Posts tagged storage

Hall Closet Makeover

We have a good sized closet in our main hallway.  It’s pretty much been unused since we moved in, mostly because we moved in during nicer weather and didn’t have big coats, hats, gloves, boots, etc to put in there.  Instead, it has become home to some very random things like mops, Pledge, light bulbs, grocery bags and our fire extinguisher.

(click to enlarge)

With the colder weather creeping up on us, I know that we are going to need to use this closet for it’s intended purpose rather than as a catch-all.  So, I decided to tackle it.  It was a very spur-of-the-moment decision.  I took some quick measurements, grabbed the girls, and drove to Lowe’s to buy some supplies.  There were a few things that I definitely wanted to accomplish with the project and the rest just fell into place.  First, since the closet is over a stairway, the floor is slanted upward which means you can’t really put much on the floor of the closet (but somehow that didn’t really seem to stop the clutter from gathering there!).  Then there was the abundance of grocery bags (aka toxic waste-smelling diaper disposal bags).  Even though we use reusable shopping bags 90% of the time, we still seem to end up with tons of these plastic bags.  So, I was determined to find an answer to this problem.  And finally, how do I make the closet not look so cluttered?  I know, I know, it IS a closet after all, but I just hated looking at all of the crap!

Here is how it turned out:

I am completely thrilled with it.  I installed a shelf near the bottom of the closet.  It can be used for shoes or whatever.  I put a small bin on it so the kids can put things away at their own level (ie hats, gloves, scarves).  I put two larger bins on the top shelf.  One of them has the light bulbs and other miscellaneous stuff in it.  The other is empty for now, but will hold Scott’s and my hats, gloves and scarves this winter.  I was able to eliminate two of the mops from the closet.  One was the Swiffer Wet Jet, which we no longer use (we replaced it with a Shark Steam Mop seen in the picture).  The other one was an old school sponge mop that somehow made it’s way to the new house even though we never used it at the condo.

But, I know the biggest question on everyone’s mind right now is “What did she do with all of those grocery bags?!?”  Pretty sweet, huh?!  I’ve seen these type of bag holder/dispenser things before but for some reason never bought one.  Of course today when I was on the hunt for one, it took me forever to find it.  It’s stuck on the right hand wall inside the closet with some adhesive backing (or you could have used screws).  The box says it holds 30 bags but I was able to get at least 45 in there (yes, I was counting!).  I’m very happy about it.

So, I ended up spending about $40 at Lowe’s on the shelf, hardware, bins and the grocery bag holder.  I know it probably seems silly that I’m so excited about a closet makeover, but I know it’s going to make our lives so much easier once we’re wearing heavy coats and winter accessories.

Three strollers, a potty chair, and a roll of paper towels.

Sometimes when I open the tailgate to my car in a busy parking lot people who are passing by seem shocked about what is in there.  I have a pretty big car with a lot of cargo space and they’re probably wondering why the space is so full.  Well, the simple answer is that I’m a mom and moms never know what they are going to need when they’re on the road with their kids.

The items that occupy the cargo space of my mommy mobile on a pretty regular basis are three strollers, a potty chair, and a roll of paper towels.  Yes, I said three strollers.  You might be thinking, “Why three?  You only have two kids and there is only one of you.  How could you possibly need three strollers?”  Well, obviously I am not using them all at the same time.  But which one I use depends on where I am and who is with me.

First, there’s the big honking double stroller.  (It’s the Graco Quattro Tour Duo if you’re wondering.)  This stroller is great when I have both kids with me and we’re going to be out for a while, like trips to the mall.  It has lots of storage space and the back seat reclines flat.  It has all the bells and whistles one could want in a double stroller.  The thing is a beast though and it’s impossible to steer one handed.  Then there’s the single stroller with all the features (Graco Quattro Tour).  This stroller is great.  It reclines fully to accommodate sleeping children or to provide a place to change a diaper when you’re skeeved out by the public changing stations like I am.  It steers awesome and I have no problem pushing it one handed.  Brinley still loves riding in this stroller.  Lastly is the light, compact umbrella type stroller (Chicco C6).  I rarely used this with Brinley.  I always opted for the Graco with her.  Now having two kids, this stroller has been a life saver.  You can grab it really fast and throw a kid in there for quick trips into stores.  Both Brinley and Nora will ride in it when necessary.  It’s easy to steer one handed but I often kick the wheels when I walk if I’m in a hurry and the hook that you use to lock it shut to store it is a PITA to operate.

You want to know what is really funny though?  Nora hates riding in strollers.  She would much rather be carried.  And Brinley?  Well, she’s almost three and a half and probably looks a little silly riding in the stroller.  Oh and she’s totally capable of walking.  In all honesty, I could probably take all three of the strollers out of my car and gain TONS of cargo space.  But, I’m just not ready to make that step yet.


I’ve been wracking my brain for some time now trying to find a way to organize our living/play room. Since we spend the majority of our time in this main room Brinley’s toys have sort of taken over the space. By the end of the day its usually impossible to see the floor (which right now isn’t so bad since our carpet is totally worn out – we’re saying good bye to it on Friday when our hardwood floors are installed!!!).

Anyway, when we were at BJs earlier in the month I saw this cool cube bin storage unit. In my mind it was the perfect thing for us. However we didn’t buy it then because I wasn’t 100% sure it was what I wanted. Well, we ended up going back today and getting it. Scott and I put it together this afternoon and I LOVE it. It fits most of Brinley’s toys in it and keeps them out of the way and off of the floor. I’m hoping to teach Brinley where her different things go on the shelf and in the bins so that she will be able to keep everything in its place (wishful thinking, I know!). So, here it is….

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