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Small Coat Closet Makeover

June 27, 2014 Sarah Coggins

We’re fortunate to have two coat closets in our house. The larger one is at the back of the foyer by the kitchen and isn’t as convenient, but works best size wise for our coats. The smaller is near the garage and laundry room, but is too small to hold all our coats and, honestly, has become a disastrous catchall since we moved in. Until this past weekend. While Dylan was off having fun with grandparents, Trent & I tackled several projects around the house including a full makeover on the small coat closet.

Small Coat Closet Makeover

Rewinding to last week, here’s what the small coat closet looked like:

Small Coat Closet Makeover: Before

See what I mean? Disastrous is the correct term. I had made little attempts since we moved in in September 2012, but mostly it was just a dumping ground where the door could close and we could almost forget it. “Almost” in that the shoe boxes on the top shelf hold my work shoes so I literally open this closet at least 5 days a week. No forgetting there was a mess in there.

We started by emptying everything out. I quickly got rid of anything we no longer needed such as some random empty shoe boxes. Then sorted and listed what I wanted to keep/organize. Next I measured the closet and, as with most of our bigger projects, sketched a plan so we could determine how it would all lay out and how much wood we would have to buy.

Small Coat Closet Makeover: Plan Sketch

I knew I wanted one shelf higher. This would be a spot for something that we needed to store, but didn’t need often as I have to use the step ladder to reach it. Turns out to be the perfect spot for the cat carrier. We keep this in the house vs the garage because, well, spiders. Eww. And having been through cat emergencies, I like it easily accessible and clean just in case. The step ladder is “next door” in the laundry room so it’s not a ton of effort for me to retrieve the carrier.

The existing shelf I decided to keep for my work shoes – it’s nice and convenient to quickly grab the pair I want before heading out the door. We had a couple of existing boxes that fit well in the leftover space so we can easily store other items we need but want out of “kid reach” – i.e., ponchos, shoe polishing supplies, etc.

Small Coat Closet Makeover: Top Shelf

Below this in the middle of the closet, I created an area for our pool/beach bags and towels as well as our yoga mats. I added a hook to hang the pool bag we use the least often. This left enough space below for our extra beach towels. The taupe bag is our “go to” pool bag and constantly packed with sunscreen, fresh towels and our pool key so we’re ready to grab and go.

Small Coat Closet Makeover: Middle

Toward the front, I added a hook on each side. One for Dylan’s backpack and one to hang Baby Girl’s backpack eventually (for now I’ll probably use it for the diaper bag). I made sure to hit a stud for both of these hooks as, obviously, kids are tough on such things.

At the bottom we added two shelves. The upper holds the pool stuff mentioned above. The lower shelf holds two baskets. One for each child to contain their hats and gloves.

Small Coat Closet Makeover: Bottom

Finally, at the very bottom we added a large laundry basket to contain extra shoes. I store my own sneakers here. When searching online and in stores, I found a number of suitable options, but honestly, the price and durability of a laundry basket can’t be beat. (The Target bag to the left is temporary – school supplies for Dylan’s first day of kindergarten in less than 2 weeks. Eek!)

Best of all, the floor is now clear and there is still some space left in this closet. I almost don’t want to put the door back on. Almost. It is nice to know there is a beautiful, organized space hiding there now.

Cost breakdown: approximately $60
– wood for new shelving $37
– paint (already owned)
– nails (already owned)
– 4 robe hooks (only used 3 so far) $6
– 2 black plastic containers $8 (50% off clearance find)
– laundry basket $8


  • Janet June 28, 2014 at 1:08 am
    fantastic transformation! I'm working on my own bedroom closet and you've given me some great ideas!
    • Sarah Coggins June 30, 2014 at 5:46 am
      Thanks, Janet! I actually look forward to opening that closet now. So much more relaxing having it nice & organized. Looking forward to seeing what you do with your bedroom closet!
  • Julie S. June 30, 2014 at 7:09 pm
    Love it!
  • Linda Kinsman July 2, 2014 at 12:35 pm
    Awesome job! I need to do this with our foyer closet. It is just nuts in there. I like that you kept the cost down too.
    • Sarah Coggins July 4, 2014 at 8:43 am
      Thank you! With all the projects going on in our house (plus, really, this is behind a door), I do my best to keep them cost effective. I thought about buying "cuter" bins, but it would have meant spending an additional $30+? Definitely not worth it for something that really only the 3 of us see.

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    Hi! I'm a DIY and craft obsessed mom to 2. I have my hands covered in sawdust or paint any given day. My husband and kids join me in many of our projects. When we aren't creating at home, we're creating memories in our many adventures. Join along! Read More


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