There was a question in the Facebook group this week that was worth turning into an article. One of our lovely group members said they had a problem with the hallway. Stuff piled up as she took it in and out of her bag and dumped it.
Dumping grounds, clutter hot spots, whatever you call them, most of us humans have a place in our home that attracts clutter. Clutter accumulates in particular places because we like an easy life. We default to putting things in the closest places, even if it makes more work for us long term. I’ve got a few strategies for coping with clutter hot spots, I hope some of the ideas help.
Apply some ergonomics
How do you use the hall? This might seem like a stupid question but if you keep a close eye on what you actually do in the space it might help control the dumping ground. Do you come in, notice the coat hooks are full and use the newel post of the stairs instead? Do you bung your shoes next to the front door? Do you dump your bag as soon as you get in? If so, which side of the hall? Ergonomics can help you here because it is all about working out how people can use spaces more efficiently. If you were planning a kitchen you would want a triangle of fridge, cooker and sink all to be within easy reach. You can use these principles to make difficult spaces easier.
Work with your habits
As soon as you become mindful of how you behave in your hallway it will be easier to think of solutions. Do you need a special hook just for your bag? Do you need a designated box for things that need to be put away? You can try out a few different ideas and see if they work with your habits or against them.
Make it easier to put things away
Storage only works if you can find things in it. Bearing that in mind, would it help to have any of these:
- Boxes to store things in
- Hooks to hang things on
- Bags to hold things in
- Dual purpose furniture (seating that is storage, shelves with drawers)
- Shelves high up?
- Narrow shelves lower down for keys?
If you live with other people would it help if everyone had their own hooks and shelves. Or would it help to label areas so you are reminded where gym kit, wellys, waterproofs etc. go?
Store non seasonal stuff.
Despite our sometimes erratic weather we can usually predict most of our outdoor clothing needs for the coming month. In February I am not going to need a sun hat. In July, I won’t be using my thick gloves. Put the out of season things into temporary (and well labelled) storage to free up some space.
Have you got too much stuff?
Coat hooks can sometimes get forgotten about. Every time I do a quick declutter of mine I find something my son has long grown out of and something else I will not need for half a year.
You don’t need to pull all the coats down to go through them, just picking through you will be able to see anything that is not needed.
Keep on top of it
Hallways are one of the most difficult places to keep uncluttered. Every few months it is a good idea to go through the cycle of checking for the useless, storing out of season things and tweaking your storage solutions. You may need to defend the area as clutter free from other people who live in your home but it will be worth it. There is something very relaxing about coming home to a clean hallway, no matter what the rest of the house is like!