A Peaceful Way to Enter & Exit

DSC_0600It’s fall & time to take a minute and think about how well your entryways and mudrooms are working for you.

Whether the space surrounding the entryway to your home is small or large, it is a highly used area of the house and how it functions can greatly affect your mood as you enter & exit your home.

Here are some tips to keep the clutter down and more positive energy around this essential space:

1.  Decide what belongs and what needs to go!  A new season is a perfect time to evaluate what is no longer going to be used on a daily basis and what items need to be brought into the space- bug spray & flip flops out- scarves and hats in.  Clear out or pair down the items that won’t be touched again until next spring.

Evaluate the size of your space and whether the furniture & layout support the function.   Does the space need a shelf or bench to allow for storage/containment or create a more comfortable place to take off shoes?  Are you willing to keep extras, such as sports equipment, in this space or can they find a place in the garage?  Would a basket or bin be an option for unruly items like umbrellas & yoga mats or help to hold items that are waiting to head out the door with you?

DSC_06092.  Designate space for shoes and keep them contained.  Too often shoes are taken off and left behind at the entry and then piles add up as each member of the family dumps another pair.  The shoes stack up and you end up kicking shoes around to get out the door!  Instead, place a rug or plastic boot tray in the space, or give each person in the family a tub or cubby.  Containing shoes will decrease the likelihood that shoes can pile up.  Once the container is full you have a built-in reminder to sort and move shoes to bedrooms or a closet.

3.  Use DSC_0602the wall.  Add hooks for the backpack, purse, or jacket that is used regularly.  All other coats and bags can be stored in another area of the house (a closet, a bin put on a higher shelf in the room, or in the bedroom).  If the hooks start to get too piled with coats and bags, they won’t hold anything, so make a commitment to keep this area limited to the items that are used regularly.

4.  Contain the keys.  Place a small bowl or tray on a shelf or attach a hook to the wall to keep the keys close to the exit.  Create a habit of dropping the keys off as soon as you walk in the door and they will be ready for you when you need to head  back out-no more searching & frustration over lost keys!

5.  Stop losing papers.  If mail and papers seem to come in the door and then get lost in piles or spread out all over counters and tables, stop them at the door.  Place a basket, tray, or mount a mail caddy and start a routine of dropping them here until you make the time to sort them.  Or place a small file box with a labeled file for each member of the family and let them do the sorting right at the entry.  A quick check each day will keep the file from starting to bulge.

Outgoing papers may need a place too.   Kid papers could go right into the backpack or cubby/container with their shoes & hats.  Or place an outbox on a shelf by the keys so that they don’t get missed on the way out.  Think about the system that will benefit your family and then make it a priority to give papers attention each day so you don’t miss an important permission slip or lose a bill in the stack.

6.  Check if the space invites room for guests.  The entryway/mudroom might also be the way that guests enter your house.  Leave a cubby open or save space on a shelf for guests to drop their purse or bag.  Contemplate the message that this small act conveys.  Saving space is a great way to invite your guests to feel welcome in your home.DSC_0598

DSC_0607Laura Rosenfeld describes your home entry  as “the space where your inner world meets your outer world.   This place always offers the first warm embrace of home.  It is where you leave your belongings, unwrap yourself, and unburden yourself.  When you leave, it is where you make your preparations to move into the outside world.”  This description inspires me to make sure my entry continues to function in a way that ensures that my time in that space is positive.

Need more inspiration?  Check out this resource to see some beautiful pics of entry ways and more tips on creating a space that works for you.

YOur Turn…

Tell me about it…  What seems to be the biggest obstacle to keeping your entry functioning well?