Laure's landing strip has a place for her purse, jacket, keys and mail.
If you thought deep cleaning your kitchen was satisfying, just wait until this week is over. Entrances are notorious for being the home's catch-all place. In addition to what you'd expect to find there (coats, shoes, bags, keys), there's usually a whole collection of loose change, shopping bags, old magazines and mail, a gym bag or two, discarded trinkets, keepsake boxes from college, and that Hawaii girl bobblehead you got at a White Elephant party last year that never made it past the front door and into your home. (Wait, be thankful for that last one...)Sometimes the entrance closet is so full of random stuff that it can't even accommodate what it's supposed to — namely, the coat and bag you were wearing that day. So what do you do? You kick your shoes off, drop your coat and bag on the floor, and put the mail on the kitchen counter. Before you know it, you've got a collection of mail that's living in your kitchen, you've missed two bill payments, your boyfriend broke his ankle tripping over your shoes, and your coat is permanently wrinkled from sitting in a heap by the door. Sigh.
Maybe it's not always as extreme as that, but I think you get the general idea!
We like this wicker bin for recycling newspapers and junk mail. Via AT:NY
We're now starting to seriously declutter. You've been slowly putting things into your Outbox for a couple weeks, but this is the time to start making decisions. As you go through your entrance area this week, keep these three things in mind:
- Do I use it?
- Do I love it?
- Does my apartment need it?
If it doesn't pass the test above, then put it into your Outbox. You should aim to purge at least 25% of what you have in this area now. If that sounds like a lot, think about this: do you really need 5 wool caps that look identical? (You only have one head, you know.) And we know that baseball cap and T-Shirt was free, but unless you have an undying devotion to WXYZ 98.5 Light FM Radio then you'd best let it go. Ditto on the broken umbrellas, that lonely mitten (yes, you really did leave the other one on the train), empty boxes... get rid of it all.
What a clever idea to sort mail! Apartment Therapy reader ponyinarope created this embroidery hoop to catch important mail.
The point of all this is to create a healthy filter at your front door to sort the good stuff from all the useless material that we often bring into our homes (mostly in the form of junk mail). As Maxwell writes, "With a good filter, many things may approach, but nothing gets into your home unless it is good for you."
A healthy filter at your door should have three things:
- A doormat: Wipe your shoes and then take them off!
- A coat hook: Have a place to hang your coat, bag, umbrellas, dog leashes, etc.
- A landing strip: This is a flat surface where you can lay down your wallet, keys, and sort the mail. We also recommend keeping a bin or basket near the landing strip to immediately recycle junk mail.
Wes and Kayla created a DIY doormat out of FLOR sample tiles they had lying around. It made their dog Bacon very happy!
In my post later this week, I'll get into ways to organize your incoming mail, and share some tips and tricks to getting off mailing lists and reducing the amount of junk mail you get every day. Also: I owe you an update on my own progress, so look for pictures and a progress report on Thursday.
TODAY'S COMMENT QUESTION
What is the thing that you need a landing strip for most? Mail? Packages? Keys and phone? Coats and bags?
BUY A BOOK
JOIN THE GREEN CURE DISCUSSION: