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Coat hangers in a hall closet.

How to Organize Your Home Room by Room: The Hall Closet

Hall Closet Organization Ideas That Make the Most of Your Space

Hall closets are small but mighty. We stuff these narrow spaces with coats, gloves, scarves, shoes, sporting equipment—and so much more. 

“There’s something about the hall closet that makes it a dumping ground,” explains Lisa Zaslow from Gotham Organizers. And she suggests a few reasons why:

  1. Homeowners don’t pay as much attention to these closets. You just grab what you need or quickly toss something in. 
  2. The hallway closet usually doesn’t have much built-in organization, so it’s difficult to see what’s inside. 
  3. Coats and jackets don’t make it to the donation pile as often as clothes stored in a bedroom closet, so they tend to pile up. 
  4. For homes without a basement, garage or attic, an entryway closet becomes a “catch-all” space.

If any of that sounds familiar, it’s time to set aside an afternoon and dive into your hall closet mess. We interviewed the professionals from Gotham Organizers and Unclutter to give you simple, easy-to-follow advice on how to empty, purge and organize your hall closet.

Lisa Zaslow

“Know how much time you are going to spend organizing the closet, and I recommend starting with 30 minutes or an hour. It’s not a big space, but organizing it needs to feel doable. Make a plan and set a goal before you get started.”
Lisa Zaslow | Gotham Organizers 

Hall Closet Organization Supplies to Have On-Hand 

Organization Supplies Cleaning Supplies
  • Marker and Labels
  • Set of Wood Coat Hangers
  • Clear Storage Drawers
  • Extra Hooks
  • Shoe Rack (if needed)
  • Shelving
  • Trash Bag
  • Donation Box
  • Step Ladder
  • Duster
  • Vacuum

     

How to Revamp and Organize Your Hall Closet

Step 1. Remove everything that isn’t currently hanging on a rod. 

This includes all shoes, boots and items stored on the floor and shelves. If a shelf is above eye-level, grab a step ladder to safely clear everything off. 

Step 2. Group items together.

There are a few ways to categorize what’s stored in your utility closet, either by type or by whom things belong to. For example, you may find it works best for your family to keep gloves and scarves in labeled baskets for each person instead of storing them all in a single container. 

Step 3. Remove what isn’t useful.

As you sort, keep an eye out for duplicates that you don’t need. Place anything damaged in the trash bag, and box up the rest to donate. 

Pro Tip: Take this opportunity to clean your hall closet. You don’t want to put everything back into a dirty space. 

More Tips to Organize Your Hall Closet

  • What do you use most often? Give these things prime placement in the easy-to-reach spots.
  • Group your coats by length. This will give you space beneath shorter coats for easily visible and accessible storage.
  • Use your door for extra storage space by hanging hooks or pocket-type organizers.
  • Coat closets are usually narrow and deep. Make the most of this space by investing in a set of stackable drawers to store smaller items - just measure before you head to the store. 
Donna Smallin Kuper

“There’s usually a lot of empty space high up in a hall closet. Add some extra shelves and you can store suitcases, a box of tax returns and other items that you use infrequently.”
Donna Smallin Kuper | Professional Organizer, Unclutter 
 

What Should and Shouldn't Be Kept in an Organized Hall Closet

“The hall closet is a great place to store all those things that you frequently grab on your way out the door and provides an easy place to put them away when you return. This includes everything from coats to dog leashes, skateboards and helmets. If there’s space to spare, then you can store other items as you see fit.”
Donna Smallin Kuper | Professional Organizer, Unclutter
 

When organizing your utility closet, look out for items that don’t serve an everyday purpose. Zaslow recommends getting rid of:

  • Old cords and cables.
  • Multiples of umbrellas, flashlights and leashes.
  • Extra hangers. Just keep a few for guests to use.
  • Unused electronics like answering machines and modems.
  • Unlabeled boxes. Sort through their contents and decide if they belong in the closet or another place in your home. 

Maintain Your Hall Closet Makeover

Donna Smallin Kuper

“It’s a good idea to declutter your hall closet every season so that it includes only items that you can wear now. Remove out-of-season coats, accessories and footwear to another area in your home. If you can’t do that, look for vacuum-sealed hanging bags to compress the volume of coats and move them off to one side.”
Donna Smallin Kuper | Professional Organizer, Unclutter

Take a minute to mark your calendar with hall closet clean-out days now. Choose a Saturday morning close to the end of a season to make sure clutter doesn’t build up. With this system, you’ll enjoy an organized entryway all year long. 

Ready to organize the rest of your house? Check out our blog series, How to Organize Your Home Room-by-Room.