5.22.2013

Operation {Re}Organization: Front Hall Closet {After}


It's time to reveal the "after" of the front hall closet today! If you read yesterday's post, you saw a little teaser, but you get the whole thing today! I'm excited about checking this trouble spot off the Operation {Re}Organization list. Let's get to it, shall we?

Just to remind you, here's what it looked like before I got my hands on it last weekend:



And after!


I've got lots of details to share, organizational tips, and a couple of creative solutions anyone could use, so let's get started!

First off, an observation. Yes, it looks very full. I realize that. But, the reason for that is mostly the bulky winter coats. They just take up a LOT of space and make the closet look crowded. When you look closely though, everything has a home and is very accessible. If you read my long list of items to store in this closet yesterday, you'll having a home is quite an accomplishment!

Next, let's go to my favorite creative organizing solutions for two items that can be a pain to store: large sports equipment and wrapping paper. If you move those bulky coats, you'll see I utilized some space at the very back of the closet to store these items:


For the sports equipment, I put up a tension rod (you can barely see the end of it on the right side of the photo) and hung some old shower curtain hooks I had on it. This provided a way to hang the equipment up so that it took up as little space as possible and wasn't a bulky mess on the floor. The combination of shower curtain hooks and a tension rod was a perfect, non-permanent solution for organizing this stuff (great for renters like me!). Oh, and P.S. bike helmets hang here too, but aren't in this photo.

For the wrapping paper, the tension rod/shower curtain hook combo came in handy again. I basically made a little storage area for it that I can easily access (there's that phrase again!) when I need to wrap a gift. I tied two pieces of wide, grosgrain ribbon to the existing clothing rod, and tied the other ends to the shower curtain hooks. I placed the hooks on the tension rod in the back, which created a support for the wrapping paper rolls to sit on. Pretty nifty right?

Now to the top of the closet:


I already had these ELFA wire baskets from the Container Store, but they were storing various other things around the house. Since three of them fit perfectly on the closet shelf, they got repurposed for spices, paper products and small sporting goods. Each one is labeled so we can easily find what we need without having to take them down to look at the contents.

The right side of the closet is the most difficult area to access, and needed some sort of shelving to make it functional. I've had this wire shelving unit since college, and it fits perfectly in this space.


It's sitting on top of the bulky toaster oven that we aren't currently using, but want to keep for the future. Placing the shelving unit on top of the toaster oven box made it the perfect height (the bottom shelf wasn't very accessible or useful when it was sitting directly on the ground). Gotta work with what you've got :).

That big green bag above the wire shelving is a cooler. I used another tension rod and shower curtain hook to hang it up there.

Let's take a look at what I decided to store on the wire shelving...


The top shelf has a bunch of miscellaneous home maintenance items like light bulbs, and that little set of clear plastic drawers full of small items like screws and paint brushes. The next shelf down has all of my paint on the right side and games on the left (they're in that white box). The bottom shelf has a clear plastic tub on it with all of Jackson's (the dog) stuff. The little metal bucket has his treats. An umbrella hangs in front of the shelving unit on (yet another) shower curtain hook.

And lastly, let's take a look at the floor space!


The vacuum lives on the left side. It's now fully accessible whenever I need to pull it out - maybe I'll use it more often now?! My grocery cart (yes, city living necessitates having a cart to put your groceries in when you're walking to and from the grocery store) sits on top of the plastic drawers and tucks in behind the coats. The two clear plastic drawers on the right hold gift bags and tools. I use that tool drawer on an almost daily basis, so it's really nice to have right there. It used to be on the floor in our bedroom closet, and I always had to move stuff out of the way to be able to fully pull out the drawer. This is much better!

I think that's it! I'll be back with one more post tomorrow about the labels I used on everything in this closet. If you like them, you're in luck, because I'll be sharing them as a free printable you can use for your own organizational pursuits!

Before I head out, here are a few takeaways from this reorganizing project:

  1. Think creatively about how to store items. As you can probably tell, I now have a love affair with using shower curtain hooks for lots of things other than hanging shower curtains, and that tension rods and I are now BFFs. Fun fact, I found both of those tension rods near the dumpsters behind our building. I'm not shy about dumpster diving (much to my husband's dismay and embarrassment) if it's something I useful!
  2. Use what you have. Shop your house. You don't need a ton of money to organize well. I had everything you see in this closet already except for the coat hangers. I bought a set of those so that they would match and take up as little space as possible (they're those thin felt hangers you see everywhere), but they weren't a necessity.
  3. Do what works for you. I mentioned this yesterday as well, but it's worth saying again. Pull ideas from lots of people, use Pinterest and other blogs (IHeart Organizing is one of my faves) to get you going. It may take a few tries to get it right too. Don't feel like you can't change something once you "finish" organizing it. In fact, that's what Operation {Re}Organization is all about. If it's not working, change things up!
Have a great Wednesday!


Psst! This post is a part of the series "Operation {Re}Organization." To see other posts in the series, click the tab at the top of the page.

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