Cabinets, Lockers and Other Organizational Tools Can Simplify Life
Instead of strewing these items around the house at will, why not organize the things you need for your daily grind in an area of the home that may very well only be used as a passageway to the outside or to the garage.
Savvy family foyers have long been a part of high-end custom homes, but the functionality that they bring is applicable to the average homeowner, even for individuals living in small spaces.
Family foyers are high traffic areas that have evolved over the years from passageway mainly used as drop zones to keep a house from getting dirty to sophisticated rooms with increased storage and organizational areas for shoes, gloves, hats, coats, sporting goods, etc.
A Launching and Landing Pad
The goal of a family foyer is to organize items immediately upon entering the house and keep them there so they don’t get lost.
Store items that you use everyday, or at least several times a week upon leaving the house. Seasonal such as coats and jackets, and athletic equipment can be swapped out as appropriate.
Every member of your household should have their own dedicated area to store personal items. An easy way to do this is through lockers, either purchased in stores such as IKEA or built in by a remodeling contractor.
Lockers bought in stores often have an inherent drawback in that the storage space up high, making it difficult for younger children to reach. For lockers to be successful, buy ones that are appropriate for children or modify hooks so smaller hands can reach them.
If you don’t have space for several lockers, consider placing attractive hooks on the wall at appropriate heights, plus adding some type of seating such as a bench with storage space underneath for hats, gloves, boots and other footwear.
Decorate the area with stenciling or name plates as well as your family’s favorite colors. In other words, make it attractive so that everyone will want to stay organized.
If you have a large room, make the family foyer a craft area where you can keep your hobbies in one space. Make sure there is sufficient cabinet space with cubbies for smaller items, and sufficient counter space for staging or writing last minute notes.
Set aside a dedicated “tech” station for chargers of electronics such as cell phones, IPods, personal organizers, and the like.
If you keep the chargers near the door and consistently put your gadgets there every time you enter the house, you’ll never have to search for them.
Another consideration is installing a sink in the family foyer for handy clean-ups when you return from outdoor work.
The area is also good for a pet washing station, in addition to being a convenient place for pet beds and food and water bowls.
To help keep your life organized, Professional Organizer Jane Carroo, owner of Clutter Coach in Palatine, IL, suggested in an interview that certain items are essential for a well-organized family foyer. Her list includes:
Family calendar to identify activities, appointments, etc.
Checklist of daily items
Docking Station for cell phone, IPods, etc.
Hooks for coats
Baskets for hats, scarves, gloves
Cubbies for backpacks
Racks for shoes
Place for purse, wallets, briefcases, tote bags
Bin for items that belong to visitors
Water/refillable water bottles
Miscellaneous on-the-go items, i.e. bug spray, snacks, travel games
Sport bags for equipment
Pet Equipment such as leashes and toys
Remember, the goal of a family foyer is not so much about decorating as it is about functionality. It’s an organizational zone where you attempt to make your life easier.