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11 Week Challenge: week #1 Entryway + Honesty

I couldn't sleep last night. Today my husband went back to work and the kids returned to school. I have always had sleep issues due to anxiety when my schedule changes. As most moms I suspect are - I am thrilled to usher everyone back to where they go each day and get back into a regular routine, which is what most people thrive on.

As I lay awake last night thinking about our entryway and this blog post, I thought of my parent's home. I grew up in a beautiful home. My mother had excellent taste and kept a spotless home. Everything was so clean all of time. No feet were allowed on the furniture, she didn't like for us to nap on the couch. She even bleached our toothbrushes. Not kidding. I'll be honest. A clean beautiful home didn't keep her demons at bay. She had her own internal issues that she wrestled with for many years and they finally took over as I (the youngest of four) entered my tween/teen years. There are many reasons that I will not talk about, but it is important to know that this work is not the  cure-all for what ails the human race.

What I can tell you (as I will say repeatedly), that this work will allow us to look at why we live like we do, what works and what doesn't, remove those things that do NOT SERVE OUR CURRENT LIVES to make room for the things we love. And, to SEE the truth around us. When looking at my life, my home, my friend's homes, my client's homes, there are threads that run through. Often times we live in such a state or have recurring hotspots that we avoid that our eyes no longer see. Then, disaster strikes, like a leaking water heater that is surrounded by boxes or a surprise guest from out of town but the spare bedroom has 4 years worth of mail stacked around or you have an emergency medical situation and no clean underwear. I've seen it all and quite HONESTLY, experienced it all.

Now that I've waded through some heavy stuff...let's have some fun! Last night in my state of insomnia, I created a new Pinterest board for Entryways, Mudrooms and Front Porches. You'll see beautiful, expensive, DIY, recycled, simple - all of it. I tried to look for things that struck my fancy and things that can be duplicated without stress or breaking the bank.

Let's start with my entryway. (I'm saving a couple of things for a second post, namely the front porch, feng shui, and a discussion of which door you should enter in and what you can do if you do not.)  We do not have an entryway in our home beyond the front door, which I find to be a little on the annoying side, to be honest. What we are BLESSED with however, is a coat closet that is immediately to the left when you walk into my home. It is quite organized, even if I do say so myself. I'm not going to say it is pinworthy (remember, I sometimes err on the side of practical). But, I am happy with it everytime I open the door, okay, most of the time, until my son piles up his shoes with no thought, then I'm not happy and he fixes it!  But, this closet serves as exactly what it is - a coat closet. Notice

  • The wooden hangers holding all of the coats. Years ago I invested in wooden hangers as most hangers are not strong enough to hold heavy wooden coats. Money well spent.

  • The OPEN bins under the coats. These bins cost approximately $4 each at the dollar store. I am  BIG BELIEVER in open bins. These bins hold hats, gloves and winter scarves. The Moon and I each share a bin and each of the guys have their own (mostly due to the fact that we can find our things and they cannot). 

  • The white shoe rack under the bins. Anyone who puts their shoes in this closet is usually good about putting the shoes where they belong. I'd like to say this is because my family is perfect, but truthfully, I found an easy system that works for us and we utilize it. This shoe rack was under $20 when I purchased it 4 years ago. I am sure you can still purchase it for a low price.

  • The items lined up on top. These are our camera bags. They are easily accessible for when we need them and are nicely contained in a row. Neat and organized.

  • The cutie-pie hanger for my aprons. I utilized the back of the door to be my apron holder. It's close to the kitchen and keepe me from shoving them into a drawer. #win

  • The amount of shoes. MY shoes are all in my closet. I have a fairly SMALL number of shoes. This closet holds Nathan's and Noah's shoes primarily. I want to give you an example of how we live. Noah has 5 pairs of shoes and needs to have socccer cleats, so soon will have 6. The hiking boots and waters shoes live in the garage, so you will not see them here. It is much easier to organize and keep clean when you have fewer items. #foodforthought

This is the first space you and your guests see when you walk in and the last thing you see when you walk out. Walking into a clean organized space and leaving it matters. Is it mental? Absolutely. Our mental states matter! Disclaimer:  I need to vacuum the rug under the shoes and will later today, promise.

Now, what can you do today, right now to organize or spruce up your entryway? 

1. Take an assessment. Do you have an entryway that is it's own space? Do you have a coat closet? Do you need to create either of those spaces? 

2. Declutter!!! I cannot stress this enough. As I tidied up the coat closet for this post, I pulled a coat that my daughter has outgrown and a plastic coat hanger that has no place in that space. Pull out the coats of years past that have not been worn, shoes that are no longer in style, mismatched gloves. Put them in your Goodwill box. (You do have a Goodwill box, don't you?) What about the items that don't belong? Sports equipment floating around, toys that were hastily shoved in, anything else that does not serve you leaving the house or walking in the door. Dedicate this space and make it a clutter-free zone!

3. Now, organize. What can you have remaining. Take a look at my Pinterest board. Also, there is a great article on Apartment Therapy on entryways. My fave picture is the 6th one down. It's for the home with an entryway but no storage and has some great ideas. Hooks on the wall. Open baskets for shoes. Love it!

Here are a few images of my own entry closet that allows us to have a clean organized space just inside the door! I'd love to see some photos of yours as well. Share them here, on my FB page or in the Clearing the Way for Your Best Life group.


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