Small, narrow and nonexistent entryways can be quite a challenge to set up. And keeping them neat is another matter altogether. If your entryway keeps getting cluttered despite your best intentions, perhaps it’s time to try something new. Here are seven tips to help outfit and maintain a tidy and clutter-free entry (even the nonexistent kind).
1. Make it inspiring. Creating a pleasing, stylish entry zone is one of the best ways to stay motivated to keep it neat and clean. Take the space shown here, for example: Without the wallpaper, artwork and snazzy owl umbrella holder, it would be a boring sliver of wall with a floating shelf. Wouldn’t you rather come home each day to a scene that makes you smile?
2. Create a cleanup cue. Use a regular part of your daily routine as a cue to tidy the entryway and put away items that do not belong there. Here are a few ideas:
- Have a dog? Make a habit of tidying up each time you come back in from a walk.
- Sort mail and put away jackets while you wait for coffee to brew each morning.
- Straighten up the entry after you take out the garbage in the evening.
3. Avoid clutter creep with proper containers. Blank surfaces invite clutter to pile up and spread out. Avoid this phenomenon by providing a container for each type of item you need to set down when you enter the house: a dish for keys, a change bowl, a recycling basket, a mail tray and a coat hook.
4. Outfit a secondary doorway or space to boost storage possibilities. What to do if there simply isn’t enough room in the entry to keep all of your things? Choose a secondary storage area for bulky items that would otherwise clutter a small entry. If you have a closet or laundry room at the back of your home, or room near another door, use that as a drop zone. Install hooks, cupboards, shelves, a storage bench — all the things you wish you had room for at the front door.
When you come home, place only a few essential items (like keys and a bag) by the front door, and walk everything else to your makeshift mudroom. It will undoubtedly take some time to get used to this practice, so make a point of following through every day for several weeks until it becomes a habit.
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7 Keep-Tidy Tips for Compact Entryways