In many homes, the hallway is a space that does not command much thought. Rather than viewing it as a room of its own, many people think of their hallway as a thoroughfare, and it can quickly become untidy as a result.
Although people do not tend to spend time in their hallway, it can easily accumulate clutter as people pass from one room to another, and it may not have the appropriate space or storage solutions to deal with mess.
However, there are several reasons why it is important to keep your hallway tidy. In many houses, it is the room that is seen by most visitors – whether they are guests, delivery drivers or anyone else who comes to your front door – and as such, it creates a strong first impression about what the rest of your home is like. A messy hallway can also cause stress, so by taking care of clutter once and for all you can ensure that you are greeted by a comfortable and relaxing space every time you return home.
The first step is to understand what is causing the clutter. There are a few common reasons why mess accumulates that may be useful places to start. It may be that you are disorganised, that you lack storage space, or that you are trying to use your hallway for too many functions at once.
Here, the storage experts at Clever Closet offer suggestions on simple ways you can declutter and keep your hallway tidy once and for all, and suggest some good behaviours to help you maintain this sense of organisation in the long term.
If your problem stems from the fact that you are trying to store too many things in your hallway, think of it as a seasonal space. In many homes, the hallway is used to store coats, shoes and other outdoor essentials, but you rarely need access to everything at once.
For example, you might like to wear sandals in summer or have special shoes for gardening, but you won’t need quick access to them during the winter months. Instead, you can store them in another room, and bring them out again in spring. When the temperature falls, swap your summer shoes and jackets into long-term storage and bring out your heavy coats and wellington boots.
This is a great way to quickly free up space. Even if you keep coats organised on hooks or store your footwear on a shoe rack, these solutions can still look messy if they are too full.
While you are making space on your coat or shoe rack, consider adding more space than you need. This will give you added flexibility that can help you to keep your hallway tidy over time. It may be visually satisfying to fill the space without leaving any gaps, but this can leave you unprepared for the unexpected.
The most obvious benefit is that when guests visit and take off their coats and shoes, you will have a space to store them alongside your own. When the weather, a special occasion or other circumstances require you to take out a pair of shoes that are in long-term storage, you will have somewhere to put them straight away. This can work successfully as a temporary solution, until you have time to put them back where they belong.
While there is no harm in leaving a guest’s shoes on the floor, or hanging their coat on the same hook as one of your own, this type of disorganisation can break the good habits you are trying to develop, and your hallway may soon be untidy once more.
This solution is less about clutter and more about cleanliness. No matter how careful you are, there is always the risk that you will bring mud or water into the house after spending time outdoors. After all, you can’t predict sudden changes in the weather, and unless you are prepared for this possibility, dirt can build up very quickly. In fact, some people view their hallway as a buffer that absorbs any dirt or clutter before it can make its way further into the home.
Another challenge here is that if you use a coarse welcome mat to collect mud, or lay down towels or plastic sheets to protect floors, these can look messy in themselves. If possible, you should have a storage solution close to your front door where you can put these items away and hide them from view until you need them. This is often the most efficient way to prevent mess from accumulating without making your home look untidy.
If your problems with clutter are due to the fact that you are trying to store more items in your hallway than it can reasonably accommodate, you should consider whether you can add more storage space. This may mean installing an additional piece of furniture, although many hallways are too small for this to be a realistic consideration.
One solution is to install an under stairs storage unit. These innovative products transform the unused space under your staircase into an organised storage solution, with drawers that can help to sort things and make them more accessible, and spacious cupboards that are perfect for larger items, including tools and outdoor equipment.
Storing these items under your stairs is convenient because they are easily accessible beside your front door whenever you need them. It is more secure than keeping them in a shed or garage, and prevents the damage that can be caused when they are exposed to the elements.
In some cases, this might mean investing in multifunctional items, like benches with hidden storage compartments under their seats, or finding original uses for things you already have. For example, if you store your keys in a bowl or crowded pile on a console table, you could use empty coat hooks to hang them up instead. If you find that gardening tools like spades, hoes and rakes become cluttered too easily, consider storing them in a golf bag to keep them together.
There are many creative approaches to specific storage challenges, and whatever you are facing, it is likely that someone else will have encountered the same difficulty. If your clutter is still unresolved, you can search online for suggestions, and even if you don’t find an adequate solution, you may find the inspiration you need to develop one yourself.