When you have four people living in a three bedroom house with a narrow entrance hall, clutter appears very quickly, and space is lost. Our house opens into a hallway, but we are faced with the coat racks as soon as you open the front door. We used to have two racks side by side, but found that they were becoming overloaded and Miss A could never get her own coat down, so things were being left on the floor.
I read a blog post this morning by Healthier Mummy which inspired me to write this post on how we have attempted to organise the entrance hall.
Due to the height of the coat rack, we removed one and placed it at child height in the empty space we have by the under stairs cupboard. We have a silly under the stairs cupboard that can’t be used for much as it’s low in height, so it’s not often we go into that dark space anyway.
Moving the coat rack solves one small problem but it still doesn’t solve the clutter issue. Why would you have winter hats and scarves on the pegs in the Summer months, and Summer hats in the winter. Be smart and seasonalise what you leave near the front door for convenience. We have now started using a smaller bag for each person to store their hats, scarves, gloves etc, and only the ones we are using on a regular basis are allowed on the pegs. The remainder are stored in the bag and either put in under bed storage out of the way or if there is room, they are hung in the wardrobe.
By creating Miss A her own little space for her coats, book bag, umbrella, bike helmet etc it has freed up space on the higher rack for the grown ups.
The coat rack also has enough pegs for each grown up to use one peg each. This helps to minimise the amount of coats etc that get stored there. Most people use one coat on a daily basis, and the spare coat, or the coat that is used for going out of an evening isn’t always used, so why leave it by the front door? The rule is that you must store your additional outer wear in your wardrobe. Before I enforced this rule, the coat rack was bulging with the amount of different items that were stored on there and it wasn’t making any difference by giving Miss A her own area.
We put a separate piece of carpet down for Miss A to store her shoes on as well, but I wasn’t entirely happy with that solution as it still looks a mess when she leaves too many pairs of shoes there. She now follows the same rule as the grown ups do with their coats. She can store her school shoes, trainers and wellington boots there, and any other footwear that isn’t worn on a daily basis must be stored in the bottom of her wardrobe.
By creating this, she has gotten into the habit of emptying her book bag and lunch box each day after school, and they go straight to the pegs rather than being left on the floor.
It is difficult to keep such a small space clear of clutter, but it can be done if everyone in the house follows the same rules. Don’t get into the habit of dumping coats and bags etc by the front door with the intention of moving them later, as it rarely happens and before you know it the area is piled with clutter again.
How do you organise small spaces?