What is your best tip for keeping the entryway clean and clutter-free?
We have a small, but useful closet in our entryway. Right now the kids have fabric baskets they put their belongings in and there is a small shelf to keep shoes on. It helps tremendously for the kids to know exactly where to put (and find again) their things when coming home.
Don't fall for the allure of pretty flat surfaces!!! I've completely eliminated a cute piece that did nothing but catch clutter and stress me out. It was difficult, but worth it!
I have my kids bring there back packs to there rooms .They all have desks in there rooms ..Although they still wind up on my kitchen island ..but only with the binder they need ,,shoes are left in the laundry room for the most part ...As for the entry of my home .. My Den in front of the house is also a spot they use when we use the front entrance ,Its easy to have everything in the Den because unless you step into my house to peek in you can't see it .Ha,Ha.. So all stays clear !!
The front entryway is the easiest area in our home to keep clean. We do keep a mat at the front door to avoid mud and dirt getting tracked into our home and a small console drawer to keep car keys. Coats are always placed back into the coat closet once we re-enter the home.
This method works for us for now as my daughter is still young. Once she gets older I will adapt getting a little shelf for shoes at the garage side entrance.
I keep a console table with two drawers. The only things allowed on the table are current photos in black frames, a small painting from Jamaica that I love, an art piece from Alaska and a small lamp. I change up the picture frames with extras located in the drawers to keep it seasonal and that is it. For this and thats we have bulletin board set with mail slots and key rings near the kitchen.
Jackets are hung in the laundry room, but the rule is one jacket for each family member. Anymore than that and up it goes to your room waiting patiently for you to come home and hang it up.
Bins! They can be cute baskets or practical plastic, but I find bins are the best way to contain clutter. One for shoes, one for bags, one for books, etc. You could also do cute hooks for coat, book bags, etc.
If you have kids then make it easy for them to be self sufficient. A hook placed low enough so they can hang their own coat, or a separate bin or drawer for each child to corral their own mittens and hats. Instead of one flat surface for shoes, vertical shelving up the wall. Wet shoes and boots on the bottom and rotate them up when they dry.
We actually don't use our formal entryway! We use our back door daily. I have a large basket to corral shoes and we have an antique hall tree and that's where backpacks go, or are "supposed" to go. (wink) All of my older daughter's soccer gear was driving me insane so we took a large plastic storage tub and placed it in our utility room. It's our sports gear "box" and holds everything from cleats to shinguard to frisbees and water guns!
We built lockers to store the clutter for my four boys. Kind of like pottery barn's wooden open shelf lockers, but not as expensive. We have a hook for their coats, a shelf for them to sit on, and underneath a tray for the boys to keep their shoes. Most of the time, they actually use the lockers or their "stuff" is right by it. At least their stuff isn't all over the house!
I have an old, small dresser in the entryway of our house. I placed large baskets for shoes on the sides of the dressers, and then small bowls on the top for keys, mail, etc.
This way, even if it is a bunch of clutter coming in, it looks neat and clean until we get a chance to take care of the mail, etc..
Installing a row of hooks near my entry was by the far the best thing that I ever did to keep coats and bags off of the floor, (and it gives the stuff in my tiny entryway closet some room to breathe). But, in addition to that- the best way to keep the entryway clean is just to keep at it- I find that I just have to set aside a few minutes each day to tidy up the area and put everything back in it's proper home. I am not always the best about having a regular housekeeping routine, but I try to hit the entryway every day to keep it in check.