From Nearly Nonexistent to Enviably Large: 5 No-Fail Recipes for an Organized Entryway (At Any Size)

published Aug 30, 2016
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(Image credit: Lauren Kolyn)

Here at Apartment Therapy, we’re huge proponents of the landing strip—having a dedicated “clutter filter” in the entryway can make your whole home more organized. What’s more, no home is too small for this crucial bit of design know-how. Read on for my recipe for an organized foyer at any size.

My basic “recipe” (otherwise known as the bare minimum) for an organized entryway is this:

Mirror + Surface + Welcome Mat

A mirror, necessary for that final check before you leave the house, is ideally full-length, but smaller and hung at eye level is useful too. The surface can be a dedicated console table or slim shelf, or even a section of kitchen counter. It’s where you’ll sort the mail, leave your keys or anything you need to remember. A welcome mat just says “you’re home now”, and is crucial for wiping your shoes and keeping your home clean.

To this basic recipe you can add in some organizational and aesthetic extras, depending on the size of your entry.

(Image credit: Sophie Timothy)

If your entryway is: Nonexistent

By this, I mean that the front door of your home opens directly onto your living area, kitchen, bedroom, or in the case of a studio apartment, all of the above. Without even a slim hallway to play with, you’ve got to great creative.

Your entry surface might be the end of the media unit that houses your TV, a large bedside table, or a tiny wall-mounted shelf, as see above from Design Sponge. To the basic formula, consider adding:

  • A tray or bowl to catch “entry debris”, and mark the area as your landing strip
  • A small hook on a nearby wall for a bag or coat, space permitting

→ 5 Tips for Dealing with a No-Entryway Entryway

→ Smart Ways To Add a Functional Foyer When You Can Barely Spare the Space

(Image credit: Lauren Kolyn)

If your entryway is: Tiny

So you have a suuuuper skinny hallway to play with. It’s better than nothing! When it comes to organizing this kind of entry way, utilize whatever wall space you’ve got. You could also add:

  • A small, open console

→ Make it Work: Ideas for Squeezing a Little Extra Storage Out of Your Teenie Entryway

(Image credit: Diana Liang)

If your entryway is: Small

This type of entry is still usually in a straight hallway, but you might have a bit more width to play with. Try adding:

  • Slim wall-mounted cubbies for shoe storage (and don’t forget to consider shelving above like the foyer above).
  • Art and plants! They make every room in the house nicer to be in, no matter the size
(Image credit: Lauren Kolyn)

If your entryway is: Medium

We’re getting fancy now! A medium entry way is often located in an L-shaped hallway (more walls to play with), or small room. To make the most of it, add:

  • Off the floor storage for shoes, either with multiple cubbies or a slim, low-level shelf
  • Seating in the form of a small chair or slim bench—another surface to plonk down shopping bags, and great for sitting and removing shoes. Try a pop of color like the blue pillows above, especially if your room is dark.
(Image credit: Jacqueline Marque)

If your entryway is: Large

Well, the world’s your oyster isn’t it? You have a front hall with a dedicated coat closet, or even a mudroom—you’ll still want to keep things organized, however. To do so, add:

  • Individual cubbies, hooks or baskets for each member of the household, to avoid clutter
  • A dedicated, permanent Outbox—somewhere for items on their way out of your home to go
  • A “junk-mail” recycler to drop in unwanted papers straight away