Welcome back – time for a home entrance refresh

By Helena Zachariassen, Home and Lifestyle Editor

The end of the covid tunnel is shining brighter and brighter, and it looks like the world is slowly reopening. For the past year we haven’t had many visitors come through our front door, so let’s focus today’s home edit on how to declutter, restore order and refresh the hallway with some easy tips.

The entrance is your business card to the world

This is the first thing you (and any potential visitor) see each time you return home and each time you leave. It’s an important space that should make you feel welcome and relaxed, every time. A tidy, clutter-free, organised entrance area makes life easier on all fronts and creates a beautiful welcoming space into your sacred home.

My Swiss Story: Welcome back – time for a home entrance refresh Photo: H.Zachariassen

Tidy front door

Whether you live in an apartment or a house, the guidelines are similar. The first thing to remove is everything that doesn’t belong in front of the door and that might block the entrance area in some way. Entrances and hallways here in Switzerland are usually very small (I can’t help wonder if all Swiss architects are single men..?!) so it’s common to see shoe racks and kids’ outdoor toys just outside a front door. However, organising the shoes and toys in a closed cabinet might make the world of a difference to the appearance of the entrance, and to the feeling of coming home to your sanctuary.

Finishing touch: add a floor mat and a plant or other decorative item to turn it up a notch, but remember, less is more!

Visual clutter drains our energy

Have you ever noticed how it makes you feel coming into a space with a lot of stuff and clutter everywhere? Or vice versa, have you noticed how you feel when entering a space with just the bare essentials? Keeping all your entrance items visible, especially on the floors, may result in feeling significantly lower in energy. Consider these 3 things to increase the energy, balance and calm in your space:

1. Remove absolutely everything that doesn’t belong in your entrance hall. If you live with others you may want to time this exercise to when the others are out so that when they return they will be blown away by their tidy, new space and be encouraged to keep it that way!

2. Keep only the most frequently used seasonal shoes and jackets in the hallway, preferably in a closed storage space to reduce the visual clutter.

3. Add a little extra something to your hallway that makes you happy to look at, ie. a family picture, fresh flowers, a welcoming chair etc.

My happy home

Streamline your storage solutions

What do you do when you enter the front door? You get rid of what you have in your hands. Create a “download station” for each family member. This station is to be used to place keys, handbags, wallets and accessories, the second you enter the door. If there is no space for this purpose, these items will float around and that nice entrance dresser will become a dumping ground instead, risking important items being buried under other random items and not found when needed.

Everyone should have their own designated area in the hallway
In addition to a joint closet for shoes and jackets, try creating a space for each family member using for example a basket on a shelf, a drawer in a dresser, a shelf in a cupboard etc. Whatever is possible in your space will do. Once the personal download station is introduced, there is no longer a need for a common dumping ground and any flat surface will stay tidy and organised for good. Even a young child can be responsible for his/her own area, just make it into a fun game for them with a small reward included.

The key to an uncluttered entrance area is to keep things off the floor. Any dresser, closet or even hooks are a must in order to keep things simple, tidy and organised, especially in a family. And finally, it makes cleaning a breeze.

What’s the address again?

If you’ve followed me for a while you know that as part of any decluttering and simplifying journey, we finalise the project by assigning every single item a home address. Why is this important? It saves you time and above all, your sanity! You know exactly what you have and where it is to be found. Teach your kids and partner that each time something has been used it needs to find itself back to its home as soon as possible. In the hallway this goes for absolutely everything that venture outdoors and back again, for all seasons: shoes, gloves, hats, jackets, helmets, backpacks, sun screen, tissues etc. And it takes the pressure off of all poor moms, who are supposed to know where everything is..!

Lead by example

Show your kids (and partner!) what you’re doing and why. The key to maintaining a tidy home and entrance is responsibility. With our example we are teaching our kids a major lesson for life – caring for and respecting our things and environment. It will help them so much in many areas of life when they’re equipped from a young age with these wonderful tools.

Often the difference between organised and dis-organised is the little habits we do each day without really thinking.

chrissy halton

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