|Courtesy of Microsoft.|
"You never have a second chance to make a first impression." Cliches become cliches because they contain at least a bit of truth. And the front door area--the foyer--of a house is where visitors glean their first real impressions of the family who lives within the home.
In many homes, the foyer is a spacious decorative area, but in our home--because it is the only entrance--the foyer functions as mud room and shoe, hat, and coat storage (no handy front closet here) as well as being the area where we greet visitors to our home. In addition, the foyer also tends to gather mail, flyers, and magazines that are placed on the shelving in the area as soon as we walk through the door.
In the foyer I have two medium-sized bookshelves that are used in the homeschooling/dining area for supplies, a small shelf unit for shoes, and a repurposed ironing board that holds the caps the youngsters like to wear. About the bookshelves: The backs of the shelves face into the foyer, and the fronts of the shelves face into the homeschooling/dining area, so the tops of the shelves gather the clutter. About the shoe shelf: We like to take off our shoes as we come in, and since we started doing so, our incidence of illness has decreased tremendously (your results may vary).
I do a good job of keeping the tile clean with daily sweeping and biweekly mopping. The shoes are almost always placed on the shoe shelf, caps and jackets regularly hung up on the ironing board. (I am considering storing the ironing board or donating it because I haven't ironed anything since before my beloved Braveheart passed.) Upon reflection, I realized that the paper clutter marred the look of the foyer.
I found in my store of stuff a stacking mail organizer (somewhat like this one) and put it to use on top of the shelves. The top shelf is used for mail in envelopes; the bottom shelf is used for magazines and catalogs. I also made a rule to give myself the treat of an hour on Friday afternoons to read magazines and peruse catalogs. After saving the helpful magazine materials and clipping any catalog items I find interesting enough for a possible future purchase, I will probably recycle most of them.
What is your "second worst" clutter area?