Hall Closet Organization is for those of us who want to get organized, but don’t have the time (or interest) to spend a lot of time doing it.
For the last few years, we have filled our only hall cupboard with as much stuff as possible. Kids’ clothes, board games, extra kitchen hardware, stacks of Hess’s old artwork, etc. Work!
At one time it was relatively organized. But then we ran out of space for things outside the closet and we kept pushing more and more things in. Eventually, it became a fascination for anything and everything that wouldn’t fit anywhere else.
And now it was not at all easy to find things there. So, I took everything out and rearranged it.
I suddenly didn’t have Hall Closet Organization on my bingo card for this year (because honestly I never thought I’d get around to it). But here we are!
Surprisingly, the entire affair took only one hour from start to finish.
Click through to see what the closet looked like before. And the steps I took to get this closet functional and organized in a short amount of time (from a non-organizer’s perspective).
A little backstory on our storage situation…
Storage in our house is very limited. And being a small house (and 5 years old), this fact is disappointing to say the least.
What little storage we have in our bedroom closets is not ideal for storage since none of our bedroom closets have doors.
I imagine that one day we will come up with a closet door design for bedrooms that will look beautiful and connect them back. But at present this is not in the plan. This means they need to be organized and neat and can’t be filled with boxes of stuff we don’t have room for anywhere else.
so! The only closed storage in the entire house, other than our kitchen cabinets and a few furniture pieces, is a small hall closet.
It is original and attractive. And because of this, we really wanted to keep it instead of demoing it in favor of storage that would be more efficient.
If I were designing a hall closet from scratch, would it look different? Yes! But it existed and was completely usable. And between the top cabinet and drawers is a pull out board that was once used as an ironing and work surface. Very cute, in a ‘this is original to the house’ kind of way.
So we’re putting it to work.
That said, here’s how I was able to organize the closet as quickly (and efficiently) as I can, even as someone who is far from a professional organizer. And in fact, often doesn’t enjoy organizing at all. And we need to maximize the little space we have…
Hall Closet Organization in One Hour
1. Take everything out.
First, I removed everything from the drawers and cabinets. Every thing.
I did this quickly because speed is the name of the game when you know you need power, but you don’t want to waste all day doing something.
I just laid it all out on the floor and put everything into loosely graded piles as I went.
2. Clean every surface.
Then, I wiped and sprayed every surface with all-purpose cleaner.
Cabinet fronts, inside cabinets, drawers, inside edges of shelves. Everything.
It wasn’t really dirty, but a little dusty. So I really wanted to go in there and clear it up.
3. Put similar items in piles.
Separate similar items into piles.
Remove any items that you don’t plan on putting back in the closet – such as things that need to be moved elsewhere or things that need to be donated, thrown away, etc.
If any items need to be donated, thrown in the trash, or moved to another part of your house, move them to another area (away from the pile that will eventually go back into the closet) where you can go to later. .
Here’s how I did that part…
I saw everything I had placed on the floor. Figuring out what I want to put back in this closet and what needs to be moved elsewhere.
There were some things that needed to be donated, some things that were meant for the trash, and some things that we were borrowing from family that they got back. Like a big pile of baby clothes that went back to my sister-in-law.
Then, I put all the board games and puzzles together. All miscellaneous stuff together, all the kids’ artwork together, my craft supplies together, etc.
4. Plan quickly for where to put what you want.
**Steps 4-6 all happen at the same time, but I’ve listed them separately to make the process more clear.
This part is important because you want to keep everything in the areas that will be most functional for you.
Example: Items you keep every day on central/easy-to-reach shelves. Things you rarely need are on the top or very bottom shelves.
Once I deleted everything that didn’t belong (in step 3), I realized there might be more space left than I thought.
So, I designed some drawers and the bottom shelf of the cabinet for Hess. All their creative activities, games, craft materials etc – in one place!
This hall closet is right next to her room, so it was a natural fit. It is now a more organized space for their art supplies and games. Earlier, it was spread between a few mismatched compartments in the hall cupboard and open shelves in her room.
5. Get containers for small items.
Shop for bins/baskets you already have in your home that will help hold small items.
For example, I found a gift box that we weren’t using for anything. So I put all of Hess’s loose artwork into that box, and then put the box in one of the bottom drawers.
I also took two large felt bins I previously had in the guest room closet for miscellaneous stuff we don’t use often. When I open the cabinets, I’d rather look at those felt boxes than pile stuff on top of each other.
6. Put everything back.
As for the remaining drawers and cabinet space, I put everything back where it was before, and more organized.
This time I was even more intentional about where I put everything. I think this will help a lot in keeping everything organized in the long run.
Board Game Organization (and Puzzles)
Quick comment on this topic because we have a lot of puzzles and board games. And they took up a lot of space before I got everything organized.
I eventually turned them all on their sides and placed them on shelves like books.
This seems to really help save some space and makes it much easier to take out and put back each game and puzzle without having to stack everything on top of each other.
Too! This makes it much easier to maintain organization because it is as easy as putting a book back on the bookshelf.
7. Label everything.
If you have time, labeling everything is a nice touch. But is it necessary in one hour hall closet organization? Probably not. If you have time, great. If not, don’t stress about it.
To be honest, I haven’t taken this step yet because most of it is obvious.
For the bins, I plan to make labels for what’s inside. Because I know eventually I’ll forget, because I can’t see at first glance what’s inside.
As another (quick) option… take a Polaroid of what’s inside each bin and tape it to the front.
That’s it! An organized hall closet that is now truly functional for our family. In less than an hour!
I hope we will be able to keep the hall cupboard organized and neat this year. And having some extra space here to add some more things over time, I think we can do that. fingers crossed.