Summer Organization Project: The Hall Closet

The hall closet is like a “junk drawer” for your coats and luggage and outdoor items and…the list goes on and on. This is one space that I eventually get to, but one that is a source of frustration and stress. So often, I find these spaces to be odd shaped, small, and lacking in storage options, other than a bar for hanging coats. The funny thing is that it tends to be a convenient spot for everyone in the family to toss random items when they’re in a hurry.

Now that summer is here and you aren’t using coats, it’s a good time to clean out that closet and decide what really belongs there. Start by taking everything out and sorting it in piles:

  1. DONATE: Items that are worn or outgrown. No sense storing a 5T coat when your youngest is wearing size 7 for the summer! Donate items in good condition to your favorite charity.
  2. ANOTHER ROOM: Items that don’t belong in the hall closet. This is the “clutter-clearing” step! Return these items to their proper home.
  3. SUMMER: Items to store in the closet now. This includes light jackets, raincoats, umbrellas, and beach bags, and anything else you need for summertime fun!
  4. WINTER: Items to pack away until winter. Place these items in a storage tote (I highly recommend the Sterilite 70qt Ultra Storage Bin) and store it in another place. When it’s time to heavier coats and mittens, you can use that same tote to pack away the summer items.

Now that you know what’s going back in the closet, consider these organization tips:

  • Allocate space to each family member, and label with names, if necessary.
  • Organize coats by person, with adults on the outside so longer coats can hang close to the sidewalls. This frees up floor space in the middle.
  • If you need to store your vacuum cleaner and brooms here, hang them on side wall near the door to make it easy to reach in and grab them.
  • Use sets of quality, matching hangers in this closet, keeping a few empty for guest coats. Consider wooden hangers, since they will be durable enough to hold heavier winter coats (these Light Cherry Wooden Hangers might do the trick!).
  • Stackable shelves (like the Whitmor Stackable Closet Shelf) will give you more storage space on the floor and are great for shoes and boots.
  • Hanging organizers with clear pockets (try The Variety Stash by Gear Pockets) can store lots of small items but keep them easily accessible.
  • Hooks are helpful for bags, and, if you have young kids, you can install them at their eye-level so they can hang up their own jackets and backpacks. If you don’t want anything too permanent, try the CommandTM line of removable hooks.

In just a few hours you can proudly show-off your organized hall closet. It will be easy to maintain and allow each family member to manage his or her own belongings. To keep it organized and clutter-free, give it a good cleaning at the change of the season each year.

For more of Kathy’s advice on closet organization, read Maximizing Closet Space in the Bedroom and Bathroom and Ten Tips for Organizing Your Closet.


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