Clutter is a fact of life. Items are bought, used and often forgotten about. This creates clutter that fills up homes and makes life stressful. Like many homes, mine has its fair share of clutter. Getting rid of clutter can seem like a daunting task, yet it is possible to be successful in decluttering. In fact, this is not our first attempt at getting it under control. Yet it is so easy to become overwhelmed by the process of decluttering that many people give up before they make much progress. This is why I made specific decluttering goals this year. There are many different decluttering techniques, and it’s important to find the one that works for your situation. Personally, I believe going room by room is the best way to approach it. Since the entryway is the first place you see when coming home, it is the perfect place to start. For this very reason, I decided to start my journey to a clutter-free home by doing an entryway declutter.
Entryways can be fairly clutter-free, however, that doesn’t guarantee that it will be. As this is the area of the home you enter and leave from, it can be the spot where items are dropped and then forgotten about. Since it also houses all of the outdoor items, it can quickly fill up and become a cluttered zone. Finding the balance between reducing clutter and leaving the necessary items in an easy to access location is key to a successful entryway declutter.
The starting point
Our entryway didn’t look too bad upon initial inspection. There were plenty of coats, shoes and other outdoor items which you would expect to find. However, once I started to remove these items it was clear that there was a lot more there than I had thought. The bins on the shelves were filled to the brim with hats, gloves and other accessories, some of which we never used. The number of pairs of shoes was also surprising, especially given that only three people line in the house.
The more that was removed, the more hidden items were found. Receipts from recent shopping trips were stuffed into the spaces between bins. Reusable bags were tucked in with the shoes. Given how small our entryway is, it had a surprising amount of stuff in it. It’s no wonder it was a hassle to put items away whenever we got home.
Once all of the items were removed, the area was thoroughly cleaned. This is an important step to decluttering, as you don’t want to be putting the items you are keeping back on dusty shelves.
Purging the items
With everything removed, there was now an enormous pile of stuff to deal with. To make it more efficient, we broke it down into three piles, one for each of our items. From there they can be sorted into categories, such as hats, coats, and shoes. Checking each item for wear and tear takes time, but you don’t want to keep a coat with a busted zipper. Should you decide to keep an item that has some damage to it, ensure that it is fixed right away, otherwise it leads to clutter in the future.
Trying on each item, especially larger items like coats, is an important step in determining whether to keep or donate. An ill-fitting coat will not be good during the colder months of the year. Those pieces that are too big or too small should be added to the donation pile.
Our entryway is where we keep our winter items year-round. At this time, we have no other place to store them, and because we live in a cooler climate it’s handy to have them accessible even in the summer. With so many winter items, it was quite a task to go through them all. We all own multiple pairs of gloves, hats and more. It is handy to have spare pairs of gloves in case one gets wet, but we had far too many. Some were well beyond their lifespan and needed to be tossed.
One issue that we ran into was finding that our summer items were mixed in with the winter ones. This meant that at any time of year we were digging through off-season stuff in an attempt to find what we needed. While bothersome, I knew this would be solved once we hit the organizing phase of the project.
The biggest hurdle was getting my husband on board. He had so many hats and gloves in his bin. He was very reluctant to get rid of any of them. With time he managed to take his hat collection from over 30 down to a dozen. I still feel like that is too many hats. But I had to choose my battles. So while he kept lots of hats, he did get rid of over half of them. He also had a lot of shoes to sort through. We managed to pair these down quite a bit.
Remove the clutter!
The most important step to decluttering is to actually get rid of the items you no longer need. Don’t let these items sit in your house. They will inevitably make it back into your decluttered area. Make sure to take them to the donation center or sell them within a few days. This will ensure they leave your house once and for all.
This can be one of the hardest parts of decluttering. Many people, if they make it this far, falter at actually getting rid of the items. They begin to wonder if they might need it in the future. Maybe they should hold onto it just a little bit longer. Don’t do this! Put everything you no longer need in a box or bag and the next time you leave the house take it with you. Make sure you truly remove those items from your home. Don’t put them in your car trunk and forget about them either. As soon as they are in the car, drive them to the nearest donation center.
I was able to take a bag bursting at the seems to the donation center a couple of days after we finished this. It felt so good to see those items go and know that they would get more use from someone else. This made our entryway declutter successful, as those items were no longer in the home.
The final result
With all of the unneeded items removed, it was time to put the remainder back in its place.
For our entryway, I simply put the items we kept back into their original containers. Though since we got rid of so much, I was able to temporarily consolidate it all into a single bin. In the future, this would need a better solution, as now all out our outdoor accessories were mixed together. But what mattered is, the unneeded items were no longer there. Organizing happens later.
As you can see, my son hangs his coat on the railing. This makes it easier for him to reach but ultimately makes this space look messy. I am hoping that in the future he will start properly hanging his coat. We also have a small plastic bin strapped to the railing so he can easily grab hats, mitts, and sunglasses. Otherwise, we would need to grab them each time he goes outside.
With that, our entryway declutter project is done! I can’t remember the last time this area was clutter-free! The next project to tackle will be to properly organize this area.
Now is your turn, give your entryway a good decluttering and make this area more appealing to use.