Although most of my guests enter through the front door, there are times when they do come in through the back entry. This is also the entrance that the family uses most of the time. It is important to me to have this area warm and welcoming.
That welcome starts on the outside. This door is entered from our carport, so it is important that the carport itself is clean and uncluttered. We use the carport as an alternate outside seating area when it is raining so normally there are just two chairs and a small table in that area. Just outside the door are two planters and a whimsical frog to greet you.
As you work on organizing your entry hall, first check to see if you need to improve the flow. While outside the home walk up to the door as you would if you were a visitor. Is the walk an easy walk that doesn’t require you to duck under bushes or walk around items? If anything obstructs an easy entry – start there.
Then open the door and walk through the entry way. Is there an open flow? Does the door open completely? Do you need to walk around something or have the chance of bumping into something when you enter? If there are obstacles, can these be either rearranged or moved out of this area?
Since this is the common entrance for most families it often is the area where items are shed or dropped. We have hooks that we use to hang an umbrella, coats, or hats. Our flooring is a tile so if water drips on it there is no harm done. You might want to consider a bucket umbrella stand and/or a boot tray to hold wet items that are shed when entering. We use our hooks for jackets and raincoats but since we also have a coat closet elsewhere, I limit the items hung to ones we are using at least weekly during the current season. If you don’t have hooks, you may want a coat tree to hang a few items.
We also have a bench that is handy to sit on to remove boots but is also used as an area where outgoing items are staged. Outgoing mail is laid on the bench until the next run to the post office. An item that has been purchased and needs to go to the shed might be placed here. Grocery bags, when unpacked after a grocery run, are left here until the next person goes to the car. So, while this is a staging area for some incoming and outgoing items, nothing is allowed to stay there long. The goal is to look welcoming and uncluttered.
I have hung and placed whimsical art here just for fun. This sets the mood for entering the home.
Once you have your entry area just the way you want it, daily give it a clean sweep – both literally and figuratively. Look daily to see if anything needs to be removed. Then get out the broom and sweep up anything that might have been tracked in. Now this heavily used area is ready for another day.
If you want help or just some accountability in working your organizational plan join Diane Quintana and me on our Clear Space For You clutter support group.
Jonda S. Beattie, Professional Organizer owner of Time Space Organization, and co-owner of Release, Repurpose, Reorganize. She is based in the Metro-Atlanta area. As presenter, award-winning author, as well as a retired special education teacher she uses her listening skills, problem solving skills, knowledge of different learning techniques, ADHD specialty, and paper management skills to help clients tackle the toughest organizational issues. Jonda does hands on organizing and virtual organizing. For more of Jonda’s tips connect with her on Facebook.