I have seen so many beautiful pictures of front halls or mud rooms on Pinterest. So many great DIY cubbies or storage solutions etc. The main problem that I have with almost all of the photos is that there is no stuff shown in any of the pictures. How realistic is that? My house could look perfect and be spotless if I didn’t have anything in my house! Maybe when I retire, and it’s only my husband and I. But what’s a mama gonna do!? There are no back packs, no millions of gloves and hats, not even any random sticks or rocks! *take a close look at the front hall wall photo! I didn’t even plan it!*
In case you didn’t see my posts about The Purge, there’s a chance that I may have a bit too much stuff still. Regardless, I would still like to keep my kids shoes (and maybe at least one kind of boot), coats (of a couple thicknesses), backpacks, and even hats and gloves by the front door. There is no way it will all fit in my small front hall closet.
I needed better storage solutions.
I decided to get a small locker style unit to hold kids coats, hats and gloves and a pair of boots to keep at the front door for their quick in and outs, or for them to be able to get ready for school by themselves!
I found that the locker style unit was great for some things but I still had shoes all over!
I decided to make a decorative wall, and use a cubby unit as a bench and shoe storage. It has been great. The thing I love about the unit is that there are some drawers built in that I can use to store socks right at the front door! I don’t know how many of you like socks, but anyone who knows me, knows I am a bit anti-sock! *Try A LOT!! So I find myself last minute running up the stairs to get socks. My kids take after me a bit, and they tend to get all their snow gear on, then try to put on their boots, only to find they don’t have socks! So I am the one running to get them socks too! It’s been so great having them right at the door!!
I added some hooks to the wall to hold coats when guests come over. I used to always try to keep half our front hall closet empty for guests’ coats, but its so much easier for guests to get their own coats when there are hooks right by the door. The other thing I added to my decorative wall is some sheet metal. The metal acts as a whiteboard and magnet board! I love it for the white board markers so that I can leave some quick notes as I am coming and going or to pass along to other family members. I bought some high powered magnet hooks for keys, and some other higher grade magnets to hold kids artwork, important mail or letters, or anything that needs to come or go or be dealt with.
Then I finally made my way to organizing the closet. Now that I didn’t need room for guests’ coats, or things for the kids, I could focus on maximizing the function of the closet. I always love adding shelves in closets because there is often so much wasted space at the top of the closet. That’s when it hit me to think of using my space a little differently. Usually I put shoes at the bottom, coats on the rod and other incidentals on the shelves. Well I flipped it all upside down. I now have boots at the top (they’re tall anyway, so they fill the vertical space perfectly) and they are still very easy to reach. I have a small bin to the side for extra hats and gloves (we are at that stage where nearly every time we go outside, we seem to misplace gloves!). We now have only our own coats in the closet. At the bottom of our closet we have our older cubby unit for easier access to other incidentals.
It has been sooo much easier to keep the front hall organized! My goal has always been to not need a secondary storage place, or seasonal transition storage space. I am generally needing gloves or hats long before I would otherwise transition the stuff. Even needing warmer or cooler coats as unseasonal weather changes occur. Lately, we have needed spring jackets through the early part of winter mixed in with real winter gear. Shoes too, sandals are good until it rains, or until the random snow storm in October.
Because almost everything has a spot to go, I can tidy the whole front hall in about 5 minutes! Even if everything is pulled out! That’s a win!
If your space is smaller, you can still maximize it to work for you. Try to think outside the box when coming up with your storage solutions. Often it’s a matter of using your space in an unconventional way, that will truly maximize it’s use! If you’re stumped, think vertical storage!
Thanks for coming home!