Wednesday, 30 July 2014

a school bag hook wall // getting organised for school life!

I have been itching to set the kids up with a better storage solution for their bags and coats. Behind Lily and Eli's bedroom door was a chaotic mess of 3M wall hooks and bags and coats shoved everywhere (including on the ground). Now half way through Lily's first school year and many more years of schooling to come, I wanted to set up a more spacious and orderly system. I had scrolled greedily through Pinterest, ogling at all the incredible deluxe built in entry way storage solutions but just knew that wasn't possible in our home. The layout of our home literally just did not have *any* wall space near the front or back door that could accomodate such a fancy pants solution (ummm... not to mention the cost and/or ability to create it!).

Then one day, as I walked down the hallway in what I like to pretentiously call 'the children's wing' haha - (the back of the house where the kid's bedrooms/bathroom are, which I love because it can close off from the rest of the house via a sliding door), I noticed a little stretch of wall that leads down to Miles' bedroom. Hmm.... perhaps this could take some hooks and storage? The hall is pretty narrow, but as it only leads to one bedroom (eg not a high traffic zone), I figured it was ok to make use of the wall. I shared my brilliant brainwave with Mark and he was totally on board! So, slowly but surely (life with small kids means no DIY project happens in a weekend anymore!!!), I hunted down the perfect sturdy vintage-style hooks (just loved the pretty colours) that I wanted and a nice plank of Tasmanian Oak.

I even managed to sand and seal the plank myself!! (proud smile). Well, this was after I called my dear brother-in-law (a builder) who laughed at me for five straight minutes while I whined things like 'Do I reallllllly have to sand it on every single side?' and 'Do I realllllllly have to do three coats??'. Well, yes, I did, so bit by bit, I eventually got it done. The kids even 'helped' ;)

Then Mark got it all mounted up on a Sunday afternoon and... presto, we were done!!!!!! Seriously - sooooooooo satisfying. Like, I just have to take a moment to bask in the satisfaction of completing a project for a moment.........

(Ok, where were we???!!)

Oh yeah - so, we put up two hooks for each kiddo, and one for 'extra' hook which is currently holding the swimming bag, but could also be for my handbag or sports bags, whatever. Full disclosure: I had originally planned for just six hooks, but a slight hook spacing miscalculation (by someone who shall remain nameless) meant we had room for a 7th hook. Thankfully I could buy one more individually and now I am actually relieved we have that spare hook for bonus stuff! Phew ;) All's well that end's well!?

We hung the plank a little high  so they can grow into it as they reach school age, (Lily can properly reach the hooks but Eli has to stretch!) plus I wanted to cover an old unused outlet that was randomly on that wall.

The kids looooooove having their own hooks to hang their gear. And even all loaded up, it looks pretty neat and orderly, with it all spaced out nicely. Chaos be gone, I say!! Lily hooks her bag and coat up every day after school, and its a great place to keep her library bag and other bits and pieces so they are not forgotten. Eli relishes any opportunity to hang anything he can from his hooks ;) I kinda love/prefer now that all the bags are not cluttering up the entry/front door but rather tucked away discretely near the kids' bedrooms - so it all worked out in the end :)

Okay, okay, I realise it's just a plank with some hooks on it. Nothing groundbreaking or orginal!! A zillion light years from the extravaganza storage nooks on Pinterest but I DON'T CARE, I AM SO HAPPY WITH IT!!!!!  I was so excited, I just couldn't help sharing our simple little DIY project :) Now, I am so tragic, I can't stop looking at it every time I pass down the hall, smiling to myself in a satisfied way. Firstly, 'cos a once dead space is now being so useful, and secondly because of the sense of accomplishment, actually getting something done!!!!

This is just stage one, I want to add some framed graphics on the wall above, and maybe a weely planner and whiteboard for the kids when they get to that stage... it will grow and evolve as the kids do for sure but for now - for my own sanity - I sticking a fork in this little hook wall and calling it DONE :)

I know there are a lot of pics but... the colours! so pretty!
That beige trim in the background? It's been on the to-do list to paint white to match the newly painted white walls for...oh, like TWO YEARS now. Sigh. If only funner projects didn't get in the way. Anybody wanna come paint some trim?! ;)

Always something special about seeing my three babies' names all in a row. Our little family. Sigh.

I got the decals custom made on Etsy for a little personalisation, so the kids know where their hooks are :)

As we are talking about school organisation, I thought I would also include a snap of our little 'home planning corner' which I set up after a 'groupthink' on Facebook, when I was asking for tips on how to keep on top of the mountains of school paperwork (so much paper!!!!). So, now I use mounted clipboards for each of the kids. It works so well to be able to clip papers up there and keep the most important or upcoming thing at the front. We also use the calendar (usually full, this is just a new month!), and a little whiteboard for my to-do list, and other charts and signs for various family happenings and 'teaching triggers'. It's busy (messy??) but it works for us, especially the clipboards!

Ok, so in theory we are now totally organised, right??! Let's see what happens in practise ;)


  1. Love your hooks and board. When staying at my sister's place I was thrilled when I discovered a hook board very similar to your own (minus the lovely colours) for Dave and I to hang our coats, dressing gown's on. Saved so much mess on top of the luggage bags. From a hook lover too. xx

  2. Oh please please please tell me where you got those hooks!! A bag hanging space/coat rack/family command center is on my to do list now that there are three kiddies ... and I think i NEED those hooks!
    Love the green and orange sheets in your home planning corner too! :)

    1. yes, as the kids keep appearing, the need to get more organised grows, huh? :) hope you get a set up that works for your family x

  3. Oh squee diddle dee dee I found the link! :) Thanks - I must've missed that in my excitement the first time I read! :)

    1. oh hooray glad you like the idea and found the link! from my searching, there are 3 or so shops that stock them, if you do a google image search for 'vintage wall hooks' you can find them all! some places were out of stock and some sell individiually, so depends what you are after. But they are so cute and colourful huh - have fun getting organised :)

  4. We have hooks too... but they are not nearly as pretty as yours!
    We have a giant entrance hall so one day, when we get around to painting the dark brown wooden paneling white, I'm going to set up something beautiful as well as functional so I'm pinning this for inspiration!

    1. oooh, I envy your giant entrance hall!! would love the space to do a more 'mud room' type set up but we don't have a very big entry... so settled for this back hall solution. its actually working so well though! love to see your entry when it gets done :) thanks for pinning xx


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