How to Organize a Coat Closet

This past Saturday (as in the day before Father’s Day) I decided it was time to tackle the organization of the coat closet. Mine was a simple plan to use the free closetmaid shelves that I’ve been installing in various other locations and do something about the mess.

Before: the top of the closet.

Before: the bottom of the closet.

After pulling everything out– hey look, a box of hangers– I realized that I didn’t have a real plan.

I started first with a mind map, a new skill recently acquired during a blog content planning class at Momcomm.

Yes, I included hide-n-seek as a priority need for the closet. Duh.

Next I took measurements (height, width and depth) and transferred the dimensions to my best-ever-perspective-drawing.

But then I started poking around on google and pinterest for clever configuration ideas. This, my friends, began the easy project’s downward spiral into the 5th level of home improvement hell.

Google, in its increasingly sentient–and assholish– way led me over to a blog where the homeowner turned a coat closet into a mudroom nook.


I’ve been suffering from mudroom envy since 2007 when the first of a million grains of sand dribbled out of Zach’s tiny shoe. But then Kim hacked mudroom built-ins and somehow I’ve turned my missing mudroom into the root of all my domestic difficulties.

So… JB returns and I, according to his version, pounce on him like he’s the nip to my cat with my Super Duper Ooper Schmooper Big Idea.

Instead of a boring coat closet with wire shelves, how about a NOOK. Everyone has a closet! We’d have a mudroom nook! It’ll be easy!

Y’all, I had him. For approximately 27 seconds.

Then this happened.

Next came the argument, the frustration, the misunderstandings and at least 4 hours of my life lost to the abyss of marital disagreement.

A sort of cranky me finished deconstruction. Off came the wooden coat rod and shelves.

Then came paint. I was tempted to use the bright green from the living room, but for the first time ever in my life I intentionally painted a room beige.

While painting non-popcorned closet ceiling, I realized that the popcorn covering the ceilings of all but three rooms in this house aren’t original. Which means that the previous owners deliberately chose to popcorn their ceilings as a… design technique?

Redneck sauna: a closet with no ventilation and bright work lights.

I’m totally over my mudroom nook plan.

I think. Maybe.

The fact that there is only one wire shelf installed does not, in any way, imply that I might be considering just going for it while he’s at work. Because that would be wrong and stuff.