The Rub: Entryways challenge even the most organized people. As the bridge between the inside and outside worlds, they're tasked with sifting through a lot of stuff: mail, shoes, hats, coats, bags...and those keys that never seem to stay where you left them.
The Remedy: Accept your entryway for what it is: a clutter filter. Even small spaces can be outfitted with everything you need to keep your front entrance healthy: hooks or hangers, a surface to sort mail and corral personal items, a doormat and a place for shoes. Here are 5 steps to declutter and organize your entryway...
- Remove anything you're not using once a week or more. Entryways get cluttered because people use them as a catch-all for things without a home. Only display what you use regularly. Off-season coats, shoes and scarves can go in the closet. Anything you need for the week, like your purse or market bag, can stay out.
- Set up a sorting station. Whether it's a bench, side table or even just a narrow shelf, you need a surface to hold your keys, phone and mail that needs attention. Junk mail goes in the recycling, magazines go onto the coffee table (or wherever you keep them) and bills or outgoing mail that needs immediate attention should stay visible with a tray or clip.
- Use hooks to hang things. If your home has an entryway closet, coats can go on hangers. Otherwise, wall hooks work well for coats, hats and scarves. It's important to keep only what you love and use on display. Otherwise, donate it or put it into seasonal storage.
- Stow your shoes and use a doormat or runner to catch dirt. The easiest way to keep floors clean is to maintain a shoes-off-at-the-door policy. Use an organizer or bench to hold the shoes you wear most often. Keep the rest of your shoes in the bedroom. To catch dirt, add a doormat, runner or rug. I like natural grasses like jute, sisal or seagrass, since they're durable and easy to shake out.
- Use a bin or basket for family toys. My two-year-old son likes to keep his soccer ball by the door so he can take it to the park when we go out. If you've got kids, a bin or basket can be a simple way to manage whatever toys are in heavy seasonal rotation. Just make sure to put away anything that's not being used weekly.
The best way to keep your entryway looking neat is to love it. Buy a handwoven basket. Keep your favorite coat and shoes on display. If your entryway is inspiring, you're more likely to care for it. The truth is that entryways need daily-to-weekly attention to keep them clear of all the stuff that can pile up. Edit to stay on it.
Written & Photographed by Sarah Coffey