Closet Organizing

This page is about coat (entry way) closet organizing. The challenge is that this space is usually small. But organizing can transform even the smallest coat closet into an effective space.

First step in coat closet organizing is to take everything out of the closet. Group them into categories like coats/jackets, hats, winter accessories (like gloves, mittens, scarves), shoes, pet needs (like leashes) etc. Donate or sell items that you no longer have use for (for example coats/jackets and boot/shoes that no longer fit). Discard torn or damaged items and mismatched gloves and mittens.

Next step in entry way closet organizing is to put everything back.

Use slim-line hangers to maximize available space. They are very thin and have a velvety coating which prevent clothing from sliding. They come in a multitude of colors. Assign one color to each family member. If your closet rod is higher, you can cascade jackets to optimize available space. Otherwise cascade kids' smaller jackets.

Keep only the coats and accessories for the current season in the closet when space is limited. Move winter coats to basement/storage area or unused suitcases in the spring. This will provide space for spring/fall lighter jackets, rain coats/ponchos and sweaters. You can do the same for shoes. Store winter boots away in a storage area.

A space saving option for storing winter jackets is vacuum sealable storage bags. These reusable bags compress the contents when you take the air out using a vacuum cleaner. They are available in a variety of sizes and shapes. Manufactures of these bags claim that they are airtight, watertight, mold, mildew, bug and odor proof. Vacuum sealing hanging bags are available for jackets if you don’t want to fold them. This will be useful if you have to keep out-of-season jackets in the entryway closet itself because of lack of other storage areas.

Put seasonal items in the center of your closet and out-of-season items at one or both end(s) towards the wall(s) of the closet.

An over the door shoe organizer is a nice closet organizing tool. Use this (preferably clear or semi transparent) on the closet door, to keep winter accessories. These organizers usually have 24 pockets, 4 each in one row and costs about $12 to $15. You can also use this for keys, wallets, lint brush etc. You can assign pocket(s) for family members according to their needs and height (lower ones for children for example). You could use labels or write their names on each pocket(s) for easy identification.

If you leave your shoes in the foyer, use expandable shoe rack(s) for shoes. You can find these for less than $20 at supermarkets. Depending on the width of your closet, expandability of the shoe rack and also the number of shoes you own, you can buy 2 or 3. Or use non-expandable one(s) for one or both ends of your closet (put it depth wise) and place one expandable one in the center. Alternately you can leave one or both end(s) free for longer length coats.

If you’d prefer to use this closet primarily for shoes and coats and not winter accessories (or if you live in a part of the country where you don’t need them), and need more shoe storage, you can also buy over the door 24 or 36 pair shoe racks instead of the pocket organizer (which hold 12 pairs). These cost under $30.

If you don’t want to use the foyer closet for shoes, use that space for backpacks, laptop bags etc.

Baskets are very useful closet organizing accessories. You can put baskets on the closet shelf for socks, winter accessories, keys, wallets etc. Put smaller items like keys and wallets in shallow baskets. You can also use shoeboxes for these items. Make sure you label them. This way you always know where your keys, wallets etc. are. Then you won’t misplace them as often and waste time looking for them.

Over the door handbag organizers are available at supermarkets, if you would like to store them in the coat closet. If you don’t have the door space for this, you can use a hanging accessory shelf . They come in 3, 5, 6, 8 or 10 shelves. These can be hung from the closet rod. These maximize space by using the vertical space.

Install hooks on the inside walls of the closet for hats, scarves, umbrellas and dog leashes.

Closet organizing will make your life easier as you know where everything is and you can be out the door without forgetting to take everything you need especially when you are in a hurry. It is important that you maintain it.

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