Sanitize It: Entranceway Edition

Set Up A Cleaning Routine That Will Make For A Worthy Entrance

Your home might not have a designated mudroom or even a coat closet, but there’s no getting around the entranceway. The entranceway is your home’s first line of defense against germs, mud and dirt that can pass your sacred threshold at any moment as well as the making or breaking of first impressions to be bestowed upon guests entering your domain. With just a little bit of elbow grease and ingenuity, you can set the stage for a worthy entrance; a space guests won’t mind lingering a moment longer and your family can also put to practical use day in and day out. 

Step One: Declutter

Heed the phrase a “place for everything and everything in its place.” Getting rid of any unnecessary clutter or finding a home for items that have been misplaced around your front door will immediately open up the entranceway and make the actual cleaning a lot easier. Store winter coats that aren’t currently in use, put away boots for a rainy day, and organize handbags, backpacks or any mail/paperwork that may be lingering there. 

Short a closet? Consider using a good old-fashioned coat tree that can be tucked away in a corner by your door to keep outerwear up and away. Add a stocked umbrella stand and you’ll always be prepared for whatever weather comes your way. You could alternatively add a hanging coat rack if wall space allows.

*Try a display rack that can be mounted on the wall to corral important papers, bills, and other mail that comes in and is ready to ship out. 

Step Two: Wipe Your Slate Clean

Dust or wipe furniture clean and then completely move it on out of the area as you continue with the process of cleaning the walls, windows and floors. Run an extension duster over the ceiling, corners, and walls to eliminate cobwebs. Disinfect all high touch points like the doorknobs, light switches and slider handles. 

Step Three: Attend To The Details 

Be sure to clean any light fixtures, wall art, shelves, and wipe mirrors clean with a glass cleaner. Also wash windows, including any glass within the door. While working on windows, remove the screens so that you can hit them with the hose out in the yard. And have a magic eraser handy to wipe scuffs and stains off walls and baseboards.

Step Four: Put Your Best Foot Forward

If you don’t already have a landing space for your shoes and boots, consider adding a small shoe rack and tray for boots. If you already do, make sure you clean boot trays and shoe racks by taking them outside to shake out any debris, then give them a good wash or wipe down with a disinfecting wipe. Use your vacuum’s crevice attachment to also clean inside any shoe bins or baskets used for storage.   

Tip: An old bookcase makes an awesome storage unit for shoes of various sizes. This also creates  an interesting opportunity to display your cool kicks and pretty pumps!                              

Step Five: Make Your Welcome Mats Really Mean It!

Give them a good vacuuming or take them outside and work out any pent up aggression beating them clean. Also, notice we use the plural here – mats. Keeping one inside and outside the door can help deter debris from being brought in on shoes. 

Step Six: Get On The Floor

No, not talking dancing here! After vacuuming or sweeping, if you have a hardwood, tiled or any other hard surface floor you’ve got one more step. There’s a lot to be said for a hand-washed floor. With a smaller space to cover, you can really take the time to do a detailed job and get into all the little cracks and crevices, cleaning your baseboards down there while you’re at it. If you’re not trying to get low, a regular mop or steamer unit will do.                                                                                                                            

Step Seven: Replace And Renew

Replace and renew your entranceway by strategically organizing your furniture items as you move them back in. Observe any areas that could be used more effectively and save you space. Reevaluate one more time to clear any residual clutter, even if that means Grandma’s antique corner table takes a trip to storage. Consider adding a few small decorative details to brighten the area and make your home inviting – a single flower vase to sit on a small corner table, a well-placed beloved photograph framed for a hanging display, or a talking piece of art you’ve collected or made. 

A Few More Tips And Tricks To Tidy-Up Entries

You don’t have to do a deep cleaning every time you clean, but a little bit each day goes a long way. Try and vacuum or sweep the entranceway daily, wipe smudges off your door’s windows or sliders,  and keep any rogue shoes at bay!

Install a few small hooks or a pegboard to hold keys, your dog’s leash or hang a small purse.

Set a routine of tidying up as you make your morning coffee, after shuttling the kids off to school or coming in from getting the mail – whatever time works for you.

Create personalized landing areas for each member of the family. If you’ve got the space try individually labeled cubbies or shelves for shoes, backpacks and winter warm gear – anything you can do to corral and contain the clutter while keeping your floors clear!