Decluttering Your Entryway

If you’re decluttering and organizing your home, the entryway might just be the perfect place to start. It’s usually one of the smaller areas of the home and also one of the areas that can tend to cause some of the greatest frustrations, so taking care of it can make a big impact in motivating you to continue on to other rooms.

As I outlined in the Decluttering Strategies post, a good thing to start with is to identify what your motivation is and envision how you want your space to be. How does the entryway in its current state make you feel? Does clutter put you in a bad mood when you walk in the door? Is it hard to find things when you’re heading out the door? Can you imagine the potential of the space?

before-closet_realsimpleReal Simple After Closet
photography by Noah Webb

List the functions you want the entryway to support. Work around your habits and desired lifestyle. What do you need a place for? Below is a list of common items convenient to have a place for in the entryway:
  • shoes
  • keys
  • coats
  • handbags
  • mail
  • hats
  • scarves
  • backpacks and school stuff (i.e. signed papers, lunchboxes, announcements)
  • reusable grocery bags
  • cell phones, blackberries, etc.
  • sunglasses
  • umbrellas
  • coins
  • dry cleaning to drop off
  • temporary items -(i.e. stuff you want to take with you)
Clear some space, have bags and boxes ready and start clearing everything from the entryway, sorting as you go. More often than not, the items that tend to collect in this area, tend to belong elsewhere in the home so sort those items by the room in which they belong in. You might also find that the entry has become a dumping ground for items you don’t know what to do with. Resist the urge put these in the Maybe pile. Make a decision on as many items as possible about whether you want to keep or get rid off them. If the item belongs to someone else in your household, be sure to consult with them or set it aside for them to make a decision on it.

Once you’re done sorting, take a look at your Keep pile and assess whether the entryway is the best home for each item. Will having them in the entryway interfere with the functions you want the space to support? Refer back to the list you created earlier.

Find a place for everything that you’ve decided belongs in the entryway. Put items where they’re most used and can be easily accessed. Establishing designated spots for the things you drop off and pick up as you go in and out can significantly minimize chaos. You may find it useful to sketch out a little plan to help you determine what you want where and figure out what little additions you might want to shop for (i.e. bins, hooks, a table, etc). If you’re anything like me, you’ll want to give equal attention to practical and design concerns.

In the posts to follow I’ll go over a variety of entryway configurations and organizational solutions. Stay tuned!

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  • Anna Liesemeyer

    okay I am so glad you stopped by because I LOVE your blog. Totally up my alley:)

  • Kris

    I just cleaned up my entire desk/cube at work. I work in production… way too much tape,dvd's, and other film crap! Ah FREE AT LAST!

  • listsinmypocket

    Great tips! Looking forward to reading more :)

  • tagskie

    hi.. just dropping by here… have a nice day!

  • peonychacha

    ummmm missssss…..i thought we were gonna get pictures of your potted flower project! i was so looking forward to that. fyi, if you have any specific questions regarding flower species, growth reqs, etc. let me know as my mom is an avid gardener and was a botany major!

  • Ces’t La Vie

    i love your blog and if im right in assuming that your doggies name is Little Foot THAT IS SO ADORIBLE!!!


  • {Arianna Belle}

    Haha no that's not til later. We have the basic structure built in four pieces -one piece of which we left behind at my mom's house because it was too long and didn't fit in our car. Once we get that fourth piece home, we need to assemble it so it fits together, seal and paint it, create a mini drainage system, fill it with soil and pot all the plants.

  • Erika @ BluLabel Bungalow

    I love that you are focusing on entryways mine needs quite a bit of tlc. thanks for the tips, too!

  • Kirby

    okay, so i may not have an entryway at the moment but I love this transformation and I really wish I had one so i could make it look great. I can't wait to see what else is coming the rest of this week!