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Organize + Energize: Organize Your Entryway for the Holidays!

Tuesday, October 31, 2017


Entertaining this holiday season? Here is a quick project that should take no longer than ½ an hour to tackle. The entryway is the first area of the home that your guests see when they arrive. Are you tired of always stuffing items into the hall closet when you know guests are on their way? Are you tired of tripping over shoes when you walk in the door? Get organized and create a simple, peaceful entryway that will set the tone for the rest of your home.

Take inventory and organize your entryway. Here are 6 tips to get you started:

Seasonal clothes. Is your summer gear still hanging around in the hall closet?  Gather all of your seasonal items. Organize and store them in labeled seal tight containers. When the seasons change, rotate the clothes.

Shoes.  Are your shoes thrown in the hallway closet? Are they in clear view when you walk in the door or stuffed in bins? How long does it take you to find a match to a shoe?  Shoe racks are available in all shapes and sizes. Choose one that will hold what you need. Maximize your space and get your shoes on a shoe rack.

Sports equipment.  Does your hallway look like a sporting goods store? Contain and organize sports equipment. You can organize the equipment in the hall closet. If you are short on space, think of another area in the home that is convenient for when you need to grab and go.

Odds and ends. These are things you drop by the doorway when you walk into your home. If there is a table or bench near the door, try not to make a habit of letting clutter take over. This space is great for keys, glasses, or other items that you grab and go on your way out the door.  Take inventory of what is being dropped there. Think about developing a system for what is there and get all family members on board to not use this space as a drop spot for clutter.

Paper.  Is paper one of those items you found at the entryway? Do you have a filing system in place? How are you functioning with the mail that arrives in your home? Get on track with your mail and get the paper under control by creating a filing system. Handle your mail as soon as it arrives. Your paper will never pile up again.

Décor and organizing products.  Everybody gets excited when they are getting ready to organize an area. Just remember not to rush out and purchase furniture, wall hooks, shelves and other organizing products. Take inventory of the area. Declutter, organize, and then figure out what you need to purchase. You may think a shelf might work in the space, but realize after you take inventory that a shelf probably might not be the best option. Think about what you have, maximize the space and then purchase your products.

Take inventory of your entryway. What do you like? What do you want to change? Can you maximize your space? Ask yourself these questions and then create a calm, not chaotic entryway in your home.

Kristin Carcieri-MacRae, is an organizing & efficiency expert and owner of Organizing in RI. Kristin teaches her clients that living an organized lifestyle will save them time and money, decrease their stress levels and help them become more efficient and productive. Her articles have been published in local and national magazines. She has also given over 70 presentations throughout the state. Watch Kristin LIVE every Thursday at 3pm here on GoLocal LIVE with Molly O’Brien.


Related Slideshow: 10 Areas You Find Most Challenging to Get Organized

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Paper in any form

This was the most challenging space! 91% of people surveyed stated paper was their biggest headache. Just because we are in this digital age, people think paper is going to disappear. As long as we have mail, and paper at work, kid’s school papers, etc., paper is going to be around for a very long time. We need to develop systems to organize and maintain our paper clutter.

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 To stay on top of an organized closet, you should be emptying your closet twice a year. Switch your closets in the spring and fall. This will force you to take inventory of the contents of the closet. You’ll never know what’s hiding in the back corners of your closet unless you take everything out.

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When was the last time you emptied your entire food closet down to bare shelves? I asked this question at my last presentation and not one person could remember. Some said the last time their food pantry was empty was when they first moved in and others stated it had been years. Have garbage bags on hand. In every kitchen I organize, we throw out at least three garbage bags of expired food.

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This is the black hole of the house. If an item doesn’t have a home, it usually gets thrown in the basement on a shelf. You’ll walk into the basement one day and wonder how did it get so bad? The first thing you need to do in the basement is declutter, then categorize items and then decide how you want to function going forward. Measure your space and choose shelving units that will fit what you need to hold. Block off 3 hours and don’t leave the basement during that time. Staying in the room will keep you focused.

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The garage is an area similar to the basement. The garage tends to be a drop spot for outdoor items and usually there isn’t any organization.  Most tend to regret not organizing the garage when they find they can’t park their cars in the garage in the winter months when it’s snowing. Put this project on your to-do list this fall.

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Office at work

Most will say they don’t have time to tackle this area, but think about the time you are wasting by not being organized. The office can be challenging for some because you have paper, closet space, desk space and bookshelves. Most get overwhelmed and stressed just thinking about tackling this space. They think it’s easier to function this way than to actually tackle the project.

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Kid’s rooms

If your kids are over the age of 6, incorporate them in this process. If you don’t have the skill set to help them get organized, call in a professional to work one-on-one with them. If your kids are craving structure, it’s time for them to get organized.

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Another one of those black holes like the basement. You rarely venture into the attic and you continue to toss items in there that don’t have a home. The garage, basement and attic are really challenging areas because you don’t spend much time in them. Think about how you want to function in these spaces. Streamline and maximize this space. This room should have a purpose.

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Linen closets

When items are just thrown into this closet without being contained, chaos will ensue. Empty the entire closet, categorize, itemize and then measure the space. Purchase containers to match the space and what you have to hold. It’s all about maximizing space in this closet and being able to put your hand on something without moving five other items out of the way.

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This is a tough project even for people who are organized. Memorabilia items and photos are a challenge because as you go through them, you tend to reminisce. Save this for the last project on your list of areas to organize. Once you begin, just focus on tossing and keeping and then reminisce when the decluttering process is completed.


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