I Used to Hate This Closet

Category: Daily Diary

I am not a fan of closets only because I am not a fan of hangers. Not just wire hangers, any hangers. They make your clothes and coats hard to find, they get tangled, they get stuck, things get crowded. I hate hangers.

Hooks? Hooks, I love. Give me a wall full of hooks and I don't care that all my duds are out there in the open for everyone to gawk at. Because I CAN SEE THEM, TOO! Everything. Easy to find. Right there. It's beautiful.

So, it's understandable why I've hated our front hall closet since we've moved in.


Aaron, who is my brilliant organizing husband, decided to redesign this closet. Not just out of the goodness of his heart. But also to put a stop to the pile of winter coats that has been accumulating on the arm of the sofa near the front door because, well, did I tell you that I hate hangers?

He enlisted Grace in his little scheme so I put her in old clothes and let her participate. As I took this picture, I was very thankful that the paint can was not open yet.


Beadboard covered up the mess of wallpaper and falling plaster in the back of the closet. Usually I don't advocate for covering anything up that we can make better, but it's a CLOSET. Then Aaron and Grace worked out a system for painting. They made a good team.


After the paint dried, Aaron installed a series of hooks on three levels: very low for Grace, medium height for me, and very high for himself. He also attached these clever SKAR shoe storage units from IKEA inside of the closet on both sides.


We put shoes in some of the bins and winter accessories (hats, mittens) in the others.


Now everything hangs neatly AND is easier to find. Plus, Grace LOVES being able to hang up her own coat and backpack, as well as being able to find her shoes in the bins.


This helps us to remember to take off our snowy and muddy shoes before we enter the house, to sort out our mittens and scarves, to hang up our coats and keys. It's a really lovely system.


The only thing missing are a few more vintage locker hooks hanging from the shelf above the coats where we could hang coats for guests. I tracked some down online and they look like this or this. (They are SO hard to find, which is a shame because they are so handy!)

These pictures don't do Aaron's work justice here. It's actually pretty AND functional, but I only had my little insta-camera. If you want more photos or more info, just let us know.

Thanks, shmoopy. (Old Seinfeld joke.)

Looking for More?

House in Progress Search for more on 'closet organization' on this site.
Houseblogs.net Search for 'closet organization' on on other houseblogs like this one.
Google Search for 'closet organization' on Google.
Amazon.com Search for 'closet organization' on Amazon.com.


This is weird, but we redid our mudroom and I was going through the bag of 'extra' hooks (I had scored a box lot of them) and I have some of those leftover that we're not going to use. They're brass & vintage, I have to see how many are left (maybe 3?), but I could toss them up on ebay cheap if you're interested. If you can see my email address, feel free to get in touch. Seems like fate or karma or something because I seriously went down cellar and got the bag of them last night in anticipation of the last mudroom project (mirror with mitten hooks). Maybe not fate but just that all of us have piles of winter crap everywhere that we're totally sick of.

Oh wow! You guys are so cool. I should have known to check in with you before I actually paid for hooks (sigh).

Sarah, you are awesome. If anyone breezing by HiP wants hooks, I'll send them to you first :)

Shaylou, I love Lee Valley and I can't believe I didn't check there. Drat! Did you also see their super cool fold-away hooks? Those would be super cool for a modern or retro modern house!


Has anyone ever thought about some kind of a houseblogger-freecycle sort of thing on houseblogs? Sometimes we seem to be the only people who know what a window stop adjuster or a sash pull are (they definitely don't know at the big box store!) Maybe there are already enough resources out there, but it could be neat to have some kind of info or goods exchange. ??
OK, enough out of me...

My quick hall closet update wasn't as fancy as yours but this last weekend I was just tired of the super shallow closet not working. Since it was originally designed with only hooks and two shelves on the side (it's like yours, wider than the door but only 17" deep) the coats just bunched up on the sides and were really hard to slide. I cut the rod into two shorter 17" lengths and mounted them on the sides front to back.
Now I can still use the remaining hooks on the back wall and see all the coats. The vacuum might even fit in there.

