We have a teeny-tiny, oddly-shaped coat closet near our front door. Think a triangle that you can just barely stand in upright. It had a wire shelf with a bar for hanging coats about two feet long. The bar went from the front of the closet to the back (rather than horizontally, so that hangers and coats in the front would obscure the ones farther back making them inaccessible). The bottom of the closet was a foot-high pile of shoes - some of which my children hadn't been able to wear for at least two years.
I detested going in the closet. It was almost unusable. I hated digging in an old pile of dirty shoes for the one pair I needed. I started having the children put their coats on a nearby seat instead of in the closet and their shoes in the hall so I could find them quickly. This just contributed to clutter. Not an ideal solution.
I came up with an ideal solution. Tear it all out and have my husband install hook style coat racks on the walls of the closet at varying heights for shoes and coats. It wasn't supposed to take more than half an our to tear out the old stuff and stick in the new ones....
As usual I vastly underestimated. It took two hours just to sort through the years of stuff we had crammed in there. Then coat racks were prohibitively expensive. Who knew those things cost $30 each? So my husband bought individual hooks and boards at a home improvement store and made his own. That took... well... a long time. Several hours at least. And then there was something about finding studs that I didn't pay a lot of attention to. I was busy entertaining children.
So, it is only half done. We ran out of screws, and hooks, and boards. But this is what it looks like so far. I LOVE it. It makes me very happy. The children love it. We all actually enjoy hanging up our coats and shoes when we come in the house. Eventually the baskets for hats and mittens will be hanging on the wall instead of on the floor, but it a wonderful, small-child friendly solution to a coat closet. I highly recommend it.
(The picture just shows the bottom half of the closet, but the top has another row of similar hooks. There will be an additional row of shoe hooks on the left below the current row and right below the children's coats. The baskets for hats/scarves/mittens will go above the children's coat hooks on the right.)