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How to Be Organized in the Entryway

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How to Be Organized in the Entryway
Kent Bookcase from Pottery Barn

Kent Bookcase from Pottery Barn

Photo / Kent Bookcase from Pottery Barn

It's hard to ignore disorganization in the entryway since it's the first thing you see each time you enter your home, and each time you leave it. Being more organized in the entryway means decluttering the area regularly, and setting the space up so that you are maximizing every inch available to be organized.

How to Be Organized in the Entryway

1. Organize your smalls in a launch pad

What is a Launch Pad? It's a go-to spot for small items you need every day. I used to forget keys, the lock for my gym locker, important papers for work, etc., so I decided to designate a space in my entryway to keep all of the small-but-essential items I needed every day. This has worked out well for 3 reasons:

It forces me to clean out my handbag pretty much daily;
Since I switch bags often, nothing gets left at home, in my other bag; and,
It creates a no-fail storage space for my keys and cell phone so I'm not hunting all over for them before leaving the house.

I use a tray for this purpose. You can use cubbies, buckets, or a simple, elegant tray to for this purpose. Continue reading in How to Organize a Launch Pad.

How to Organize a Launch Pad
How to Remember Your Keys
How to Organize a Handbag

2. Sort the mail regularly--preferably every day.

The biggest contributor to entryway clutter is mail, and most notably, junk mail. Sorting it daily means getting it out of the entryway and recycling, shredding and "actioning" each piece. I would guess that 90% of my mail ends up being recycled on shredded.

The other option is to designate a day each week to go through your mail. I prefer this method, and here's how I do it:

  • I dump all of my mail in a small bin as it comes in each day.
  • On the day I sort mail (usually Wednesday) I bring the bin into my kitchen and sort it standing over the recycling bin, shredder and my desktop file. This means I don't have to go to far to find the tools I need to manage mail, which limits the chances of becoming distracted.

The key to this system is keeping the entryway uncluttered by using that small bin to hold my mail until I can deal with it. A pile look OK after one day, but after 2-3, it's looking a lot like clutter. Use a container. Another great option is a tray.

Here's how to get started with paper management, and here's more on How I Manage Mail.

3. Designated hooks, cubbies and bins by family member.

Make sure every person in your household has his or her own dedicated spot for specific things. This is especially crucial with children. Diving storage spaces by person help to keep the area organized, and more importantly, helps household members establish habits. If they're used to always hanging their work or school bag up on their own hook, they'll be more likely to hang it up in the same spot each time than simply discarding it on the floor.

Continue reading about How to Plan Entryway Storage.

4. Separate out rain gear.

I always advise people to separate out undies like camisoles and white t-shirts in their closet. You might not need them every day, but when you do, you really need them! Same goes for rain gear. Establish a go-to spot so you're not hunting and pecking through your hall closet on a soggy Monday morning. I keep my umbrella in my handbag, but there are lots of great storage options for these in your entryway.

Continue reading What to Store in the Entryway.

5. Get control of bags.

I'm talking about hand bags, gym bags, backpacks, school bags, laptop bags and gym bags. I'm a big fan of having a bag for different activities (everyday, gym, work) because of the ease of use. You can just grab your bag and go. But in the entryway, bags can become a source of clutter if they are not stowed in a specific spot. Designate a space for bags, whether it's inside the hall closet, on a coat rack or in a cubby.

How to Be Organized Guides
Learn how to be more organized room-by-room, day-by-day, week-by-week, and monthly with the How to Be Organized Guides.

Entryways 101
All about entryways, include storage, organization, tips and ideas to organize your entryways.

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