A Little Coat Closet Refresh

In spirit of the High/Low challenge, I thought I would take things a step further and do a zero cost project.  Those are always the best anyway right?  The ones that require you to use the things you already have and pull out your creativity... I love 'em!

So although this post won't go down in history as the most exciting, it is still fun to see the difference a little closet cleanup can make.  Here is what I was working with.

We have this odd shaped closet located above our stairs; which means that we lose about 2 1/2 feet of space.  This closet typically houses our coats, and with the spring season finally making an appearance here, it was time to swap out the closet inventory and give it a good cleaning at the same time.

As I began to empty the closet completely, I was shocked at how easily things had gotten lost in the back of the closet.  Everything was placed on the table behind me.

I discovered a couple of jackets that our family didn't wear at all during the previous season so straight to the donate bin they went.  I also found home accessories, small appliances, returns, totes, etc...  A lot of eyebrow raisers.  After sorting and sifting through the contents of the closet, I was left with a blank slate.

Although the wallpaper was fun, it was from years ago and our style has since changed.  The walls in our kitchen and living room have been updated to a beige with a grey undertone color {Glidden's Smooth Stone}, while the paint and wallpaper in the closet definitely remained in the creamy ivory territory.  It completely clashed and the trim needed to be touched up as it was looking a little rough.

It was time to give the closet an update, so I dove right in and started stripping the wallpaper {just pulling at the edges}. 

For the rest of the paper that was giving me a harder time, I sprayed it down with a very hot vinegar/water combo, let it sit for a minute, and then peeled.  It worked great!  I then gave the entire wall a good cleaning.

The wall was in pretty sad shape, so I filled all of the holes from the previous shelves and patched any other rough spots.  The entire closet received two coats of the Smooth Stone and the white trim was also touched up.

My hubby doesn't typically like to purge or get rid of anything {which may cause us to clash from time to time}, and that includes our leftover building/project materials.  However, that is one thing I completely agree with keeping; wood scraps, extra trim, sheets of wood... our scrap pile has come in handy for us so many times. 

I asked Bryan if we had enough materials to create a new shelf and closet rod so he went to our pile and came back with a yes.  Some melamine board and leftover closet rod {from this project}, and we were set!

Bryan started by screwing in a few ledger boards on either side of the closet.

I stained the dowel with some leftover stain from our recent bookcase makeover, and he installed that as well.

I just love a blank slate!  SO much better and much more fresh and clean feeling.  It now blended with the walls in the surrounding areas as well.

I had recently spotted these baskets from Serena & Lily, so I decided to do a similar treatment with our existing baskets and some paint.

All of the winter coats were stored away in a bin and brought out to the garage.  The spring jackets were hung and the closet was complete!

Of course, the main thing the closet now has going for it, is that the jackets are much slimmer for the season.  We have been using these inexpensive wooden hangers from IKEA and really love them.

I had found the hanging shoe pocket organizing on Zulily last year, and it has worked well to give each member of the family their own pocket.  Everything from hats & mittens to baseball caps and dog leashes are stored there.

One of the upper baskets holds extra winter gear, such as hoods, ski masks, thicker gloves, extra mittens, etc... The other basket holds all of our old towels and rags for spills and bigger cleaning projects.

The labels were created out of some subway tile samples we had.  I printed out labels I created in Microsoft Excel {following this tutorial here}, and used decoupage to affix them to the front of the tiles.  The tiles were attached with heavy duty velcro.  Tiles may not be the most practical labeling solution/item, but I thought I would give it a whirl since I had them on hand and the baskets are not necessarily used on a daily basis.  I sort of love the results.

We have always had a few baskets installed on the inside of the closet and I didn't change them up at all.  We use one to store our frequently used home/budget binders, the other is used for water bottles and outdoor potions.

Things that were found that didn't necessarily make sense in the closet, were moved to where they DO make sense and extra totes were hung up with the jackets.  By assessing how we wish for the closet to function, were were able to free up the floor and give the closet a clutter free result.

The entire project was pretty quick.  Just some hurry up and wait time with the painting; but overall really worth the time.  And 100% inspired by spring!

Have you taken on any completely free organizing projects lately? 

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