The Problem with Horizontal Surfaces

It is very well established in our space that any horizontal surface will be covered in "stuff" in a matter of minutes.  Some surfaces, like the kitchen table or countertops, fill up but just as quickly are cleared. I'm not talking about those busy surfaces.  I am talking about the smaller horizontal surfaces that pile up until you forget what is under the pile.  In our home the worst culprit is our entry bench.

Our entry bench (previously seen here) should be a storage bench with an empty surface to sit on to put our shoes on or display one or two bags.  Instead it is a dumping ground for anything we bring in the door or mean to take with us on the way out.  This is exemplified by the photo above.  In the photo I think I see a portable high chair, bucket of gloves and mittens and multiple bags. This bench is the first and last thing you see in the apartment and it leaves a lasting impression of clutter and chaos that I am so carefully trying to avoid in our small space.

Our answer to this pile of clutter is to minimize the horizontal surface without losing too much useful storage.  We are replacing our Ikea Stuva Bench with an Ikea Stall Shoe Cabinet.

Ikea Stall Shoe Cabinet

Ikea Stall Shoe Cabinet

One day I would like to custom design and build something for this small awkward space but for now this cabinet at the correct width and just under 7" deep will open up our hallway and remove the ability to dump everything at the front bench.  (I'm sure we will still find a way to clutter up the 7" ;)). I'll be sure to share photos once the new entry way is complete and report on how less storage and less dumping grounds effects us. After this project is complete I'm moving on to our too large side table in the living room that overflows with books and magazines!