If you have guests coming over, it's nice to have a place to put all of their coats, boots, and cold weather gear. Sure, you can always nominate one child as the runner to ferry coats to/from a bedroom, but wouldn't it be nicer to allow them to hang up their coats on a hanger? Here's how to clean out and organize your coat closet so you can get organized before your guests arrive!
Tackling a closet cleanout is something that can be done in only an hour or two, but will leave you feeling energized for days!
You'll be glad that you've accomplished a decluttering project, and every time you get something from or put an item away into the closet- you'll be SO happy that it is so clean and organized!
How to Clean Out Your Coat Closet
Empty Out One Section At A Time
I know that some folks swear by the rule that to properly clean a closet, you need to empty the entire thing first, sort through the contents and then put back only the things that you intend to keep. The problem with that idea is that it was developed with the paid professional organizer in mind- the kind of person who is going to start the closet, and then not walk away until the darn thing is perfectly done.
But Moms live with a different reality- the one that says that at any given moment the phone could ring with a call from the school nurse asking you to come and collect your child with strep throat. And since that child will have already infected every other member of the household, it could be weeks before you get back to finishing up that closet decluttering project!
So my advice is to work on a small section at a time. I prefer to begin any project in the furthest left-hand corner and then work my way around clockwise.
After You Empty the Section- Sort into Piles Based on Destination
As you are removing items from that section of the closet- every item should be sorted into piles:
- Keep It (because I love it, use it, need it, want it, AND have room for it)
- Sell it for $– Craigslist and eBay are great opportunities to make a little money by getting rid of things you no longer need.
- Donate to charity– and know where you intend to donate it and make piles for each separate charity right now as you are sorting through your things, so you don't need to re-sort later based on what a charity will and won't accept
- Trash It– because it is worn out, useless, broken, and no one else will want it
- Relocate it– if it is something that you need, but it doesn't belong in the coat closet, then return the item to its rightful home
Clean the Emptied-Out Section
This is your big chance to get rid of all of the lurking dust bunnies that have been hiding in the corners of the closet! Hook up the vacuum attachments and suck up all of the yuck while it is empty!
Looking for more great tools to organize your home?
Then be sure to check out these lists of my favorite Closet Organizing Tools This is an affiliate link: MomOf6 earns a commission if you purchase, at no additional cost to you. and Bathroom Organizing Tools This is an affiliate link: MomOf6 earns a commission if you purchase, at no additional cost to you. over on my Amazon influencer page This is an affiliate link: MomOf6 earns a commission if you purchase, at no additional cost to you. !
How to Organize Your Coat Closet Section by Section
As you go along, it helps to have a plan and the right “tools” to keep each section of your closet neat and organized!
For the Top Shelf
This is the place to stash items that you don't need access to every day, like off-season accessories, handbags, and sports gear. I suggest using clear plastic bins with lids This is an affiliate link: MomOf6 earns a commission if you purchase, at no additional cost to you. so that you can see what is inside. Be sure to measure the clearance you between the door frame and shelf so you can easily get the bins in and out of the closet.
For the Hanging Bar
Most coat closets come with one long hanging bar that runs the length of the closet- which may not provide the type of storage you need (because not everything in your coat closet is actually a coat!).
If you really want to makeover your coat closet- you can create a customized space with EasyClosets This is an affiliate link: MomOf6 earns a commission if you purchase, at no additional cost to you. . We are slowly making over each of the closets in our home with their systems because they are reasonably priced, ship quickly, and are easy to install ourselves! And the best part is- they truly make the most of the closet space you have!
You simply measure the interior space of your closet and then design a custom closet layout This is an affiliate link: MomOf6 earns a commission if you purchase, at no additional cost to you. that will meet your needs. I suggest a section with a tall hanging bar, a set of shelves and drawers in the middle, and then a section with both a lower and upper hanging bar which is perfect for doubling the number of jackets you can store in the same linear space!
If you are looking for an inexpensive way to add drawers or shelving to your coat closet- I love these hanging organizers with drawers This is an affiliate link: MomOf6 earns a commission if you purchase, at no additional cost to you. !
For the Side Walls
Maximize the space on the side walls by installing command hooks This is an affiliate link: MomOf6 earns a commission if you purchase, at no additional cost to you. to hang hats, mittens, or even cleaning supplies!
For the Floor
You can gain more space for shoes and boots by installing one or two of these shoe organizers This is an affiliate link: MomOf6 earns a commission if you purchase, at no additional cost to you. . I also suggest using a shoe tray to catch dirt and drips from your footwear!
Looking for more closet organizing tools?
I've gathered together all of my f avorite products for organizing closets over here This is an affiliate link: MomOf6 earns a commission if you purchase, at no additional cost to you. on my Amazon Influencer Page!
Last Step: Return the Streamlined and Decluttered Items to Their New (and Now Spacious) Home
Ahh.. doesn't that feel better? And now you can actually see what you own and find what you need! (What a revelation, huh?)
Here are some more great ideas on how to organize your home!
- 15 Fantastic Command Centers to Help Busy Moms Stay Organized
- 20 Organized Kids Bedroom Ideas
- 10 Organized Laundry Room Ideas
- 12 Organized Closet Ideas
- 12 Ideas for Entryway & Mudroom Organization
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Okay, Sharon. THIS, I can do. I think. Going to buckle down and give it a shot. I’ll take before and after pics. Not sure I’m brave enough to post them, but I’ll email them to you when I’m finished!
Hooray! I am so glad to hear that I inspired you! But I am warning you… it’s addicting- this whole cleaning out and purging and organizing thing. Next thing you know you’re looking in drawers and on bookshelves and you’re thinking… hmmmm- should this be next?
Louise Ducote says
What great advice about doing it by sections! Emptying out a whole closet is just overwhelming and takes too long. Love your tips!
It’s too overwhelming…. and then you almost feel paralyzed to start putting stuff back in…. where should everything go now? I think it is so much better to tackle it in bite-sized pieces!