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How To Organise Entryways, Mudrooms and Hallways

Experts call small entryways, hallways, and stairwells transition areas. That's because they're not really desti­nation spots in and of themselves. People move through these spaces to get in or out of the house or to move from one room to another.

Entryways, Mudrooms and Hallways
Reader's Digest

That's the problem, though. Because we don't spend a lot of time in these areas, it's easy to overlook them in our cleaning routines. And if the spaces are cluttered and dingy, they can have a negative impact on the overall appearance of your home. 

The challenge is that these areas see a lot of foot traffic, which means they see a lot of dirt.

Because entryways, mudrooms, and hallways are all small and confined, dirt quickly creates a less-than-appealing picture, and it can just as quickly migrate into other areas of the house.

Before you ever start cleaning small transition spaces, take steps to stop that dirt at the door.

As we all know from the "ounce of prevention" saying, it's easier to head off a problem than to fix it after the damage is done.

So learn to stop dirt in its tracks.

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The Small-Scale Action Plan Step 1. Kill Those Cobwebs
The Small-Scale Action Plan Step 1 - Kill Those Cobwebs
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Nothing spells "unwelcome" quite like strands of cobwebs or a coating of dust on an entry­way ceiling, hallway light fixture, or otherwise glossy moulding.

That's why cleaning these spaces always starts with a quick top-down once-over with a lamb's-wool duster attached to a long handle.

As always, move around the room left to right, starting at the door. In a hall, move down one side and back along the other. 

Step 2. Put everything in its place
Step 2. Put everything in its place
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Continue working downward in the space by picking up all loose items and placing them in designated locations.

Keys should have their own bowl or hook, and mail should have its own receptacle, such as a wicker basket or stylish box.

A busy mudroom or entryway should have enough hooks or hangers to accommodate all the outerwear that will come through the space. 

Hallways should be entirely clear. 

A general tidying up can transform a small space, because these areas look cramped and messy with just a small amount of clutter. 

Step 3. Make the glass sparkle
Step 3. Make the glass sparkle
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Windows and mirrors are crucial for visually opening up smaller spaces such as foyers and halls.

They will also make small, confined areas seem bright, airy, and clean ... but not if they are caked with dirt.

Polish brass and chrome accents. 

Step 4. Polish wood surfaces
Step 4. Polish wood surfaces
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Shiny wood surfaces on console tables, benches, and coat racks are not only attractive in their own right, they also help reflect the avail­able light in the space.

Step 5. Shine underfoot
Step 5. Shine underfoot
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Entrances often have hard or resilient floors,while hallways are often car­peted. Either way, keep floors in these areas spotless to pre­vent dirt from moving deeper into the house. It's especially important in mudrooms.

Step 6. Know your mats
Step 6. Know your mats
Wikimedia

Use doormats at every entrance to your home, inside and out.

Remember: Most of the grime in your home comes from the outside, the bulk of it hitchhiking in unno­ticed on people's feet.

Choose the right doormats to measurably curb the time you spend cleaning and chasing down dirt.

The heavy-duty mats that retail stores, supermarkets, and hospitals use to keep dirt at bay are a terrific choice here.

Typically called walk-off mats, they can be purchased in janitorial supply shops and home improvement stores.

The name tells the tale here: They're called walk-off mats because people coming into the house walk across them, giving the dirt on their shoes the brush-off.

Mats for outside your door are usually made of rubber- or vinyl­backed synthetic turf.

Inside, walk-off mat choices come in nylon or olefin, with either vinyl or rubber backing.

The indoor variety is available in several dark, dirt-defying colors to coordinate with your decor.

A walk-off mat should be long enough so that both feet can walk across it before entering the house, and the width no wider than the door itself.

As well, the mat should never impede the door's movement. 

Simple Solutions
Simple Solutions
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Entryways, mudrooms, halls, and stair­wells are all main thoroughfares that see a lot of abuse in a home.

The walls that line those areas usually take the brunt of that abuse, but there are several ways to keep the walls looking sharp. 

•     Brighten up wallpapered walls by wiping with a sponge moistened in a solution of 2 tablespoons (30 ml) baking soda in 1 quart (1 L) of water. Remove wallpaper grease stains with a paste of 1 tablespoon (15 ml) baking soda and 1 teaspoon (5 ml) water. Rub it on the stain, let it set for 5-10 minutes, then rub off with a damp sponge.

•     Protect walls in high-traffic mudrooms with a spritz of spray starch-this will prolong the life of painted surfaces and make cleaning grime off the walls easier.

•     Remove small smudges from painted walls with an art gum eraser.

•     Clean crayon off of walls with a light spray of penetrating machine oil-the crayon should wipe right off. Remove ink or marker with rubbing alcohol.



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