November 13, 2013 by Decorum DIYer

As with the rest of you, January is the time I urgently feel the need to organize.  Not just organize, but O-R-G-A-N-I-Z-E.  Afterall, a cluttered room is a clutter mind, so you can imagine what this completely chaotic, unorganized house of mine is doing to my psyche.

Oh, and a sort of song parody for a good measure, I always hear the word ‘organize’ sung in the Chemical Brothers’ fashion of their song ‘Galvanize‘.  I know, I’m weird.

So, on with the little things.  One day I managed to keep both of the little ones occupied whilst I cleaned out our entire hall closet.  As a family of five, I find that I need to reorganize this hall closet at least once a year, if not twice, as our family’s needs change often. Well, that, and my children like to dig everything and anything out of the closet only to fail miserably at returning items to their proper place.  They try, they do, but I guess no one in my home sees organization the way I do.  Not even my husband understands my organization ideas.

So, here is our hall closet as it started out this year:

Agh!  The chaos!

Agh! The chaos! (Not to mention the hideous trim and door color.  One day, one day….) The coats to the left are jammed in there. Too many coats, not enough hanging space. I’m too cheap to order the Joy Mangano ‘Huggable Hangers’, although I can attest to their space-saving qualities. Also, the kids cannot reach their own coats.

The bottom of the closet housed 'outdoor toys' in a basket.  Needles to say, the items were never properly put back.

The bottom of the closet housed ‘outdoor toys’ in a basket. Needles to say, the items were never properly put back.

As a reminder, we don’t have a garage, nor an outdoor space where such items may be stored.  A mudroom?  No, not even a mudroom.  I know, I really need the basement finished.


The shelves with baskets house scarfs, gloves, etc…. Of course, the items are difficult to see/find and nothing is ever put back as neatly as it was originally stored.

And of course, the top of the closet is just as bad.  Although the suitcases are neatly stored inside one another, the pile of miscellaneous snow gear doesn't stay on the shelf and falls out every time the closet door is opened.

And of course, the top of the closet is just as bad. Although the suitcases are neatly stored inside one another, the pile of miscellaneous snow gear doesn’t stay on the shelf and falls out every time the closet door is opened.

So, what is a girl who never gets out and really has no organization budget to speak of to do?  Well, I’ll tell you.  For $9, a one-hour trip to Big Lots and Dollar Tree (vacation to me), ‘using what I have’, and a day of pulling everything out and reorganizing, this is what I have left:

Much better!

Much better!

So, let’s break it down.  The biggest change is the over-the-door organizer purchased from Big Lots for $8.00.  I got the idea from Christa via her blog Controlling Craziness.  Of course, if you check out Christa’s blog post, she picked up her organizer for a mere $5.97 at my nemesis, Walmart.  Sorry, but I am not much of a Walmart, nor Target, shopper.  I also grabbed a clear, shoe box container from Dollar Tree, for, well, $1.00.

The first step was to empty the closet.


When we moved into our home, this closet only had the wood shelf at the top, the metal hanging bar, and the wood shelf that is midway.  All ‘hand-crafted’ by none other than my husband’s paternal grandfather; the former owner of our home.  Since moving in, I have added in miscellaneous wire shelving pieces that I found on Craigslist.  I have quite the collection of miscellaneous wire shelving pieces that I trade in and out amongst the various closets/storage spaces in our house.  One can pick up quite a lot of shelving for just a little bit of cash.  Remember Claire’s closet score for $30 (and I still have pieces leftover)?

I knew I wanted the kids to have their own hanging bar for their coats and jackets, so I rearranged the shelves.  Firstly, I removed the wooden shelf, as it completely bisected the closet vertically and my husband and I have quite a few floor-length coats.  I swear, I did dress fashionably at one time in my life.  One of the wire shelves doubles as a hanging bar, so I decided to use that shelf for the kids’ hanging items.  Here is the layout that was left before weeding out and reloading the closet:

Note:  One wooden shelf in the top of the closet and only three wire shelves remain.

Note: One wooden shelf in the top of the closet and only three wire shelves remain.

I added the over-the-door hanger.  This would house all of the gloves and scarves.

I added the over-the-door hanger. This would house all of the gloves and scarves.

Putting it all back was easier, simply because I left out the outdoor toys that are now on a shelf in the basement.

Everything has a place now.

Everything has a place now.

I know it looks overrun, but trust me, it is very organized and the over-the-door hanger is organized from youngest to oldest as one starts at the bottom of the door and moves up.  This makes it easier for the kids to reach their hats, gloves, and scarves.  The scarf basket on the shelf is only for Mommy and Daddy.  My husband is a runner and the bin on the floor houses his running watch, his iPod, running gloves, etc….

Organized bottom of the closet.

Organized bottom of the closet.

Organized middle and top.

Organized middle and top.

Organized door storage.

Organized door storage.

Much better, wouldn’t you say?  I know it is a small achievement, but a measurable achievement nonetheless.  Now, if we could only get some serious snow here in Baltimore.

Much better!

Much better!

Until next time…, happy Organizing!

Linking up with March Point of View Link Party!


12 thoughts on “O-R-G-A-N-I-Z-E!

  1. Great ideas!! Now if only I could get all of my closets to look that good:-)

  2. Whoah! MAJOR transformation, Christine. Brava! I think the over-the-door hanger was key – – so much easier now to see what you need, grab, and go! We have a similar “black hole” of a closet in our front hall that needs some O-R-G-A-N-I-Z-A-T-I-O-N…. I think your process of taking everything out first, then putting it back in, so that everything has a special spot, is the key. Ours is mostly full of cleaning supplies…so suffice it to say, I don’t go in there very often (ha ha) but when I do, it’s scary. You’ve inspired me to bump that project up the to do list. Seeing your organized closet gives me hope!

  3. Suzz says:

    Awesome! Congrats on completing this task/project!

    FYI – Marshalls has the huggable hangers … which I happen to loathe … for not a lot of money. Just an FYI.

  4. Jess says:

    What an inspiration! I need a low bar in our hall closet. Right now, the kids open the door and throw everything (shoes, coats, gloves, bookbags) in the bottom of the closet. It drives me nuts! I may need to take a trip to Big Lots to bite off your over the door idea!

  5. I love a good organization project and this one doesn’t disappoint. Great accomplishment. Have you caught yourself opening the door and just staring at it yet? 🙂

  6. fitsakie says:

    Great organizing ideas!!! I have to tell you that you are not the only that face a “chaos” while open a cupboard. As much as I try to be organized the less I managed…….but I don’t quit!

  7. Great job and nice work using what you have. Glad my system could help you out. It still works great for us too.

  8. […] organized and take inventory of what I have (and what I need).  I recently gave our family’s hall closet a good reorganization and thought the master closet should be next on the […]

  9. Lauren says:

    Nice work, Chicka! I love to organize things, but I never seem to have the time…

  10. The hanger for scarves and gloves is perfect!

  11. Looks great! Yup, this is about the time of year I start to go crazy about organization especially with all the toys coming in for the little one.

  12. Kim says:

    You got the most out of the space you have there, and you used every inch. Great job! I love the lower coat rack, because it’s more accessible for the young ones. 🙂 Enjoy your new organized space.

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