8 things a professional organiser would never keep in a hallway – and you shouldn’t either

Learn what to keep for convenience and style, and what to avoid to achieve a neat and inviting entrance to your home

Hallway storage with chalkboard
(Image credit: Dulux)

Your hallway sets the tone for your home and if it looks like it could star in an episode of Hoarder SOS, you’ll do well to follow the lead of our professional organisers by removing these things that they would never keep in a hallway. You won’t find them leaving piles of old shoes, bulky coats or Deliveroo flyers hanging around.

Instead, professional organisers advocate a less is more approach when decluttering a hallway, and firmly believe that only the essentials should be allowed airtime in their home’s busiest thoroughfare. They take a firm stance against excess clobber and have no truck with untidiness or anything that should or could be stashed elsewhere. 

‘The hallway is often passed through in a hurry whilst simultaneously grabbing something invaluable for your day,’ says professional organiser, Lynda Wylie of Tidy Rooms. ‘By scheduling regular decluttering and organising session, you can keep these items in check and ultimately control whether coming home is an uplifting or disheartening experience.’

Lynda Wylie
Lynda Wylie

Lynda has been a professional declutterer and organiser since she founded Tidy Rooms in 2012 after a successful career in fundraising and volunteer management. She loves working alongside people in their homes to help them bring simplicity, calm and confidence back into their homes and lives. She is a member of APDO and one of their professional training team. She loves being part of this wider professional community and is responsible for the APDO blog.

Things a professional organiser won’t keep in a hallway

There are several things you shouldn't keep on display in a hallway that professional organisers agree upon. For example not allowing the kids’ schoolbags and bikes to create a potentially dangerous obstacle course. 

By investing in hallway storage ideas and keeping the hallway clear of detritus, it will remain a welcoming and functional entryway rather than a catch-all for household overflow, pets paraphernalia and every last shoe you ever owned.

1. Car keys left in plain sight

Hallway storage with wooden side table.

(Image credit: Future)

Leaving your car keys in the hallway can be a serious security risk, depending on where you leave them. Too near the front door (especially if it is glazed) will make it easy for potential thieves to spot and steal them, potentially through the letterbox or by using signal amplifiers if your car has keyless entry. Car keys left in plain sight are also an easy target if a burglar brakes in, meaning they may get away with your microwave and motor. 

‘People often say you shouldn’t keep car keys in your hallway at all, but it does depend on your set-up. For example, those with a porch may have two doors to get through to reach the hallway so it’s less problematic,’ says Siân Pelleschi, President of APDO and founder of Sorted! 

‘If you’re at all concerned, keep your car keys in a cupboard or drawer, close to where they are needed and out of sight. This allows you to store car keys in a dedicated place and help speed up your exit without taking unnecessary security risks.’ 

Portrait of an expert
Siân Pelleschi

Siân's love of organising led to the launch of her Cheshire-based decluttering service Sorted! in 2016. She became president of the APDO (Association of Professional Declutterers and Organisers) in 2022 where she continues to grow the Professional Organisers community, supporting inclusivity and global recognition. 

2. Off-season outerwear

White and grey entrance hall, coats on hooks, wooden trunk

(Image credit: Future PLC/Maxwell Attenborough)

Allowing coat hooks and racks to pile up is the quickest way to hinder smooth passage through your hallway. Storing only the outerwear you use regularly in the hallway ensures easy access and will help keep the area looking clean and streamlined. It can also make it easier to keep control of the number of coats each family member owns and ensure they still fit. Any smart or special occasion coats should be kept in your bedroom wardrobe to protect them from damage while freeing up coat hooks in the hallway.

‘While the seasons are no longer true to form, and you’re often found dipping into winter clothes in the summer and vice versa it’s still important to keep the hallway light with your coats and other outerwear,’ agrees Siân. 

‘Check the upcoming weather conditions and be realistic about which coats, hats, scarves and gloves you’re likely to wear. Those for more extreme weather can be put away but kept accessible should you need to find them quickly.’

3. Prams, scooters and bikes

pink bike in hallway with suitcases and open door

(Image credit: Spike Powell)

‘Prams, scooters and bikes get in the way when left rolling precariously around in the hallway, and present trip hazards or stress triggers when you’re trying to dodge them. Launching yourself (and others) quickly and smoothly out the door can become a battle of wills against the machines as you wrestle with handles and wheels,’ says professional organiser, Lynda Wylie. 

‘If you have a porch, instead of filling it with shoes that can develop a bit of a pong, use it for non-smelly equipment like scooters and bikes. If there’s room for a rack, these can help keep them contained, or a large open box can be just as effective.’

If you absolutely must keep prams and other wheeled equipment in your hallway, Lynda recommends making the most of vertical storage solutions using hooks and clips to get them off the floor whilst ensuring they are quick to grab when they’re needed. You can buy hooks to hang over a door to hold prams on Amazon or you can install a track that holds scooters and skateboards off the floor. 

‘Alternatively, fold prams up each evening and store them in the boot of your car if you have one or a garage or shed. A lockable bike store might also be an option if there’s space at the front of your home,’ adds Lynda.

4. Dead plants and flowers

Hallway with white door open and loads of plants on a black metal console

(Image credit: Grosvenor Wilton)

Plants are a fabulous addition to any room in the home, but only if they’re looking healthy and verdant. Sad, browning or droopy foliage is a depressing mess to come home to. 

‘Dead plants are a common inhabitant of cluttered hallways and need to be composted once they’re past bringing you and your home joy,’ agrees Lynda Wylie.

‘Live plants are calming, can be air purifying, boost mood and bring the outside into your hallway, creating a restful and colourful first impression. Not everyone has green fingers so artificial plants offer a great alternative, such as a palm or fern. Avoid artificial plants with multiple stems and foliage as they are fiddlier to clean and trap dust, and don’t forget to vacuum or wipe your plants regularly, whether real or faux.’

