How to Maximize Your Coat Closet Space

Written by Rick Lyrek of Closets For Life
Updated June 15, 2016
Coat hanger
Because of the coat closet's integral role in our daily lives, organization is vital. (Photo by Katelin Kinney)

Check out these ideas for a better coat closet.

If you are the owner of a home built before 1980 or a condo, chances are you have an entry way coat closet rather than a mudroom for storing your outerwear, shoes and so on. It is also likely that you wish your coat closet was five times larger. That’s not surprising. 

Making your coat closet messy

The coat closet is often the dumping station for everything when we get home and the last stop when trying to get out the door. Because of the coat closet's integral role in our daily lives, organization is vital. Who wants to be greeted with chaos when you get home? Or worse, who wants to spend an extra 10 minutes looking for a pair of gloves when trying to leave?

While you may think expanding your coat closet space is the only answer, here are some great tips for maximizing the potential of your existing closet space:

Use your space wisely

In no other area of your home can a custom organization system have a bigger impact than a coat closet. A custom design is tailored to fit your specific needs and offer design options. Thinking beyond traditional closet designs--like a closet rod at eye height with a shelf above it--will have a truly transformational impact on your closet's storage potential and organizational upkeep. Custom features like shoe racks, pull out drawers and cubbies will not only increase storage space but help keep your closet organized and its appearance tidy.

Don't ask your coat closet for more than it can give

Even with a custom organization system there are limits to what your closet can hold. Trying to cram too much into your coat closet will only make it harder to keep it organized. Store out of season gear somewhere else and switch it out when the seasons change.

Also, analyze whether each item in your coat closet really needs to be there. Does it have to do with entering or leaving your home? If not, move it somewhere else that makes more sense. For example, coats and gloves belong in a coat closet but bulky sports equipment is probably better off stored in the garage where it can easily be loaded into your vehicle.

There's no better medicine than prevention

What is good for the body is also good for our closets. Give your coat closet a bi-annual closet check-up. Take everything out of your coat closet and assess your belongings. Clear out items that are no longer used or elsewhere. After your assessment, reorganize your items as you put them back in. We recommend doing this when switching out seasonal gear.

About this Experts Contributor: Rick Lyrek is the owner of Closets For Life, a custom organization company based in Minneapolis, Minnesota. Locally owned and operated, Closets For Life works with homeowners as well as designers, builders, remodelers and architects to create innovative solutions for all organizational needs including closets, mudrooms, garages, wine cellars, kitchens, home offices, Murphy beds and more.

As of June 15, 2016, this service provider was highly rated on Angie's List. Ratings are subject to change based on consumer feedback, so check Angie's List for the most up-to-date reviews. The views expressed by this author do not necessarily reflect those of Angie's List.