The entryway is the first thing you see as you arrive and the last thing you see as you leave. You may come and go through the front door, the side door, the back door or even through the garage door. We work hard to keep the entrance that guests use looking welcoming and presentable but often neglect the entrance we use on a daily basis. What feeling do you get as you enter the door? Does it welcome you or are you stressed by it? Do you trip over shoes, shove the bags out of the way or struggle to find a place to hang your coat? Do you ever feel like turning around and leaving again? Let’s bring order to your entry space, so it greets you with a warm welcome.
Entryways must meet many needs. They hold so many things that go in and out with us on a regular basis. Your space may house shoes, coats, hats, backpacks, keys, briefcases, and miscellaneous items ready to depart with you the next time you leave. So how do you create a welcoming space this is ready for easy exits and entries?
First take time to evaluate everything you have in the space. Does it really have to be there? Does it go in and out of the home on a regular basis or just every so often? Have you taken it with you in the last week? Eliminate the excess by keeping only the things that you are presently using. Give away the shoes and coats that no longer fit and find a different place to store those that are out of season. Consider moving your incoming mail station or sports equipment to another area of your home.
Next set up areas for storing the different items you need in your entry space. All garments in one place and things from your pocket or purse in their own area. Think through how each item should be contained or housed with a focus on accessibility. These items will be leaving and returning to this spot often, so you want to make it simple to do. The simpler it is, the easier it will be to maintain. Here are a few suggestions that may help make your entryway feel inviting and organized.
• Create a drop zone for keys, change, wallet, or cellphone. Place a small container or two on the counter or table to hold these smaller items. This will prevent them from being misplaced.
• Designate a hanging area for coats. Install a coat rack with enough hooks for each family member. If you are using a closet, remember that hooks are easier for children. Add a lower rack or a few simple hooks, so they can hang their own things.
• Use shelves, cubbies or large baskets for shoe storage. Open storage is best as it is easier to access. Make sure the containers are large enough to hold the necessary amount. Don’t forget to include a place to sit to make putting the shoes on easier.
• Designate a small clear bin for each person to hold their hats, gloves, ear buds, etc. You can place a multi-compartment clear shoe organizer over the door for this kind of storage as well.
• Allocate a bin or basket specifically for items that are outgoing. These maybe library books, dry cleaning, a store return or a dish you borrowed from a friend. Make sure you check this “outgoing” area each time you leave to see if there is something you could deliver during your trip out.
Take control of your entry by implementing some of these tips and you will make it a space that says, “Welcome Home!”
©Beth Giles February 2017