How to Declutter an Entryway
Your home’s foyer gets a lot of action. Discarded shoes, coats and bags are a common sight, along with other clutter like toys and bags of trash awaiting disposal. After a while, these items can pile up beyond control, turning what should be an inviting space into a junk heap. But have no fear—digging your way out is often as easy as developing simple new habits. By investing in a few practical storage containers, throwing out old, unwanted belongings and being mindful of where you’re leaving your things, you can reclaim your entryways and restore a sense of order.
Cleaning Out Your Entryway
Get rid of trash.Grab an oversized garbage bag and fill it with whatever refuse has been cluttering up your entryway. Food and drink packages, debris from the outdoors, out of date mail and unidentifiable odds and ends can all go. Once the accumulated litter has been taken care of, you can move on to bigger and more important things.
- Place a wastebasket in the entryway to have a place to throw away trash on your way in and out.
Throw out broken, dirty or unused items.Anything that no longer works the way it’s supposed to should either be repaired or disposed of for good. The same goes for clothing and gear that’s stained or otherwise past its prime. Obsolete electronics and work boots with the soles peeling off probably aren’t worth keeping around.
- Don’t be tempted to hang on to an item thinking it might have some value in the future. If you haven’t used it in months, you don’t need it.
- Gather up things you intend to hang on to and put them away somewhere else, like a junk drawer or a labeled box in the basement.
Part with old clothes and toys.Rummage through the assortment of outgrown items you have lying around and see what you’d be willing to throw out. Sort the mess into individual piles based on what can be given away to friends and neighbors, what can be put up for consignment and what should be carted off with the week’s trash.
- Consider holding a yard sale to offload some of your finds and make a little extra money in the process.
- Donate items that are in good condition rather than throwing them out. What seems like waste to you might be just what someone else needs.
Put unnecessary furniture into storage.Go around the room and determine whether a given piece is doing its job. A decorative end table or antique mirror may look great in your foyer, but if the rest of the room is a wreck, they’ll just be taking up valuable real estate. Find another area where you can stash these pieces and put a few utilitarian storage aids in their place.
- Be practical about your decor. There’s no sense in having a desk for opening mail, paying bills and carrying out other day-to-day tasks in your entryway if no one ever sits down to use it.
- Find helpful ways to use the furniture you keep. For instance, you could put a paper organizer on an empty hallway table, or reposition chairs or benches to provide seating in a spacious mudroom.
Improving Your Storage Situation
Install a shoe organizer.Having an out-of-the-way area to store footwear will come in handy when you just want to kick off your shoes after coming in from a long day. Whether you opt for a rack, cubby, mounted shelf or just a corner of the room where you can line up unworn shoes, you’ll be glad to have them all in one place that isn’t right in front of the door.
- If you live in an area that receives a lot of snow or rain, place a separate plastic tray nearby to leave wet boots and sneakers in.
- Use a mounted or hanging organizer to keep pairs of shoes together and out of the reach of pets.
Take advantage of available closet space.Stash larger and lesser used items in a coat closet near the front door. This could include things like sporting equipment, duffel bags or baby carriers that take up too much room elsewhere. Closets are especially useful because they keep your belongings confined to a single space that’s easily accessible and out of sight.
- Stacking or leaning items on-end can help you fit more into the closet.
- Don’t forget to check your closet space for things that can be thrown out.
Use your walls.Mount a rack or row of hooks at head height along one wall and use them to hang jackets, backpacks, scarves, hats and other accessories that get put on and taken off frequently. They’ll be plainly visible, which will keep them from getting lost, and won’t obstruct walking space.
- Attach hooks using removable wall strips to make installation quick and painless and prevent damage.
- Stick name tags above racks or hooks so that the kids each have a place to leave their things.
Acquire some spacious storage containers.For most homes, a few inconspicuous baskets or bins will be enough to tuck away stray items. Make sure they’re big enough to hold everything you need them to with no overflow. These containers can then be tucked away in a closet beneath another piece of furniture to make them less noticeable.
- For a more decorative approach, look for attractive pieces like wicker baskets and ornamental wooden chests or trunks.
- An old cabinet or dresser can be converted into an all-purpose storage solution.
Developing Organized Habits
Commit to the new system.There’s no point in picking up junk and making more storage available if everyone is just going to keep doing what they’ve been doing. Get into the habit of actually using your new household organizational resources for what they’re for. It may take a while to establish a routine, but it will get your home looking better in the long run.
- Find a layout for furniture, storage containers and other helpful additions that works for your individual space.
- Mindful practices will eventually become instinct, and you’ll be able to say goodbye to frustrating messes for good.
Take responsibility for your belongings.Beautifying your entryway will be much simpler if everyone in the household is tasked with keeping up with what’s theirs. Busy professionals, for instance, should make it a point to leave work-related materials in the bedroom or office rather than beside the front door. Similarly, kids should take toys and school supplies to their rooms when they’re not in use.
- Try to stop thinking of the foyer as a spot to dump all your things as soon as you walk in the door.
- All it takes is a little discipline to transform one of the most chaotic parts of the house into one of the most orderly.
Lay out designated zones.Reserving a single space for a particular type of item can help set up a practicable pattern. This means no hanging skates on wall hooks and no leaving sneakers under the mail table. Keep things in their respective domains and all you’ll have to do is tidy them up.
- Craft your own signs or placards to keep different areas labeled.
- Give your spouse, kids or roommates gentle reminders when things turn up where they’re not supposed to be.
Clean the area regularly.If you want to keep your entryway spotless and clutter-free, it’s important not to put it off until it becomes a problem. Schedule a time once a month or every couple of weeks to go through and collect trash, hang up garments and relocate belongings to their rightful areas. That way your living space, and your conscience, will remain clear.
- Make cleaning and organizing a family activity where everyone can pitch in.
- You’ll never have to stress over decluttering your entryway again if you tidy up as you go.
- Make an effort to live more minimalistic. The fewer things you own, the fewer things you’ll have lying around.
- Don’t just move junk out of one room and into another. Put some thought into strategies you can implement to eliminate clutter for good.
- Go through and clean house each time the seasons change. Take the opportunity to trash, donate or store whatever you don’t need.
- Hide muddy footprints with a dark or patterned rug that disguises dirt.
- When you run out of room around the house, relocate boxes of unused belongings to a separate garage or storage unit.
- Take a look at home improvement websites and craft resources like Pinterest for ideas and inspiration on how to improve the state of your entryway.
Video: Organizing The Smallest Apartment Entryway | 30 Days of Decluttering
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