Five Tips to Tidy Your Entryway
REPRINT from Susquehanna Style Magazine
April 4, 2019
Foyers, laundry rooms, and mudrooms vary in size, but here are a few tips to take back control of the most well worn areas of our homes:
1. Function. Get rid of (or transfer to a better suited area) the things that don’t fit in with your ideal vision and function of the room. Some of the most common things people like to use their mudrooms for are outerwear, pet care, and in-home utilities like light bulbs, extension cords, and batteries. Designate a space for each category, consolidate, contain in a clear bin or sturdy basket, and label. Things that tend to clutter a mudroom or laundry room are decorations and giftwrap. Store these things under a bed, in a spare closet, a basement, or an attic instead.
2. Clear the floor. If you have room or wall space and it won’t look crowded, consider hooks, shelves, lockers, and/or cubbies to help you stay organized and keep things off the floor. Keeping only the shoes you wear regularly in a hanging shoe rack and placing wet galoshes on a boot mat by the door will keep things tidy as well. Storing things off the floor and behind doors makes the room feel lighter, bigger, and more peaceful.
The same is true of counters. If your counter tops are overflowing with mail, loose change, and knick-knacks, having a tiered filing system on the wall next to the family calendar and a hook for your keys and dog leash may help. Label the files “To Do” and “To File” and throw out junk mail as soon as it comes in. Designate one drawer in your kitchen for miscellaneous things like change, chargers, and pens.
3. Filing. Having a filing system in place can significantly cut down the paper clutter in your home. Having a place to file purchase receipts, tax information, and the kids’ school papers keeps us from stacking piles randomly around the house, or stuffing things in drawers. File cabinets work well if you have an office, but portable file boxes are great options for the kitchen and are often small enough to keep in a cabinet.
4. Containment. I mentioned containment earlier, but it needs its own number because it’s so important. Put like things together in one bin, drawer, shelf, or cabinet and make sure to label so everyone in the family knows where to find things and exactly where to put them away. For example, cleaning supplies in one cabinet, laundry supplies in another cabinet, pet supplies in one drawer, cords and light bulbs in another. Try to downsize to the things that are the most useful so you can cut down on the overwhelming feeling when you open drawers and cabinet doors.
5. Laundry. Consider changing your laundry routine. Many of us just borrow the system we had growing up, even though our homes are set up differently. The system that works for our family of four right now is having a large hamper in our walk-in closet and doing at least one to three loads once it’s full. We sort on the floor of the closet, put the first load in a laundry basket, and take it to the wash. We head back to the closet with the empty basket, ready to take the next load down, etc. Keeping your system simple is the key to cutting down the dread that laundry can bring.
Whether your entryway, laundry room, or mudroom is large or small, there are little things you can do to bring order to the chaos and make the space feel more inviting and peaceful.