This article in Good Housekeeping gave 7 excellent ideas for keeping your front hallway de-cluttered.
- Paper Purge – They suggest two F’s: File or Frame – or “out it goes”. My biggest challenge is that I pile before I file. Running a home business, paper is my greatest source of “clutter”. (I work on this one constantly so expect to see more about potential solutions in the future.)
- Jettison the Junk – They suggest that you “set the other 10% (non-junk mail) in a very visible basket so you’ll be motivated to deal with it.” This could provide one practical use for an attractive tray or basket that you have hidden in a cupboard. Or buy a nice wire one at an office store.
- Cut the Catalogs – The recommendation is cancellation services or subscribing to digital ones. I don’t receive catalogs so this type of paper doesn’t contribute to my clutter. However, if you do, and you want to keep them tidy and limited, place them in a magazine holder and limit yourself to what fits in only one.
- Flexible Filing – They suggest investing in a portable file box so you can move your home office to any room in the house. This is the tidiest way to transport your paperwork in any room, but the key to keeping it tidy is to put everything back in the box at the end of every sitting. Otherwise you are simply moving the clutter problem around.
- Outsource Shredding – Shredders are always a good idea for confidential information. No matter what size your shredder is, you need to do it frequently enough so that your paper does not pile up.
Keys to Remember – “Place your keys in a front and center bowl – no more frantic “Where are they?!” searches. This is an absolute winner as an organizer. This is another chance for you to search your home for bowls, cups, baskets, etc. that you can re-purpose to hold the keys. Some people prefer hooks on the wall and these are also a practical way of consistently putting keys where they can always be found.
- Ready to Recycle – I love their recommendation to “position matching bins for recycling and shredding right in the foyer”. This encourages the mail sorting to happen as soon as it comes in the door. And they are handy when it is time to carry the recycling out to the curb too. If baskets are used, they can be an attractive part of the decor too.
These suggestions will help to contain some of the clutter in one place as it comes in the front door and reduce the impact it has in other places. A good practice to get into.
What organizational tools do you use at your front-door to keep clutter from creeping its way in?