Spiffing Up Your Walkway and Entryways

January 21, 2009 · Filed Under Stay at Home Sanity · Comments Off on Spiffing Up Your Walkway and Entryways 

My job as a clutter consultant was to help Elaine transform several areas of her home for a two-part television newscast on CHAOS (Can’t Have Anyone Over Syndrome).  With apprehension, she allowed the film crew to take “before” shots as the reporter interviewed us.

When I left that day, I commented that the entrance to her home might be included in the filming of our makeover. Seeing the broken pots, faded ribbons and flat balloons tied to her lamp post, bags of recycling and more, I suggested we start right there.

Fast forward a month. As we waited for the crew to arrive for the “after” filming, she almost whispered, “I’m glad you suggested cleaning up the outside.  I would have been really embarrassed.”

Interestingly, the second segment began with the reporter walking up to the house and entering the front door (about 20 takes) as she set the scene for the makeover that viewers might expect to see. Having a tidy walkway made a big difference.

Now, back to you.  Let’s do a quick assessment of your entryway and see what’s ahead for your mini makeover.  You might be shocked. Familiar sights soon become invisible. We look right past the junk and clutter as we open the door and race to the ringing phone or the screaming child. Now, take a deep breath and go outside.  Do you see any of these things?

  • Broken toys or funky porch furniture
  • Rusting tools
  • Spider webs and dirty siding
  • Weeds
  • Tangled hoses
  • Unfinished projects like flats of plants and bags of mulch
  • Broken or empty pots
  • Out-of-season holiday decorations

What impression did you have as you approached your home or apartment?  Were you thinking “This place rocks!” or “What a SLOB I am”?  Did your energy sink or soar?  If it sank, you probably feel this way every day when you come home whether you’re conscious of it or not.

Six Simple Steps to Give Your Entryway a Face Lift

There’s nothing sexy about this task, but it feels GREAT when it’s done.  You’ll feel that much more on top of life.

  1. Pick up all the obvious trash and throw it away
  2. Put away unfinished projects, and make a note on your calendar to complete them. Leaving them out only serves to remind you that you’re disorganized and overwhelmed.
  3. Better yet, complete the unfinished projects—plant the plants, tighten the screws on the porch swing, and hang the wind chime.
  4. Now that you’ve cleared away the clutter, take another look at your entryway.  Is there something you can do to spiff it up like a fresh coat of paint on the door, a porch plant, or a new welcome mat?
  5. Open the door and step inside.  Clear the first four feet around the entrance so that nothing blocks the door.
  6. Do the same assessment of your back entrance so you feel good coming and going

Now that you know what the steps are, you might as well get started. Nothing changes without action.

Use this Master Home Organization Plan to help you stay on track with your “company-ready” project.  Fill it out and post it to remind you of bite-sized tasks to complete when you have a few minutes.  The Master Plan helps you get clear on what needs to be done and provides check boxes to show completion.  Making a checkmark feels great.  And remember the point of all of this is to gradually get your house in such good shape that you can get ready for company in 30 minutes or less any day of the week.

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