5 things people with always-organised coat hooks do – keep narrow hallways and small spaces clutter-free for longer

Even pro organisers swear by these rules

White painted walls with living room
(Image credit: Future PLC/Simon Brown)

Although coat hooks and over-the-door hangers are a top-notch solution for maximising storage in even the narrowest of spaces, they don't stay pretty for long. Despite many efforts to keep it filled with only the 'essentials', the reality is that it quickly becomes a dumping ground for anything and everything. So, how exactly do you go about organising coat hooks once and for all?

The most intelligent hallway storage ideas and storage solutions for small spaces are not without the implementation of coat hooks. However, without proper upkeep, they run the risk of causing you more inconvenience rather than assisting you in keeping an organised hallway.

'When coat hooks and over-the-door hangers become untidy, not only do they look messy but they can cause extra stress and time delays when you're trying to get out the door, rummaging through to try and find the item you need,' explains celebrity organising and styling duo, the Style Sisters. So, the key to always-organised wall hooks starts with thinking and planning, as well as a once-over little and often.

Neutral tongue and groove panelled wall hallway, stairs, brick terracotta brick floor, basket of firewood logs, coat hooks, storage bench, boots

(Image credit: Future PLC/James Gardiner)

How to organise coat hooks

While it may seem like an impossible feat at first, rest assured it is possible to organise coat hooks – and actually keep them looking organised long after the fact.

All it takes is careful consideration of these 5 simple steps to help keep your home clutter-free and transform these areas from cluttered catch-alls into efficient storage solutions that work for you and not against you.

1. Assess the current situation

Before starting, it's important to take a moment to identify your needs and evaluate the space available, whether this be in a narrow hallway or configuring your over-the-door hanger situation as a small bedroom storage solution. 'As with any useful storage, think and plan what you're using it for,' begins Simon Glanville, managing director at home storage specialists, A Place for Everything.

'Consider what items you most frequently use and need to hang. This helps determine what deserves a spot on your hooks,' advises Ava Wilson, professional organiser and chief editor at Unclutterer

White and grey entrance hall, coats on hooks, wooden trunk

(Image credit: Future PLC/Maxwell Attenborough)

2. Declutter and organise

You've got a game plan, great. Now, comes taking action. Ava recommends beginning by taking everything off the hooks and going through each item and deciding whether to keep, donate, or discard it.

You can consider a handful of decluttering techniques like the 'move-out' method or the 12:12:12 decluttering challenge to help get you started on the mammoth task (especially if it's one you've been putting off for weeks). Or, maybe it's a matter of simply returning items to their respective 'homes'

Once you've decluttered, group the remaining items into categories (e.g. outerwear, bags, scarves, hats, etc).

Black over the door hanger hanging items of clothing

(Image credit: A Place for Everything)

3. Prioritise placement

After decluttering and organising, what you should be left with is a select number of items that are supposed to be there. But, to avoid falling foul of the hallway storage mistake of letting your coat hooks become the manic mess yet again, you need to be strategic with where and how you place your things.

'When using hooks in a hallway, only use them to store everyday used items for the current season,' begins Becky Purchas, APDO member and founder of organising and decluttering service, White Space. 'If you can, store off-season items elsewhere.' This will avoid overcrowding and ensure everything on your hooks is relevant and genuinely being reached for on a day-to-day basis.

Additionally, if you have kids, Rebecca Coombs, APDO member and founder of decluttering and organising service, Inner Space suggests 'thinking about placing hooks that are lower down so they can reach to hang their own jackets and bags instead of dumping them on the floor.'

Rail hung with pots and baskets to create order in the hallway

(Image credit: Future PLC)

4. Implement organising systems

Oftentimes, an area becomes a dumping ground when things don't have a regular home or when the storage has no designated purpose. The solution? Create a purpose for each hook.

'Assign a specific purpose for each hook (this could be hats/accessories/bags or one for each person), identify the capacity, and reassess regularly,' advises Laura Haddy, APDO member and founder of Clear the Chaos Ltd.

In line with assigning a purpose for specific hooks, the Style Sisters recommend adding labels to your coat hooks. 'Add a personalised label to each hook for each member of the family, then leave 1-2 for general items like umbrellas. This will make finding what you need when you're heading out the door super quick and easy.'

Alternatively, consider additional storage options within a hallway or your respective room to maximise space further. 'Use other hidden storage spaces in your home to store the items you still want in easy reach to switch out at some stage, but aren't needed for now,' add the organising and styling duo.

Style Sisters
Style Sisters

Charlotte Reddington and Gemma Lilly, aka Style Sisters are the UK's leading storage and organisational experts. Charlotte is an interior designer and Gemma is a fashion stylist who collaboratively came together to create a stylish detox and organising service for the home. They are on a mission to help style and organise homes across the country and promote the positive benefits a tidy space can bring to your home, mind, and wellbeing.

5. Maintain the systems

Believe it or not, implementing the organising systems is the easy part. Maintaining them on the other hand is a whole different story, and often where things go awry.

'Make an effort to periodically assess what's hanging on your hooks,' advises Ava. This can be as often as every day, weekly as part of your Sunday reset, or even as part of an overarching decluttering checklist getting worked through monthly.

'Spending five minutes at the end of the day to check what's on the hooks and clearing items away that aren't needed will pay dividends,' assure the Style Sisters. Initially, it may feel like a chore, but believe us when we say you'll thank yourself for having gone through the trouble.

White painted walls with living room

(Image credit: Future PLC/Simon Brown)

'Having a structure in place will mean that tidying doesn't become such a big job and hopefully will mean that the hidden storage areas in your home also get a regular spot check, leading to less of a need for big clear outs that take much more time,' concludes the Style Sisters.

Hopefully, with a little determination and cleanspiration following these tips, achieving aesthetically pleasing and organised coat hooks won't be such a faraway dream.

Jullia Joson
Junior Writer

Jullia Joson is Ideal Home’s Junior Writer. She’s always loved all things homes and interiors, graduating with a bachelor's degree in Architectural Studies from the University of Nottingham in 2022. Previously, she was an Intern Editor for ArchDaily. Now focused on news stories, Jullia can be found down the TikTok and Pinterest rabbit hole scrolling through any new and upcoming trends, hacks, and home inspiration.