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Gert's Dirt: Foyer or entryway organization

Donna Bellino 

for the Lake County News-Chronicle

Here in the North Country with all the ice, snow, and cold, the entryway or foyer can be a real mess. Watery snow melts from boots. Hats, mittens and scarves accumulate, making it a challenge to stay organized and clean. Here are some tips to get the most out of the entry.

 • The foyer should have a good absorbent rug to catch the water, sand and salt on boots. Rugs should have rubber backing to prevent them from slipping and sliding on the floor. By placing a rug in front of the door, you may also prevent slipping on a wet tile surface, too. I like the kind of rug that can be vacuumed easily.

• Place boot trays in a closet or off to the side of the walking area. Some foyers are at the top of stairs and tripping over misplaced boots can be dangerous, so encourage everyone to use the trays. You may also want to place a pair of slippers nearby. My friend Martha Stewart suggests placing pebbles in the bottom of the trays to allow for drainage. This keeps the boots from sitting directly in the water. This is a good idea, but at my house all of those pebbles would be everywhere but in the tray!

I have seen several creative and attractive ways to deal with the multitude of hats, mittens, scarves and gloves. I like the use of wicker baskets. They are fairly inexpensive and easy to find in almost any store. They “breathe” and look better than plastic bins. They can be placed on shelves, in cubbies, on a table or in a closet. A clever way to display them is to use curtain rings to clamp them to dowel or towel rods attached to the wall.

A good suggestion for little ones is to attach a drawer pull to the wall, making it low enough for them to hang a coat or scarf. By using a door knob rather than a coat hook, they won’t bump their heads and adults won’t bump their knees if they walk close by. Cute knobs can be found at building centers and hardware stores, or get wooden ones that can be painted to match or accent your décor.

Keys, book bags and umbrellas all need a home. As I mentioned last week, placing items in the same place after each use ensures that they can always be found when needed.

When you or your guests enter your home, it should be bright and cheery. Good lighting is important and will keep everyone safe. Let the sun shine in through clean windows and consider freshening paint in the entry to keep everything looking clean and bright. A mirror can be used to reflect some of the light, making the room feel larger, and it’s nice to be able to check your look as you head out the door for the day!

The foyer or entryway is the first thing people see when they come to your home. It is also one of the most challenging areas to keep tidy. I hope these suggestions help to inspire you to declutter and organize your foyer for a good first impression and a welcome feeling when you come home.

Donna Bellino is a nurse and owner of Gertie’s Cleaning and Home Service. I care for you, your health and your home. Gertie’s: Naturally Clean!