Day 1: Entryway
Updated: May 12, 2020
Welcome to Day 1 of our Organize Your Entire Home in 20 Days series!
During these 20 days, we are going to dive deep into spaces around your house so no room in your home is left unorganized. This will be an amazing experience for you, leaving you feeling so much better at the end of the process.
This series is going to be an exciting adventure for your home, your family, and yourself, so... let’s get started!
Our 20 day organizing extravaganza begins with the entryway of your house.
At first glance, the entryway may seem like an insignificant area to spend time organizing because it’s such a small space, however, the function of the entryway is so important to your family daily routine and the guests who come into your home.
Like we said before, the entryway is your first impression to your house, so you want to make it count!
Pull everything (yes everything!) out of the space.
Open any drawers or cabinets and pull out keys, phone chargers, decorations, lint rollers, candles, or anything else that hides in the entryway.
Take all the coats, shoes, sports equipment and other clutter that often finds it's home here and put them in piles for the specific family members they belong to! (You can use your kids to help you with this step. They can take all of their belongings to their rooms where we will be heading in a few days!)
By pulling out all of the items that occupy the space, you will be able to see what items truly belong there and what items are just adding to the clutter.
Next you'll want to categorize these items (we usually categorize AS we pull things out of the space to keep things efficient). Jackets with jackets, keys with keys, umbrellas with umbrellas, decorations with decorations and so forth.
Grouping together like items will help you decide which items you want to keep and what items you're ready to let go of.
Now let’s get back to all of that stuff. There are only 3 options to all of these items: keep, donate, or trash.
Items that are trash are things that don’t serve your family any further purpose and wouldn’t serve anyone else purpose either. This could be old receipts from food delivery, junk mail, or bags of trash that you haven’t taken to your dumpster yet. By getting rid of the obvious trash first, you are quickly and effortlessly getting rid of some of the clutter.
As you dig deeper through the stuff you'll find more items you can throw away. These are going to be things like expired batteries, a broken toy, a stack of old newspapers or a ripped coat.
Items that you want to keep should be things that serve your family a purpose and you definitely will be using in the future. These are things like keys, umbrellas and current decorations.
Items that need to be donated are things that are still in good condition but no longer serve a purpose for your family. These are out of date items, items that you have an excess of and items that no longer fit anyone in your family.
If you are having difficulty deciding on what items should be kept or donated, ask yourself questions such as, when was the last time someone in my family used/wore this item? Does this item still serve its original purpose for me? How many of this one item do I have and is more than one really necessary? Would someone else better benefit from having this item than I would?
By asking yourself these questions about items you aren’t sure of, you are opening your mind and being honest with yourself about the needs of your family. Any items that you keep but you don’t need will continue to add to the clutter around your house for no reason.
By giving away these items, you are not only clearing the mess from your house, you are also allowing someone else to use these items that may need them more than you.
Once everything is grouped together, put a pause on the items and focus back on the space. It's important that you have baskets and containers that fit the space and work well with your different categories.
Before you put things back, now is a great time to clean this area since there are nothing occupying it. Dust high to reach spaces, wipe down (and inside) all the drawers and cabinets, wipe all the other flat surfaces and then sweep or vacuum the floor. Don’t forget about your entryway mat, give that guy a wash too!
Finish up by spraying disinfectant spray on commonly touched surfaces like doorknobs and light switches.
Once you have your area cleaned and ready, you want to put your categorized items into your containers and label them.
This will be different depending on which space of the house you're working in.
For the entryway, you can use baskets for each family member -- this can create a smaller space for each family member which can help keep the clutter down.
We do suggest using matching baskets and bins if possible. The aesthetic will not only look nice, but it will also trigger your brain to keep the space tidier.
It’s time to start putting the remaining items back into their places. The entryway is the first room you walk into when you come home, the last stop you make before leaving your house and the first impression a guest will have of your home. Therefore, you want it to be equal parts functional and appealing to the eye.
To ensure it’s a functional space, create spots for all of the items that will be coming through this area. By having specific "homes" for everything, you will easily be able to find items when you need them and quickly put them away when you're done using them.
Items like mail, keys, backpacks and items that need to be returned to the store, are all things that need to be left in the entryway.
Have a dedicated spot for mail that was just delivered and mail that you need to send out.
Check out these cute options from Target (bonus if the mail organizer also doubles as key hooks, you should have a spot to store those as well!).
If you don't have one already, create a spot for purses and backpacks to be stored while they're not being used. This could either be hooks to hang them up or an entryway table to set them on, whichever works best for you and your family!
Add a decorative bowl or tray for small items like wallets, lint rollers and sunglasses to be kept while they aren't in use.
Use a bin to store items that need to be returned to the store so they don't accidentally find a permanent place in your house. After that, the only other items that should be kept in the entryway are the decorations that you are currently using. Minimalism is key in this small space!
Any other items that you would want close by the front door (coats, hats or umbrellas) should be kept in your coat closet which we will be talking about on Day 2 in our "Organizing Your Entire Home in 20 Days" series.
If your entryway doubles as your coat closet, check back for Day 2 on how to declutter and store those items.
If your entryway originally just consisted of clutter and had no spaces for your items, check out these organizers that will give you additional storage space for the items that you want kept here. Remember, having homes for everything in the space will ensure it stays clutter free and looking good (plus it'll make it easier on everyone in the house to put things back!).
Don't forget guests use your entryway too! Leave extra space for items they will have while they are visiting your home. This can mean extra hooks or table space for any bags they have, as well as easy access to your coat closet (or coat rack!) for their jackets.
For any of the items that were in your entryway at the start of the process but don’t actually belong there (an array of shoes, coats that were left on the floor, random kids toys, books that need to be taken back to the library, a bag of clothes that need to be taken to the donation center, whatever it may have been), now is the time to deal with those.
Put those shoes in the room they belong in (use your kids and their limitless energy to help you here!), hang up those coats in the coat closet, take those phone chargers back to their home base, and put those bags that are for donation in your car (Good Will is still allowing donations at their in-store donation stores). If you don't want to deal with donations, we would love to help you take care of that!
Again, you want to keep this space clear so your family can move through it easily and your guests don’t feel overwhelmed when they walk into your house.
If you are still feeling overwhelmed with organizing or would like extra help, please reach out to the Clutterless Home Solutions Team.
Clutterless Home Solutions