Make Your Coat Closet Functional for $15

Pottery Barn LockersI love the Pottery Barn catalog.  Not that I’ve ever purchased anything from it – I just love to flip through it and glean ideas from the pages.  One PB staple that I’ve always coveted is their entryway lockers.   I don’t know why they appeal to me so much.  Maybe it’s because my optimistic brain convinces me that if I had them in my entryway I wouldn’t be tripping over backpacks and lunch boxes every night.   However, since I don’t have a spare $1600 on hand, I opted to convert our coat closet instead.

Hall Closet Cubby OrganizerCoat closets are what I like to call prime organizing real estate.  They’re in a very accessible location, easy to customize, and have a door (so they’re don’t have to look neat and tidy all the time).  Rather than waste that optimal storage space on hanging coats that we only pull out for a few months of the year, I decided to convert it to a cubby closet for my kids.

I purchased this simple wire shelving system from Target for $15 (you can find it by all their dorm supplies).  The pieces snap together so it’s easy to customize it to various configurations.  However, I recommend you spare your fingers a little work and use a small hammer to tap the joints together.

Hall Closet Cubby 2I created 6 vertical cubbies but you could adjust it to 4 cubbies and 2 baskets if you needed a place for storing things like sports gear or jackets.  It’s surprisingly sturdy once it’s all assembled.  I know this because my son – the climber – managed to scale it and teeter on the top in hopes of retrieving the gummy worms from my church box on the top shelf. I had the kids set their school stuff on the shelves, but if you need more hanging space for small items you could add a few s-hooks/repelling clips to the cubby sides or line the bottom of the cubbies with foam-core posterboard.

It’s a fast, cheapand easy fix that makes a big difference.  Just thought I’d pass it on.  By the way, if you’re willing to spend a little more time and have a few power tools on hand, you might want to check out this clever coat closet solution on the Lazy Organizer’s blog.  You’ll want to dig around her archives while your there, she’s got loads of great ideas.


  1. I love this idea and I may use it too. I actually just did a major change to my coat closet. I got the idea a few months ago from another organizing blog (can’t remember which one). She suggested putting tension rods in sideways on each side of the closet. I did this and now I have space in the middle where I could put this kind of system. I did the math – I have the same amount of hanging space as I did with the rod all the way across the long side of my closet. And I have more room.

  2. I run a home daycare and have a teeny hallway. I bought the hanging shoe cubbies and use it for hats, helmets etc in the summer, and mittens, hats, scarves etc in the winter. Every child has a cubby and its vertical!

  3. Any ideas for those of us without coat closets at all? It’s a nightmare that will not be repeated if we ever move again.

    Also, what’s your storage solution for girls hair accessories? I have 3 girls, 10, 8, and 6, so we have TONS.

Leave a Reply