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How to Organize an Entryway

How to Organize an Entryway, Hall Closet, Foyer or Mud Room


Darby Entryway Bench from Pottery Barn

Darby Entryway Bench from Pottery Barn.

Photo / Pottery Barn

In How to Organize an Entryway, you will learn how to streamline this space to make it more user-friendly for every member of your household. Most households use the entryway as ground zero for coats, umbrellas, briefcases, backpacks, shoes, mail and keys. Add in cell phones, iPods, Kindles, laptops, and all manner of small electronics, and your entryway can and will quickly become a breeding ground for clutter.

Mission: The entryway needs to be organized and used-friendly so you can get in and out the door easily, and since it's often the first thing people see when they walk into your home, it has the added challenge of needing to be stylish and inviting.

How to Organize the Entryway in 5 Steps

Declutter & Clean The Entryway

The first step is to declutter and clean. This means removing anything from the area that either doesn't belong there, or that needs to be tossed out or stored. In general, it's much easier to focus on what to keep rather than what to toss.

1.Take everything out of your hall closet, off the entryway bench, and clear the console table.

2.Create the following piles:

Keep - Items that you use often and belong in your entryway.
Toss - Items you no longer use, i.e. clutter that can be tossed, recycled or donated.
Misplaced Items - These are the items that have made their way into

3. Go through and put anything in the "misplaced items" pile back where it belongs in your home. Next go through the "toss" pile and trash, recycle or donate anything you are no longer using. If you're not making a trip to a donation center today, put the item in your donation bin to deal with later.

4. Clean it. How often do you see the bottom of your hall closet? Take the opportunity to give this space a good cleaning: dust, wipe down, sweep and mop or vacuum the area. You're now left with the items you will be keeping in your entryway - it's a fresh start!

Sort & Organize the Entryway

You're now left with the pile of items (the "keep" pile) you want to organize and store in this area. Take the keepers and divide them further into piles of like items, and then we'll sort by frequency of use.

Group all "like" items together:

  • Hats with hats
  • Bags with bags
  • Umbrellas with umbrellas
  • Fall & Spring jackets together (think: lightweight jackets like trench coats, denim jackets, rain coats)
  • Winter accessories like wool hats, gloves, mitten, and scarves
  • Shoes and boots together
  • Mail and paper items together

Grouping like items together is like the bread-and-butter of organizing. It's so much easier to find a particular hat if you have all hats organized together, and easy retrieval is the goal of organizing and entryway.

Plan Entryway Storage

The first step in tackling Entryway Storage is to, as always, make sure everything in the entryway has a designated place. Then, decide which storage solutions will work best for what you have-don't do the opposite, meaning, don't buy cool storage furniture and hope it fits. Slow down, and think like a project manager: think it through, measure, do your research.

1. At the very least, make sure you carve out a storage space for these entryway staples:

  • Everyday shoes and boots
  • Coats and Jackets
  • Mail
  • Accessories
  • Keys

See What to Store in the Entryway.

2. Consider a designated space for each family member. This will create a habit of leaving things in the same place all the time, making them easier to find.

3. Finally, make this space as user-friendly as possible by maximizing your prime real estate areas. This means your everyday coats and bags should be stored in spaces that are easy for you to reach - typically at the height between your knees and shoulders, or in the front of the hall closet so you can grab and go.

Maintain Entry Way Organization

This space could use a quick clutter sweep everyday, but in lieu of daily organizing, we will be completing a 20-30 minute clutter sweep of this area every week as part of the Weekly Organizing Routine, but for maximum organization.

Entryway Organization 101
Step-by-step guides, entryway ideas, storage solutions, tips and ideas to organize your entryway.

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