7 Stylish & Functional Ways to Declutter Your Entryway


iStock.com/monkeybusinessimages

When kids go back to school (and back to sports, dance, and whatever other activities you signed them up for), life -- and your home -- can feel extra cluttered. Keeping on top of the schedule and remembering which equipment goes with which kid on what day at what time is not a one-size-fits-all problem, but with a few basic organizing principles and techniques, you can customize solutions that will work wonders for you and your family. Here are seven tips and tricks for setting up functional and stylish “go stations” for kids’ backpacks, homework folders, sports equipment, and more.  Once you decide which will work best for your home, head to the store with your BuyPower Card to stock up on supplies (and save toward a new GM vehicle in the process!).

Advertisement

1. For families who have a lot going on, organizing your gear by days of the week --rather than by kid or by activity -- can be a game-changer. Pack a portable bin that can go straight into the car with everything you need for the day, and you’ll never again leave to take Ben to soccer without also having Alice’s tap shoes and Joey’s piano books for later in the evening. Note also that making the daily bins the permanent “home” of your kids’ gear means it’s less likely to spread throughout the house over the course of the week.

2. Go vertical! Storing “up” is a good use of space, and it will help keep your kids’ stuff from piling in an impossible tangle on the floor. Hanging shoe or sweater organizers in the hall closet can sort out everything from mittens to homework folders to karate gis, and back-of-the-door organizers can hold tights, leotards, and pointe shoes, and/or knee and elbow pads and adhesive bandages, and/or snack packs and fruit pouches. If you’re short on closet space, cover a wall or hallway with hooks -- lots and lots of hooks -- for jackets, bags, and even shoes (tie the laces together!). And for heaven’s sake, spring for the decorative hooks because this is your home, not a locker room.

3. Instead of using a single backpack per kid and switching the contents depending on the activity of the day, how about giving each activity its own bag? Turn a fun luggage tag into a label that says “Gymnastics” or “Fencing” or whatever, and then attach a laminated checklist showing everything that should be inside. Lists mean you’ll never again show up on game day without cleats or a helmet, and they also make it easier for kids to gather their own stuff so you don’t have to!

4. Remember: Functional and practical organization solutions don’t have to be ugly. To store stuff in style (especially if it’s inside your house rather than in a garage or shed), a tall galvanized bucket with a cool industrial feel makes a cute container for lacrosse sticks and baseball bats, a vintage trunk can keep sports balls together and out of sight, while wide wicker baskets can confine shoes while still allowing them to air out. Shop home-goods stores or estate sales for unique pieces that will keep your house in order but also keep it looking like a home rather than a storage unit.

5. For super-smelly shoes, your decluttering method of choice might be to keep kids’ footwear out of the house entirely. A shoe rack tucked away on the front porch or a basket in the garage will help keep your inside spaces odor-free and will also cut down on those epic early-morning house-wide hunts for missing shoes -- you know, the ones that always make your kids late for school. 

6. The most obvious organization system might also be the best: give each kid a dedicated place for his or her things. If you have space for a small bank of lockers (spray-painted an interesting color) or tall cabinets with doors (ones big enough to hold a violin case or hockey stick), assign one to each kid (and maybe even each adult?!) and let everyone decorate the insides to their hearts’ content, leaving the outside looking clean and uncluttered.

7. When organizing your kids’ gear area, don’t forget to make a space for yourself. Designate a landing zone for permission slips that need signatures, important notes about the final history project, and the calendar of dress-up themes for Spirit Week. Skip the old shoebox and go for a nice tray or basket, and make a point to sort through everything nightly so you don’t miss all the stuff that only ever comes home at the very last minute.


When stocking up on essentials to help organize your home, remember that with the BuyPower Card from Capital One, you can turn anything you buy into Earnings toward a new Chevrolet, Buick, GMC or Cadillac vehicle*! There’s no limit on the amount you can earn or redeem, and your Earnings don’t expire.  You’ll earn 5% on the first $5,000 in purchases every year, and unlimited 2% earnings on all purchases after that. Apply now!

Capital One, N.A. is the issuer of the BuyPower Card. General Motors is responsible for the operation and administration of the Earnings Program.

*BuyPower Card Earnings may not be used with fleet vehicle incentive programs or with some other offers and discounted sale programs, such as the GM Employee Discount.

†Credit approval required. Terms and conditions apply. Find out more at buypowercard.com.

Sponsored by the BuyPower Card from Capital One®

Read More >