This quote by William Morris simply defines the rules of living and loving what you live with. It is so simple to let go if you can change your mindset and ask yourself if an item useful in the current moment and if you still find it to be beautiful. Throughout the month of February I’ve highlighted my top tips and client success stories for letting go and living with what you love and today I’m wrapping up the series with entry ways. This is a hot topic for so many of my client’s because the entry way is the gate way to the rest of the home. If you can curb the clutter at this point you will have a major leg up in maintaining the rest of the zones in your home.
At Kuzak’s Closet we often work with builders and designers to develop strategies for the flow of paperwork, kids artwork, packages, and backpacks and the key is to have a designated HOME for everything. If you struggle with this idea you need to start with making a list of must-have items that land in the entry way and need to be found in the end way. Okay, if you are done with that list you may notice that items on the must-have list aren’t the same as the items that land in this area. This is most likely because you don’t have a designated area for those items in the rest of your home. Yes, I’m talking that pile of unopened mail that tends to topple over onto that pile of kids shoes in the morning as you are rushing out the door to get to school.
The entry way of the home should be bare boned. The key items on most of my client lists are…
Inbox for Mail
Place for Shoes
Place for Backpacks or Laptop Bags
Charging Station for Cell Phones
Daily Medications and Sunscreen
Are these the same items on your list?
I’ve organized a few command centers in my day, above is a photo of a great command center that you can read about more here and you could also stop over to this blog post with more information on how to set up a command center on your own. My advice for how to keep this space functional and organized is to make time to maintain it. Yes, this is the theme throughout the series. Unfortunately it is nearly impossible to automate the functions of the entryway and command center in your home. In our entry I have a little table that houses cubbies for our phones, keys, spare change, and coupons. Below the table there is a shelf for shoes and popular items like my camera and lunch bag. Twice a week I spend 5-10 minutes putting shoes back in our closet, hanging up coats, and dumping all of that lingering junk in the trash or recycling bin.
Less is more! Curb the clutter by eliminating items that aren’t used on a daily basis.
Spend 15 minutes at the end of each week processing items to their next destination. The category that causes the largest pile up are shoes. We keep our shoes in our closets but at the end of the week I need to re-home them to that destination. This also applies to jackets. If they are always piled up in your entry way take a minute on Thursday night to hang them back up in the coat closet if you have one.
This is often where the mail comes in so have a recycling bin nearby. Mine is in the garage so I often bring in the mail after I park, dump the junk in the recycling bin, and put the items I need to open on the command center table until I open them. Once they are opened more is recycled, some is shredded, and the rest goes on my desk to be paid or filed.
Remember that this is often the first impression of your home to guests and family so invest in products that you love that make it feel like home!
If you are looking for inspiration for pretty entry ways stop over to OMG Lifestyle Blog, she has it covered! I love this space in the with hooks and baskets. All of the storage needs are met with the hooks and baskets and I love the additional drawers added under the benches.
Stagging your mudroom in your garage is a great motivator for getting your garage organized and will encourage you to park your car in this space, just where it belongs. This garage mudroom from Emily Clark is an inspiration for all! I love how she utilized cubbies for shoes for each member of the family, a fun chalk wall for notifications, hooks for coats and backpacks, and more shelving for popular household items. The total investment for this area was less than $300 and the daily payoff makes it so worth it!
If you always find yourself with a pileup of coats, shoes, and bags, make space limited. This simple hook system behind the door gets everything up and off the ground but to keep it functional it has to be maintained. Less is more in an entry way and having a simple system will keep it that way.
This photo of a quick command center from Beeyoutifullife is similar to what I see in most new-home construction. It’s got great concealed storage in the cabinets for electronics, files, and all of the little odds and ends that you need when you are on-the-go along with cubbies for each member of the family and some counter space for visibility.
Remember, what you allow to linger in your entry way and command center often trickles into your home. We helped this client create a design for this garage entry and my favorite thing that she requested are the large bins on the left side of the door that leads into her house. She has three children so she was honest with us and herself and requested these large bins so she could dump all of the lingering junk from her minivan out at the end of the week and have a holding place for it until she had time on Sunday night to sort and process it. Some items made it back into the house, others were junked or donated. It’s a system that helps her curb what ends up on her kitchen island and in her living room so she loves it!
I hope you’ve found inspiration to tackle the clutter from all of the zones that I’ve covered during this month-long series. It’s been a treat to read your email and comments and hear your questions are the Mountain View Library Talk last week. Please follow along on Pinterest, check out the project before and afters on the blog, and keep following along on social media for inspiration to live with less and live with what you LOVE!