Let’s get real for a second: It’s very easy to let clutter accumulate. And problem area #1 for us is the entryway. We’ve misplaced a pair of sunglasses in a too-tall pile of mail and forgotten to wash a sweater stuck in the sleeve of a jacket—hidden under yet another jacket.
I mean, after a long day, you want to come home, put your stuff down, and start relaxing. Tidying can be left to another day, right? Sure, so long as you have a place for your mail, thus avoiding a lengthy sunglasses search that makes you late for your next park hang.
Taming clutter is one of the easiest ways to not only make your home look more pulled together, but to make your life easier. So that’s what we’ll be doing this week: walking you through a four-step process to declutter—and organize—your entryway.
Don’t have a clearly defined entryway? Tbh same (such is life in an urban apartment). But you can do these steps anywhere around your place, so just find the spot where you unload your stuff after walking in the front door and get going.
Step 1: Gather up your stuff, and throw away any trash
Take everything that’s been cluttering your entryway, and collect it in one place. Keys, mail, change, clothing, shoes, electronics, whatever.
Then throw away any trash. We’re partial to letting dry cleaning receipts pile up! Feel amazing as you crinkle them up and pitch—ahem, responsibly recycle them.
Step 2: Categorize your stuff, and think about getting organized
Ok, now lay everything out so you can see it. This may seem like you’re just creating more of a mess. Fret not, we’re going to sort things out very quickly.
Now, identify the types of items that generally accumulate in your entryway. Is there a lot of loose change? Snail mail? Think about what you may need to store those specific items. What things can help you keep your space organized?
Sorting things into types or sizes or uses may help here. You might even sort them based on how soon you need to address them, and how visible you need things to be day-to-day. (For instance, maybe don’t store your ice cream coupon here because, What if you are just suddenly by the ice cream place? Maybe keep it in your wallet.)
Step 3: Get organized!
Is the main offender your mail? Consider getting a cute file that can chill on your table, look good, and ensure that you’re never hunting around for that insurance thing again (oh god). We’ve rounded up our favorites here.
Do your keys, wallet, and loose change need wrangling? Try repurposing a stylish small plate or a bowl to keep those items contained and handy. Don’t have a piece to spare? We found a few that we like.
If you kick off your shoes the moment you walk through the door, maybe get a boot tray: We love these options. Or bonus, maybe you already have a small bench or stool that you could move into this spot. You could sit down there to take your boots off, and then they could live underneath so that they look, and are, totally in place.
And, though this is outside of the scope of this week’s challenge (it involves screws!), we wanted to include it: If your jackets or grocery store totes get flung hither and yon, get a hook or hooks (the octopus hook is well-loved) and install them either a. next to your door, b. above your shoe situation, or c. next to your entryway furniture, if you have it. So long as you aren’t hanging heavy stuff on a hook (usually more than 10 lbs.), you don’t need to put it into a stud.
Did you put your stuff in things? If you need to buy something before you can finish, don’t worry; we’ll check in next week to make sure this project is wrapped.
Step 4: Create a habit of using your thing-holders, as soon as you get home
Congratulations! You successfully collected your clutter, identified the types of things that needed to be sorted, and acquired a piece or two to help keep your space more organized.
Now, building up a habit of using a mail organizer or placing your keys in the same dish (even if it’s cute AF) will take time. Don’t beat yourself up if every so often things start to get a little unruly again. You’re human, you’re busy, it’s OK.
Something we’ve actually found to be really helpful is the concept of the one-minute rule: If whatever you need to do—like hang up your jacket or put your bag away—will take one minute or less, force yourself to do it immediately. That way, all those little tasks won’t pile up into a more daunting amount of work.
But all you need to do right now is step back and admire your newly refreshed entryway.
***This article was taken from: Curbed and published by Robert Khederian on Jan 9, 2019. ***