Ok, my entry way is very closed off from the rest of the house, there's a big staircase AND the back of the fireplace are 'right' there.
But, it's a nice wide closet that I just didn't 'need' when it was just my son & I. We used the closet near the garage as a closet, but once DH arrived, he had to put some of his coats in the entry way when he over-flowed the closet near the garage.
I originally used to for storing my gift bags, gift wrap, ribbons, etc. Which was an 'abuse' of the space, but the reason I did it was because I didn't have anything else to store my wrapping paper to... so it 'worked' for a while.
Not so much now.
So, Step 1, stage 1 - first we need to clean it out.
After about an hour an a half, we are down to the following which stay:
Now, the 'plan'.
Organize the top shelve with 31 large organizing totes, which I have several of. Plan is to organize by 'type'... and I have one bag for swimming/beach things, another one for winter hats/scarves/gloves... will have to think if we can come up with a handful more of 'things... maybe board games? maybe cleaning things like the feather dusters?
Add the coats from the hall closet by the garage. (Talk DH into purging some).
Find a lateral file cabinet we can use for filing things for the bottom. Depending on space left AFTER we add the file cabinet, we'll see if there's room for other storage at the bottom and still have space to easily pull the vacuum in and out.
Going to delegate the picking out of the filing cabinet to hubby. I've been passing up tons of second hand ones simply because if they need to be in the great room, they had to have a great look. I've been passing up brand new ones from online because it's so hard to tell if they are sturdy and well-built. His job is to pick out a good sturdy 2-drawer lateral file cabinet at a second hand store. Any that are sturdy, metal/wood/anything... will work. He's been waiting for me to be able to go with him, but I was stuck flat on my back for the better part of six weeks. Now that I can be a bit more active, I need to get ready to go back to work and won't be available to go any longer. But, like I said, now that it can be hidden behind doors? Looks aren't going to be an issue; and I am open to whatever he finds. That said, it's likely to be a good month before he finds it. So, this one will go on the back burner until we find our cabinet and then I'll share the final solution(s).