One of the most used, and often the messiest closet in our home, is the entryway closet. It’s the first stop when we drop everything off at the end of a busy day, and the last stop to gather what we need to rush out the door. Part of the reason it’s difficult to keep this space in order is that we are juggling too many activities and responsibilities. We neither have the time nor energy to focus on keeping this closet organized. However, a disorganized space can cause a lot of frustration and set the tone for the rest of the day. And by taking the time to create a joy sparking entry closet, it can be a welcoming sight to let you know you can feel confident going out the door and offer you the comfort of knowing you can finally relax at home.
In this Before & After, the entry closet belongs to a family with 2 kids who love to play sports. They needed a place that they can easily store and access the jackets and shoes they wear daily, and all the types of equipment for their outdoor activities. As always we want to start fresh by emptying out the closet. Make sure to remove anything that doesn’t belong in this closet. Depending on the size, some families can keep their entire coats and jacket collection in one closet. Others with more limited space should only keep the ones you wear the most frequently. Same goes for shoes. The idea is that you can easily get in and out of the door with the least amount of time searching for what you need. And if you have properly tidied your clothing and shoes, then you should only have the ones that spark joy left in your closet.
Because this is a communal space, we organized each person’s items and placed them in their own section of the closet. Hang your coats and jackets using the KonMari “rise up” method with the longest on the left and shorter as you move to the right. This visual trick of seeing the bottoms of the jackets lined up going upward is not only visually pleasing, it’s also very calming. This will also save you time when selecting a jacket to compliment the length of your outfit. Keep your empty hanger in the same spot helps you to return it to the same place. (Also, having uniformed hangers will make your closet look a lot neater. Wire hangers from the dry cleaners can’t support the weight of most coats and jackets, it also ruins the shapes of the clothes. It is best to return those to your dry cleaner for reuse.)
If you store reusable bags in your entryway closet, fold the bags so they are shaped like a rectangle. File all the folded bag vertically inside of one larger reusable bag. Folding the bags takes up a lot less space than just shoving them away, and stay neatly stored even when you take a few out to use.
For the kids, they each have a section of their closet with their name labeled on the shelf. Here we have a space for their lunch bag and bike helmet, caps, and even included a fun little bucket for their sunscreen. Their most frequently worn jackets are hung next to their backpack that is also on a hanger. We used their existing blue and pink hangers to designate each of their space.
The small basket was used to hold their accessories such as hats, gloves, sunglasses.
We utilized the pull-out wire drawers in this closet for keeping their balls and baseball gloves neatly stored away. If you don’t have a built-in closet like this, you can use any large basket (laundry baskets are great, especially one with wheels for easy access).
I do need to mention that I only worked with the mom on this project, so other than her own items, everything else that belongs to the other family members was kept but only organized. A closet like this will take the whole family’s participation to maintain. It requires being on top of putting things back each time for a week or two for it to become a habit.
How does your entryway closet greet you?