First, I have to say that I am very thankful to have a coat closet on the first floor, especially one that holds hangers in the proper position (front to back). For those of you living in houses built after 1960, you have no idea how frustrating it is to: (1) Not have a coat closet; (2) Have a coat closet but no rod to hold coats; (3) Have a coat closet but on a different floor; or (4) Have a coat closet that only holds 4 coats. For all of you with these frustrating situations, I feel your pain. A "real" coat closet was high on our priority list for our renovation. We didn't end up getting a huge coat closet, mostly because I prioritized kitchen storage over coats, but we do have a decent closet. Our previous coat closet could not hold hangers in the proper front to back position - they were all turned 45 degrees to accommodate the door.
This is probably the most public closet in our house. It is in a prime location near our guest half bath, and we sometimes attempt to hang up guest coats in there (quite futile, actually). We outfitted it with the Elfa system when we moved in. We had most of the pieces leftover from old closets which no longer existed in our renovated house, so the investment was minimal. But, it was scary and it was getting hard to shut the door.
So, I set out on one of my famous closet clean-outs. Things got worse (way worse) before they got better. This was also a great opportunity to clean out several bags that we are not using right now and move some things to other closets in the house.
The plastic bins on the top shelf hold scarves, hats, and mittens. In the winter, I'll move those down to the floor and put the extra bags at the top. See-through boxes are critical for this function because you never want to guess where your mittens are when you are already 10 minutes late for work.
I also invested in some heavy duty plastic tubular hangers for the coats. We previously had a mishmash of hangers which was not working at all. Lightweight plastic hangers cannot properly hold heavy winter coats and wood hangers generally take up too much space. I opted for these inexpensive hangers from the Container Store which are less than $1 each (sold in packs of 3). I continued to use the lighter weight hangers for most of the kids' coats.
By now you have probably figured out that I love a good closet clean-out! (sad, I know)