Where is the one room in your house that alludes you? Is it the spare bedroom that has become a storage hold for clothes and exercise equipment? How about the television room that is overrun with toys? For many homeowners, that one little problem area exists just beyond the front door. It’s time to tackle the front hall closet.
With autumn comes the storage of beach towels, bags and floaties to make room for umbrellas, boots and plenty of outerwear.
Organizational expert and HGTV personality Jill Pollack believes that a hall closet in anyone’s home is prime real estate, and what lies within should not be taken lightly.
“Most homes have the coat closet right behind the front door of the house and don’t utilize it to its full potential. When transitioning your closet into autumn, it’s so important to take everything out that isn’t a summer item,” said Pollack of the seasonal flippers, tennis shoes and racket. “If you have the space to make a separate seasonal closet or assign a seasonal sports locker or cabinet, great. But if not, you’re going to have to get creative.”
When relocating seasonal items, Pollack recommends storing them in one place so you remember where they are and so that they are easily accessible when needed. She also suggested that a healthy closet cleanse is a good time to fill those donation bags and decrease unnecessary clutter.
“Seasons are fun because they’re ever changing, but you need a place to hang stuff. I have canvas shelving that you hang on the rod where you can store shoes,” said Pollack of a backup pair of shoes for everyone in the family in the event they don’t have time to run upstairs and change. “Use the hallway wall space for hooks because you can put anything on a hook—keys, hats, the dog leash. That doesn’t need to take up space in the closet.”
To keep the space more organized and functional, add shelving, buckets and boxes (nothing with a top for quick and easy access) for storing items like umbrellas, scarves and gloves.
“People want to make their entry way look pretty, and while beauty is important, function is more beautiful,” said Pollack, who added that it doesn’t hurt to freshen up your closet with some paint and lighting. “Assign items for the area and keep it well-lit so you can see what you need. The front hallway is the first place you come into and the last place you leave.”
When it comes to muddy rain boots, Pollack suggests investing in boot trays, which carry over into winter as well.
“You don’t want to put wet boots in the closet, so keep them outside and an extra boot tray in the closet so your floors don’t get dirty with the excess mud,” she said, adding that the same goes for umbrellas and to keep an umbrella stand nearby. “The floor is prime space and it’s underneath coats. Anything wet that goes into your closet can get moldy and smell, so try and line the closet with anything that is water proof or install a good peel and stick tile or a carpet remnant to fit the closet so when it gets gross, you can throw it away and get a new one.”
Consider keeping these items in or near your closet, especially during a rainy day when you have to grab and go: towels, a bucket of empty tote bags, a spare pair of shoes, an extra pair of sunglasses and a spare phone charger.
“Give everyone a place for something to keep the space neat,” said Pollack. “That little hall closet is far too important to put anything that isn’t gear functional, especially during the colder months.”