the hall closet

Typically a dumping ground for handbags, backpacks, soccer balls, vacuums, parkas and all other manner of paraphernalia, the hall closet can be a scary place. But it doesn’t have to be. Sure, it probably won’t ever look like a page out of a magazine, but a few inexpensive tools can make it functional and tidy. Even with husbands and children on the loose.

Our hall closet is small, but did come with built-in cubbies up one side. The other side has a hanging rod for coats. Rather than dump odds and ends any which way in the cubbies, I’ve designated a purpose for each one. I even went so far as to label (thanks allison!) each cubby to make it idiot-proof: Tools. Purses. Extra toiletries & travel size items. Take-along entertainment for kiddos ( board books, children’s magazines, a pencil case with crayons & stickers, etc.). Camera. First aid kit. The plastic bins (find them anywhere for a couple of bucks each) are easy to pull out when I need something, and prevent contents from falling onto the floor. If you don’t have cubbies, go with this or these, or install your own with a kit from the hardware store.
I really love the hanging shoe bag (also find these anywhere for about $15). I’ve praised its merits and many uses before, now you can see it in action. It hangs over the closet door and holds myriad tchotchkes in plain sight. The contents of ours changes with the seasons. Sunscreen, insect repellent will soon be replaced with mittens and hats. Out of season items are tossed in a basket on the very top shelf. Other pockets hold miscellaneous hardware like tiny screwdrivers, flashlight, lint brush, binoculars, purse extras like lip gloss and alcohol gel. Also a spare case of baby wipes, umbrella. The kinds of things that always get lost in a random drawer somewhere. I keep kid-friendly items in the bottom pockets–little toys from kids meals (yes, we eat those sometimes) and sidewalk chalk. Everything has a place, all in one place. Bliss.
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Kimberly day, making a home where the buffalo roam. By night, pretty much the same thing, punctuated by the occasional fantasies of sunny beaches, italian movies and sparkling lemonade.


  1. Petit Elefant :

    Those over the back of the door organizers are heaven. Honestly. Mine is filled with gloves, hats, scarves, and hand warmers for winter.

  2. likeschocolate :

    That is what I need for my closet. I never thought about using a shoe bag for all the odds and end things.

  3. a pina colada :

    Just what I needed! Every couple of months I go crazy and just feel an incredible need to organize. My need just came on this week!

  4. Alicia W. :

    I love it! I am thinking I may just build some shelves in my closet and get a few bins! My hall closet always looks like a tornado hit it!

  5. erin :

    I like the idea of putting winter garb in the shoe organizer. I need to try this.

  6. undonegirl :

    Seriously, the shoe organizer is GENIUS. I have them on the backs of my kids' bedroom doors but NEVER thought to put them in the hall closet! GENIUS! I'm getting one today!

  7. Petit Elefant :

    I'm about to put one on the back of P's bedroom door for all the odds and ends: headbands, random pencils, elastics, accessories from here and there. The best part is that it's clear so you see what you need at a moment's notice.

    Thanks KJ for mine. ;)

  8. kelly :

    can you come organize me? please? with cherries on top?

  9. Petit Elefant :


    i'm sure you don't need my organizing help, but anytime you want to hang? i'm so there.

  10. Katherine Marie! :

    I love that you can actually SEE everything in the shoe bag— very handy! I need to invest in a couple of those… they would be perfect for tiny art supplies too.

    Thanks for sharing!