Your front entryway is the welcoming point for your home. It might also be the main entrance for your whole family. You want to come home to an uncluttered, beautiful environment every day. And you want your guests to walk into an inviting atmosphere, not a chaotic mess.
So how do you get the best of both worlds — a simple, free-flowing design and maximum functionality for all your family members?
Clean house. Then get smart about storage.
5 steps to a spotless entrance
1. Empty the entryway.
Clear it all out — the closet included. You need to remove everything to get a deep clean and a fresh start. Once it’s all removed, you can make the tough decisions on what items can return and how to organize them.
2. Clean up the dust and dirt.
Shoes and paws track in all kinds of things. Sweep or vacuum the floor. Dust the whole area from top to bottom, removing ceiling cobwebs and cleaning everything from light fixtures to wall decor. Shake out rugs or doormats and vacuum them outside for a deeper clean.
Don’t forget about the baseboards. They can be magnets for dust and dirt. If you don’t give them a good cleaning, the grime can be harder to remove and may leave a permanent stain.
3. Mop the floor.
Once your floor is free of dust and dirt, give it a glistening shine. Use a wet mop and the appropriate cleaner for your tile or hardwood floor to make the space spotless.
4. Wash windows and doors.
Clean your entry door and the surface of its exterior aluminum cladding with a warm, damp cloth and mild soap. Stubborn stains on the cladding can be removed with mineral spirits. And you can restore the shine with a quality care cleaner and wax. Clean the hardware finishes with a soft cloth and mild cleaner.
If you have a window on your door or in your entryway, clean it with a vinegar-based, ammonia-free cleaner and soft, lint-free towel. Spray on the cleaner and wipe it away quickly in horizontal and vertical motions, not circles. If the cleaning solution leaves streaks, rinse the glass with water and dry it with a different cloth.
5. Kill the germs.
Disinfect everything. High traffic areas are often hotbeds of bacteria. Wipe down door handles, light switches, key hooks, furniture and any other surface your family touches every day. Use disinfectant wipes or an antibacterial household cleaner and a soft cloth.
SEE ALSO: Spruce Up Your Home With This Spring Cleaning Checklist
7 ideas for entryway storage and organization
1. Create a drop station.
You need a spot for all the loose items in your pockets or purse that you prefer to discard as soon as you walk in the door. Set up a place on a table, in a drawer or in a basket to hold keys, mail, wallets and any other grab-and-go items.
2. Mount hooks to hang everyday items.
Organizing coats can be easy. They drape over hangers in the coat closet or on a coat rack. But most families have more to hang than just coats. Attach hooks to your wall, in the back of the closet or in a free-standing bookcase to hang bags, backpacks, purses, hats and leashes.
3. Stow shoes away.
Shoes have a tendency to wander. After you kick them off, they can end up anywhere. It can make your entryway hazardous to navigate and hard on the eyes. Find the right solution to hide your footwear. Shoe racks and shelves fit snugly in a closet. Baskets and bins slot underneath a bench or table. Using a combination of containers and shelves keeps your shoes out of sight and your storage looking neat.
4. Simplify furniture.
No matter how big your entryway is, the less furniture the better. You want people to move freely and doors to swing open widely without bumping into things. Small bookcases or cubbies give you storage options without interrupting the flow. A narrow console table or desk along the wall can hold your drop station and house everyday items underneath. If you want seating for people to remove on put on their shoes, a small bench or ottoman will do.
You can also organize furniture to create separation if your front door opens up into your living room. Set up a table, bench or low bookshelf between your entrance and your living space. This can provide the storage you need and create a natural divider so entryway items don’t migrate further inside.
5. Use the whole wall.
Hooks, bookcases, floor shelving and storage — those are all great options for organizing your entryway. But you’re overlooking some prime storage space. Think vertical. Mount overhead cabinets or cubbies with baskets to use space that would otherwise be wasted.
6. Prepare for rainy days.
Wet weather can destroy your clean, organized front entrance in an instant. Set aside a place for damp or muddy items if you live in a wet climate. Or do it seasonally to help keep your entryway clean through spring showers and hurricane season. Set up a makeshift mudroom with an umbrella stand, coat hooks, rugs and storage for dirty shoes.
7. Set limits.
Once your front entrance is clean and organized, you want to keep it that way. Lay some ground rules for everyone in the family so shoes, coats, bags and other things don’t accumulate again. Limit how many coats or pairs of shoes can be stored downstairs, and decide which items must be taken up to bedroom closets or other storage areas.
Some homes have grand entryways. Others open directly into a living space. Whatever layout your home has, you can carve out the necessary storage to organize everything you need just inside your front door. Clear out the clutter and put it in its proper place to create an entryway befitting your beautiful home.