Winter is coming, and along with it come all the wet boots, extra coats, and mountains of scarves, hats, and mittens. Even if you find it easy to keep your home entrance clear and relatively tidy during the summer months, once winter hits, even the most organized and habitual families have issues keeping the area just past the front door clean and appealing.
And you know what they say about first impressions…; scratch that. Going by that, most of us would be considered slobs if we were to judge based on what the courier saw when we open the door for him.
Jokes aside, it is possible to maintain a dreamy (and organized) first impression of our home, even during the winter. It’s as simple as laying down the groundwork and then forming a couple of habits based on them.
1. Invest in Shoe- lution (also known as a shoe-solution)
If a mountain of shoes by the front door is what your nightmares are made of, it’s time to invest in a solution that works for your family. Depending on the layout of your entrance, this might be a shoe rack (or two), cubbies for individual members, mats, or even buy a unique small entryway bench with shoes storage underneath. Not only will it make it easier to put shoes away but keep them close and handy, it provides a spot to sit down and comfortably put them on and off, avoiding the trekking across the house in shoes in order to do that elsewhere.
2. Get the Right Mat
Depending on the season, there are different mats that you might want to use to not only add some character to your home, but keep it cleaner. In the winter, you could opt for a rubber option which is easy to clean, while others like absorbent ones which keep ponds from forming from the snow carried in by boots. In the summer, a lightweight mat that sand and dust can be easily shaken off of is a practical option.
3. Put up Personalized Hangers
When we put up hangers in the hallway or the mudroom, we rarely think of the mountain of coats which is undoubtedly going to form within a few weeks. To keep this from happening, assign each family member their own hook which they are allowed to hang a maximum of one or two coats. The rest must be stored elsewhere, like a further closet. It’s also a good idea to install one for guests which should always be free and available for visitors.
4. Umbrella Basket
As much as we wish for infinite sunny days, it does rain. For climates in which rain is quite regular, it’s a good idea to have an umbrella stand/basket to keep the family’s umbrellas in. Keep them handy near the entrance, and there will be no more backtracking through the house looking for the missing umbrella.
5. Key Hooks and Letter Holder
Don’t you hate it when you are finally ready to leave and then realize you have no idea where your keys are? Eliminate this problem by giving your keys a dedicated spot near the door where you will learn to keep them. Even better, get a box or row of hooks that is paired with a letter holder. Instead of throwing your mail somewhere while you get your shoes off, safely put it in the box or sleeve for safe keeping until you are ready to deal with it.
It is much easier to stay organized when you have the necessary infrastructure installed, like shoe racks, mats, hooks, and more. The trick is finding solutions that are easy to use and quick to access. That will make them more likely to be utilized by you and your family.
Make your home’s first impression a good one, both for those who live there and those who visit.