Do you waste time in the morning digging through your coat closet to find mittens, umbrellas, and everything else you need for the day? These simple and inexpensive coat closet organization tips will help you organize all your gear in one spot. Please note that this post contains affiliate links. See my disclosures for more information.
Despite unseasonably warm weather this weekend, there are still several inches of snow in my yard. But it’s not the pleasant, fluffy white snow that makes everything look magical. Nope. This stuff is slushy, heavy, and streaked with dog pee. A yucky snow situation doesn’t stop my kids from romping around the yard, so when they finally come inside begging for hot chocolate they’re filthy and sopping wet.
Before our major home renovation last year, it was a nightmare to find basic gear like scarves, hats, mittens, and umbrellas. Although our home has two front doors, there wasn’t an entryway or a coat closet. So, our first winter here came with record-breaking snowfall, a kitchen filled with dirty boots and soggy snow pants, and no idea where to find or put our winter gear.
Time spent searching is time wasted.
I’m pretty terrible at finding things when I need them. So terrible that my parents joke they must not have played hide-and-seek enough with me as a child.
I have kids to get to school and a job twenty minutes away, and it’s not good to start my morning with a treasure hunt for essentials. Because when I rush around to find mittens, shoes, and whatever else we need I become a person I don’t like. This person wrings her hands in frustration, creates more messes, and yells at kids who also don’t have a clue where anything is.
So while we added a mudroom and coat closet during our home renovation out of necessity, the coat closet organization system I devised was born out of frustration.
Coat Closet Organization That Works For You
Even the largest coat closet or mudroom creates frustration if it’s not organized in a way that makes sense to you and your family. Regardless of size, your coat closet and entryway should be the only space for the stuff you typically take with you when you leave your house, depending on the season. Everything in this space should be easy to see and grab.
Our mudroom is small, but the double-door coat closet is jam-packed with essentials for every day and season. To the left is our family command center, and on the right wall of the mudroom is where the kids hang their coats and backpacks and store their recent artwork and papers.
What does your family need every day?
Think about what you typically reach for before you leave the house.
- Shoes and boots
- Gloves and mittens
But there’s probably more, and it’s crucial to consider all the stuff.
More times than I can count, I’ve had the kids buckled into their seats and then realized I forgot sunscreen or bug spray. Or, our lovable but crazy dog is buckled up in her harness and racing out the door for her evening walk before I realize I forgot the flashlight.
Start your coat closet organization by gathering every coat, hat, mitten, glove, scarf, umbrella, flashlight, sunscreen and whatever else you usually need before you leave your house. Maybe this list includes ski goggles for winter, or swim goggles for summer. Just bring it all out of storage, then toss or donate what you don’t need anymore.
I should purge our closet a bit more, but trust me when I say that we used to have even more stuff. At least now I can see how much we have so I don’t buy more!
The Coat Closet Organization Tools I Can’t Live Without
There are many beautiful entryways and mudrooms on Pinterest, and many of them include built-in shelving systems that appear expensive or complicated to build. While they are lovely, built-ins are not necessary to organize your coat closet.
There are only two things you should build into your closet:
- Closet rod
- Shelf above the rod (at least one, or more if you have a high ceiling)
The best coat closet organization tool I’ve found is the humble shoe organizer. Whether they’re hung from the rod to hold shoes, or mounted over the closet door to corral daily essentials, I would still live in chaos if it wasn’t for shoe organizers.
Clear pocket shoe organizers are perfect for storing winter accessories, umbrellas, flashlights, sunscreen, swim goggles, sunglasses, and all the little things we frequently waste time looking for.
Now, everyone in my family can easily see all of their gear. They know where to find it, and where to put it away.
A closet rod extender adds extra hanging space and is the perfect height for our kids to reach their jackets and sweatshirts. On the floor, baskets hold off-season boots, a library book bag, and car blanket.
Up on the shelf, unstacked stackable baskets keep ski helmets and goggles, baseball caps, and snow pants tidy, plus there’s extra open space next to them for more if needed.
What about wet gear?
When my kids come home from school with backpacks full of damp hats and gloves, they clip them to a basic skirt hanger to keep them off the floor and help them to try faster. When the hanger isn’t in use, we just stash it in the closet.
Coat Closet Organization That’s Fast and Functional
By organizing our coat closet with products we already had (like the baskets and rod-hanging shoe organizer), and purchasing a few new items (rod extender and clear shoe pocket organizers) we added a massive amount of function to our coat closet quickly and on a budget.
Most importantly, our mornings are less chaotic now that we know what we have and where it is. I won’t say that the chaos is totally eliminated (I have little kids, after all), but at least I know where to find dry mittens.
What unusual stuff do you keep in your coat closet? Did you notice that ours includes an air pump? You never know when you’ll have a flat basketball. 😉
Check out these other organization ideas!
- 14 Ways to Organize Your Life for Free (and Cheap)
- 3 Simple Tricks Stop Paper Clutter and Curb the Chaos
- How to Create a Simple Command Center That Will Save Your Sanity
- How to Make a Magnetic Chalkboard Wall That Will Keep You Organized
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