In our previous blog, we talked about ways to make the home entryway more efficient. Many of those tips were applicable to a broad range of living situations, like whether your home is detached or not, or whether you have two or twenty household members.
However, clearly some homes in the Lower Mainland have advantages over others when it comes to this part of the home. In fact, a vast majority of homes in Greater Vancouver, especially in the city of Vancouver itself, have significant space challenges in every part of the house, including the entryway. Not only that, but when space is very limited, it is usually non-living spaces (like the entryway, the bathroom, closets and the like) that are sacrificed in the floor plan. In many homes, especially apartments/condos, townhouses and basement suites, they are non-existent. No, they aren’t figments of your imagination. It’s just that when you open the front door, you’re right smack in the living area.
Though this scenario presents some interesting and unique challenges, you don’t have to give up on your efforts to keep clutter out of your entryway. Not only can you keep traffic moving smoothly through your non-existent entryway, you can employ some creative methods of storage as well as disguising entryway clutter as furniture, décor or both. We’ve discussed a few of these tips already in our previous post, and they can easily be adapted to homes with no real hallway or chamber around the main entrance of the home.
* Take advantage of vertical space. Vertical space is your best friend. We simply cannot say this too often. The smaller your home, the truer this is. In fact, it might be the only choice you have. Shelving and cubbies can be installed to run from the floor to the ceiling (or any place in between) for storing footwear, outdoor playthings, umbrellas or anything else that you need to keep handy for use outdoors. Don’t want all that stuff to be visible? Choose storage with doors so that you can hide everything from plain sight. Hooks are also practical: big hooks for coats, small hooks for things like keys. Even corners can be utilized by installing corner shelving.
* Choose furniture that is dual-purposed. A desk is one such thing. Place one close to the front door and designate one drawer (the top one is usually the best) for items like car keys and the daily mail. A bench is another useful piece of furniture that can be used to sit on as well as to hold things like boots, shoes, toys and sporting equipment. You can also find smaller storage pieces that look so decorative, your guests will never guess there’s stuff hidden inside.
* Use hooks as liberally as possible. Hooks and pegs can be installed on walls around or near the door for hanging small items like keys or bigger things like coats and backpacks.
* Use a coat tree. If you don’t have an entryway closet at all, get a coat tree for hanging up jackets. They don’t take up much floor space, and it will discourage household members from dropping their coats on the floor or throwing them on a desk or chair when they come in.
* Store excess items in other parts of the house. As mentioned in our previous post, out-of-season coats can be stored in other closets or in storage bins until they are needed again.
* Avoid getting in the habit of accumulating stuff. It’s easier to avoid clutter problems by simply not bringing home more stuff than you absolutely need. Make it a rule that for every new item you bring into the home, one item must be eliminated to make space for it. This will cause you to really stop and think about how badly you need that jacket that’s on sale or that new pair of shoes.
* Get rid of things you don’t use. To keep your entryway problems at a minimum, donate old coats, boots and other items to your favorite local thrift store. Not only will it help streamline your life, it will benefit a group in need.