With spring almost here now is a great time to clean out and reorganize your coat closet. Coat closets are wonderful. They enable you to free up other closets by handily storing outer wear so that you can just reach in and grab what you need and off you go. However, because the door can be shut and you don’t really notice the clutter, they can get so filled up with other things that you can’t easily grab that one item you are looking for.
The first step in reorganizing the coat closet is to have a clear vision of how you use this space. Besides hanging coats, sweaters, jackets, and rainwear do you also use it for other purposes? I have seen coat closets used for holding items to return to the store, wrapping paper, memorabilia, or the vacuum cleaner. This is all fine and good if that is your intention and you have a plan for placing these items.
Because it is so easy to just keep adding to this small space, I feel it is a good idea to reorganize at least twice a year as the season changes from cold weather to warm and back to cold.
Over the winter months it is quite likely that someone in the family acquired some new outerwear. The new items have probably been added to the closet without removing older, less used items.
Take out everything that is hanging on the rods. This would include coats, jackets, sweaters, rainwear, and in my case, a couple of tablecloths, and a hanging bag of bags. Sort the items by type and by person.
Cull out any items that can be donated. Return the keepers to the closet putting the winter items to the back of the closet and the lighter wear and rainwear to the front and center. Remove any excess of hangers, keeping a few extra for guests. If you don’t already have some, invest in some heavy wooden hangers for the heavier coats.
Clear your floor space. Pull everything out and clean the floor. Decide how you want to use this space. I do have wrapping paper in this area as well as some walking sticks and umbrellas. I like to use tall trash cans to hold rolls of wrapping paper on one side and umbrellas and walking sticks on the other side of the closet. The cans keep items from tipping over.
Now look to your shelves. Remove the items and wipe down the shelf. This is a great place to keep gloves, scarves, or hats. Sort your items by type. Put anything that you no longer use in the donations box. Because it is a bit of a reach to pull out that one item you are after, it is helpful to store these items in bins or baskets that are labeled.
Once you have completed reorganizing your coat closet, take a few minutes just to admire it. If other people in your family also use this closet have a talk with them either as a group or one to one and explain the system. If everyone is on board it will be easier to maintain until the next season revamp.
If you want help or just some accountability in setting up or working your organizational plan join Diane Quintana and me on our Clear Space For You clutter support group.
Jonda S. Beattie, Professional Organizer owner of Time Space Organization, and co-owner of Release, Repurpose, Reorganize. She is based in the Metro-Atlanta area. As presenter, award-winning author, as well as a retired special education teacher she uses her listening skills, problem solving skills, knowledge of different learning techniques, ADHD specialty, and paper management skills to help clients tackle the toughest organizational issues. Jonda does hands on organizing and virtual organizing. For more of Jonda’s tips connect with her on Facebook.