Storage Solution for Winter Coats
Finding space to place a winter storage cabinet.
Coming up with a plan for organizing certain things throughout your home is not always necessarily easy.
Many people find themselves inundated with endless mess in sight, and no idea how to put it all away.
Winter coats come out of the closet very few times of year for some, but finding a place to stick it and forget it isn't always readily available.
Prompted by the disarray of children leaving hats, mittens, scarves and school bags arranged in a finely orchestrated method of their own in a giant floor heap, I came up with this home design solution to please the pickiest of three-foot tall mess makers.
The first step to an endless process of de-cluttering is finding space for your storage cabinet. Will it best be suited in the front entranceway, a mudroom, a hallway, or a room off to the side such as a pantry? It really doesn't matter as long as it is in sight, directly from the front doorway, where people come in. That way they see it and remember to hang up their coat or hat appropriately. My motto is a place for everything and everything in it's place. It's easier to relax when everything is out of sight and you have minimal eyesore clutter to deal with. Nothing is worse than unsightly mess after working so hard to keep a home clean.
Winter storage pantry shown here by the front door.
Measure your space.
The next important step after finding a spot, is to measure it.
There are obvious points here such as what if you find a cabinet that you truly love but it won't fit in the space you have chosen? You can always find a new space, that's true.
To conform to your idea of bringing organization to your home though, you want to stick with a plan. Find a space and measure to see how large of a cabinet your design will allow.
Also consider if you want the cabinet to be positioned at an angle, flat against the wall, and which wall. Remember, it's not wise to cover a window with a cabinet. Be mindful of doorways as to not obstruct the opening of an entranceway.
Start with a cabinet.
Different people like different looks.
There are all kinds of designs. New, old, antique, and vintage.
Choosing a piece of cabinetry that fits in your home will be the first start to a permanent decorating idea to arrange the constant disorganization left in the aftermath of a cold winter day.
Whatever your preference, save money by shopping around. It doesn't have to be new. Some people like the look of an old piece of wooden closet storage which can always be painted or stained.
The idea of bringing home an old estate find or flea market bargain creates opportunity to change the knobs and handles to one of your own liking. One of the cutest pieces of re-purposed furniture I ever came across at a flea market was an old hutch with a built-in sink. It was adorable! The scalloped wooden edging, with the ceramic white sink in the middle, surely made this such a unique and pretty piece for a mud room. At the price of $20, I'm sorry it was too big to fit my needs.
Types of cabinets that would make great winter coat storage:
- Pantry cabinets
- Old entertainment centers with doors
- Old hutches
- Old dressers with doors and drawers
Places to find furniture at a reasonable cost:
- Flea markets
- Garage sales
- Estate sales
- Craig's List
- Other online venues
- A discount furniture store
These are just ideas of where to shop for an inexpensive cabinet that is brand new or needs work.
Coat rack re-purposed. We placed the coat rack inside the upper part of the cabinet to hang coats from inside.
Have you ever re-purposed old furniture for your home?
Think about the elements you would like to have in the cabinet.
What is the cabinet to be used for?
Do you want a one-stop do-it-all type of arrangement with the old beast, or do you want it to be used for solely one purpose? The choice is up to you.
Here are some tips on what you could embellish the cabinet with besides a hook for hanging coats:
- Hang a whiteboard or bulletin board inside one door for extra secretary assistance.
- Install a hook for the dog's leash. This will provide an organized place to keep the leash off of the floor or hanging around the stairwell banister.
- Paint a chalkboard inside one door. Use it to write reminders or start a grocery list.
- Put a nail in one door and hang up a clipboard with lists or charts that you can create for wish lists, home improvement ideas, dinner menus, etc.
- Keep a magnet strip for hanging unfinished homework or artwork.
- Hang a calendar inside one door.
- Install a file folder holder for incoming or outgoing mail, or a holder for each. Properly label each holder.
- Use the inside of the door space to hang giftwrap, ribbon, tape, and scissors for gift wrapping.
- Use bull clips to hang recipes that you will be making for this week's dinner plans.
The possibilities are endless. Use the closet space for whatever it is that will help you stay organized.
Keeping up is easier than catching up!
A place for coats, baskets for winter woolies, a clipboard or other secretarial accessories, and key holders make perfect use out of an old storage cabinet.
Outside of cabinet
Inside of cabinet
Wallpaper to decorate the interior
For extra fun, place a board game or puzzle on top of the cabinet. This will utilize the upper space for family night.
How to create the perfect winter coat companion.
- Build or refurnish the cabinetry you picked out for your winter coats.
- Place the cabinet in the measured space.
- Install hooks to hang coats.
- Place baskets on lower shelves for holding gloves, hats, mittens, and scarves. (The basket shown above in the photograph has a chalkboard panel on the front for labeling the contents of the basket. These baskets can be found at Joanne Fabrics, Michael's Craft Store, TJMaxx, Home Goods or online.
- Inside the doors, hang secretarial accessories such as white boards, magnetic strips, calendars, paint a chalk board, or place a hook to hold a clip board.
- Also install hooks on the other door to hold baseball caps, dog leashes, spare keys, etc.
Make it interesting!
If the cabinet lacks appeal or interest, line the inside back with fabric, wallpaper or self-sticking patterned contact paper. This will help coordinate the cabinet with your other room design or household fashions.
If you are using a new cabinet that has to be built, the first thing to do is to take the back out of the package and begin dressing it with the materials listed above. Spray glue works well for most materials. You could also paint the back to match the walls in the room where the cabinet will be placed.
How to keep it organized!
Make sure everyone in your home understands that this is where coats, hats, gloves, mittens, scarves, backpacks, dog leashes, etc., go when they are not in use.
Establish routine by reminding everyone to put their belongings away nicely on the hooks, shelves or baskets provided in the cabinet.
The first stop after walking through the door should be habit-forming to roam over to the cabinet to put their things away.
What about wet clothing from winter snow or rain storms?
All wet items should be hung up to dry. They can be placed on a hanger and hung on the shower rod or placed in a dryer for a few minutes. Wet clothes that get left on the floor attract dirt. The last thing anyone wants to do is wear a dried, but dirty coat the next day.
The most difficult part.
Keeping the door shut will be challenging. Now that all of the clutter is off the floor and redirected in to the cabinet, there will be days when the doors remain open and it becomes a battle to keep them shut. At least routine has been established and coats are no longer left all over the house for you to have to find a space to put them!
Attitude is everything when organizing. In order to maintain organization, routine must be established and followed.