The entryway to your home sits at a tricky intersection of workhorse space and the first thing guests will see when they enter your home. You’d like guests to walk into a clean and organized space, but more important than that first impression, however, might be the impact a cluttered, messy entryway has on your family every day. Everyone would like to spend less time engaged in the daily struggle of searching for one lost boot. Read on for some tips to help you organize your entryway to create a space that will work for your family.
Keeping the entry to your home clean, the gateway between the outdoors and inside, can be easier said than done. No one wants to spend every day deep cleaning and re-organizing the entryway. The trick is to set yourself up for success.
Make sure you have a mat outside your door for guests and family members to wipe the dirt off of their shoes before entering but continue the idea inside. Place a sturdy indoor/outdoor or natural fiber rug inside the door as well. If you live in a climate where people will spend months tracking slush, snow, and salt into the house on winter boots, make sure to create a spot for those to dry as well. Wire shelving tucked under a bench or in a closet allows air to circulate around wet gear.
After living with a cluttered entryway daily, you may think there’s nothing you can do to improve how the space works for your family. Try to look at the room as though you’ve never seen it before or invite someone to help you since fresh eyes are difficult to fake. Most likely, there are ways to organize your messy entryway that you’ve overlooked.
Professionals can see space more efficiently and can also provide that fresh pair of eyes you might need. An inefficient pre-existing entry closet may hold the family’s outerwear. Still, that closet re-configured with wire shelving, pull-out baskets, and hooks could corral jackets, boots, umbrellas, and the kids’ hats & mittens at eye level. Be prepared to use vertical space. A high shelf is an excellent place to store out-of-season gear. Empty wall space should earn its keep with an attractive hanging shelf and hooks for keys and the dog’s leash.
A place for everything (and everything in its place) makes it easier for everyone to collaborate in keeping your entryway clean and clutter-free. Start by removing everything that doesn’t belong in the entryway and then designate a spot for everything that does.
Everyone in your family uses the entryway. Each person should know where all their things belong – and everyone should be able to reach their spot! A built-in bench with pull-out baskets for each person’s hats and mittens is a start. Add a row of hooks, so everyone has a place for the jacket of the season, backpacks, and more. No one will have an excuse to drop their things on the floor if they know exactly where they should put everything.
Every household uses the entryway space differently, and you should plan for exactly the way you plan to use it. If three kids come home every day with an assortment of sporting equipment, carve out a spot in a closet to corral hockey sticks, tennis rackets, and ice skates with specialized solutions such as high wall hooks or wire bins.
Once you’ve done the work to create systems that work for your family, do a little bit of daily tidying to keep things from getting out of hand. Invest in a cordless vacuum to quickly take care of dirt before it can get tracked through your house.
Once every member of your family knows where each backpack and lacrosse stick belongs, each person can be responsible for their tidying. Make sure to include in your entryway plan a “landing zone” for mail and keys and other things you’ll have in your hand as you come in the door. Once a day, check that table or shelf to see where everything needs to go next.
You may find that you’re overwhelmed by the task of tackling the clutter in your entryway. Maybe you’ll discover you need a professional to help you see the possibilities. Harkraft has been working with homeowners to create entryways that work hard and look great for a long time, and they can help you sort through the options. Maybe all you need is to add new shelving to your existing closets, or perhaps you want to create custom laminate benches and cabinets to suit your family’s needs exactly. Get in touch with us today to learn more.