Kids’ Organization Ideas for Hats, Gloves & Scarves

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Winter is almost here and that means piles of boots, coats, hats, gloves and scarves. I know the battle well because I have a family of five and that’s a whole lot of winter stuff to organize and keep organized. Today I’m sharing some kids’ organization ideas for hats, gloves and scarves that will make it easy to get the coat closet organized and keep it organized all winter long. 

top image - messy pile of scarves on shelf, bottom image - neatly stacked labeled tubs on closet shelf

I had a precursor to this organization system set up for my children but I realized it needed to be updated when my teen daughter asked me if I could please organize the kids’ shelf in the coat closet (that was music to my ears!). The system was five years old, my children have grown and their needs have changed. 

messy stack of scarves and tubs on closet shelf

You can tell from this photo that we really did need to do something to organize the hats, gloves and scarves in our coat closet. It just wasn’t working anymore. 

It only took about 15 minutes to get that mess tamed and organized. That 15 minutes investment has saved us time and headaches every cold morning since. 

Kids Organization Ideas for Hats, Gloves and Scarves

Pull Everything Out of the Closet

Pile of knit scarves and gloves on white table

Take all the hats, gloves and scarves out of the closet and carry them to a table or open area on the floor where you can work. 

Sort the Items

Sort all the items in to a group for each family member. Then sort those groups into hats, gloves and scarves. 

Remove Items

scarf, knit hats and gloves on white table

As you sort the items, remove any that are no longer being used. They might be too small (like the hats below) or might have lost the matching mitten or glove (like the three lone gloves below). Remove items that don’t belong in the coat closet (like the scarf below, it’s a fashion scarf and belongs in my daughter’s clothes closet, not in the coat closet). Remove any items that your children just don’t wear because they don’t like it any more , it’s too itchy, or who knows why. 

Check with Your Child Before You Throw Away or Donate Items

Respect your child and ask them before you remove any items permanently. Make sure that items really don’t fit or your child really doesn’t like them any more. Sometimes the only reason a hat or scarf isn’t being worn is that your child has just forgotten they had that item. It’s also important to check with your child about those lone mittens and gloves. It turns out that my daughter had the match to one of those lone gloves in her pocket (and she’d been wondering where the other glove was). Good thing I didn’t’ just throw that glove away to find out later that its match was in my daughter’s pocket.

Use a Plastic Tub with a Lid

I like to store hats, gloves and scarves in plastic storage tubs with lids. The tubs keep the items easily contained. The tubs can be stacked if you have limited space. Tubs have handles so they’re easy to lift down from the shelf or pick up from the floor. The plastic can easily be dusted and wiped clean. The lid helps keep items from getting dusty. The tubs are rectangular so they maximize your storage space and follow my Square Rules Organizing principle. 

These Made in the USA storage tubs are my favorite.  

File Your Items

Two tubs on white table with folded hats and hats filed neatly in tubs

When your children are younger, just toss the items in the tub and be happy that you’re organized. But once your children are older, file the items like file folders so that every item can easily be seen. This makes it easier for your child to remove just the items they want rather than tumbling through everything and leaving a mess everywhere. When you file the items away, it’s simple to just push the items in the tub to the side and slip in the one you’re putting away.

Label Your Tubs 

4 white labels with names next to tub with folded items

Take just a minute to clearly label each tub. This makes it easier for your children to find their items when they’re leaving and put them away when they get home. It also prevents arguments of the “No, that’s mine! Mo-oom she’s taking my things!” type.  You can read more about why the DYMO LabelWriter  was so much fun to use to organize tax paperwork that I used it to label these tubs. 

Keep the Tubs Accessible

When my children were younger, I placed these tubs on the floor of the coat closet to make it easy for them to reach. Now that my children are teens, the tubs can be placed on the shelf in the closet. Think about what will work best for your family and your space; make it work for you. 

These kids organization ideas for hats, gloves and scarves gave us about 50% more space on the shelf of our coat closet and has made it easy for each of my children to find their winter clothing and put the items away when they get home. It was an easy investment of 15 minutes that has had a big payoff for us.  Check out my purging the coat closet in 10 minutes tips

4 plastic tubs with labels stacked on closet shelf

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  1. Love the name tags!! This is when shelves or cubbies are so great, right? I wish I could build everyone a big mudroom with shelves:) I agree.. when children are little, just be happy that the mittens make it into the bin!

    1. I wish you could build *me* a big mudroom, Seana! 🙂 I drool over pictures of those big mudrooms with tons of storage and cubbies.

  2. Susan, I am super impressed with this system. You should see how I store my winter items. Well, on second thought, you probably should not. I need to get some of these tubs and get my scarves and gloves organized. I am always missing one glove!

  3. Can I please borrow you for a week to come help organize my home? Lol. I love this idea! I literally have disorganized gloves, hats and scarves in my daughter’s closet that I have been trying to figure out what to do with. I am definitely borrowing your organization idea this weekend, and getting my daughter’s closet a little neater. Thanks!

    1. I’d love to come help you organize, Andrea. Really!. The bins will really be a big help. Have fun organizing. 🙂

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