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5 Simple Tips for Small Hall Closet Organization

by - Monday, April 29, 2019

front hall closet organization, small closet organization, entryway closet, closet storage

Is there anything more pleasing to the eye than an organized small hall closet? I'm not sure there is!

We've been struggling to get our front hall closet organized for a while now and I'm sure you can relate. No matter how big or small your house is, there's bound to be a closet that you're wrangling to get under control. I've got just the tips to get that closet organized once and for all.

The rest of the entryway has been refreshed - we had the main floor repainted in just one day, added lighting and accessories, and gave the front door a new coat of paint and new smart lock - but this small front hall closet has largely been ignored.

It's never quite fit in with this space. The louvered bifold door style didn't really jive with the more traditional mouldings and door trims. And I'm not quite sure why, but one by one, all of the bifold closet doors in this house have been falling off their tracks, including this one!

Maybe this has something to do with it:

Can we say disorganized? What's going on here:
  • too many coats
  • an empty, wasted shelf at the top
  • lack of storage containers
  • too many shoes
  • dingy walls and a muddy floor
Granted, this photo was taken in March in Canada which is the peak of coat closet disorganization with all of the winter coats and snow boats and gloves and hats and scarves and and and! But with spring finally here, it was time to get this closet ready for the season.

Here's 5 Tips For Organizing a Small Hall Closet:

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1. Install a quality door

Goodbye louvers, hello classic panel door. My belief is that when you have nice things you want to keep them looking nice... therefore, by having a nicer looking door, you're more apt to keep the door closed properly, keep it clean, and keep what's behind the door just as neat.

We installed the Masonite Classics™ Two Panel Smooth Moulded Panel Door provided by our friends at Metrie. Not only does it function so much better, but it creates a cohesive look with the wall trim, and adjacent pocket doors. The doors and trim all speak the same language which is important if you want your home design to feel well thought out and complete.

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To be honest, installing doors is something we never DIY'd! Doors can be finicky and trying to get them square and hanging level is just something we always left to the pros. Until now! The instructions with the bifold door seemed pretty clear and easy so we finally attempted it ourselves - and it was easy! I guess there will be more door hanging in our future ;)

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2. Use proper storage containers

When deciding on which storage containers, baskets, or bins to use, consider two things:

  1. Form - How a container looks 
  2. Function - What a container will hold
Essentially, you'll want storage containers that are neither too large (and waste space) or too small (and easily overflow).

In the Before photo, you'll notice that there was wasted storage space and we didn't have enough storage containers. I replaced the flimsy containers with the more substantial BRANKIS baskets from Ikea. I like that they have closed sides and a painted white finish which makes them look clean and ensures less visual clutter.

The taller baskets on the top shelf hold off-season accessories (now filled with winter scarves and hats). The shorter baskets contain gear for the current spring and summer season such as baseball caps, hats, and lighter scarves.

I tried to find a similar white basket for the middle but had to settle for the STORSTABE basket in blue floral. This long and narrow basket holds our umbrellas.

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3. Edit Your Belongings

What do you store in a small front closet? Stick to the necessities: coats, your most used shoes or boots, a few seasonal accessories like hats or gloves, and umbrellas. It's easier said than done, though! In Canada, it's not unusual to have 3-4 coats per season. In winter, there's the heavy knee-length snowstorm coat, the everyday puffy coat, the rain/sleet coat, the dressy wool coat, the short puffy coat... you get the picture. The same goes for boots and shoes; there's one for every kind of weather condition. Try to fit all of that in one closet and you have a recipe for disaster.

But realistically, there's probably only one or two coats you use most every day. When space is at a premium, consider storing your less-often used garments elsewhere. This is easily done with shoes too. To streamline this entryway closet, we've kept one pair of everyday boots and shoes in this closet plus some rain boots just through these early spring months. Everything else is kept in either a bedroom closet or put in storage until next season.

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4. Paint and Make It Pretty

One way to make your coat closet feel instantly more luxurious is to paint it! I used leftover front door paint to paint the inside of the front hall closet. Using the same paint colour throughout the space makes the entryway feel cohesive.

Peel and Stick Paint Samples:

Picking just the right paint can be tricky so before you embark on this project - or any paint project - I highly suggest that you invest in peel and stick paint samples. These are really a revolutionary and useful product!

Samplize (US company, carries Benjamin Moore, Farrow and Ball, Sherwin Williams, and PPG brands) and Hello Paint (Canadian company, carries Benjamin Moore and Sherwin Williams) are two sites that sell large format peel and stick paint samples. These samples are reusable and repositionable. See HERE for a quick video on how I used them in my office project.

In our closet, the dark hue is an unexpected surprise and makes the garments and containers stand out. An unexpected bonus: any dirt marks and scrapes on the wall from muddy shoes are less visible with the darker paint colour.

Aside from uniform storage containers, consider using uniform hangers as well. It's more pleasing to the eye when the hangers are all the same. And don't forget to have few extra hangers in the closet for when guests pop by!

A final small touch we made was to switch the brass handle for one in matte black. Again, this ties in with the other black accents in the area such as the lighting and stair rail hardware.

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5. Hang Shelving at the Right Height

Are you on the shorter side (like me!)? Do have young kids in your home? Consider placing your shelving and hanging rods at an optimal height for everyone in the household.

Before, the rod was too high for our 10 year old daughter to reach it. As a result, she tended to dump her coat on top of the shoes instead of putting it on a hanger and hanging it. Now that we've lowered the shelves and rod, she can put her coat in the proper place. Plus, it's easier for us to access the accessories stored in the baskets and keep everything organized.

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With these changes, this closet is functioning better and we've been able to keep it organized. I'm happy to say I'm not embarrassed anymore when a guest drops by and I hang their coat in this closet!


Disclosure: This post is sponsored by Metrie. Thank you for supporting the brands whose quality products I use in my home and recommend on this blog.

In need of more home organization ideas? Check out these posts:

Craft Room Organization

DIY Garage Organization

Small Pantry Organization

DIY Closet Shelving

Shed Organization

Hidden Storage Room

A Pretty Broom Closet

Linen Closet Organization

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