(Family Features) An entryway is the first impression guests have of your home, yet it can quickly become a chaotic mess. Most entryways serve multiple functions as the receptacle for all things you and your family members shed as they walk through the door, from coats and backpacks to keys and mail.
With these simple tips, you can transform this unruly space into an organized and attractive area that welcomes all who enter.
Begin by de-cluttering. Clean out any storage areas and items that don't belong, keeping only the essentials in the entryway. Minimizing the excess and creating a sense of order helps relieve stress so you get out the door faster.
Create zones for like items. Make designated spots for shoes, coats, bags, hats, etc. Capture your on-the-go essentials such as sunglasses, keys and wallets in a single space.
Allocate space for bulkier frequently-used items such as backpacks and lunchboxes, as well as shoes. Don't forget pets, with an area to collect treats, leashes, toys and other care items.
Remember to allow room for outerwear and seasonal items such as coats, boots, scarves and umbrellas, which you can rotate as the weather requires. (When not in use, store items away in airtight containers in the basement, garage or attic.)
If defining space for all of these items seems unmanageable, consider a storage solution that helps organize your possessions while adding a touch of color and flair. For example, ClosetMaid's Decorative Storage products are easy to assemble and come in a variety of configurations (three, six or nine cubes). Pair the units with an array of colored fabric bins to create a custom solution that perfectly matches your décor.
Introduce a reminder area. Consolidating items requiring action will help you keep on top of household deadlines and activities. Use a mail organizer to sort bills and file away items to read later.
Add a dry-erase board with a calendar to make notations about daily and weekly events to keep the whole family on the same page. It's also a great place to personalize with family photos and children's art projects.
Lorie Marrero, professional organizer and author of "The Clutter Diet," also recommends creating an 'errand shelf.' "You can put things to be returned to other places or people. Library books, store return items, and borrowed things can go here and wait to be collected when you leave," Marrero suggests.
With a little elbow grease, you can quickly de-clutter and organize your entryway, creating a smooth path for every member of the family in and out of your home.