weekly organizing Tips

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Month: January, 2013

A Functional Front Hall Closet

The front hall closet is the main storage area for yourself and guests. It can be a daunting to tackle and embarrassing to open when guests arrive. Ideally it is a space that can store items you need to grab quickly as you leave the house, but it often becomes a storage hole for items you rarely use and would never go looking for.

So what can you do to help minimize the clutter in this highly valued storage space.

Sort and edit down to the items you really need. In Toronto in the winter we use our coats every day. You probably rotate through a couple of coats depending on the weather or occasion. Keep only the coats you wear regularly in the front hall closet, move the others elsewhere.

Hang hooks by the front door. In my house we have hung hooks by the front door to accommodate quickly grabbing and hanging up our coats everyday. When we have company we move our coats into the closet to make room on the hooks for our guests. This prevents us from having to open the closet and your guests don’t have to guess where to put their coat or even worse draping them all over your furniture.

What kind of things are you storing in the front closet. Do you need extra hanging space or would extra shelving be a better option? I often suggest splitting the space with half hanging and half shelving. Coats are only half the problem, we also store winter accessories, workout gear, bags, umbrellas and other outdoor gear in the closet. If you think adding shelving is not in the budget consider the hanging shelves from Ikea that quickly add cubbies to store items. Or go one step up and get an Expedite bookcase from Ikea, stand it up and screw the other end of the hanging rod into the shelving unit. Voila you have shelving, hanging and you spent less than $100.

Get creative. A bright cheery color can go a long way. Paint the inside of the closet an accent color that will make you smile when you open the door. As a bonus do an accent color that matches your décor and it will seem like a part of the design scheme when the door is open.

Use the back of the door. The back of the door is another great place to add hooks. I can’t say enough about hooks. If you read my blog you know I am a huge fan of hooks. They work for coats, bags, scarves, umbrellas and any other items that need a home and need to be accessed quickly. If you are opposed to putting hooks outside of the closet this is another great place to put guest coats.

Now that you have sorted the closet and increased the overall function of it how can you maintain it? When you get home from work as you are walking in the door take stock of what you have in your hands and where it needs to go. Do it immediately when you walk in the door. If you have mail, recycle the junk and place the important items in a place when you will deal with it, immediately. Hang your keys on a hook by the door, hang up your coat and other accessories, put your purse on a hook etc. This will not only keep your front entryway tidy, but when you go to leave the house everything will be in it’s place ready to go, saving you valuable time in the morning.

If you have any suggestions or ideas to increase the function and beauty of the front hall closet write in the comment section below. We always love hearing your thoughts and ideas.

Happy Organizing!

Love Your Closet Now


The biggest request I receive is to organize closets. Closets and storage are one of the most under used spaces in a home. One of the biggest problems is wasted space due to poor closet design. The one hanging bar and one shelf above the hanging bar is useless and leaves a lot of wasted, empty space in the closet.

So what can you do to improve the overall function and design of your closet? Here area few ideas.

Let me start with the basics: sort and edit! This is the most important part of organizing, always! If you don’t start there, than the whole process is a waste of time. Click Here to read more about that process.

Ok – after the initial sort is complete it’s time to start thinking about function. One of the first things I recommend in a bedroom closet is to replace the single hanging bar with a double hanging bar. Place one bar 40” from the floor and one bar 40” above that, you can adjust those heights as needed. This will allow you to store twice the amount of clothing with minimal changes in the same amount of space. You can take out the existing system and add something new or you can add a bar that will hook onto the existing hang bar, these are available at Solutions, your organizing store.ImageSomething else to consider is how many of your clothes need to be hung. What could move to drawers or shelves instead so they take up less room. Add shelves or drawers to your closet to accommodate these needs as well. You can add cloth bags, shelf dividers and baskets to keep loose and folded items organized and available.

Keep unnecessary items out of your bedroom closet. Here are five things to remove from your closet right now: Halloween costumes, broken sports equipment, luggage. Combine sets and donate the rest, any item that only fits an unrealistic thinner you, uncomfortable shoes that you will never wear.

Change the hangers in your closet to thinner color coded options. If you share a closet with your spouse than consider choosing one color for yourself and one color for them. The thinner hanger will take up less space and the color of the hanger will make putting laundry away a breeze.

The system I recommend to anyone that asks for help is the Schulte system from Solutions. The system is easy to use, design and install. It also happens to be on sale now. Click Here for more information


To create a functional closet you don’t have to spend a lot of money or overhaul the whole space. There are minimal changes that can happen to increase the overall function and design.

I love to hear feedback so write any questions or comments below. This whole month I will focus on closets. Next week we’ll examine the front hall closet.

Good luck and Happy Organizing!