IT IS TIME for an entryway intervention. These formerly warm, welcoming spaces have turned into mini medical-supply stores—dumping grounds for masks, rubber gloves, bottles of hand sanitizer and wipes galore. With space at a premium, safety-minded tastemakers are struggling to add personal protective equipment to an existing mix of coats, shoes and backpacks in an orderly yet stylish way.
“I have two kids and a husband, and we’ve been trying to figure out the mask-by-the-door thing in a small house with no mud room or entry closet,” admitted Shira Gill, an organizing expert whose book “Minimalista” (Penguin Random House) arrives next year. “I already had hooks by the front door for jackets, but now we each have a hook where we can hang our clean, ready-to-go masks so they are literally on the way out, and you can’t miss them.” Ms. Gill, whose credo is to “keep it simple,” uses wooden, Shaker-style peg boards with hooks. You can, however, buy more modern—dare we say glamorous?—hooks in brass, even leather, either individually or as part of modular systems.
For sanitizer, gloves and other pandemic gear, you need more than hooks. If you enjoy a spacious foyer, spring for a hall rack—multifunctional free-standing structures that incorporate hooks, shelves and cubbies (see right). Ideally, said Ms. Gill, “I would have a shallow bin or tray for each member of the family that could be labeled ‘masks and sanitizer’ or labeled with the person’s name.” Anyone who shares her distaste for standard-issue label makers can find umpteen variations of custom-printed labels in different shapes, sizes and fonts on Etsy.
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Living in tighter quarters? Ms. Gill suggests setting up a PPE station on a small entryway table that you can’t easily ignore while rushing out the door. Stash gear in a metal or wood caddie that has multiple compartments, or a basket (which we’re told are now called mask-ets). If you lack a horizontal surface, consider wall-mounted space-saving “pockets” in materials ranging from cotton to wood to leather. Many incorporate hooks, and some, originally intended for keys, are magnetic and can be slapped onto the back of a metal door. Folks willing to commit to a solution may prefer free-floating wall shelves with separate compartments for every resident’s PPE gear. Safety can be chic.
DON’T LEAVE HOME WITHOUT IT / Three mask-friendly hook systems to keep your Covid gear at eye level