If you have school-age kids, you know it’s coming…the inevitable backpacks flung on the floor after school, the paper clutter on your dining table, the searching for items on your way out the door in the morning. All that stuff your kids drag in from school is going to get dropped somewhere.
If you have a spacious, gloriously appointed mudroom complete with built-in lockers and cubbies, your problems are solved. We don’t all have that, though.
For many of us, our backdoor entrance is simply a cramped, pass-through laundry room or a small hallway with no room for anything. If this sounds like your house and if you need a dedicated, organized spot for your kids’ school clutter, a hall tree could be the answer.
The best spot for an organization center is close to the entrance in your house that your kids use the most. If you have about 30 inches of wall space somewhere in your home—in your front entry, your kitchen, or even in the family or living room you have the perfect place for some clutter management tools.
I made a hall tree for my daughter and son-in-law a few years ago that started with an old door. Most vintage, solid-wood doors range from about $30-$50. With the addition of some hooks I purchased from Hobby Lobby and two baskets (I used vintage bicycle baskets), they now have a functional and stylish organization center for their home.
I also added a shelf from a simple 1 x 4 pine board that I painted black and supported with some brackets. It provides a place to set small items. The baskets are perfect for holding school papers that need to be signed, library books that need to be returned, shoes, or just about anything.
If you have the wall space and need a bigger version of this idea, you could hang two doors side by side. The one I made for my daughter and son-in-law has a wooden cleat on the back that fits into another cleat on the wall. It could also be hung with D-rings and wire over a screw and drywall anchors.
Kids and clutter just go together. Finding ways to minimize it by designating a convenient and organized home for it is one way to deal with it. When the solution is both stylish and functional, it’s a win-win for everyone.
Jill is a Waco mom to two, grandmother (Jilly) to one, a retired teacher, and decorator. She'll paint anything that doesn’t move, has logged more hours at her sewing machine than she can remember, and loves to create beautiful rooms for herself and others. She was a do-it-yourselfer before DIY was cool, and she likes the challenge of working within a budget and making every dollar count. She is the author of the blog JustPlainJilly.com that offers even more decorating tips and other pearls of wisdom.