Organizing for Winter

small entry mudroom

You guys are my people, yes? So you know when I tell you that I was forced (forced!) to rethink how we store our winter accessories and the children’s shoes, that I was in fact excited to spend an afternoon organizing. Because I’m a dork.

Now that we’ve got that out of the way. For years now I’ve stored all our hats, scarves, gloves, etc (we live in Chicago. It’s cold here) along with the children’s shoes in a long dresser. This dresser, actually.

living room august 2013 009

The kids feet are getting bigger though (the tall one and I will soon share shoes), as is the rest of their stuff. It was clear that this option would no longer work.

Now you may wonder why we store everything in a dresser. Shockingly, homes built in 1923 do not come with a plethora of closets. In our entire house there are two (TWO!) closets. And they are small and not located near either door. I know some of you feel my pain. The other problem is that we now use the front door a great deal, which means that storage should ideally be located nearby. The front entry is tiny. Six feet by four feet and the door has to open in there.

I decided I needed a console table with a shelf and open lines underneath. The table could be no more than 10″ wide and no longer than 50″ (vent. of course). And I was going to have to break down and get a coat rack. I hate coat racks. They are cluttery. I don’t buy pretty little coats that look good on coat racks. I buy big, practical, Chicago winter coats.

Still, research. That’s always fun. My measurements and shelf requirements (and my budget) ruled out most consoles. I found this one at West Elm that would work though. The finish isn’t my favorite, but it fits. Barely. And this coat rack has plenty of pegs, with minimal space requirements. Coat racks, for a space-saving idea, are often surprisingly large.

entry 003

Teeny tiny organized entry way. There’s a basket for each of us to hold winter gear. The coat rack only holds the coat currently in use, not the plethora of jackets, heavy jackets, winter coats – all the options you must have to deal with Chicago. Coats not in use go in the one available closet, in the guest room. All the dog stuff is corralled in a wire basket underneath and there’s an empty one for guest’s shoes so the dog doesn’t run off with them. She likes to lick shoes. Dogs are weird.

But what about all the kid’s shoes? I know. Guess where they went? That’s right, more baskets.

Shoes are here.

entry 009

The furniture is not as blurry in real life. The dog is though. Under the console (the under the window console, not to be confused with the in front of the door console. Obviously.). None of the baskets match, nor are they quite the right size. They were the right price though, as I just dumped other, less important things out of them and repurposed.

A basket for slippers, a basket for kid’s shoes, and a basket for whatever adult shoes happen to be lying around. I have too many shoes to keep by the doors, so I try to remember to bring them upstairs. After years of not caring because our house was a construction zone, we’re trying to switch to a shoe free home. We’re good about reminding the kids, not so good about reminding ourselves.

entry 001

I also added an extra long runner to absorb the melting snow (and hide the mud) that will inevitably be tracked in and a tray for boots. I need to grab one of those handy mitten dryer things. Done. So far it’s working really well. Probably because the only thing we’ve need to grab are coats and boot season hasn’t hit.

And yes, I rearranged the furniture again. And not just in this room. I really need to update that house tour.



Linking up at Remodeloholic.

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