Organizing the Hall Closet

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Ah… the hall closet. I don’t know about you, but for us it is a place where everything seems to end up on the floor. Seemingly functional, it always ends up being the bane of my existence. Hanging coats up on hangers means having a free hand, which I never have. In this particular house the closet is nowhere near the front door resulting in a line of coats stretching from the door towards the closet. The hall closet is also quite small, so when things were hung up it was crowded. The hall closet needed some attention to keep it organized and make it functional.

We initially used a tension rod in the hall closet to create a second lower hanging bar for the kids’ coats. The bar kept falling and the children never managed to get their coats back on the hangers. I actually came home after an outing and just threw the kids’ coats on the floor of the closet and shut the door, essentially admitting defeat.

Back to the drawing board (Pinterest!) for a plan that would make this space usable. (Jeff was thrilled about another project!) My first choice was to turn the closet into a mudroom, but we just didn’t have the space in this small closet.

Instead I settled for two rows of hooks. The bottom row would be at the littles’ height and the upper one would be just above our heads, about 6 feet, with a half shelf sitting on top of it. This would maximize this tall, narrow space.

Removing the Old Hall Closet Hardware

We started with a small closet with a ClosetMaid hanging rack. Removing this rack was a bit of a headache since it was anchored in with screw anchors.

The removal left some rather large holes that had to be patched before we could do anything else. Once those were patched and painted we started to install the new closet hooks.

Installing New Hall Closet Hooks

Using some scrap wood from making the boys’ bunkbeds, Jeff measured and cut boards for the closet. I painted them white to match the trim. Jeff then drilled pilot holes to install them. We tried to get the boards into the studs when possible, which meant that our drill holes were not in the same place on all six boards. Jeff used a level to ensure the boards were level prior to installation.

After the boards were installed we installed hooks into the boards. We did three on each board for maximum hanging capacity. When all the hooks are full the closet looks packed, but the double hooks allow you to hang a hat or umbrella along with a coat which is handy.

I purchased these cheap double prong robe hooks with pretty good reviews and they worked great. Some of the reviews are unhappy with the screws, but we had no problem with the ones we received.

The Finished Hall Closet

The finished project is a closet where things actually get hung up! The littles can easily use the hooks to hang their own coat up.

We ended up grouping the coats in the closet by type. This way its super easy for me to look in and see which child hasn’t grabbed their rain coat, fleece or hat!

Jeff and I are also pleased to have our coats up high enough that the boys don’t knock them down or run through them like they used to do in the old closet.

This is such a simple project that made things just a little easier around here. You could easily add a shoe rack to the floor and some hat and glove bins up top. (We store our boots, hats and gloves in the garage near our car and I have a bin for shoes near the front door.)


Elizabeth is a Type A, Attorney turned Stay-at-Home Mom, who moved her family across the Atlantic for an adventure. She can often be found out and about finding fun things for her littles to do. Elizabeth loves to read, craft and chat with friends. She will try just about anything and loves to share her experiences.

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