Feb 20, 2019 By Thomasville
It would be nice if your home had a valve that would let you control the flow of clutter into the house. Pssst…it does! Your entryway is the transition zone between the life you lead in the great big world—work, school, activities—and the life you lead inside your home. Use these entryway organization tips to capture clutter at the door.
Take a Clutter Inventory
All the organization tips in the world won’t help if you can’t figure out what needs to be organized. Your entryway needs to give you places to put the things you bring into your home, so take a thoughtful inventory of what those things are. What is your default drop-zone? What do you see there? What objects do you frequently find lying elsewhere around the house? What are your piles made of? What kinds of things do you find yourself frequently scrambling to find? The answers to all these questions will tell you what problems need to be solved.
The more difficult it is to put something away properly, the less likely it is to be put away. Successful clutter-busting organization tips are the ones that make it as easy as possible to put things in reliable places. With your clutter inventory complete, start asking yourself what the easiest, most accessible place would be to put each of those items. Imagine family members walking in the door fully loaded—coat, backpack, purse, briefcase, keys, school papers, mail, shopping bags—and start mentally unloading in the easiest way possible. Now turn everyone around and think about what needs to be ready to grab on the way out.
Gravity makes horizontal surfaces natural clutter-collectors, so you’ll notice that most organization tips will give you ways to get things off of floors, tables, and countertops. When you take advantage of vertical space, you can make even the smallest entryway valuable. Hooks and pegs make it easy to hang keys, coats, bags, scarves, leashes. Overhead shelves with baskets give you a place for gloves and hats. Tall bookshelves or other storage furniture maximize the organization value of the square footage they occupy.
Contain and Conquer
Loose items sprawl and migrate, and the problem multiplies with every additional person in the household. Container-based organization tips that will help you corral and contain are invaluable. Give every family member an individual tote, cubby, or drawer where personal items go, and where they can hand things off to each other. Kids can put a permission slip in a parent’s box, and the parent can put the signed paper in the kid’s box to go back to school the next day. Go through the containers often to make sure things don’t get forgotten at the bottom.
Ditch the Dirt
A lot of the mess in your house comes in on the bottoms of your feet. Have floor mats and rugs to capture dirt, mud, slush, and water. If possible, have them both inside and outside the door, and clean them often so they have all their bristles and fibers available to catch the next wave. Flooring manufacturers and carpet cleaners will tell you to go further by leaving shoes at the door, which means you need a place at the entryway to stash them. Fringe benefit: this also reduces the clutter of shoes removed and abandoned in other rooms later. This gallery has some great organization tips that make it easy to leave shoes at the entryway. Make it easier to stop and take off your shoes by giving yourself a place to sit, as well—a storage bench if you have room, or a slim stool if you don’t.