Coat Closets are for Whatever You Want

Underutilized Closet

This past week I enjoyed working with a client who lives in a one bedroom apartment, so her space is limited. Part of the organizing process includes evaluating all of the space available to so we can make the most of all of those spaces. When I came across the coat closet, I discovered that it was underutilized. This is what I found:

Of course, this is one of the reasons she contacted me. Her closet was just a sample of what she was dealing with after a long bout of illness that kept her from taking care of things as she would have liked. She called me for a re-set you could say. Together we decided that this coat closet would be used to store the vacuum and carpet cleaner that she needed to have readily available and that would not fit in any other space anyway.

Boxes to sort through.

After sorting through boxes that were never unpacked, the final function of this closet became more apparent. The center basket contains all dog items – the leash, dog medicine, toys, etc. It’s the center basket because it will be accessed the most frequently. It’s positioned in a way that she can easily slide it out. The basket on the right contains items that she might use for exercising at home, or items that she might use to take to the gym – so all things exercise related – also easily accessible (although it doesn’t look like from this angle).

Decorative baskets made functional.

The last basket on the left holds lightbulbs. Typically I will store those in the laundry room, but there really wasn’t room and they aren’t tied to that location (it’s not like its soap after all!). It will take a slight shift of the center basket to pull it out, but that’s easy enough and she won’t be getting lightbulbs every day.

The coat closet can be whatever you want it to be. I think of them as mini storage units. Here are a few things to consider when deciding what to store in that closet:

–          Where is it located in proximity to the main entrance?

(my clients coat closet was up the stairs and across the living room)

–          Where is it located in proximity to the function its contents are used for?

–          Is the closet easy to get in and out of?

–          Is it in a major traffic area or off the beaten path?


What you put in there needs to fit with its location, household needs and accessibility. Assess ALL of your storage places to make the best use of them all. You may discover the coat closet is your underutilized space too.

What’s in your coat closet?

What do you wish were in there?

Share your story with me.