Easy Tips for Functional Coat Closet Organization

12 steps to completely organize a coat closet from start to finish to make it beautiful and functional + free printable labels.

If you want to relieve stress in your daily routine, organize that neglected hall closet currently stuffed with winter coats. Since it’s the last thing you touch before starting your day and the first thing you see after walking in the front door, your entryway coat closet space deserves some love. 

organized coat closet in a foyer

I have just two moods during decluttering season:

1. I literally want to do everything just to avoid a closet tidying project or… 

2. Organize all the things.

I absolutely couldn’t avoid THIS monstrosity of an entry closet any longer.

coat closet before
coat closet organization

12 Steps to Organize a Functional Coat Closet

Taking the time to implement a new storage solution, however, is always worth the little time it takes.

It’s a sight to behold, I tell ya. And I honestly can’t believe it took me this long.

If you’ve been in the same boat on the home organizing battle front, here are some coat closet organization ideas to help maximize your space.

1. Remove Everything From the Entire Closet

That’s probably a total Captain Obvious tip, but even if you plan on keeping some of the existing items in the closet, pull them out anyway and start with a blank slate so you can work from scratch.

2. Give Walls a Fresh Paint Job

A fresh coat of paint is a great way to get rid of that musty closet smell.

We just used leftover paint we had from our bedroom for a new look in this little space. (Yay for free leftovers!) I love how the black makes everything else pop.

coat closet with gift wrap storage

3. Be Realistic About Needs of Each Family Member

If you haven’t used winter gear or pairs of shoes in that closet in the past year, get rid of it. Chances are, you’re not going to miss it. Visualize the extra space you’ll have and think about how it will feel to have some breathing room. Sometimes that’s the best motivation to finish organizing small spaces.

4. Categorize Like Items

I made piles with the items I planned on keeping for winter hats, gloves, scarves, coats, shoes, workout equipment, gift wrap, and other random items.

By putting items in categories, you’ll know exactly how many bins and baskets you’ll need.

coat closet labels for bins to organize winter gear

5. Measure the Closet

Get out the tape measure and determine the height, width, and depth of your closet and keep those measurements in the notepad on your phone.

While you’re shopping for shoe cubbies and fabric bins for a storage system, you’ll know exactly what will fit and what won’t without any trial and error.

6. Replace Wire Shelving

Remove the wire shelf in the top of the closet with a wood shelf and hanging rod.

7. Use Fabric Bins for Clothing Accessories

Place smaller items like gloves, scarves, and hats in separate baskets. Choosing things that are “pretty” will encourage you to keep the space looking beautiful. Take advantage of vertical space on the top shelf.

coat closet organization with shoe storage in an entryway

8. Utilize a Side Wall for Shoe Storage

The side walls of closets are often underutilized. Take advantage of that prime real estate by pushing a shoe shelf against the side wall. You will still have easy access to shoe shelves without taking up valuable floor space.

9. Store Larger Items in Baskets on the Floor

Make a dedicated space for sports equipment on the floor under hanging coats. It’s the perfect place where kids can have easy reach. 

lidded baskets with labels in a coat closet for organizing workout gear

10. Add Pretty Labels

That way there’s no question where anything goes. My trick is to use these cheap ID/luggage tags. I whipped up some coat closet labels for them that you can download and print yourself.

If you’re currently a Bless’er House email subscriber, the printables are already in my Printable Library. Just access them from the link at the bottom of every email I send or from here (password in your email).

If you want to get access to the printable label set, just click here to subscribe and get the labels in your inbox (it’s free).

11. Use Matching Hangers

I really like these velvet hangers to keep slippery jackets from sliding off. It’s amazing how something as simple as a pack of matching hangers can improve a hallway closet.

coat closet organization with winter gear bins

12. Store Reusable Shopping Bags and Gift Wrap

Put all of the walls in your closet to work by installing wall baskets to hold gift bags and reusable shopping bags. They always seem to come in handy as you’re rushing out the door. These baskets hanging from Command hooks are perfect for storing rolls of gift wrap, gift bags, shopping bags, and tissue paper.

coat closet with gift wrap storage

Even though it’s hard to get in the organizing mood, it’s worth every second every time.

Coat Closet Organizing Sources

organized hallway closet in an entryway

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And now I have a place where guests can hang their coats without me cringing in complete embarrassment. Woot!

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  1. I completed a closet project earlier this year and I think painting it was a huge success factor. Once I had this clean, beautiful closet, I didn’t want anything unworthy to go back in there! 😂 Bonus…it actually has room for guest items now!

  2. Simple and sweet, tags look good. Do you think closets ever stay looking good? I think they usually need a “makeover” every year or two! Good job

    1. Surprisingly, our linen closet in our bathroom still looks amazing and it’s been two years now. I think making it “pretty” in the first place is key to keeping it that way.

    1. I used them on the inside side wall for storing rolls of wrapping paper and gift bags. They’re hard to see from the outside of the closet.

  3. The shoe cubbies are a really great vertical space saving idea.
    I got hefty wood hangers for my coat closet, but my kids still throw their coats on the hall bench when they come to visit. Whatcha gonna do!