It’s easy for the entryway to become a catch-all spot for clutter. With some smart storage solutions, you can create a warm, welcoming entry where everything is in its place.
Tips for an Organized Entryway
The entrance is your first opportunity to reduce clutter. Furnish it with racks, hooks, lockers and stands, and it will welcome your visitors and maintain order for your family’s belongings. The front door, back door and mudroom are the typical entryways into a home. While all provide a means of access, they're likely to be used in different ways. The front door, for instance, is where you formally welcome guests, while family and friends use the back door and mudroom for casual comings and goings. As you consider how to organize an entryway, take such differences into account.Front Door
Impose order on your front entryway without making it seem crowded by making a few, small changes.
- Add a coat rack with pegs for guests' outerwear. It won’t crowd limited floor space, and your visitors will appreciate having a place to store their things.
- Install smaller hooks near the front door to hang keys, purses and other small items that tend to get tossed and lost easily.
- Add a small table or console to the entryway to store mail and other items. A table with a drawer or a small chest of drawers will allow you to keep things you'll need as you leave your home, such as sunglasses or a purse.
- If your front entryway is too small for a table, consider installing a shelf.
- Use decorative baskets to collect items that can clutter your entryway, such as mail, spare change or keys. Designate which container is meant to hold which kind of item. You’ll appreciate everything having its place the next time you’re looking for your keys.
- A hutch is another good option for the front entryway. Choose a design that matches your home’s décor and will allow you a place to store jackets, bags and other items. Many hutches include a bench, which is handy for removing your shoes when you get home.
- Keep in mind the formal nature of this entryway, and choose your pieces to include a touch of elegance.
Usually, the back door is an entrance that only family and close friends will use, so you can put function before appearance here.
- Install a wall-mounted coatrack or a series of pegs or hooks so your family can hang up coats, scarves and hats. Remember to place these where small children can reach as needed.
- Create a place to set wet or muddy shoes. Open shelving, especially that made of wire, can serve as a place for boots to dry.
- Control clutter and contain hard-to-store items with shelves and cubbyholes tucked into available space. Use baskets and totes to corral clunky items, like book bags, and to collect smaller items like keys.
- Transform an inexpensive set of stacking cubes into a school station for backpacks and books. Use baskets to organize supplies and papers, and add hooks above it for backpacks and coats.
- Stow kids' play items in lockers or a built-in unit with drawers for balls and other tough-to-contain objects.
- Use hooks and pegs to prevent pets’ leashes, harnesses and collars from tangling, while keeping them accessible. Hang a mesh bag over a hook, and store plastic bags inside to arm yourself for cleanup duty before you venture outside for a walk. Keep a plastic bin by the back door, and toss in the dog’s toys and balls.
A mudroom is especially helpful in containing clutter and creating efficient storage. Consider converting a small room or large closet near an entrance, or set off part of a room to make a mudroom. Be sure that the flooring is made of a practical, moisture-proof material that doesn’t show dirt and can be cleaned easily.
- Install a well-planned storage system to help contain the chaos so your mudroom doesn't become a junk room.
- Combine cubbyholes, lockers, racks and pegs to create a system that will accommodate outerwear, footwear, backpacks, sports gear, towels and paper towels for wiping hands and umbrellas.
- Use a coatrack, instead of a closet, to dry rain-soaked garments. Ready-made racks range from the purely functional to decorative, richly finished wood varieties. Alternatively, build your own to custom-fit your family’s needs.
- Build a set of lockers with hooks or pegs, giving family members their own. Consider the height of each family member and the length of his or her outwear garments when building the lockers, and position cubbyholes at the bottom for footwear.
- Contain wet umbrellas at the door. Hang them on a coatrack or place them in a locker. Or try the more elegant solution of an umbrella stand.
- Offer people a seat if you want them to discard dirty footwear at the door. A simple stool or a one-seat built-in bench will do in a small space. For larger areas, consider adding a bench with a built-in storage compartment.
- Add a message center with a bulletin board or a wall painted with chalkboard to your mudroom to help organize your family’s schedule and communicate. Keep storage near your message center to contain necessary implements, such as paper, pencils, dry-erase markers, chalk, pushpins or an eraser.
- Gather newly received mail in a basket on a table, or attach a wooden box to the wall. You might separate outgoing mail with its own container. For the ultimate in organization, purchase or construct a box with compartments, and designate one section or slot for each member of the family and one for outgoing letters.
- Store cell phones or other electronic devices that need to be charged near an electrical outlet.