winter coat storage

Could it be true? Is spring here in NYC?? It’s not officially spring until you get at least 5 days straight of 50+ degree weather so yes, it’s here!!

Now the question is how to store your winter coats. You have a few options:
  • keep them hanging in the coat closet. I keep all my coats in the closet year round. If you have the room, there’s no reason to move them, BUT I do recommend cleaning them now..and hats, gloves, scarves!
  • send them to the dry cleaner to be cleaned + stored for the season. Most dry cleaners offer free storage if you pay for the cleaning.
  • hang them in another area/closet in breathable garment bags.
  • if none of these are viable options, clean then store in a large breathable bag under the bed. You want a large enough bag so they can be laid in rather than folded to keep their shape, plus they’re heavy so you may not want to lift them to a high shelf. I love these bags by The Laundress, even though they take 5-6 weeks to get (I know, but they’re made in the USA and are totally worth it!!)

freestanding coat closet: before + after

This client is living in a share and has one room for all her things. I’m not only teaching her how to organize, but styling the room as well. By using her existing bins and boxes in a new way, she is spending the money she had put aside for this project towards a new rug and upholstered bench for the room. 
 The bins once hiding magazines are now in the ‘coat closet’ keeping scarves, totes, and handbags within easy reach. 

q + a: painted over clothes rod



Rose asks “One thing I struggle with in my rental apartment is the hanger pole in the closet, which has obviously been painted over a million times, making the hangers hard to slide, and having to deal with scraps of paint on the bottom of the closet (and all over my shoe boxes). I’ve been wanting to change the poles, either completely to a chrome pole, or to a raw wood pole…OR to scrape off the paint. Do you have any suggestions? Where could I find replacement poles that have custom sizes?”

Stripping it, sanding it down and repainting is going to be a pain and take a lot of time so I would just replace it. (If you do switch it out, either list the one you have ‘free’ on Craigslist or give it back to the management co/landlord for reuse).
Many local hardware stores sell closet rods in 6′ and 8′ lengths and can cut them for you. I personally love the thick polished chrome in 1 5/16″ diameter (link is just to show you what it is, try to buy it locally) as shown in the pic above. They come in chrome and stainless steel which is a lot heavier and therefore sturdier, but almost twice the price of the chrome. Unless you are seriously loading heavy heavy stuff, the chrome is fine. Use a center support if over 4′ long.
If you can’t get the larger one as mentioned, you can get a custom sized Elfa rod from The Container Store. They aren’t as thick in diameter and the longest length they come in is 6′.
Most hardware or housewares stores sell adjustable ones are less expensive and easier to deal with if you don’t want to worry about having something cut.
If you go with having one cut, make sure you measure the length you need several times, better yet, bring your existing rod as a guide.

deep coat closet: before + after

The before shots are actually progress shots taken after we removed everything, edited and relocated a few things to other areas of the apartment. The upper shelf was designated for her suitcases, an extra yoga mat and shopping bags (kept together in the brown shopping bag).

We removed all the existing hooks and installed a valet hook and full length mirror to the inside door. Storage was kept to the left wall to give as much room as possible to get to the back. Five clear acrylic bins (no longer available) hold hats, gloves, scarves, and umbrellas. The valet hook on the bottom holds frequently used tote bags. Two shelves (cut to size) hold sneakers (her nice shoes are in the bedroom). A few Flor carpet tiles finish it up. 


my apartment progress… coat closet

I’ve designated the only closet in the apartment as the coat/storage closet; outerwear including scarves, hats, gloves, snow boots; off-season clothes, extra hangers, extra garment and shoe bags bags, ski clothes, and travel items.

I repainted the inside white, put flor tiles in to cover the hideous floor, rehung one hanging bar, and installed new shelf. I generally don’t like an accordion door since you can’t use the back for hooks but since this closet is deep I’ve hung six large hooks on either side for scarves, umbrellas, and selected shopping bags.
One note, the organizing “rule” about having all the hangers facing the same way is good BUT the most important thing is to have your clothes facing you. As you can see (click on image for large view), I have my dark blue and black coats on the left facing the right and my lighter colored coats on the right facing left. This way when I look into the closet everything is facing me.