5. A million shoes

Navy hallway with pull out wall storage for shoes.

(Image credit: Future PLC)

Professional organisers always avoid keeping too many shoes in their hallways because shoes are one of the most common causes of clutter. Hallways are often narrow, so a pile-up of shoes can be an eyesore and trip hazard.

‘Despite the best of intentions and urges for the kids, and older members of the household, to line up their shoes when they kick them off, they’re never going to stay in place,’ says Simon Glanville, Managing Director of A Place for Everything. ‘The solution is to invest in specialist shoe storage options, some of which double up as benches and are just nice-looking pieces of furniture.’ 

Stacking shoe racks are particularly space efficient and make use of your hallway’s vertical storage potential without taking up precious floor space. 

Before filling your shoe storage, first have a major clear out of all but the most frequently worn footwear. Any that is rarely used can be stored elsewhere, perhaps under the stairs or under the bed. You’ll be amazed by how many pairs of shoes are outgrown or scuffed beyond use, especially if you have children. Rotating shoes seasonally can also help keep the hallway neat and ensure you have the appropriate footwear for the current weather.

Simon Glanville, A Place For Everything
Simon Glanville

Simon Glanville is founder and managing director of storage and organisational retailer A Place for Everything, which grew out of his Chester-based bricks and mortar shop STORE in 2003. Living and breathing storage for more 20 years, Simon’s company now has one of the largest selections of stylish storage solutions in the UK.  

6. Junk mail and flyers

hallway storage hooks in black against a cream wall with white table

(Image credit: Future PLC / Simon Whitmore)

‘An open front door plus wind plus miscellaneous flyers spells chaos!’ says Simon Glanville. ‘If you have a console table in the hall then opt for baskets or felt trays or keep one drawer just for the flyers. Alternatively opt for a mirror which has a built-in shelf behind it. That way you can keep any flyers you want to keep, and unopened post at hand but they’re unlikely to be blown around the place.’

The seriously organised will take photos of any flyers, food menus and anything else containing information they’d like to keep, so they can put the physical item in the recycling bin.


7. Outsized furniture

hallway with parquet floor and black door and marble console with lamp

(Image credit: Pooky)

Keeping big furniture in a hallway is the quickest way to obstruct the flow of movement, making the space feel cramped and difficult to navigate. Large pieces of furniture can create bottlenecks and make it particularly awkward when greeting or getting rid of groups of guests. Bulky furniture can prove overwhelming, making your hallway appear cluttered and smaller than reality.

‘If you choose a big piece of furniture for your hallway, you’re also far more likely to use it as a dumping ground; depositing items on the top or shoving them into the drawer of doom!’ adds professional organiser Simon Wigzell, of Let’s Get It Sorted. ‘Instead, have a step basket on the stairs, and try to just have coats and shoes in a hallway. I like to keep a hallway as clear as possible as it’s much nice walking into a house where it’s not immediately manic.’

If you must have hallway furniture, make it as slender as possible to avoid encroaching on precious walking space – a shallow-depth console, narrow shoe storage unit or slim bench for example.  

Simon Wigzell
Simon Wigzell

Simon has been running Let’s Get It Sorted for more than 11 years. He has seen it all – working with hoarders, movers, busy parents, those less-able as well as the rich and famous. He never wakes up wanting to stay at home, he loves being an organiser and helping people, whatever their challenge. 

8. Hundreds of Bags for Life

Hallway storage with chalkboard

(Image credit: Future PLC)

Bags for life are good for the environment but not if you buy too many. Hoarding them is certainly not good for the environment in your hallway! 

‘Bags for Life quickly get out of hand, you trip over them, they get shoved in nooks and crannies and you’ll find them again three years later when you finally make the time to declutter,’ agrees Simon Wigzell. 

‘If you do want to keep reusable bags by the door so they’re handy before you go shopping, reduce them to a sensible number and hang them neatly inside a more stylish bag on a hook or somewhere easily accessible.’

Add to basket


What do you need in a hallway?

Lynda Wylie, Professional Declutterer and Organiser and founder of Tidy Rooms, lists her personal preferences for a hallway that’s welcoming but not cluttered. 


1. Waist height surface 

For example, a slim console or shelf provides a landing and taking off space for the most important items you need - like phone, wallet, and keys. You’ll always know where to find them if there’s only one designated place for them to live.

2. Wastepaper bin

To stop unnecessary paper from getting any further into the home and prompt regular triaging of paper.

3. Mirror

To create light and a final check before leaving the house.

4. Two baskets

One to catch any bits and bobs that find their way into the home but which you don’t want to get any further! And another for anything you need to remember to take out with you like things to return, dry cleaning etc.

5. Washable doormat

To keep dirt out of your home and make floors easier to clean.


1. Diffuser or candle 

To provide a welcome home scent as you come through the door

2. Plants

Natural and calming to provide a splash of colour to welcome you home each day.

3. Everyday shoes

Properly stored, these will be quick and easy to access. Infrequently used shoes can be stored elsewhere in the home.

4. Hooks

For coats, bags and umbrellas - a place to get things off the floor.

Don't forget to personalise your hallway with a few decorative touches such as framed family photos and fresh flowers and enjoy an organised entryway that feels like home the moment you step through the door.

Linda Clayton

 Linda Clayton is a professionally trained journalist, and has specialised in product design, interiors and fitness for more than two decades. Linda has written for a wide range of publications, from the Daily Telegraph and Guardian to Homes & Gardens and Livingetc. She has been freelancing for Ideal Home Magazine since 2008, covering design trends, home makeovers, product reviews and much more.