Have you ever noticed how much clutter can pile up in your entryway? Even if you live alone, chances may be good that you drop everything down on the first flat surface that you see. How many mornings have you spent searching in a frenzy for the keys? Do you keep on tripping over mismatched shoes and boots in your mad dash out of the door?
One organizational trick that I’ve adopted is the “landing strip” just beside our main door. As suggested by @RealSimple, this space can serve as a drop off for coats, keys, shoes, and anything else that you can’t leave home without. Rather than draping them over sofa arms, tables and other places where they don’t belong, leave them in the entry for easy access.
Aside from keeping things organized, you can also use the landing strip to keep unwanted stuff out of your house. For example, ask everyone to remove outdoor shoes when they come in. They can change to indoor shoes or slippers and store their outdoor footwear in the entryway. This practice helps keep your floors and carpets clean. You can also use the landing strip as a sorting center for paperwork. Every couple of days or so, look over your mail and toss the unnecessary receipts and flyers.
Recently, I perfected the landing strip in my own house and the effect has been powerful. It has been a joint effort and my family got the hang of using our landing strip quickly. That has helped me feel at peace when walking into my home. For this reason, I am sharing a few of ideas for creating your own organized landing strip.
Make a great first impression with your entryway.
Remember that the entryway is the first thing that people will see when they visit your home. While the landing strip should help you keep your things organized, it shouldn’t feel like an office space. Choose lighting, furniture, and decorations that are pretty and functional, as suggested by @aboutdotcom. Since you will be seeing your landing strip every single day, make sure it has a look that you love.
Choose pieces that can multitask.
Versatile furniture is the secret to organizing small spaces. A bench that has a compartment underneath the seat or a shelf with hooks for coats work well in the entryway. Incorporate a decorative piece that is as useful as it is attractive, like this antique trunk from @countryliving that doubles as storage. To cut costs (and give yourself a bench in the hall to sit on) try this YouTube tutorial from @shanty2chic for a super cute DIY farmhouse bench.
Keep furniture off the floor.
Mounting your furniture is another way to make a small space look larger. If your apartment opens directly into the living room, remember that less is more. Mount a shelf with hooks for holding coats and purses. What if your entry is partially separated by a small wall? Be creative and build a hook wall using this step-by-step tutorial from @TheDIYMommy. You can keep the space underneath clear or stow your shoes there in a neat row.
If you don’t want people to see it, hide it.
Are you one of those lucky individuals who have a closet built into their hallway? This is a fantastic opportunity to keep your entry clear of clutter. All of the same tips you can use for the entryway (hooks and shelving) can also be implemented in the closet. And this time, you have the added benefit of a door that hides everything. Many home goods stores sell shelves and hooks in different sizes, but you can also try to build your own customized shelves with this tutorial from @Houseofheps.
Prevent junk from getting past the entryway.
This image from @goodhousemag provides an excellent example for using a wire basket for incoming mail. There are two wicker baskets underneath the table for recycling. Consider all of the paper that we acquire throughout the day, like reminder notes, junk mail, receipts, and flyers. Leave them all in a waste bin at the door. Say goodbye to the mountains of papers on your kitchen table!
So, what do you think about these ideas and tips? Are you ready to try any (or all) of them for yourself? Remember, the entryway is the first impression that people will get when entering your home, and organizing a landing strip is an excellent way to keep it presentable. Do you have any other suggestions? Feel free to share these tips along with your friends.