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Our front closet desperately needed some help. We needed somewhere to store the kid's gloves, mittens, and hats where they could reach them, and I wanted them to be able to be able to hang up their own coats.
Inspired by the modular closets that can be found in many bedrooms, I had my husband build shelves into our coat closet and added hooks for the kids coats. Each person has a shelf in the closet with a bin for their gloves and such, and a space for purses or other "extras", we have a spot for leashes and umbrellas. It's never quite as organized as I'd like it, but the extra storage sure helps.
By Stephanie from Hillsboro, OR
Here is a tip for storing large flat objects such as picture frames or odd shapes such as wrapping paper tubes, etc. Use a shower extension rod at the back of a closet. Secure the rod and place objects behind it.
By Mary C. from Newark, CA
The hall closet usually is for storing coats and other outdoor apparel. Our closet is used to hold: winter coats, spring and fall coats, hats, boots, umbrellas and gloves. I don't move out of season clothing to another closet for storage. So its here all year around.
It's important to keep this closet organized because everyone is in a hurry when they are leaving the house. They don't want to have to sort through everything to find that elusive umbrella or one other glove! Also, its where we hang coats of people who visit our home. So this closet should be "company ready."
Don't be overwhelmed by taking everything out of your closet at one time. You can do it in stages. Never take out more than what you can sort through and return in one hour. First, I'd do the coats hanging on the rod. Then, I would do the floor. Last I'd do the shelving above the rod.
This is the closet where I like to have the very best hangers I can afford. I have inherited several good wooden hangers and these are my favorites for the Hall Closet. Winter coats are heavy. Cheap hangers bend and the coat falls on the floor. So I'd take the time to gather all the best hangers I can find in my house and use them in this closet. You'll need 3 or 4 hangers for each member of the household and extra hangers for hanging jackets of people who visit your home.
There are two adults in my family and we live in the North. So we like to have two coats or jackets for winter. That would be one for dress and one for work. We also like to have two jackets to be worn during spring or fall. These are also one for dress or work and one for doing errands or working in the yard. Keep in mind that often less is more. You'll want to be able to have some space between your coats so they don't need to be crushed.
We keep our boots lined up on the floor of the hall closet. If you have a lot of boots to store, use a shoe rack or build a shelf on the floor of the closet. Perhaps you'd like to use a tray for wet boots.
I have hooks for our umbrellas on each side of the closet. Or if you don't have a hook, put a nail. No one sees it so I guess it doesn't really matter what it looks like if its far off to the side.
Our closet came with one shelf, but my husband added another shelve above that one. This has been very handy over the years. My son in law added wire shelving to his Hall Closet above the closet rod. We use shoe boxes to store our gloves and hats. I have one for summer hats and one for winter hats. But I think plastic shoe boxes from Dollar Tree work best because you can see what is inside the box.
Also, if you have a label maker you can label the boxes or use a permanent marker to write the name of the person to whom the items belong. Try to make these easy to access. Better yet, if you are able to afford the wire shelf dividers for items like sweaters you can use them for hats.
Don't forget to use the inside of the closet door if you need to do that! My son in law has a rack for his baseball hats hanging on the inside of the door. But you can use any organizer that suits your needs. A hanging shoe organizer with little pockets makes a good item for holding mittens and gloves. Use your imagination and I"m sure you can come up with something.
By Carol Swanson from Wyoming, PA
I have always hated looking through my closet for the proper coat hanger to hang my clothes. So I have placed a hook inside my closet.
I built and installed a cheap cube style shoe shelf unit. I placed it into my front closet on the floor and designated everyone in the house a row for their own shoes.
Someone put a Little Tykes bookcase at the curb. I used it to organize my hall closet. Previously, all my paper plates and plastic cutlery were in bags on the floor. Now everything is organized and because the bookcase is child-sized, I still have room for my vacuum, mops, and stepstool.