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Organizing the Foyer


EJ_112013_YouSayFoyer:Photo1Entry, entryway, foyer, hallway, threshold, vestibule – whatever you call it – if you’re reading this, chances are you’re looking to zhoosh up yours.






In life, there are countless ways to make an entrance but, in reality, only two categories of home entries: entryways where you keep stuff and entryways where you don’t.

Category #1: The First Impression Foyer  {i.e. entryways where you don’t keep stuff}

If you fall into this category, people have been known to quietly gasp/momentarily clutch their chests when they walk through your front door. There isn’t a thing out of place. Dinner guests, impressionable sojourners, and that really good-looking UPS driver assume you don’t own keys, loose coins, receipts, shoes, or coats. Somehow, you mysteriously own said foyer without the need to drive, exchange currency, shop, wear shoes, or bundle up. If the paint color of your entry walls is called “Tossed Salad,” “Dirty Martini,” or “Kitten Whiskers,” you are 100% in this category. If there are fresh flowers in your foyer – if you even use the word “foyer” – you’re a First Impression Foyer.



PS…I know you think your foyer is going to be my first impression. But if I’m a dinner guest at your house, it’s just a matter of time before I peek into your fridge and medicine cabinet. Let’s be honest.


PPS…you think I made up “Kitten Whiskers.” It’s Benjamin Moore #1003. Dirty Martini is, of course, the paint baby of Bravo TV Flipping Out’s Jeff Lewis. And Tossed Salad is Valspar.


Category #2: The Monty Hall Hallway {i.e. entryways where you keep stuff}

If, on the other hand, you could be a contestant on Let’s Make a Deal because your entry table currently displays hair brushes, $27 in change, about 73 promotional pens, a sleeve of golf balls, several pairs of old sunglasses, algebra homework, pet stuff, donations to be donated, a purse cleaned out of everything but its weight in partially used Kleenexes, and a mound o’ junk mail/receipts/possibly important documents – and you pine for a more inspired space but don’t know where to start – here’s what you do:


1. Make a date with Monty {The hallway, not the married former game show host}.

Plan on a day when you can work without distraction. Do your hair {good hair days make everything better}. Fix your favorite beverage. Turn on your favorite music. And reconnect with every single thing in the space. That means take everything out. Yes…everything. Clean the floor, the baseboards, the shelves, inside the drawers…every surface. Now, touch and make a deliberate decision about every single item that goes back into the space.


2. A home entryway serves only three purposes:

to propel you into the world as your best, most prepared self, to welcome you home at the end of each day, and to welcome your guests. If an item doesn’t promote your immediate productivity or make you feel happy when you see it at the end of the day, it doesn’t get to live in that space. The end.




3. Contain, contain, contain.

Professional organizers have a saying – “Like goes with like.” It’s our password for getting into top-secret organizing events and scoring great hotel rates. Just kidding. We don’t have top-secret events. And, if you try to get into the Ritz-Carlton by leaning across the desk and whispering “Like goes with like,” they’re going to escort you out. But when it comes to organizing your entryway, it’s absolutely essential that you have a basket/bin/visually stunning container for everything that goes together. One tray for keys, one Mason jar for loose change, one basket for sunglasses, etc. {and for example}. This serves two purposes. First, you will think more clearly if your like things go with like things. Secondly, it’s infinitely easier to manage one basket/bin/container at a time than a surface of random, unrelated things. Added bonus: you can grab that colorful box of receipts and go through it while watching the Big Bang Theory marathon. Sheldon would so approve.


4. Remember that you are the most important guest in your home.

Don’t underestimate how important it is to have a visually stunning space…for yourself. Consider the Kitten Whiskers. Or any paint color that fills you with glee when you see it. If it takes hiring a painter, repair person, or cleaning crew, do it. It will be a small, one-time expense that will exponentially increase your happiness and productivity.




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