How to Organize Your Coat Closet in Under 20 Minutes, According to a Pro

Try these tips from professional organizer Kendra Littlejohn.

organized coat closet with baskets, hooks, a hanging rod and a shelf with blue and yellow baskets


Odds are your coat closet is overstuffed and overworked. Whether you call it the hall, entry, utility, or coat closet, the space is invaluable. To get out the door quicker (and eliminate frustration), try these genius tips from professional organizer Kendra Littlejohn of Organized by Kendra. They'll help you give your jam-packed closet a cold send-off.

Hold a Midseason Audit

How many items in there do you really wear? Pull out anything that hasn’t seen the light of day in a while, and set it aside for donation to a shelter or thrift shop. Pieces that are ripped or stained should be mended or cleaned. Go to to find a nearby recycling center for items that are past their prime.

Do Some Rearranging

Give each family member a section on the rod and hang coats, by person, from shortest to longest. Everyone gets a set number of coats and has to stick to it. If space is tight, move lighter and off -season stuff to bedroom closets. On the floor, set up a rack or cubbies to corral shoes.

Use Every Inch

No, this doesn’t mean to shove in as much as you can; it means to take advantage of open space. Mount hooks on the closet’s side walls to hold small things, like masks, scarves, hats, and bags. An over-the-door hanger with pouches, baskets, or shelves can also create storage out of thin air.

Try These Organization Tools

Woven Water Hyacinth Milk Crate

brown wicker basket with handles

The top shelf of a closet can become the land of never-to-be-seen-again belongings. To avoid this, stash items in sturdy baskets (from $15; Label the baskets so you know where things go and can quickly find them again.

Better Homes & Gardens 24-Pocket Over the Door Closet Shoe Organizer

Grey over-the-door organizer with 6 rows of pockets

Over-the-door organizers: They’re not just for shoes! Use this one ($19; to store winter gear, like gloves and earmuffs. Each family member gets their own row.

2-Tier Bamboo Stackable Shoe Shelf

Two-tier bamboo shoe rack

Winter shoes track in a variety of fun messes, like sludge, salt, and snow. This bamboo shoe rack ($40; is durable and easy to wipe down.

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