The kitchen has plenty of square-footage (14 x 17), but it short on storage. We have plans to remedy that, but until then, this closet has to wear two hats--giving us a place to put our hats AND the vacuum.
Like any highly-used space in a home, the coat closet/pantry needs to be cleaned out and reorganized periodically. I thought I'd share my latest edition of what works for us, using what we have and keeping in mind that this closet may or may not remain if/should/when we ever renovate the kitchen.
These dollar store bins are the same ones I used in my linen closet make-over. I use them here for hats, gloves and scarves. I used storage cubbies from Target that I've had for about 10 years and several moves. They were in our master closet, but it was down-sized and they no longer fit. (You can see our new, highly-efficient closet here!)
I left the bottom two shelves open for my husband and I to each have a space to leave muddy or snowy shoes. It's so weird to be dealing with mud and not snow this January! When the snow does come, I might add an old washcloth or towel under the shoes to keep the clean-up simple.
For several years, I've been using a large plastic tub for the boys' shoes. It seems they're always dirty and muddy from the garden and this makes it so simple for them to put their shoes away! I even have a few between-sizes shoes living in the bucket for someone to grow into. Simple and effective!
In the top of the closet I added another pre-built cubby thing, only on its side. If we were permanently making over the closet, I'd ask my handyman husband to add a built-in shelf. I keep my diaper bag up there as well as my husband's lunch bag, and a stack of his hats. On the top lives my favorite purse for those times I don't need to drag diapers and snacks along with me. Next to it is my boys' church bag, all packed and ready to go. Also on the top shelf are two more small bins for out-of-season things. One holds summer hats, the other has crocs and flip-flops that my boys certainly won't be using for a few more months!
The other side of the closet lives the vacuum, dust mop and a leaf for our table. Hey! You can see the pretty striped green walls! It's contact paper that I added a year or two ago! So fun!
I hung the boys' jackets and coats on this side because they give the vacuum more room. The grown-up coats are above the shoe bucket on the other side, in case I didn't mention that. When I saw these pictures I realized how much I like one color of hanger, so I've since taken out the blue ones. I also like to use kid-size hangers for kid-sized clothes. They're only a dollar for 10!
I poked holes in the back of these cardboard boxes of trash bags and hung them on the wall. When one ran out of trash can liners, I started stuffing in used grocery bags. Works for me!
On the top shelf, I stored serving bowls and a huge mixing bowl. I love that huge stainless bowl but it is too big for any other cupboard! I use it a lot, so this keeps it handy yet out of the way. I also stored some water bottles on top, and that empty space is for paper napkins that are currently on the shopping list!
So there you have it! Our organized coat closet/pantry. It's not my ideal set-up, but it hides clutter and is an efficient use of space. What works for you? Do you have one of those pretty entries? A huge mud room? A separate pantry?
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