5 Easy Steps to an Organized Coat Closet
Maintain an organized coat closet throughout the year with this detailed organizing guide.
Most residences have a basic coat storage area: A short hanging rod with a top shelf, a small patch of floor space, and a basic door that conceals all the items inside. Given its hidden nature, this area tends to accumulate clutter. However, you don’t have to fear opening it. We offer top suggestions to streamline your coat closet, ensuring you can quickly locate what you need.
Be it a jacket, an umbrella, or your beloved tennis shoes, everything in your closet should be in clear view and accessible on hectic mornings. Use our easy instructions for a basic coat closet arrangement to minimize both time and hassle.
1. Declutter First
Before starting any home organization task, it’s essential to empty and sort out the contents. Avoid allocating room for items you don’t want, need, or that belong in a different place — a common issue with coat storage areas. Dedicate a few weekend hours for this activity, ensuring ample space for sorting. If the closet contains belongings of several family members, involve them in decision-making.
Start by grouping items. Arrange all the outerwear together (you can use nearby furniture like sofas or chairs to hold them), shoes in a separate spot, and accessories in another. You can break down items further based on the owner or even the season. For instance, winter essentials like hats, scarves, and mittens can be grouped, while summer items like caps, handbags, and shades can have their own section. Any bags, backpacks, or pet items stored in the closet should be set aside as well.
During this process, identify items to declutter. Donate coats that don’t fit or aren’t in line with your taste anymore. If there are young kids, set aside slightly large jackets in good shape to pass down later. Apply the same method for shoes and seasonal wear. Items not meant for the coat closet should be returned to their original locations.
With the closet emptied, it’s an excellent time to clean it. Vacuum the ground and clear any dust. Remove marks from the walls or consider a new coat of paint for a refreshed look.
2. Establish Zones
After narrowing down the items to just those you wish to store in the coat closet, it’s essential to designate distinct spaces for each category. A key principle for maintaining organization is to group similar items. While every house, closet, and individual preference varies, consider the following as the foundational divisions for a standard coat closet:
• Outer garments like coats, jackets, pullovers, and sweaters
• Footwear including daily wear shoes, sandals, and boots
• Accessories encompassing items like caps, mittens, and neck scarves
• Everyday necessities, which are items you pick up when heading out, such as bags, sunglasses, umbrellas, and a lint roller
• Pet-related items, including leashes, portable drinking containers, pouches, and pet outfits.
3. Arrange Coats
Given that the primary purpose of the closet is to accommodate jackets, begin with that. There are multiple strategies to arrange jackets; select the one that suits your needs best.
• Arrange your outer garments by category: Distinguish between thick winter coats and lighter jackets suitable for spring or autumn. In hotter periods, position winter coats to a particular side of the closet and rotate them as the weather cools. If space is limited, think about storing non-current season coats elsewhere. Always clean the jackets before setting them aside for a specific season.
• Sort outer garments by family member: Utilize closet dividers to mark the boundary between one individual’s items and the next person’s.
• Arrange jackets based on their length: Group longer items on one side of the closet to free up floor area for footwear.
• Incorporate a dual hanging rod (especially useful for families with children): Jackets for kids tend to be shorter than those for adults. Using an adjustable double rod maximizes storage. Positioning children’s items lower allows them to access their winter essentials independently.
• Reserve around 15-20% of the rod space: Ensure there’s room for visitors to place their jackets during the chilly seasons. This also allows your garments to have improved airflow in between.
When hanging jackets, aim to use hangers that are all alike or ones that are similar. This not only enhances the organized appearance but also helps keep unused hangers tidy.
4. Organize Shoes
Only store shoes in the coat closet that you frequently wear. All other footwear should find a place elsewhere, preferably in a bedroom closet.
For everyday shoes like sneakers, a tiered shoe rack on the floor is ideal. If there’s additional space on this stand, boots can be accommodated. For muddy or snowy boots, a tray can help protect the floor. If you’re tight on space, think about positioning it outside the closet, maybe in a garage during wet or chilly times.
Shoes with a flat profile, such as sandals or slides, might fit well in an over-the-door organizer, provided you don’t need that area for other items. Alternatively, standing them upright in a basket can be space-efficient. This approach works especially well for children’s footwear, which might not sit well on conventional racks. It’s also easier for kids to place their shoes in a basket, making it more likely they’ll put them away. The aim is to streamline the process of picking up or returning shoes, so aim for simplicity.
5. Store Accessories
If you have no need for an over-the-door shoe holder, repurpose it for accessories. Rolled scarves, winter hats, and similar items can snugly fit in pockets designed for shoes. The same goes for items like umbrellas, sunblock, sunglasses, lint rollers, and gloves. For storing bigger accessories in the coat closet, such as outdoor playthings or chunky children’s belongings, cubby drawers are a great solution to maintain order without adding visual chaos.
Here are some optimal storage methods for coat closet accessories:
• Shelf-based stackable bins with open fronts: Most closets offer a decent amount of vertical space, allowing you to stack two or three storage containers. Store off-season items in the lower containers and rotate them seasonally. Alternatively, think about incorporating an additional shelf for storage. Keep a collapsible step stool inside the closet to access items with ease.
• Hanging sweater storage: If there’s available space on the rod, hang one of these and contemplate investing in drawer dividers to prevent contents from slipping out.
• Upright drawer system: These are suitable if you have some floor and vertical space. They come in various widths and heights, so measure precisely before buying. Allocate and label a drawer for each household member to store their belongings.
• Hooks: Daily use bags, backpacks, and totes can be hung on S hooks on the rod, a door rack, or separate hooks mounted on an inside wall. Think about including an organizer for scarves or hats too.
• Adjustable door rack: Containers and pegboards equipped with hooks can accommodate items ranging from personal accessories to pet essentials.
• Hanging file holders: For those storing letters and memos in the coat closet, mount labeled vertical organizers to the door’s interior. Remember to sort through them weekly, or even daily, as needed.