Your front entryway welcomes guests into your home and it’s the first area that greets you when you return from work at the end of the day. Unfortunately, it’s also where dirt and allergens start infiltrating your residence: Studies show that up to 80% of the dirt and debris in a building enters through the front door. From there, we spread it around the house on our socks, shoes, and clothing. This is especially true during the cold Milwaukee winter, when road salt, snow, and wet conditions make tracking extra mud and grit into the house unavoidable.
While hiring professional housecleaners is the most efficient way to keep entryways mess-free, there are a number of DIY tricks you can use to make entryway cleaning more manageable and you don’t need any fancy cleaning equipment. In this article, we’ll share our favorite strategies for tackling dirt, grime, and clutter in the busiest part of your home.
7 Ways to Keep Your Hallways and Entryways Clean All Year Long
- Stop mess before it starts.
To control the spread of dirt and debris, equip every entryway in your home with an indoor mat and an outdoor mat. Ask everyone in your household to shake and wipe their footwear off outside (on an outdoor mat) to prevent excess dirt from entering the home and everyone should learn the basics of how to keep a house clean. Once inside, household members should immediately remove their shoes or boots while standing on an indoor mat.
For best results, purchase large indoor-outdoor mats made of durable, snow-proof material, like coir or rubber. If possible, opt for dark-colored mats rather than light ones, as dark colors are stain-resistant and capable of hiding dirt. Place small stools near each entrance to make it easy for family members of all ages to sit down and remove their footwear without stepping off the mat.
- Simplify storage.
Many people don’t think twice about dropping their jacket, gloves, or scarf on the nearest chair or table when they get home. Every time you do this, however, you immediately transfer dirt indoors – that’s why it’s important to have multiple storage options for outerwear near each entrance.
To keep your entryways (and your home) clean and organized, install a multi-tier shoe shelf, a boot tray, a storage box for accessories, and an over-the-door coat rack near each entrance, so your family can quickly put items in their proper place. Let wet outwear dry on the coat rack before placing it in the closet (to prevent drips and mold growth), and place snowy boots in boot trays designed to trap water and mud.
To prevent entryway storage areas from becoming cluttered, remove out-of-season items and store them in another location. When cold weather hits, for example, consider placing sunglasses, summer hats, and sandals in plastic bins that you can easily slip under your bed. Likewise, when you declutter your home during spring cleaning, remember to get rid of shoes and outwear you’re no longer using. As a general rule, if you haven’t worn an item all year, it should be discarded or donated.
- Shake doormats off outside.
At the end of each day, carefully pick up your indoor mats, carry them outside, and vigorously shake them to expel trapped dirt. This habit will keep your home cleaner and reduce wear on your vacuum by getting rid of small pebbles, sand, and other potentially damaging debris.
- Vacuum and mop hallways and entryways at least once per day.
After you shake off your indoor mats, thoroughly vacuum each hallway and entryway in your home. Then, use a damp microfiber mop to pick up leftover dust and grime. (Note that you should always vacuum entrance areas before mopping them. Otherwise, you may inadvertently dissolve road salt crystals with your wet mop – and no one wants to spread road salt residue across their floors!)
- If you have a dog, use pet gates to reduce mess.
Most dogs love playing in the snow and mud, and they don’t think twice about tracking it back inside. To limit mess while still allowing your dog to enjoy the great outdoors, install a pet gate near each entrance. Use these gates to keep your dog confined to one area while you wipe off his paws and fur. (Make sure you clean the floor immediately afterward, too.)
- Keep outdoor walkways as clean as possible.
The cleaner your walkways are, the easier it will be to avoid tracking snow and dirt inside. In the winter, promptly shovel your walkways after each snowfall, then sweep away any remaining snow. In the summer, use a broom or leaf and litter vacuum to remove debris before spraying walkways with a hose. Once the concrete is wet, use a stiff brush to gently work out stubborn grit and stains. When you’re done, rinse the area again with the hose.
- Deep clean your entryways once a week.
To keep your entryways looking bright and inviting, it’s important to deep clean them every weekend. First, remove and wash your outerwear (including your shoes and boots). Then, sprinkle baking soda in your closet and let it sit for at least two hours. While the baking soda sits, wipe down doors, windows, and shelves, and dust the walls and ceiling. After two hours have passed, vacuum your entryways, closets, and hallways thoroughly. Finally, mop the floors with warm, soapy water. When the floors have dried, put your clean shoes and outwear back in their proper locations.
Need Help With Entryway Cleaning? Ask the Experts at BetterCleans
Tackling extra mess indoors on top of dealing with snow, ice, and freezing temperatures outside can be exhausting. If you’d like to skip housework this winter – and spend your time relaxing in a clean and cozy home instead – why not treat yourself to our affordable cleaning services? No matter how busy your hallways and entryways are, our licensed, bonded maids in Milwaukee will keep them fresh, clean, and welcoming.