I've saw those new ikea shoe cabinets and thought they might work great behing my back door though.

JM, I have a few brass hooks (somewhere in my house) similar to these


Always wanted to make a rack like this. If you are so inclined and think of a place to use them... let me know.


Love it! We are planning to convert ours to a coat HOOK/mail sorting/shoe storage area...

From closet to mudroom in a flash. Brilliant.

You could also put some hooks on the inside of the door in order for some guest storage. When the door is closed, noone sees it and it is easy to get to. Either at the top of the door, or run a 1x between the vertical stiles at a convenient height. You could even run two of these and have one space for adult guest coat storage and one for kid height guest coat storage!


Wow, The guys are looking cool!!!! And they done a great job. Let me know the more details on closet organizations. I am very interested to do so. Thanks for sharing.

Thank you

Don't give up on hangers entirely. I forked out about $33 for 12 hangers that are incredibly non-bendable, very sturdy, and I admire them every time I open the closet door. I like them so much I bought a bunch more.

The photo does not do them justice, it makes them look not nearly as sturdy or as nice as they are. They are at:
(Scroll down for the $33 price.)

I hate hangers too - this is fantastic. I'm completely inspired now to hang a row of hooks in our coat closet that are low enough for our girls to reach - great idea!

I was going to suggest Lee Valley as well - wonderful selection. I have been really lucky over the past months. I got some very nice vintage hooks from ebay (probably paid too much but I really like them). I also happened upon some really reasonably priced ones at a flea market while on vacation. Now - to decide where they will go!

I also like vintage hooks and agree that old house closets are terrible to try to work around.

Um... we do the "shmoopy" Seinfeld thing, too!

Love the closet -- nice work.

Wow. I read this entry when you first posted it then went about my life. But, I can't...stop...thinking about it. Our hall/entry closet is the one of the only untouched spaces (closets included) in our whole condo (1925, Chicago). And, it was originally a 1 BR (now 3) so it's not like it was built to reflect the capacity that it now has to serve. I've been planning to, someday, line it with a thin cedar veneer (covering up what's on the walls currently!) and replace the shelving...with the same shelving. But, the more I think about the setup that you guys put together, the more I think it will be PERFECT for us. And it even inspires me to *maybe* address this closet sometime soon! Thank you!!

If you get cabinet knbs with a reverse bolt you can screw them into the back of the door. It look much better than hooks or hangers and usually is alot cheeper. It also gives you a unique look that will be all yours.

What a wonderful closet! My coats always end up on the backs of our dining room chairs - you've motivated me to make some much-needed changes.

It looks so great - thanks for the inspiration!

Hey, at least you HAVE a front hall closet. We have an 1875 without a single closet on the whole first floor. The previous owner added on to the first floor and STILL didn't add any closets.

I really enjoyed the closet post, even if it is older. It is a great idea to be able to hang things on multi-levels. I'm going to see if we can do that for some of our home improvements. - Nate

Interesting thoughts here. I appreciate you taking the time to share them with us all. It's people like you that make my day :)

Love the blog here. Nice colors. I am definitely staying tuned to this one. Hope to see more.

Good article, but I can't see this clearly I think.

Kudos to you! This is a really good blog here and I love your style of writing. How did you get so good at blogging?

Imagine you have an expensive SLR (SLR) digital camera stores. It cost an arm and a leg and is hardly in a position to acquire a replacement ready in case of accidents and deterioration of their most popular material.

High quality info here! Keep up the great work. I love the feelings being expressed.

This is the best blog I've ever seen in my life! I really appreciate you taking the time out of your busy day to share your this with everyone.


Email this Entry to a Friend

Email this entry to:

Your email address:

Message (optional):

a neighborhood of home improvement blogs

Cabinet Refacing
Cabinet Refacing:
Face Your Kitchen | Your Guide to Kitchen Cabinet Refacing