Picture this. Coming home from a exhausting day at work, you had to stop at the grocery store, and the drycleaner, now you are hungry and tired, and you go to open the door of your home, only to trip over shoes, backpacks, books, coats and more littering the front hall. You can't get totally mad at the kids, because there really is no place for their stuff. But just how do you declutter a front or back hall?
How to Declutter a Hall - Break into Baby Steps. Rather than trying to figure out when you will have time, to really get at this area, break it down into manageable and easy steps. First step is to really look at the area, and see if there is something you can do with it. Or browse through home improvement stores, either in person, or online, or look in a catalogue to see what other people are doing, get some ideas.
This will count as a first step. That way easy right? A bit of shopping. Now for the second step. Take a good look at what is causing the congestion. Is it backpacks? Is it papers? Is it shoes? or is it coats? If you have everything there, is it just a matter of retraining the kids, or should there be a easier way to deal with the stuff?.
For example, if they have to open a closet door, chances are it won't happen. So, you need to come up with a simple way for them to hang up their stuff or put it away. Most kids come in at high speed, throw off their stuff, and then head to the kitchen, living room, or their bedroom. They have other activities on their mind and can't get their stuff off quick enough. So, it has to be something they can do fast.
Organizing Clutter - Get Family Involved. One great way to consider what you should do for organizing clutter at the doorway, is to get the family involved. Ask them, what they would like to see. This helps if you want them to actually use the new system. If they were involved in the process, you may find they are more likely to use it.
Wall hooks, are the simplest way to deal with backpacks and coats. Just make sure they are at a good height for your kids. You don't need them jumping up and down to try and hang up their back packs. This will get rid of the coats and backpacks. So, a wall hook system is probably your second step. You can get wood with hooks already on them, you just need to install the wooden board on the wall. You will need to make sure the screws go into the studs in the wall so it can handle the weight of coats etc.
Organizing clutter - Hooks. Once you have them installed, pat yourself on the back, this was a great second step. This alone will get the coats and backpacks off the floor.
If your kids don't have backpacks, you could give them hanging baskets with their names on them for any lunch bags or things they may have brought home. This should clear the floor of most of the stuff, now you are down to shoes.
If you are short of space at your doorway, you can get 2 and 3 level shelves and cubby holes for shoes, but most kids just kick off their shoes. So, depending on the age, you can put rubber mats under the wall hooks, and explain that any shoes are to end up on this mat when they take them off.
Organizing clutter at the Door - Hopefully this helps with some of the clutter. If the kids get a hook on the wall and floor mat assigned for their stuff, they are likely to use it, as it is their own space.
There are many neat storage systems for the doorways, but depending on the ages of your kids, and also for yourself, it has to be something easy for it to work. So, start with baby steps, do some research, then find the simplest way possible for getting stuff off the floor. If they have to pick their shoes up, and put them in the closet, chances are it won't happen, and you will be doing it. So, you might as well comes to terms with the fact, the stuff won't be out of sight, but at least it can be neat and look like it belongs. If everything has a home, then it just looks better.
Organizing clutter, does not mean throw everything out. It just means making sure everything has a home. If it has a home, then things look and run in an orderly fashion.
How to Declutter Without Wall Hooks. If you are renting a space, and can't be putting hooks in the wall, or you don't want to do anything to the walls, then you can look into these pieces of furniture that do it all. You can get wooden benches with a tall backing on them that have hooks for coats and backpacks, and the seat opens up for mitts and hats etc. Then all you would need is the mats for the shoes. If you can fit one of these units near your door, this will neaten everything up. 5 Section Coat Locker With Bench
Organizing Clutter - Tree Stands. You can also consider those tree stands, but they tend to take up more room, and can fall over easily if your kids overload one side. A friend of mine, ran a daycare with 5 school aged kids, and finally gave up and took the closet doors off the back door closet, and set it up with hooks at the kids heights inside the closet 3 walls. This way there were no doors to open and the shoes fit on rubber mats in the closet. This way there were no things on the floor near the door, and the kids used this system, since they didn't have to open any doors.
Organizing clutter. If you can just make a home for the stuff, that gets used, then you will have won half the battle. Also See How to Declutter a Basement and Organizing Clutter for Moving Day and How to Declutter in 10 Minutes - Easy First Step and How to Declutter your Home in 30 Minutes and Organizing Closets - Avoid The Avalanche for more tips and ideas.