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Creative Coat Storage: How to Think Outside the Box to Make the Most of Your Space

Creative Coat Storage: Our Mini Mudroom | JustAGirlAndHerBlog.com

When we moved into our house over six years ago, I put everything where it was “supposed” to go. I put the coats in the coat closet. I put my baking stuff and dry goods in the pantry. We packed the storage areas in our garage and basement with Rubbermaid containers full of all of our extra junk. I followed the “rules” of the house.

As we’ve lived here longer and longer, though, I’ve realized that sometimes the function an area is assigned is not always the way it functions best, so we have changed things around, flip-flopped different areas, and tried different arrangements to try and make our not-so-big house work in the best possible way for us.

Never has this been more evident than when we started to renovate our kitchen. As we try to figure out the best arrangement for everything, we have found ourselves experiencing a little bit of a snowball effect. (Isn’t that always what happens with projects?!)

Love this beautiful small house tour! So many creative ideas for small spaces! Click over to the post to take the full tour!

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Rethinking Our Kitchen and Entry Space

It first began with the pantry. When I couldn’t include the tall cabinet that I wanted to provide more storage space, we started to get more creative with the areas close to the kitchen, and the “kitchen reno” kind of became a revamp of the whole front of the house. Oops. #sorrynotsorry 😉

I showed this graphic when I shared our powder room refresh a few days ago, but just as a reminder, here’s what we’re working with:

Creative Coat Storage: Our Mini Mudroom | JustAGirlAndHerBlog.com

This post contains affiliate links. For more information, see my disclosures here.

To create the pantry space we needed, we took the entry coat closet and turned it into our new pantry. That left a whole bunch of coats without a home and the old pantry (which is super tiny) completely empty.

I was fine with sacrificing coat storage in this space in favor of pantry storage, especially since we enter our house through the garage rather than the front door 99% of the time. We still had to do something with the coats, though, so that’s where the creativity came in.

I wanted to make sure we had at least a little bit of coat storage on the main floor in case we’re running out the front door for some reason or if guests come over, so we decided to turn the old pantry into a little mini mudroom!

Turning a Small Pantry into a Mini Mudroom

Here’s how the old pantry started out waaaaaaaaay at the beginning of the kitchen reno:

Creative Coat Storage: Our Mini Mudroom | JustAGirlAndHerBlog.com

It was fairly organized (thanks to a hidden overflow area where we stashed the rest of our junk!), but the shelves were super shallow, and no matter how many times I organized and shifted things around, there was just no way it could meet our needs as our sole pantry space.

So we ripped out the existing shelves to make room for the coats. Donnie cut down some inexpensive MDF 1x4s to fit the space, and so that the transition between the wall and the MDF wasn’t so abrupt, he used a miter saw to cut the end of the boards at a 45 degree angle.

Creative Coat Storage: Our Mini Mudroom | JustAGirlAndHerBlog.com

He installed the 1x4s in two rows in the little nook using a brad nailer, added some hooks (We used these and these from Target.), and our tiny former pantry-turned-mini mudroom was ready for some coats!

Creative Coat Storage: Our Mini Mudroom | JustAGirlAndHerBlog.com

The size of this little nook actually ended up being perfect– the Cs have their own row so that they can hang their items with ease, and Donnie and I can each store our things on the top row.

Creative Coat Storage: Our Mini Mudroom | JustAGirlAndHerBlog.com

I also added a little basket at the bottom to catch all of the shoes that we always seem to have floating around the entry area and living room. Little Caleb’s new favorite thing to do is run into the house, pull off his shoes, and throw them in the basket– it’s the little things! 🙂

Creative Coat Storage: Our Mini Mudroom | JustAGirlAndHerBlog.com

Supplemental Storage for Extra Coats

But what about the rest of our coats? Oooohhhhh, don’t worry. I had a plan for those too. 🙂 Right when we come into our basement from the garage, there is an under-the-stairs nook that just happened to be the perfect size for a coat rod!

Since this is the way we enter and exit the house most of the time any way, it made so much more sense to have the majority of our coats and boots in this area so that we could discard them without having to drag them through the main part of the house. I think it will save me a ton of snow cleanup this winter– yippee!!

Creative Coat Storage: Our Mini Mudroom | JustAGirlAndHerBlog.com

I am totally kicking myself that it took me six years of living in this house to think of this solution! It makes so much more sense than the setup we had before, and it is already more functional for our family, too.  

This big closet swap really has helped open my eyes to see that just because a space is “supposed” to be used for one purpose doesn’t mean it functions best that way. I will definitely be thinking more outside the box when it comes to organizing our space moving forward!

Now that we have the pantry sorted out and the coats have a home again, there are just a few more details we need to finish up in the kitchen before it is complete! If you want to see the parts of the kitchen reno -turned- front of the house revamp that we’ve completed so far, you can see our progress in these posts:

How to Design and Install IKEA SEKTION Kitchen Cabinets | JustAGirlAndHerBlog.com

How to Design and Install an IKEA SEKTION Kitchen

How to Organize a Pantry | JustAGirlAndHerBlog.com

How to Organize a Kitchen Pantry

How to Decorate a Powder Room for Less than $50 | JustAGirlAndHerBlog.com

How to Decorate a Powder Room for Less than $50

Update– we’ve moved! If you’d like to see the full mudroom in our new house, you can see all of the projects and the big reveal here:

Our Mudroom Plan

Organized Coat Closet

Command Center Gallery Wall

Built-In Mudroom Nook

Organized Mudroom Reveal

[Psssstttt… Find our top 100 tips and tricks for organizing every room of your house here!]

We’ll be back with more updates soon! Have a wonderful day!

Have you ever gotten creative with space in your home to make it more functional?

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This post contains affiliate links. For more information, see my disclosures here.

6 Comments

  1. Hi Abby! I just love your ideas. I like the hook and the rod idea under the stairs. Maximizing the space makes it more efficient. I’m sharing this to my friend who’s moving to their new home. She’s gonna love this!

  2. Sam // DIY Just Cuz says:

    Love this, Abby! I admire your creativity as you try to fit things into small spaces…and the fact of the matter is when you do this it really makes the spaces seem not so small after all. I like the storage because it’s out of the way but still easily accessible.

  3. On Hayden Lane says:

    What a great use of space! You have the best ideas for making the most of little spaces.

  4. Lauren Baxter says:

    Great use of space!! I think we all forget that we can use any space which ever way we want to rather than what we’re “supposed” to use it for. Nothing really “traditional” anymore and you have to make it functional for yourselves 🙂

    Great post

    Lauren Baxter | Lovely Decor
    xx

  5. Christine says:

    I love what you’ve done!!! But I have to ask – I love your purse that is hanging up in the photo – what brand and style is it?

    1. justagirlabby says:

      Hi, Christine! Sorry, that post is an old one. My purse is from The Limited, which I don’t even think exists anymore. So sorry!

      ~Abby =)

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