Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Simplify for the New Year: The Entryway Closet

I feel like the entryway is a good place to start in simplifying my home! It is the first thing I (and my guests) see when they walk through my front door. I wish the area was a little more “ta-da!” than it is, but it is what it is!
I am definitely on the search for a storage bench or “console-table-type” piece of furniture for the entryway, but I haven’t quite found what I am looking for yet. One of the requirements is that it has to have lots of storage space, of course!
Today I am going to show you how I organized the entryway closet. I am embarrassed to say that we probably had more coats in this closet that we didn’t wear than ones that we did wear! Yikes! Somehow, the girls’ new coats made it in, but the old ones never made it out! Ugh!
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Since I already had a pile of clothes that the girls had outgrown upstairs and ready to go into the attic (to be featured in their closet organization posts), it made it easy to clear out the entryway closet. 
Throughout this entire process, I have been sorting everything into “keep”, “sell”, “store”, and “trash”! The boxes of items to sell are being stored in the garage until I decide if I am going to have a garage sale in the spring. If I don’t, then the items will just be donated instead. The “store” items are mainly clothes that the girls have outgrown that will be stored in the attic until they are needed again.
This closet currently serves multiple purposes. It is the only place that I have found to store both my carpet cleaner and my vacuum. They are both pretty large items, so they take up quite a bit of space in this small closet. I also use this closet to keep the diaper bag and my purse in so that it is out of sight but convenient to grab on my way out the door.
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I pulled everything out of the closet and cleaned the floor with my fabulous Hoover Floormate
…filled with the even more fabulous Basic H2! (Shhh….don’t tell Hoover that I am not using their pricey smelly cleaning solution!) I love that the Basic H2 doesn’t leave a residue like the cleaning solution that is supposed to be used for the Floormate!!
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It felt great to have a nice clean space and it really gave me the motivation I needed to simplify that space. By removing a lot of the items that were in there previously (finding new places for some in our home and finding new homes for others outside of our home), I was able to store the carpet cleaner toward the back. It may be a little inaccessible, but I don’t use it as frequently now that we removed all of the carpet downstairs.
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This actually freed up space so that I could store the double stroller in this closet as well. I very rarely use this stroller anymore for my girls, but I watch a newborn during the week so I needed to have it handy for our trips to the bus stop in the morning!
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I use an over the door shoe organizer to hold all of our flip-flops…yes, we have quite a few! Up until this year, I usually have worn flip-flops year round. Here in Virginia Beach, it can be 40 degrees one day and 70 degrees (definitely “flip flop weather”) the next….in the middle of winter!! This year, it has been ridiculously cold….30’s and 40’s for the past month or so with quite a bit of snow. So…not quite “flip flop weather”…even for me!
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This is the best solution for us. Since everyone’s shoes end up by the front door (especially during the warmer months), it makes it easy to keep them put away since they go right inside the entryway closet. These over the door shoe organizers typically come with hooks that hand over the top of the door. I didn’t want that showing from the outside of the door so I just hung it with ribbon and stapled the ribbon to the top of the door. Problem solved! I also use this organizer to hold our sunscreen, umbrellas, and mittens so they are easy to grab on our way out the door!
I placed a couple of hooks at the back of the closet to keep some of the other items that aren’t used as frequently.
This is our picnic/beach blanket (I love it!! I actually won this in a blog giveaway a couple of years ago and it has gotten so much use.) You can find it here…I love the dot pattern that they have available! In the summer, I sometimes just leave it in the car because we use it so often! For now, it has a nice spot at the back of the closet!
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After some begging and pleading on my part, I finally convinced my husband to hang a hook for me. I wanted a place to hang the diaper bag and my purse so that….everything has a place!! I need to get another one so that my 5 year old has a place to hang her backpack too!
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It may seem “cluttered” and crowded to you, but I can definitely tell the difference because everything has a place. I no longer have to dig around and shove things out of the way to get to the things I need.
Once winter has passed, I will move the bigger coats upstairs to each person’s closet and just leave the sweatshirts hanging in this closet.
So…to wrap this up:
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I definitely want to paint this space sometime this year, but I have been focusing on simplifying and organizing rather than decorating! I also want to change out the liner on that hideous basket…but it will have to wait!

Also...don't forget about Shaklee's January special...only 20 more days to take advantage of a FREE Cinch Sampler Pack (a $101 value!!). Get the details here. Contact me for another great offer available on my Shaklee site at checkout!! Trust don't want to miss this one!

I'm linking up to:
Someday Crafts: Whatever Goes Wednesday
My Backyard Eden: Make It Yours 
We are THAT Family: Works For Me Wednesday 
The Trendy Treehouse 
Sassy Sites: Operation Organization
The DIY Showoff: Inspired to Organize
Domestically Speaking: Let's Organize 
Organize with Sandy: Organizing Mission Monday 
The Shabby Chic Cottage: Transformation Thursdays 
Fireflies and Jellybeans: Show Off Your Stuff 
House of Hepworths: Hookin Up with HoH 
WhisperWood Cottage

What have you been simplifying/organizing in your homes? Link up below and don't forget to link back to me in your post! The only rule is that the post must be related to organization. Can't wait to be inspired by your posts!


Sandy Jenney - Organize with Sandy said...

Love that we both used the shoe hanger for different purposes.
Thanks for linking to my Organizing Mission Monday Link party!

Amy of WhisperWood Cottage and Junkologie said...

It always feels so much better when things get simplified and organized! Thanks so much for linking up!

Amber said...

Great job! I wish I had a closet by either my front door or back door to hang coats and all the other random stuff. Instead things get left all over the kitchen table since we always use the back door. Thanks for stopping by my blog, I will definitely be by again!