Last week we discussed how to bring order to the drop zone. This week it’s time to organize our entryway closet. It’s easy for this area to turn into a humongous mess – but it doesn’t have to.
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Typical problems with entryway closets
The problem with most entry closets is that they’re usually pretty small. And this small closet has a lot of tasks:
- holding coats for the family
- holding hats, gloves, and scarves for cold weather
- a place to hold umbrellas
- storage for sporting goods (ours was always stuffed with tennis rackets and basketballs)
Our entry closets hold a variety of different things because the closet needs to serve different functions – and that’s a recipe for a big closet mess.
So are you ready for the next task in getting your home organized…no-frenzy style?
Great – then let’s tackle that front closet.
Tips to organize your entryway closet
Your first step is to take everything out of the closet. Yes, that means the coats, the hangers, the boxes, the sporting goods, the umbrellas…all of it.
You’ll probably be surprised at how much is crammed into this multi-functional closet.
Now that the closet is empty, it’s time to clean out the inside. Wipe down the interior walls, get rid of any cobwebs in the corners, and sweep or vacuum the floor.
Next, it’s time to take a good look hard look at all of the things you took out of the closet. You were probably stunned at the sheer amount of things that were crammed into this closet. But here’s where you can pare down and get rid of some things.
Because here’s the thing…this is an easy closet to stick things that we aren’t sure what to do with.
That’s why it has such a hodge-podge of items – because we’re not sure where those things really belong.
So before you put a single thing back into this closet you need to ask yourself a few questions:
- What is the real purpose of this closet?
- What HAS to “live” in this closet?
- What things that have been stored here should be stored someplace else?
- What just needs to be gotten rid of?
Because just because something IS in your house, doesn’t mean it has to STAY in your house?
Related Post: How I Organized My Closet
The whole purpose of this closet should be to house items that are coming in and out of your home. It should be a closet that makes it easy for you and your family…and for guests…to get in and out of your home easily while finding what exactly they need.
That’s it. It’s not a catch-all, it’s not permanent storage for junk you don’t know what to do with.
So it’s time to get real with yourself and get rid of unnecessary items, to relocate others items to more appropriate storage, and to put a good storage system in place for the things that must continue to “live” here.
Here are a few suggestions I have to make this small space function more efficiently.
- Utilize the space on the back of the door. A shoe organizer can hold gloves, scarves, and other items.
- Good hangers are a lifesaver in these closets. I generally recommend heavy wooden hangers because the items we hang in this closet tend to be heavier.
- Don’t let the floor become one big heap of items or a place for messy shoes. A shallow water resistant boot tray in the floor is great for storing wet footwear on so that your floor stays dry.
- A small umbrella holder means you can find your umbrella the next time the weather turns bad.
Also, don’t forget to use bins or baskets to make it easier to find items you put on the shelf in the top of the closet. Don’t forget to put a label on the outside so that you remember what is actually IN the bin!
My final tip is to not forget about walls. Strategically places nails or Command Hooks can add storage for a variety of items that can be hung. Vertical space is often forgotten but can be put to good use. We’ve used the wall space and hooks to hang tennis rackets, canvas bags, and a variety of other items that are relatively flat and don’t protrude into the space.
Related Post: 6 Types Of Clothes Hangers Every Home Needs
It doesn’t have to cost a lot to get this closet organized and functional. You can find most of these items at your local organizing store or even at dollar stores. But an organized entry closet will not only make your guests feel welcome when they need to store a coat, but will make the start and end of your family’s day more pleasant.
So what’s your particular challenge with keeping your entryway closet neat and organized?