As you know, I am on a mission to regain all the quiet I can this year. And part of that process has been starting with an uncluttered home. As I have begun to strip away the messes and the clutter in our home, I have discovered a peace and a joy that is unmatched. My husband mentioned yesterday that he just doesn’t find the “joy in cleaning” like I do. I asked him, but don’t you like the results? He said, “Yes.” I said that is what motivates me. I LOVE the feeling of a clean, well-organized space. So this week I am focusing on our entryway as part of the clutter-free journey.
Our entryway is not actually used the way that most entries are used; meaning we come through a different entry when we come home (through the laundry room from the garage). So, it doesn’t get as much typical use as in other homes. Our entryway consists of three main spaces: the entryway proper, a coat closet, a side entryway that leads to a bathroom and bedroom/office.
This week, I focused on cleaning out the coat closet, organizing and putting away Christmas decor in the entry and setting up the entryway table the way I want it for now. Here’s the breakdown of our entryway, in terms of decluttering and organization:
Entryway Coat Closet
What’s inside? Before it was kind of a jumble of jackets (we don’t use coats in the desert), Halloween costumes, shoes, purses, scarves and a seldom used umbrella.
As I unpacked everything, I sacrificed and purged a few things that were really difficult to get rid of. The biggest of these was my husband’s most recent Halloween costume. I spent hours this past Halloween creating homemade (and detailed) costumes for our entire family. And I am not a seamstress – I can barely sew; it was a challenge I was proud to have completed. So when it came time to evaluate the usefulness of the items in my coat closet, I struggled with the emotional attachment associated with these costumes. I ended up purging the costume. Even as I write about it now, I am cringing at the thought. But I am SURE that he will never wear it again. And I do have a photo of him in it to go along with my memories. And honestly they take up much less physical space.
Once I removed everything from the closet, I carefully curated what went back into the closet. I chose to continue to use the shoe organizer at the bottom of the closet as a container for a few of my husbands and my shoes. I chose to keep the girls’ shoes in a different location. I selected only a few of my most used scarves to keep in the closet on an organizer on the door. And I removed the jackets we have not used in the last year. I put them upstairs in our master bedroom closet – I will be getting to that soon enough. The top shelf in the closet is reserved for hats that do not fit on the hat organizer hanging just inside the door. D has some (he looks great in a hat), and I have some (I am trying to stretch myself a little and try some hats lately).
My aha! organization idea as I was working on the closet was to hang my purses either on a hanger or on the bar. If the purse or bag has a way of unhooking the strap, I unhooked the strap, threaded it over the bar and hooked it back to the bag. I am still considering moving my purses that are out of daily use in the master closet, but they are here for now where it is convenient to switch to a different one quickly. We are about to not need a diaper bag, so I will have to either purge the diaper bag currently in the closet or find another way to use it. Since I love it so much, I will probably re-purpose it.
Overall, I am really pleased with how the closet looks and I am working as I use the closet to maintain the order I created in there.
Our entryway has an awesome console table (we love it!) with a tray on top and two baskets underneath. Next to the front door, we have a basket. As you look into the house from the front door, during the year (not during the holidays), we have another circular table and beyond that the sliding glass door to the back yard. This part of the home resembles an older row house in terms of being able to see from the front all the way to the back, unobstructed.
What’s in the baskets? I love these baskets because they have been used for a TON of different things throughout the time we have had them. Currently the two under the console table corral basic everyday items for the girls: diapers and pull-ups, wipes, and baby powder in one; picture books the girls love in another. The basket by the door is for the girls’ shoes. When they come into the house, they typically immediately remove their shoes and put them in the basket. W loves shoes, so she spends a lot of time taking each pair of shoes out of the basket and trying them on.
The rug in our entryway still brings me LOTS of joy and gets LOTS of every day use. The girls play and read over there almost every day. It has really held up well over the past year. It is a Mohawk Rug with a non-slip backing that we really love (aff. link).
Christmas Decorations Put Away
During the holidays, we place our Christmas tree where the circular table I mentioned before resides during the rest of the year. As soon as you enter the front door, you get a great view of the Christmas tree. This year we had a late Christmas celebration, so we left the tree up for a lot longer than we normally would. To get the entryway in order, I spent a couple of hours taking down all the decorations and putting them into labeled boxes and putting them in the garage. I was pretty excited that I was able to purge some unused Christmas decorations this year, buy some new things, and still get it all into the same boxes I already had.
Now that all the Christmas decorations are put away, the circular table (that got a makeover at the end of last year) is back in its place and ready for various uses throughout the year. I really try to keep this space clear of junk, but it often becomes the catch-all. I have to come up with some solutions for dealing with it!