Easy, Doable Solutions To Avoid “Black Holes”
By Amber Matheson
If you’re like me, you have a few black holes in your house. Our dining room table is one — it’s the first and (often) final resting spot for just about anything handheld, from sandwiches to the Sunday paper. The entryway is another. My family of four accumulates approximately 80 billion articles of outdoor clothing and shoes on any given week, and it mostly ends up in a heap by the door. Tack on snowy, muddy, salty conditions, and it’s not just a depository; it’s a disaster.
With the bustle of the holidays over and winter in full swing, we’re attempting to clean up our act. Here’s how I plan to do it.
Multiple Mats. This is a tip we mention often. Less debris tracked in by foot means less of the most destructive dirt, like tiny particles of cement and glass that damage your carpet over time. Place a thick, scrubby doormat outside your door, then a second one just inside your doorway to trap more dirt before it makes its way into your home.
A Slipper Station. This Martha Stewart tip is genius, of course, but it’s also a great trigger for a New Year’s resolution to have a better work-life balance. We’re going to set up a slipper basket next to a tray for shoes. When we come in, we’ll take off our shoes, and metaphorically take off our busy day. Sliding in to comfortable slippers will be a physical sign that we’re done with work and ready to spend time with our family.
A Convenient Cleaner. We’re setting up a charging station near our entryway, so we always have a battery ready to go for our Air Cordless vacuum. It’s lightweight and steerable, so we use it pretty much every day. Keeping it near the place in the house where we create the most mess just makes sense.
More Hooks. No hangers. Get rid of all the hangers. Have you figured out a way to get your family to consistently hang their jackets on hangers? Me either. Hooks are easy, and that’s what you need in a black-hole zone. Easy.
Labeled Bins. This is a trick gleaned from organizational pros: childcare workers. When my son arrives at daycare, he makes a beeline for his labeled cubby. If it’s good enough for a gaggle of three-year-olds, I’m confident it’s something we can do here. We’re instituting labeled bins at home where we can chuck outdoor gear like scarves and mittens, plus items we need to deliver to a friend, donate or return.
How do you keep your entryway clean? Tell us your best tips on Facebook and Twitter.