Some houses have an entryway with a closet and others don’t. Your main “entryway” for the family may be the back or side entrance that doesn’t have a closet at all. Whatever the circumstances, busy families need a dropping point for things that come and go every day, such as jackets, book bags, keys and mail.
Recently, a twitter follower of mine asked “How do you get coats, shoes, boots and all the stuff a family of 4 to fit in a hall closet?”
Good question! Here are three simple steps that will solve most problems:
- Limit the number of coats and shoes for each family member.
- Remove and store out-of-season elsewhere, creating space for what you’re currently using.
- Make a place for everything–When there’s room for everything, putting it away becomes effortless and easy for every one in the family to help.
Ideally, a front hall closet should be for items you use regularly. If you’re “storing” items here, relocate them. Think of the hall closet as a permanent place for items that are used frequently during a particular season. When it’s summer, consider packing up and storing winter items elsewhere. This will make it much easier to grab what you need without weeding through what’s currently not in use. Also, closed storage is a great way to keep the hallway from looking like a bomb went off (even my front hall looks like that from time-to-time, but having a hall closet makes it a quick fix to put everything away).
If you DO have a hall closet, use it for:
1. Jackets and bags–Whether it’s hangers or hooks, make sure there are enough for what you’re using currently.
2. Shoes–Limit the number of shoes that are kept in the immediate are to two pair per person. Flip Flops and sandals take up minimal space, so consider a basket for those items.
3. Incoming/outgoing mail–Add an in/out box for mail so you know where it is. Sort regularly so it doesn’t accumulate. Hang a double on the inside of the hall closet to give new meaning to “dropping” the mail.
If you DON’T have a closet, here’s what you need to make your entryway functional and family friendly:
1. Coat Rack or Hooks–To hang jackets and bags
2. Hall Table–for a key bowl and place to drop mail
3. Chair–or a bench if you can fit one. Makes putting on shoes easier or if you want to sit and open the mail.
4. Shoe Storage–If your hallway is tight, consider a table (#2) where you can keep shoes that are worn daily. For busy families, it’s unlikely that you’ll put the shoes away in their permanent storage place every time you come and go, so make a space in the hall.
5. Mirror–If possible, a full-length mirror is great so you can “check yourself out” before you leave. If there’s only room for a standard size mirror, you’ll at least be able to check from the waist up.
Please comment with additional questions or comments so I can continue to help you solve your organizing challenges! If you’re on Facebook regularly, pop over and “Like” my page too.