However lovely and beautiful the outside of your home looks like, hallways are what any visitor gets to see first when entering your home, and the questions to ask yourself are simple:
Hallways by definition are transitional spaces between the outside and the home and therefore have to serve multiple functions at once. This is where you might hang your coats and leave your shoes, where bikes or buggies are stored, and all the while there is likely to be a lot of passage. All these functions in fact would require more space than is usually available in narrow hallways.
This is especially true if your hallway is just a rag sitting on the floor to keep the dirt on your shoes to soil the main room carpet before you take them off… what is said below about hallways does apply in the same way to those of you who only have a small area that serves this purpose.
Let’s face it, hallways are trouble spots on many levels, often with insufficient lighting and chuffed walls due to the constant passage, and we tend to hurry through to get to a more comfortable space.
How can we make those hallways more inviting, whilst retaining maximum functionality?
These often being narrow passage areas, the best options are open, bright systems of clothes racks with storage shelves on top, and keeping the floor as empty as possible. Don’t forget that hanging storage should go high up to avoid banging your head on it whenever you go past. By the way, if there is one spot in your home you don’t want to use as a permanent storage space, it’s probably your hallway!
Shoes tend to accumulate here as well, and it is definitely useful to get a shoe rack: why not consider getting one that doubles as a seat? This way, you can keep shoes in a less visible space AND you’ll have a comfy spot to sit down and put them on.
What about that bike, then? If you are lucky and your hallway has high ceilings, maybe a hanging hook or a pulley system could be used for your bike? As for the buggy, if you can fold it that might be something useful to get into the habit of and just reduce the space that it takes up each day. Keep in mind: the hallway is also one of your main emergency exits – if fire breaks out or you have to evacuate for some reason, the last thing you need is stuff sitting in your way that takes time to move to the side!
Another useful touch could be a handy floating shelf or small rack to hang your keys and put down incoming mail or papers while you are hanging your coat. One of the main rules I tend to apply to hallways is to keep the floor as free of clutter as possible. The main function of the hallway is passage of people. It only often ends up being used as a storage space because there is some level of sense to keeping your shoes and coats there, but it makes perfect sense to keep things off the floor to allow for free passage.
While there isn’t much you can do about an existing narrow space itself, you can make the hallway look larger than life: think about adapted lighting fixtures, mirrors and some artwork or wall hangings, use bright paint (and don’t forget to add that extra washable layer onto the bottom 4 feet or so and where your bike might be hanging!).
If you want your hallway to make a good first impression, keep the clutter to a minimum! Only keep what absolutely needs to be here.
Ask the ClutterMeister
Ideas to help clear away the mess in our homes and in our minds.
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Hi, my name is Tilo Flache. My current mission: help my clients declutter mind and space.
This blog contains pointers for your journey towards a happier living experience.