Category Archives: Organization 101

The House on Fremont Street: The dreaded hall closet

Hall Closet

We have this tiny, skinny closet in our hallway. You see it as you come in the front door and I suppose that it was intended to be a pantry, as it’s on the backside of the kitchen.

When we first moved in and unpacked, I started to organize it as I went, because obviously that would make the most sense and get it done quickest, right? But, that plan quickly flew out the window and less than a day in, I just started cramming anything and everything in there. I knew it was all stuff that would live in there, but it also become a bit of a catch-all for anything I didn’t want to deal with at the moment.

And, much to Josh’s delight, eventually it started overflowing into a nearby laundry basket, that I stationed there, just for that purpose.

Three months later and it all still sat there, waiting to be put away and organized. In fact, this is how it looked, as of just last weekend:

Hall Closet Before

I told you it was bad. I’m cringing just looking at this picture. Oddly enough, I did know where everything was in there, so… Here goes nothing!

Hall Closet Basket

First, I took it all out to access the damage. This is just the stuff that was in the extra laundry basket.

Hall Closet Everything

And, this was everything. Cards. Stationary. Wrapping supplies. Ribbons. Pens. Shipping supplies. Notebooks. Baskets. Cellophane Easter bags. Books. Poof balls. Glue sticks. Envelopes. So many envelopes.

Organizing it wasn’t hard. Most everything went back in the closet and since this stuff had all come from the hall closet in our Seattle home, it was already semi-organized and there were pre-determined bins for everything — stationary, wrapping supplies, extra craft supplies (we keep most of them out in the kitchen on a bookshelf for the kids to easily access), notebooks, ribbons, etc.

Hall Closet Top

Top shelves:
Extra baskets, craft paper on a roll, stationary & note cards, note pads & blank paper
Not pictured in the back row: A bin of office supplies and extra small boxes for mailing gifts

These bins from Ikea are a lifesaver. I have dozens of them around our house to stay organized. I couldn’t find the exact bins online anymore — I’m hoping they still carry them in the stores! — but these PLUGGIS Recycling Bins ($7 each) are pretty close.

Hall Closet Middle

Middle shelves:
A bin of wrapping supplies and a bin of ribbons. A little bin for sticky notes, tape & washi. Yet another bin of note cards (I have SO many, but I love them!) and a spot for pens. Homework racks for when school starts and two empty magazine bins.

As you can see, we have some room to grow in this closet, which is nice and that I know we’ll appreciate when school starts and all of the paperwork starts rolling in and homework ramps up.

Hall Closet Bottom

Bottom shelf:
A rack for papers for the kids (blank, lined and construction). Crafts in the back, including the best-ever craft kits lovingly made by one of my SILs. A basket for playing cards. A larger file bin for instruction manuals and home papers. A bin for party supplies and a couple of extra bins and baskets.

Hall Closet After

I’m not sure how this closet will be used and change as we live in our house more, but at least it’s organized now, which is a good start.

Eventually, maybe this fall/winter, I’d like to continue to give this space a mini-makeover including:

  • Painting the inside of the closet and the shelves, or possibly using wallpaper to give it some spunk
  • New doorknob (the entire house needs them, really)
  • Possibly a fixture inside of the closet to give it more light
  • New light fixture above the closet
  • Possibly paint the inside of the door with chalkboard paint?
  • Paint the outside of the door a fun color… To be determined as we make a plan for the hallway

The House on Fremont Street