■ Chronicle News Service
(Metro Service) The entryway to a home is the first thing guests experience when coming inside. It also can be the first place residents drop their belongings after long days at school or work. As a result, entryways can quickly be consumed by clutter. Taming such messes takes a mixture of ingenuity and planning.
Homeowners hoping to clear their entryways of clutter must first decide what they want to get out of the space. Will it simply be a decorative spot with photos and other home decor on display? Or is functionality the primary goal?
Once that decision has been made, take inventory of which items, such as shoes, keys, umbrellas or coats, need to be in the area, and which don’t (i.e., old mail). To make things more organized, rearrange the former while removing the latter.
Next, it is time to assess storage needs and what’s already available. User-friendly storage items may need to be purchased to make the room as functional as possible. The following ideas also can help bring order to the space.
Create a command center. Create a central location where items are neat, orderly and within reach. Use a bulletin board, dry-erase calendar or something that can have house schedules and important notices. Hooks can hold keys, chargers and more.
Keep it covered. Covered bins can serve as a seating area and also a place to store shoes, hats and scarves.
Create cabinet space. Store items in cabinets so they are organized but out of sight. This way belongings are not just left on an entryway table.
Create another drop zone. If the entryway is too small to serve its purpose, outfit another room or area that also can do the job. This can be a laundry room or mudroom area. Install shelves, a bench, cabinets and hooks. Just be sure this space is close enough to the entryway to make it useful.
Go vertical. An easy way to keep things neater is to remove items from the floor and embrace vertical storage. Shoe racks, hooks for purses and a cabinet for coats may do the trick.
Clutter can accumulate in entryways. But some simple adjustments can quickly revamp the space to make it neater and much more functional.