What’s the first impression that your home makes when people walk in? Entryways are usually the initial thing visitors and company see, but unfortunately they’re often the catchall spot for everything from shoes and coats to sports equipment and mail. And if that’s Fido’s favorite spot to rest, then, uggh, stray dog hair—and smell—may be what greets your visitors too.
Taking charge of this spot is one home improvement that is cheap and fairly easy to fix. For a minimum of time and money, you should be able to make this an entryway that won’t leave people wishing they’d rung a different doorbell!
One of the first problems you need to address is that of storage. If you have a coat closet in your entryway, so much the better. First of all, go through the closet and weed out any clothing that you don’t wear or needs to be fixed. Throw them away, give them away or fix them. Most closets also seem to magically collect one or two coats without owners. If the owner hasn’t shown up in a reasonable amount of time, discard or give away these coats too. This should free up some room in your closet. Organize your coats and hang the ones you wear the most frequently so that they are easily accessible.
Set a shoe rack in the closet so that shoes can be neatly stacked and tucked out of sight in the closet. The hardest job will be getting your family to use the rack.
If you don’t have a closet in your entryway, install a coat rack to hang your coats from. One that has multiple hooks staggered above and below each other is the best. That way each family member can have a set of hooks for his or her coats. Again hang them according to which ones are most frequently worn. If at all possible, put a storage container in the garage to hold all the shoes. If this doesn’t work, purchase a nice container to hold the shoes. The Container Store sells a sleek 3-drawer shoe container that hides 9 pairs of shoes inside the drawers, which drops down to open for easy access.
Professional organizer Heather Lambie (www.yourhomeeditor.com) recommends keeping all wet boots and sports shoes out in the garage, if possible, stored in a shallow, waterproof box filled with river rocks to catch mud and melting snow.
Be sure you put away seasonal items at the end of each season. For example, after the cold weather is finished wash and put all your gloves and hats into a vacuum-sealed bag. Store it so that you’re not constantly wading through loose and orphaned gloves and hats all summer.
Finally, if your pet likes to lie in the entryway, purchase a nice pet bed or rug for him to lie on to help contain the hair and the smell. That way you can easily move it when important company is coming—and you can frequently wash it too. Keep a small vacuum handy to clean this area. Purchase a natural essential oils room spray to lightly spray in this area shortly before company arrives.
Following these few tips will have your entryway in order and smelling sweet the next time your doorbell rings.