What is the Best Way to Organize Your Coat Closet?

The coat closet can be one of the most disorganized places in the house, but you might be relieved to find out that it is also one of the easiest to get organized. Best of all, these solutions are simple and inexpensive and will keep your closet organized with minimal fuss going forward.  I have had several clients ask my advice in this area so I figured it was time to put out an article that discusses this subject.  Here are some of my organizing tips:

1. Start with shelves.
A shelving system will work best here and wire is a very bad choice, because things fall through wire shelves.  Consider using a solid surface shelf that doesn’t let anything fall through. The shelving system will serve as the foundation for the rest of your organizing tasks.

2. Install hooks.
Every closet needs hooks. They are simple and they are conducive to hanging things (as opposed to tossing them). The back of the closet door is a great place for one or more if the door is sturdy. You can also attach a couple hooks to the wall wherever there is a stud on which to anchor them. DO be certain that when you hang hooks they are not simply screwed into the drywall as this can, and will, cause damage if you hang anything even moderately heavy on them.

3. Use seasonal storage bins
Every coat closet needs a box or bin to hold seasonal items. Keep the boots, gloves, hats and scarves in it during the summer, store the flip-flops, sunscreen and other warm-weather items in there during winter. Even in areas where the seasons fluctuate less harshly there are always things we use at certain times of year more than others so figure out what needs to be in the bin and put it there.

4. Baskets are your friends.
Let’s face it, most of us are still going to be more prone to tossing than hanging, even with some good hooks installed. That being the case, give the tossables someplace to land. Keep a basket in the closet to catch the items that aren’t in the seasonal bin since you’re using them all the time, then simply rotate the bin with the basket when the weather changes.

5. Use matching hangers.
Let’s take that one step further and say use good quality matching hangers. This serves two purposes: they help maximize space and they keep their shape, negating the need to keep replacing them over and over.

6. Install a key hook rack.
In keeping with the hook idea, a key hook rack is the perfect addition to a coat closet. Instead of stowing your keys in your coat pocket and instantly forgetting where they went, have a specific and consistent place for them to go already designated. Remember to install properly and safely, only drilling into the studs, not unprotected drywall.

7. Keep like items together.
When you store similar items together, they are easier to find. This one takes consistent effort and a little discipline, but after a short while you will likely start putting things in their place without giving it much (if any) real thought.

These few simple steps will save you a huge amount of stress when it comes to getting and keeping your coat closet organized.  If you have any questions feel free to give us a call as we are members of the National Association of Professional Organizers.

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