“How do I stop my entryway from becoming a 3D to-do list?”
A few weeks ago, Christine from Footsteps asked me this question, and it’s one so many of us struggle with. In our attempts to be more organised and prepared, we use the entryway to our home as a collection point for bills, letters, junk mail, handbags, phones, gym bags and school gear.
In part, this is how an effective entryway to a Slow Home should work. It is meant to act as a filter, stopping you from bringing clutter any further into the house.
But what happens when it becomes a three-dimensional to-do list? When everything that needs actioning simply gets dumped there?
How do we stop that from happening?
I’m so glad you asked!
As it turns out, a simple, functional entryway is one of the key elements to a Slow Home. The entryway (or landing strip) is more than simply the door to your home.
The beauty of this idea is that every home can have an effective entryway. It doesn’t matter if you live in a sprawling 6-bedroom home in the country or a studio apartment in the city, every home can incorporate – and benefit from – a landing strip.
And it doesn’t have to be complicated or imposing. Something as simple as a shelf or some hooks can be enough to get your entryway organised. Add in a seat of some sort and you have everything you need.
An effective and lovely entryway:
- stops clutter from entering your home
- saves you time – no more looking for lost keys, phone or handbag
- allows you to prepare for the following day, by having your handbag, gym gear or school bags ready for the morning rush
- can incorporate your exit drawer, meaning you’re far less likely to forget things that need to leave the house when you do
- can also incorporate a donations box, making it easy to continue decluttering and donating your unused belongings
The Key Elements of a Lovely Entryway
For an entryway to function effectively, there are a few elements that should be incorporated. But the keyest of key elements? It needs to work for you and your home. Simple.
That being said, most lovely and useful entryways will incorporate the following:
- somewhere specific and neat to drop your keys/purse/wallet
- a place to hang your bag/jacket/scarf/umbrella/dog leash
- a seat or a bench where you can sit and put on/take off shoes
- somewhere to put incoming mail
- somewhere to open mail and recycle the junk, action and file any bills immediately
- be inviting, but highly usable
8 Ways to Create a Simple, Functional Entryway – Regardless of the Size of Your Home
1. Don’t overcomplicate things.
You don’t need to buy specialised furniture or storage solutions. The majority of the time you will have something on hand that will suffice. For example, we use a second-hand dressing table, some hooks behind the door, and a small painted tray to keep our keys and phones in.
2. Keep the clutter to a minimum.
While it may be tempting to display photos or knick knacks, try to keep it simple. This space is all about function, and the best way to avoid clutter is by keeping the unnecessary decor out of the way.
3. Make it inviting.
The space doesn’t need to be devoid of personality. Use houseplants or flowers to draw people in to your home and make it a pleasure to open the door.
4. Have specific places for each item.
Have a tray or bowl for your keys and phones. Hooks to hold your coat and bags. A rack or a large tray to keep your shoes. By having a specific place for everything, you take the guesswork out of it and are far more likely to put things back in the right place.
5. When it comes to furniture, think outside the box.
What do you already own that can be used in this space? A TV unit can double as a bench and storage space, while a dressing table can hold your necessities. An old basket or wicker tub can hold shoes, balls and boots, while any old piece of timber can be repurposed into coathooks.
6. Try incorporating natural or recycled elements.
Second-hand timber or hooks add personality and function to a space, while recycled furniture brings history and warmth, making your entryway both inviting and useful.
7. Keep it seasonal.
Only keep out what is currently in use. Once winter is over, put the coats and boots in storage. Similarly, there is no need to keep summer hats out once the weather turns cool. Keeping it seasonal means keeping the space as streamlined as possible.
8. Consider including a mirror.
Not only is it good to make sure there is no spinach in your teeth before heading out the door, a mirror can also make a small space feel larger, by reflecting light and space.
How have you set up the entryway to your home? Is there anything you’d like to change? Does it work for you? Does it help the rest of your home stay clutter-free?