This isn’t anything new, but it’s probably one of the most useful areas in my house and heck, might give someone an idea. I have one of those old school wooden valet stands like every house had back in the day when men wore suits, ties and cufflinks to work. Since you can’t really see the actual stand in the picture, you can search eBay for “Valet Stand” and see a variety of designs. Mine is pretty simple and there are usually valet stands available locally secondhand and relatively inexpensive. No, I don’t wear suits to work (far from it if you can’t tell from the picture) nor cufflinks, but I do have “stuff I need to find and remember in the morning” so that I get out of the house smoothly and with everything I need.
Year round I keep my keys, purse, employee badge, transit pass, lunch bag, tote (with charged ebook reader and phone) and the clothes I’m planning to wear on it. In the winter, I add my coat, gloves, hat and scarf. Shoes (with socks inside) on the bottom rack. Fall and spring add cape or sweater and umbrella. From there, I get up in the morning, shower, dress, grab and go – no wandering, wondering or panic. It’s like a locker, but convenient and not ugly. The key thing to making this work is single use – don’t let this become a dumping ground for stuff you don’t want to put away. This is where you store the critical stuff you need for your day to go smoothly – so make sure you put it back there when you get home. (Scribbles a note to pull out the leather reconditioner this weekend and get to work on the purse and tote – yoiks!)