First impressions are important, and your entryway is the first thing to greet you and your guests. It needs to be both functional and inviting, providing a spot to drop your keys, bags, and coats when you arrive home. But if it’s not organized, it’s easy for this small space to become cluttered and unused. Follow these tips to create a useful, beautiful entryway.
Decide what should reside in the entryway. Ideally, this should be a spot for coats and other outerwear, umbrellas, daily-used backpacks, purses, briefcases, and totes — anything you need access to as you leave your home.
Evaluate your current stash of these items. Pare down your coat and tote bag collections. Toss broken umbrellas, gloves without mates, and boots that don’t fit. Your goal here is to keep only those things you frequently use.
Remove everything else. Don’t let your entryway become a catch-all for things you don’t know what to do with. (This is not the spot for the turkey roasting pan!) Sort, toss or donate things that you really don’t need, and assign new spots elsewhere in your home for the must-keeps.
Make good use of your space. Most entryways have a closet. Reevalute its set-up. If it has a single rod across the top, could you raise it a bit and add a second rod below, doubling your hanging space? Could shelves be added above the rod or run across the depth of the closet? Could you add a tiered shoe rack on the floor? Maximize every inch of space! While you’re at it, invest in sturdy wooden hangers so your coats hang neatly.
Use containers to contain clutter. This not only makes for a neat look, but it will also help you quickly find what you need. Label baskets or boxes on the shelves for out-the-door items, such as umbrellas, mittens, hats, and dog leashes. If, due to space constraints, you must keep other types of items in this closet as well, be sure to categorize and containerize them, labeling as you go.
Consider space outside the closet. This is especially necessary if you don’t have a closet or if it’s very small. For example, a coat rack or set of wall-mounted hooks in the entryway will work wonders if you’re short on closet space. Likewise, a pretty urn can hold umbrellas, a bench with storage under the seat can hold outerwear, and a wicker basket on the floor can hold shoes. By simply declaring a “home” and containing these items, you’ll instantly take your entryway from messy to marvelous!
Set up an out-the-door launching pad. Dedicate one basket near the door for items that need to leave the house, such as library books and DVDs to be returned, dry cleaning to be dropped off, and things to be delivered to family or friends.
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Donna LaRoche, M.Ed., Professional Organizer Serving Cape Cod, MetroWest and Eastern Massachusetts Contact: 617.640.2366 www.energizeandorganize.com
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