Home and Garden

5 Straightforward Methods to Manage Your Coat Closet


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It’s that time of year for coats and scarves and hats and everything cozy. To avoid throwing a pile of parkas (along with the post office and muddy boots) on the entrance bench, we asked organizational experts for their top tips for keeping your closet clean and functional. Here is what they said.

1. Optimize your closet.

The first thing you should do is assess what’s currently in your closet and keep only the active items, advises Amy Tokos, owner of Freshly Organized. Take each item out of the closet and assess its immediate value and level of use. Only keep parts that will be used at least once a week. Keep everything that is not temperature-appropriate. Donate, recycle, or throw away items that you haven’t worn in six months or more.

It doesn’t seem intuitive – who wants to stare at their mess? – but removing doors means easier access. Plus, the fact that you have to check it out can eliminate the instinct for overcrowding. This plastic-wrapped dry cleaner certainly won’t linger in the hallway closet if you spy on them every time to look in that direction.

3. Or let the door (s) work.

Your closet door is the perfect place for all of your pet’s needs, including leashes, compostable garbage bags and toys, and repair items like lint rolls, safety pins and hem tape. Imagine an organizer or two outside the door. They are cheap and versatile.

Assign each family member or roommate their own area – and label them. “Labels are the easiest, most affordable organization you can do,” explains Anna Bauer, owner of Sorted by Anna in NYC and Atlanta. “They make sure everyone in your home is held accountable and it is clear where things are going.”

Another super easy solution? Hook. People are more likely to hang their coats on a hook than on a hanger, and this is especially true for those who are in constant use.

5. Create a collective container.

Leave space for a collection container to clean up clutter in one place. Edit the container weekly if not daily.


Robert Dunfee