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Tidy the Hallway

by Grace Bonney

Tuesday: The Hallway

Photograph from Living Etc.
It greets you when you come home, and you whiz past it on your way out. I’ll try not to keep chanting the “reduce clutter” mantra, but when it’s the first thing you see after a hard day’s work and it’s messy? Probably doesn’t do much for your mood. So the key here is to keep it clean. Easier said than done, though, when it’s often a catch-all for those last minute things you need before you leave the house. Here’s a roundup of some of my favorite solutions in hopes that well-trafficked space will become a bit more pleasant!

Photograph from Living Etc.
*This has the open shelving, which I love for any room but especially for such a grab-and-go area. For the same reason, hooks are (I think) also essential. How easy would it be to peel-and-stick those Command hooks on the wall? And if you don’t already have an unused bookshelf in your basement, there are plenty inexpensive ones on offer at yard sales and brick and mortar stores, too.

Photographs from Living Etc., Country Homes & Interiors, and House to Home.
From left:
*The first hallway here is fancy-schmancy. No real DIY here, but if you have the cash it’s a great solution that uses a mix of labeled drawers (labels are one of my fave ways to get organized fast) and lower baskets that anybody in the family can easily pull out.
*Now this is something that would be perfect for a home with a small entryway, like a split-level. Just affix any hooks you want to the staircase or wall. And remember that chair tip from the bathroom post? You can do the same here if you don’t have something like the shelves in the photo.
*This one is perfect for families with lotsa kids. Plus, hooks and labels? Très easy! I also like the apple crate by the staircase. With young children, it’s nice to keep organization simple for them. And with a box like this, they can throw their muddy shoes in and your floors will be neither dirty nor cluttered!

Photographs from and Living Etc.
From left:
*I adore this DIY recycling system from Charleston Home magazine, because you can roll them right from the kitchen to the hall and dump the inner box right into those big blue bins. Plus, the labeling comes into play here making it so much easier to remember what can and can’t be recycled!
*These are pull-out shelves installed on sliders in the crevice beneath the staircase. One thing that’s important to remember about creating storage spaces is to use the space you have! Plus, floating shelves here would be an even easier project.

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  • Do you have a source for those metal bins on the blue shelves? I’ve been searching for some forever and for such a simple item they’re proving hard to find.

  • Great ideas! Do you have any suggestions for storing mail? It’s so hard to find something that’s attractive and functional.

  • Thanks all! These posts are so fun to put together!

    Sarah: Those metal bins are from IKEA. Although I couldn’t find the exact same ones, I did find two similar versions on their site (if the links don’t work then you’ll need to go to the IKEA homepage and select US store, then click on these links again):

    Same open top with handle look but probably a little bigger than the pictured ones:

    And these have lids and no handle although they would be an attractive alternative (could always take the lids off and put them underneath the boxes):

    Whitney: I’m going to cover that a bit in my office post! Can you hang tight till then? :)


  • Like Sarah, I’m looking for a source! I’ve come up dry looking for the CANSCANSCANS and GLASSGLASSGLASS recycling bins. Has anyone seen these for sale online?

  • Martha: While these bags came from Next.co.uk, I found similar designs on Amazon US:

    For the first and the third one, you could turn the bag around and use those peel-and-stick vinyl letters Michael’s to get the triple word look.

    And here’s a plain blue one from IKEA:

    Sorry I couldn’t find you the exact bag! Hope this helps!


  • it’s almost xmas and with my boyfriend working through i’m going to have a few days by myself at home (aka BLISS) but with these short and helpful posts, i think i may dare to *try* and tidy the house room by room.

  • i am in love with the gold frame in the first picture. i find those all the time at the thrift store. what a great idea :)

  • Guess this is a little late, but only just seen this post.
    Sarah & Martha, I brought a set of those recycling bags from back in July. The bad news is I have just looked on the site and they have changed them a little, see here: You may find the ones you want instore, in a sale.
    Hope that’s of some help.

  • Thanks for your replies. I have owned these for about a year () but liked the ones in this post a bit more. Too bad they’re no longer available. A good thought on the make it yourself idea, though!

  • Great ideas, the problem is i dont really have an entranceway: you just sort of stuble into the living room… Any ideas? (its a tiny appartment style in-law suit im renting with 2 other students)

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