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Hall Closet Help for Abby?

Yesterday, I received an inquiry from our friend Abby at Steals and Deals who wrote asking if we could help her with her hall closet.  She is having trouble organizing the closet due to an overwhelming amount of mittens, gloves & scarves and lack of an organization system that actually works for her space.  


Jim and I, along with our closet product manager, Betty, are planning on sending some recommendations for Abby to help.   Does anyone have any additional ideas for Abby? If so, please post below.

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  38. Lauren Spahr June 3, 2009 at 1:14 pm #

    Jill, Thanks for all the great ideas. I emailed them to Abby this morning. If you want us to post your challenges, I am sure a few of our professional organizer friends would love to help weigh in. Just email me at with photos and we can talk about potential solutions.

  39. Jen Hill June 3, 2009 at 12:45 am #

    I’m sure this is too late to help with Abby’s order, but what is (mostly!) working for me is having a clear shoe organizer hanging in the closet as well as a set of clear drawers. The shoe organizer that I prefer though is the kind that hangs from the bar and is narrow but long. The top 2 holes belong to Dad, the next 2 are Mom’s, and the lowest ones are divided amongst my 3 kids. Dad’s spaces have his work gloves, safety glasses, and hats. Mine is mostly gloves and scarves. For the kids, I try to keep the “sets” together. For all of us, I use a clothes pin to pin the gloves/mittens together so they are always easy to find. For the kids, if the gloves match a hat, I stuff the gloves inside the matching hat (and anything else in the set)so it’s all there and easy to grab. The only reason this isn’t working currently is that my 21 month old LOVES to get out the hats and gloves and put them on, no matter what the temperature is! She tends to leave a trail so at least she’s easy to find! But, that illustrates for you how easy this system is for kids to get their things. I use the drawers for less often used items like snow gloves. We live in Indiana and don’t have too much snow usually. So the kids don’t need or want heavy waterproof winter gloves on a daily basis. Same for less often worn hats, scarves, etc. I even have the babies rain boots in a drawer b/c they are still small enough! The bottom drawer is used for “shoe” items – polish, shoeshine materials, extra laces, waterproof spray, etc. And on top I have bags of bags. I use a sturdy bag with handles and neatly fold other like size bags to store in it. I think I have 3 bags of graduating sizes. My drawers are about 30″ wide so I use the hanging bar above it to hang my kids’ coats so there is room to see. Then I hang the longer coats (the grown ups’ coats and the kids’ longer dress coats) on either side – kids to the left, adults to the right. And I always group hanging items by person so it’s easy for anyone to find the coat that is being hunted. “Hey Abby! Would you please bring me my long black dress coat?” She knows exactly where to go to find it in the closet instead of having to hunt through 5 peoples coats! Hope these few ideas are helpful. I’m one of those people who is organized at heart and once I find a system that works, I’m a maniac about keeping it that way. But until I find that system that works for me, it’s utter chaos – you should see my countertop and desk…yikes! Any ideas for me?!

  40. Lauren Spahr March 27, 2009 at 1:05 pm #

    Wow – great comments, ladies! I am working on a product order for Abby.
    So far I plan to include:
    -2 cubbies for shoes / small objects
    -An over the door shoe organzers for gloves / kids stuff
    -Clear shoeboxes for stacking
    We really appreciate your input!

  41. Lauren Halagarda March 27, 2009 at 12:27 pm #

    I would venture a guess that Abby has the typical rod & shelf setup standard in most closets…First and foremost, though, she needs to sort. Sort & categorize everything in the closet- does it all belong there? Are there things that can be let go of?
    Following that, I would look at putting all of the short hang items together to make space for a cubby or shelving unit. Since it’s apparent that there are some children involved, use some clearly labeled bins, like the Clear Impressions containers from Rubbermaid (recommend clear) for each child’s gear. This allows them to see what they have but doesn’t require too much from them to put it back where it belongs- and that is key.
    Hooks at their height (not eye-poking level, though) work great for hanging book bags or coats- just make sure that there is a loop on the item to make it easy.

  42. Liz Jenkins March 26, 2009 at 10:42 pm #

    It’s kind of hard to tell, but based on hall closets I’ve worked on – a narrow but tall shelving unit set to one side that has bins in it may work well. I’ve set some up where each person had a bin, or where one was for hats, one for gloves, etc. Depending on the width of the space, a lower, horizontal shelving unit (kind of a bench with cubbies) can work as well. Then each bin can hold a particular item and the top can also have open bins.
    Hooks on the inside wall near the door are good for hoodies, backpacks and canvas bags – I usually install double hooks both high and low on both sides.
    Hope this is helpful!

  43. Mandi March 26, 2009 at 8:20 pm #

    I love shoe organizers (the mesh kind that hang over a closet door) for organizing, well, anything, and they would be perfect for all those scarves, hats and gloves. The pockets are big enough to store the sets together, which makes grabbing to right set easy!
    We didn’t want to hooks showing over our door, so we hung ours on the wall inside the closet instead, but it still works great!

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