The Best Organizing Tips

A Mudroom Gets Made Over

Beth Ann Kempf’s 200-year-old house has no downstairs closets, so her entry hall has to work overtime. Real Simple reclaimed the spot to improve the family’s overall exit strategy. Here’s how. 

Items hanging at various heights in entry room of home
Bjorn Wallander

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Dishes stacked on shelves in front of chalkboard wall

Room-by-Room Organizing

Easy-to-steal storage tricks for small spaces (closets and bathrooms) and larger gathering spots (living rooms and kitchens).

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Customizing for Height and Aesthetics

The main coatrack hangs about 12 inches below the seven-foot ceiling so that jackets clear the tops of cabinets. Relegating off-season outerwear to the attic and storing fleeces in the bedrooms creates breathing room for day-to-day jackets. Everyone in the family can easily reach the rack—except Janie, the youngest, who has a pair of low hooks at her level. “I love having my own spot away from everyone else’s,” says Janie. “Otherwise I’d have to jump to get my coat.” The step stool stays off the floor and comes in handy for putting on boots. A piece of art, inspired by the stool’s speckled palette, adds polish and brings personality to this all-business area.

To buy: Flip 8 hook in white, $50, Dandelions Unite!, by Sarah Faulkner, $380, for info. Wauli hooks, $20 each,

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