Special Nonexistent Furniture

by Jules Kendall

Jules Kendall shares the sweet and savory at her blog, Pancakes and French Fries. She almost never writes about food. Instead, she focuses on her improving her health, decluttering and simplifying her home, and life with two loud boys and one quiet husband. She is the creator of The William Morris Project, a weekly series that encourages people to have nothing in their home they do not know to be useful or believe to be beautiful.

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  • hat organization
    Photos: Jules Kendall
  • The last time I organized my entryway closet was two years ago, and at the time, collecting all the hats, gloves, and scarves into baskets and setting them on the top shelf seemed like a good solution. It looked neat, and it saved space. But it only worked for my husband and me. I didn't think at the time about our 6- and 9-year-old sons and how they wouldn't be able to reach the baskets.
    I'm often asked if any of my organizational systems fail, and the answer is yes. If they don't involve the whole family, they're bound to be ineffective. This was one of them. Back to square one.

    I pulled down both baskets and made sure to purge anything we no longer used or needed. I also had the boys go around the house and collect all their baseball caps. I have an obscene amount of baseball hats for anyone who hasn't experienced the joys of little league and two little boys and a husband who coaches. (Guess what? Not this year! Swim team all the way!)
  • hat organization
    Photo: Jules Kendall
    This time around, I knew I wanted a place low enough where the boys could reach their hats. I knew I didn't want a traditional hat rack or hat net or hat anything. I didn't want to see hats. I also didn't want to hear, "Mom, have you seen my hat?" I wanted something where I could store all the hats, all the time. It needed to have a small footprint and easily accessible for our 6 year old--both so he can reach the hats and put away the hats. (Put away the hats = key.)

    Enter, shoe organizer. It is sturdy, wide, and fits every single hat those boys own, plus scarves and mittens.

    The hat-in-shoe-organizer trick is one I heard years ago but never tried. I love, love, love it. I haven't looked for a hat once. I haven't tripped over a hat once. And, most magnificent of all, I haven't put away a hat once. The boys have done it themselves because they know exactly where to put them and it's easy for them to do by themselves. I expect when winter comes with all its gloves and scarves, it will work just as well. Success!

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