kitchen aprons. (I can’t find a kitchen spot for them.)
Along the upper back wall I have one tote I use for the library. My purse. Blake’s gym bag. And a couple back packs that Blake and I use for random stuff.
Along the lower wall I have our “splat mat” (the zebra thing) that I put under Bronson’s chair to catch crumbs. I have two, so when one’s in the wash I have a back up. It lives here when clean and not in use.) A basket with the kids scarves and hats. And spots for the kids to hang their coats. (Bronny isn’t old enough yet to do it himself.)Up on the shelf:
I now have moved our board games to the dresser in the entry way (I had to clean that out of mostly just random garbage stashed in there so they can fit.)
So that leaves room for a basket of grown up winter scarves and gloves. My camera bag, the hair cutting stuff, our family’s cooler (this one goes with us like all the time because of our food allergies -- it’s a really nice fit for us, size and portability wise) and my pump (which I don’t use much, but need to be able to access it still.)
We’ve all been thrilled by it. The makeover was very much two parted -- the paring down made room for the clarity of the space. And the paint and hooks really revitalized the space.