For Day 2’s mission in this free 30-day series, we are organizing the coat closet. If you’re just joining us, here’s the series overview which is updated daily to include links to all of the previous missions.
Every day’s mission has four parts to it:
Keep It Clean
On Day One, we tackled the entryway: the first space in our homes that guests see. Today, we’re organizing the coat closet.
Hopefully, you also took my advice yesterday to do a little laundry, because we’re going to be busy for the next few days!
Organizing the Coat Closet – Day 2
Removing clutter from the coat closet makes it easier to find your gear in a hurry and put it away once you get home. Since guests often see this spot when they visit, organizing the coat closet helps create a good first impression, too.
1. Grab a trash bag and toss:
• Obvious trash.
• Anything broken.
• Anything worn out.
• Wire hangers from the dry-cleaner.
• Plastic bags.
• Empty boxes.
Before we clean, we need to empty the closet completely. This is a good time to separate things you need to get rid of from things you want to keep.
2. Grab a box to make this part easier. Put in the box to donate:
• Coats that don’t fit.
• Boots or shoes that don’t fit.
• Gloves or scarves you don’t use.
• Extra baseball hats.
• Sports gear, backpacks, or other items you no longer use.
• Anything else that’s in good condition but no one in your family has used, worn, or looked for in the past year.
3. While you’re pulling things out of the closet, make a pile of things that belong elsewhere.
What belongs in this category will be different for every home, of course. Some of the things found in my own coat closet over the years:
• Picnic gear.
• Beach towels.
• Purchases that should’ve been returned.
• Dog toys.
• My son’s missing retainer.
Organizing the coat closet makes it more useful and maximizes storage. If your coat closet is small, increase your storage with a second closet rod that hangs from the first one. You don’t even need any tools!
If your closet has a shelf above the rod, remember that it’s not a convenient spot for things you’ll use frequently. The more inconvenient it is to use, the less likely your family will use it. So reserve that spot for out-of-season storage or things you only need now and then.
Smaller items like gloves, winter hats, even pet leashes remain accessible yet out of the way with an organizer that hangs inside the door. You can use it to hold shoes, too, though I prefer a small shoe bench like this one because those pockets can collect dirt.
If you have very young children, a row of hooks placed low on one wall makes it easier for them to hang up their own coats and bags.
As far as coat hangers, use the sturdiest ones you can. Wire hangers can’t handle the weight of a heavy winter coat, and they often snag lighter jackets. Opt for heavy plastic or wood hangers instead. Be sure to leave some empties to hold guests’ coats, too!
Cleaning the coat closet once it’s emptied is a speedy task. As with any cleaning process, work from top to bottom so dirt and dust don’t settle on surfaces you’ve already cleaned.
Specifically, you want to:
• Dust the ceiling, the shelves and the walls.
• Clean the light fixture if you have one.
• Wipe the closet rod and hooks.
• Wash the door, inside and out.
• Clean the baseboard.
• Sweep or vacuum the floor.
• Mop the floor.
Once it’s clean, put things back in the closet. Make sure the hangers all face the same direction, and that there’s enough space to easily add or remove coats when needed. (If it’s still crowded, you need to thin out the clothing you’ve decided to keep!)
Take the items that belong elsewhere and put them away. Or if the things are mostly your kids’ toys or belongings, have them do some chores that kids can do to earn them back!
Move the box of items you’ll be donating into your car’s trunk. Next time you’re out of the house, swing by your local charity — they’re always grateful for gently-used sweaters and coats!
Keep it Clean
Keeping everything tidy is the key to maintaining an organized, clean house. For now, it takes only a minute or two and is as simple as buzzing through your entryway to make sure it’s still uncluttered and clean. (That was yesterday’s mission, remember?)
As we progress through the series, keeping things clean and uncluttered will become second nature. Once you get into a routine of buzzing through your house picking up things that are out of place, wiping up spills or sweeping up crumbs, you’ll find your home always feels clean even when you haven’t had time to do a more thorough cleaning.
So, go check out the entryway to make sure it looks just as good today as it did yesterday. Then take a break — you’ve earned it!
See You Tomorrow!
Check back tomorrow for the next mission. In the meantime, you’re invited to join our Do Home Better group on Facebook where we share household tips and help each other tackle home organization and cleaning challenges.