Welcome to Week One of Clean Up the Clutter: Entry and Office edition. Are you ready to Clean up the Clutter in your Entry and Office. This week your goal is to tackle two areas where clutter gathers faster than anywhere else: The Entry and The Home Office. I know many of you are strapped for time so each of our weekly challenges will have a Fast & Easy Way and a Thorough Way. I don’t know about you, but when we enter our home things get set on the end of our kitchen counter and never seem to leave. Mail, keys, purses, umbrellas, and just about anything else we drag into our home. Here’s how to tackle and tame the Entry Clutter monster. I’ve also included checklists for the Entry Area and the Home Office. Just click on the link below and print.
The Entry Area
Where do you enter your home? Does it tend to be a dumping ground? Do keys, mail, lunch boxes, shoes, and umbrellas clutter the area? The key to taming the Entry Area is anticipating the clutter before it happens by having an functioning organized spaces to catch the clutter.
The Fast Way to Clean Up an Entry Area
- Take 5 ~ What I mean is to take 5 items and find new ways to store them or new places for them to land. Just 5 things. I know you can do this. Keys, coats, shoes, umbrellas, and backpacks. Take Five things that clutter your entry way and create a new way to store them.
The Thorough Way to Clean Up an Entry Area
In a perfect world we would all have a 10 x 10 room with lockers on the wall to catch and store shoes, coats, keys, and anything else we bring into our homes. Since that’s not a possibility for most I have some suggestions to help you thoroughly tame the Entry Clutter.
1. Get Rid of the Excess
An entry area should be a functional space. If there are things that don’t relate to your coming and going, then these things will need a new home. Remove the excess and make your entry area a functioning entry or exit. Relocate things that don’t belong in the entry.
2. Hooks, Hangers, & Baskets
Now, find a way to store, catch, and gather the necessary items that enter your home.
- Keys: A bowl to catch keys, a set of small hooks on the wall, or a cute cabinet that doubles as a piece of wall art. Be sure to have a designated area for all keys.
- Purses, Backpacks, and Lunchboxes: Sturdy wall hooks or hooks and hangers in the entry closet. It should be easy for everyone to remove these items and put them in their proper place. Cubbies with baskets are also a great way to create a surface with storage. Everyone gets a cubby.
- Coats: If space is limited, use wall hooks for purses, backpacks and lunch boxes. Hang coats over these. If there is a closet be sure to have space for coats and plenty of hangers.
- Shoes and Boots: Baskets make a great place to toss shoes when people enter. If you need a place for wet shoes and boots, you will need some sort of tray or rug for these items to dry out.
- Cell Phones: Most families have more than one cell phone which means each of those phones needs a place to land and a place to recharge. Don’t neglect the electronics.
- Umbrellas and Raincoats: If you live in a climate that gets a lot of rain you will need a place to put wet things. Umbrellas will need something tall to stand in that won’t leak. There should also be a separate set of hooks to hang raincoats. This should not be in a high traffic area because wet floors can be dangerous.
- Baskets: Baskets will be your entry areas best friend. Get several types of baskets including ones with lids. Perfect for things like lunch boxes or library books.
- Don’t forget the dog: If you have a dog, don’t forget to have a place to hang the leash.
The Home Office
Every day you probably get a stack of papers that need some place to go. In addition, you likely have a calendar, computer, a printer, a shredder, and everyday office supplies. These things all need an organized space whether it is a corner in a bedroom or a separate home office. Perhaps this task will require relocating your office area to a new space. I have a small 10′ x 10′ home office space at the front of my house. It is the first room you see when you enter. It has a 3 drawer file cabinet, two desk spaces, two computers, 2 chairs, drawer storage on wheels, and a tall cabinet with more drawers. Because this room gets so much use I have to be organized. And, clearly, I have no extra space. On the other hand, the office is functional and clutter-free because I have created spaces for everything that passes through the office.
The Fast and Easy Way to Clean Up Your Office Space
- Take 10 ~ Take 10 things and either find a better way to store them or remove them permanently from your office space. Find storage solutions for paper, printer ink, pens, pencils, bill paying, electronics cords, mailing supplies, etc. Take 10 things that are cluttering up your office and make them more efficient.
The Thorough Way to Clean Up Office Clutter
Some sort of office space is necessary for most families. There are bills that need paying, important paperwork that needs to be sorted and filed, and the never-ending pile of incoming mail. Carving out an office space will tame this clutter and keep it from stealing space from other areas of your home.
1. Get rid of the excess
The office is the office ~ even if it is a corner in a bedroom. Only keep things that are relevant to an office in this space. Everything else needs a new space.
2. Store, File, and Contain
- Organize Up: If space is limited then use vertical space for a work surfaces and shelves.
- Baskets, Bins & Containers: Use lots of baskets, bins, and containers to store things like cords, office supplies, mailing supplies, stationary, and stamps.
- InBox/OutBox: Every day papers come in and go out. Have separate boxes to collect these and then sort them daily. Toss the unnecessary.
- Drawers: Clear out any items that aren’t office related. Keep small items like paper clips, pens, pencils, and staples in drawers with small organizers. Give everything a space.
- Filing: No matter how large or small your home, you are going to need to have a way to save things like insurance paperwork, bills, and medical information. These can accumulate over time so purge the unnecessary paperwork. There are many options for storing paperwork, but most people prefer some sort of file cabinet. If space is limited it could be covered with a nice piece of fabric and serve as either a nightstand or end table.
- Calendars & Clippings: The problem with clutter is that it clutters things up. You need a dedicated place for a calendar whether it’s hanging or sitting on a desk top. Also, something like a bulletin board is handy for pasting clippings, notices, and the occasional children’s artwork.