How I Organized my Hall Closet in One Hour

By Brittni • Updated on 01/17/2024

Hall closet organization for those of us who want to be organized, but don’t have the time (or interest) to spend a ton of time doing it. 

open hall closet in organic modern minimal home, lined with board games, puzzles, craft supplies, and felt bins

For the last few years, we’ve crammed as much stuff as possible into our one and only hall closet. Baby clothes, board games, extra hardware for the kitchen, stacks of Hayes’ old artwork, etc. The works!

At one point, it was relatively organized. But then we ran out of space for things outside of the closet and continued to shove more and more in. Eventually, it became a catchall for anything and everything that wouldn’t fit elsewhere.

And it wasn’t exactly easy to find things in there anymore. So, I took EVERYTHING out and reorganized it all.

I didn’t have impromptu hall closet organization on my bingo card for the year (because I honestly never thought I would get around to it). But here we are! 

Surprisingly, the whole thing only took an 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 period of time (from a non-organizer point of view).

Side by side before and after of hall closet messy and then completely tidy and organized

Messy hall closet filled with junk and household items

Messy hall closet completely filled with stuff and opened drawers with items coming out of them

A little backstory on our storage situation…

We have very limited storage in our house. And having a small house (and a 5 year old), makes that fact a big bummer, to say the least.

What little storage we have in the bedroom closets isn’t ideal for storage either because none of our bedroom closets have doors on them.

I imagine one day we’ll come up with a closet door design for the bedrooms that looks cute and add them back. But currently, it’s not in the plan. Which means they need to stay organized and tidy and cannot be filled with boxes of stuff that we have no room elsewhere for.

SO! The only closed storage we have in the entire house, other than our kitchen cabinets and some furniture pieces, is this one small hall closet.

It’s original and kind of charming. And because of that, we really wanted to keep it, rather than demo 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 this was existing and totally usable. And there’s a pull out board in between the top cabinet and the drawers that was once used for ironing and as a work surface. Very cute, in a ‘this is original to the house’ kind of way.

So we’re making it work.

Empty hall closet with things piled up all over the floor, that used to be inside the closet

hall closet items piled up and scattered all over hardwood floor

That said, here’s how I was able to get the closet organized as quickly (and efficiently) as possible, as someone who is far from a professional organizer. And in fact, does not often enjoy organizing at all. AND also needs to maximize the small amount of space we do have…

Hall Closet Organization in One Hour

1. Take everything out.

First, I removed absolutely everything from the drawers and cabinet. Every single thing.

I did this quickly because speed is the name of the game when you know you need to power through, but don’t want to spend all day doing something.

I just laid it all out on the floor and put everything into loose category piles as I went.

Cleaning an empty hall closet before reorganizing

2. Clean every surface.

Then, I wiped down and sprayed every surface with an all-purpose cleaner.

The cabinet fronts, the inside shelves, the drawers, the interior sides of the cabinets. Everything. 

It wasn’t really dirty, but it was a little dusty. So I wanted to really get in there and clean it up.

hand knit sweaters for babies, folded up in a box, ready to be organized

3. Put like items into piles.

Separate like items into piles.

Remove any items that you don’t plan to put back into the closet – like things that should go elsewhere or things that need to be donated, thrown away, etc.

If any items do need to be donated, thrown in the trash, or moved to another part of your home, move them to another area (away from the piles that will eventually be going back into the closet) that you can go through later.

Here’s how I did that part…

I went through everything that I had laid out on the floor. Determining what I wanted to put back in this closet and what needed to go elsewhere.

There were some things that needed to be donated, a few things for the trash, and somethings that we had been borrowing from family that went back to them. 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 the miscellaneous stuff together, all the kids artwork together, my craft supplies together, etc.

Minimal modern hall closet drawer open, showing kids craft materials organized inside

4. Quickly plan out placement for what you want where.

**Steps 4-6 kind of all happen at the same time, but I listed them separately to make the process more clear.

This part is important because you want to place everything in areas that will be the most functional for you.

Ex: Items that you access everyday on the middle / easy to access shelves. Things you rarely need on the very top or very bottom shelves.

Once I removed everything that didn’t belong (in step 3), I realized there would be more room than I thought leftover.

So, I carved out a few of the drawers and the bottom shelf of the cabinet for Hayes. All his creative activities, games, crafting supplies, etc – in one place!

This hall closet is right next to his room, so it was a natural fit. It’s now a way more organized space for his art supplies and games. Before, it was spread out between the hall closet and a few mismatched bins in open shelving in his room.

Keepsake organizational box with kids artwork inside, ready to be clipped into a hall closet drawer

5. Grab containers for small items.

Shop your house for bins / baskets you already have that would help contain smaller items.

For example, I found a keepsake box that we weren’t using for anything. So I piled all of the loose artwork from Hayes into that box, and then put the box in one of the lower drawers.

I also snagged two of the big felt bins that I previously had in the guest room closet for miscellaneous stuff that we don’t use as often. I’d much rather look at those felt bins when I open the cabinet than a whole bunch of stuff piled up on top of each other.

Board games and puzzles lined up on open shelving in a small hall closet

6. Put everything back.

For the remaining drawers and cabinet space, I put everything back that was there before, just more organized. 

I was also way more intentional with where I placed everything this time around. Which I think will go a long way in keeping everything organized long term. 

Board Game Organization (and Puzzles)

Quick note on this topic because we have a lot of puzzles and board games. And they took up a lot of space before I organized everything.

I ended up turning them all on their sides and put them on the shelves like books.

That seemed to really help save some space and also makes every game and puzzle really easy to take out and put back, without everything being stacked on top of each other.

ALSO! It makes it very easy to maintain the organization because it’s as easy as putting a book back into a bookcase.

7. Label everything.

If you have time, labeling everything is a nice touch. But is it necessary in a one hour hall closet organization? Probably not. If you have the time, awesome. If not, don’t stress over it.

Honestly, I haven’t done this step yet because most of it is obvious.

For the bins, I do plan to make labels for what is inside. Because I know I’ll forget eventually, since I can’t see what’s inside at first glance.

As another (quicker) option… take a polaroid of what’s inside each bin and tape it to the front.

Side by side before and after images of a messy hall closet vs an organized and today closet

organized hall closet with board games and puzzles lined up, alongside felt organizational bins

Organized hall closet with lined up board games, puzzles, and bins

Open closet drawer with kids craft supplies organized inside 

organic modern minimal hall closet, organized in the inside with felt bins

That’s it! An organized hall closet that is now really functional for our family. In under an hour!

I’m hoping that we’ll be able to keep the hall closet organized and tidy this year. And with some extra room in here to add a few more things as time goes on, I think we can. Fingers crossed.

2 comments | Click here to reply

Hi O! The rope bins are from Target, but they’re pretty old (no longer sold that I can see). Both of these are really similar though (also from target): https://rstyle.me/+G09paBH4Fb0Il_HwmZySzw and https://rstyle.me/+A_KOr2oS0vhzSgixYarvLw

Brittni

Nothing like a good decluttering!
Do you have a link for the art supplies rope bin?

O.
Leave a reply