Creating an Entryway That Keeps You Organized

Whether you're coming in the door with an armful of mail or trying to find your keys on the way out, coming and going in your house can lead to an organizational disaster. With a simple entryway makeover, though; you can keep everything you need at your fingertips! Even your cleaning service will be impressed with this setup.

By taking control of the clutter that comes in and goes out of your house on a daily basis, you will always know where everything you need is—and that's a relief.

The Quick Guide

Here are the main things to address as you create your new entryway:

1. Mail. Most of us check the mail on the way in from work or the store, when there's already a load of things to carry. You know the scene: your arms are full of papers, kids' backpacks, coats, groceries, and then you throw the mail on top of it all! It's no wonder that the automatic response is just to dump it all somewhere.

Instead, put a mail sorter right inside the entryway. Set everything down and immediately go through the mail, dividing it into bills and personal mail. Make sure you throw away the junk mail when you're done. No more stack of unorganized mail and weeks-old sales papers; instead, all of your mail is ready for you.

2. Keys, Shoes, Sunglasses, Backpacks... There are a few things you never leave the house without, and other things you often need as you walk out the door. Why not keep them right next to the door so they're always there when you need them? Make a home for everything: hang small hooks for keys and bigger hooks for backpacks. Line a drawer just for sunglasses and scarves. Add a couple of small crates for shoes.

Be creative as you think of ways to store each item, and then get in the habit of dropping your things there as you walk in. It might take you a few seconds when you come in the door, but it will save you precious minutes when you're running late!

3. A Place for Each Person. Alternatively, you can make an area for each person in your family. This is especially helpful if your children are older and carry a lot of their own things around! Make drawers and baskets labeled with the names of each of the members of your family, and encourage them to use the baskets! Add a hook for each person who drives, as well; so keys are less likely to get lost.

4. An Entry Rug. One of the best things you can do to prevent dust is to keep a welcome mat on your front porch and a small entry rug right inside the door. It traps dirt and dust from feet coming in and keeps it from getting airborne in your house—just remember to vacuum it well when you do your house cleaning!