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When it comes to designing your own home, hallways can often be forgotten about. And although they're not areas of the house that you'd spend long periods of time, they are incredibly useful spaces and ideal for housing lots of storage.

Not only that, but they are very practical areas of the home and so they need to be time-saving, space-saving as well as accommodate your needs.

So, whether you're moving house or just want to optimise your storage space, here are my top five hallways storage ideas for your home.

1) Shoes

How many times have you come home only to find that you can't open the door properly because a pair of shoes has been left in the way? Shoes can be a common problem for hallways and even if you don't have that many pairs, they quickly mount up. Shoes for work, slippers, gardening shoes and that pair you save for special occasions and job interviews.

Keep your shoes neat and tidy – as well as out of the way – with a shoe rack. Perfect for housing all your footwear. And because there's more than one layer, you can get twice the amount of storage space for every rack you own – perfect!

2) Coats

Backs of doors, ends of bannisters and folded up on chairs. How often do you find coats dotted around the house? And with so many varieties, it's not long before your house becomes littered with various outer layers which could so easily be stored away. Hallways are great for storage because you can work upwards fairly easily. Make sure you have lots of hooks on the wall or a hat stand for when you come in through the door. That way, coats stay where they're meant to stay and aren't left around the house.

3) Little extras

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I'm always leaving with a million and one things as I finally make it through the door on a morning. Not just my sets of keys but makeup, shopping bags for later on when I pop to the supermarket, chewing gum for the car, an umbrella in case it rains – and it will – as well as various other knick-knacks. Keep these everyday essential items close by so you're never without them with a selection of storage baskets. Nothing too big, just a set of small boxes will help you load and unload quickly and easily. They can be stacked so they don't take up too much space and having little things in a box will also help you keep things looking neat and tidy without much hassle.

4) Storage benches

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Stairs are useful seats at the best of times but if you've got young children, you'll understand the lack of seating space as soon as you've made the step and bought a stair gate. Double up on storage space and get more bang for your buck with a storage bench. Long and slim, they don't take up much space in your hallway but they're so useful. Especially when it comes to putting shoes on your kids, lacing up knee-high boots or even popping a little jacket on your dog!

5) Shelving

If you're not careful, hallways can end up becoming dumping grounds for every loose, homeless item in your house. However, they can provide a good amount of extra room for things you have run out of space for. Books are the main one as well as organisers, diaries and framed photos.

Because hallways are so slim, building upwards can help make them feel taller too so layering up a few shelves is great for your entrance hall. As always, with things on show, try to avoid cluttering them up with too many random items. If you're not using an item, give it to charity and just have a general clear-out to keep on top of your things. But if you have things you want to keep, make a nice display out of them to add colour and life to your hallway. Recipe books, a selection of family photos and ornaments are perfect.

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