Tips for Creating an Organized Entry

An organized entry serves a number of important functions. 

  • It provides crucial storage space.  
  • It serves as a transition space between the inside and outside.  
  • It introduces the look and feel of the home, and 
  • it welcomes all who enter. 

Whether your home has a grand entry or no definable entry at all, you can create an organized entry space with a little effort and creativity.  I've put together some tips to help make the task a little easier, along with some images to inspire and motivate.  

This gorgeous example of a mud room from Better Homes and Gardens represents the ideal in entries: it's stylish, functional, and comfortable.  While most of us may not have the space to recreate this masterpiece mudroom in our own homes, we can still achieve a similar outcome on a smaller scale.

Assess Needs

The first step in creating an organized entry is to determine how you’d like the space to work.  Some typical functions of an entryway include:

  • Seating (for putting on or taking off shoes)
  • Shoe storage
  • Coat storage for family and/or visitors
  • Accessory storage (hats, gloves, scarves, umbrellas)
  • Bag storage (handbags and backpacks)
  • Storage of everyday personal items (keys, wallet, sunglasses, ID badge, phone, etc.)
  • Charging station for personal electronic devices
  • Mail sorting
  • Personal grooming (i.e. mirror)
  • Sports equipment storage
  • Broom closet/vacuum cleaner storage

This beautiful entry by Crisp Architects has it all -- storage, seating and style!

Assess the Space

The size and configuration of the space will play a major role in determining its functionality.  Here are some things to consider when assessing your entryway space:

  •  Is your entryway spacious or confined? 
  • Does the door open into the middle of a room or does it occupy a distinct space? 
  • Is there a set of stairs directly across from the entrance? 
  • Does your entry have a closet?  If so, how big is the closet? 
  • Is there any available wall space adjacent to the home’s entrance? 
  • Are there any nearby nooks into which you might place built-ins or free-standing furniture pieces?

The answers to these questions will provide you with the information you need to create a functional, organized entry designed specifically for your space and needs.  Each situation presents challenges as well as possibilities.  Identify the challenges associated with your particular space and brainstorm the possibilities. 

Don't have a designated entryway?  No problem.  Try creating the illusion of one using freestanding furniture (instructions for this project available at Better Homes and Gardens).  This solution adds storage to both the entry and the adjoining room.  I love that they used the exposed back of the middle unit as additional wall space in the living room.  They even painted it to match the walls.  

Characteristics of an Organized Entry

Once you've determined your needs and the potential/limitations of your space, you’re ready to design a functional, welcoming entry for your home.  Strive for the following characteristics for guaranteed success when designing your entryway. 


The entry is the first thing you and your guests see upon entering your home. Order is calming and welcoming; clutter tends to create a sense of burden that leads to tension.  You don’t want clutter to be the thing that greets people.  

To keep your entry orderly store only what you need in order to achieve the space’s desired function.  

A single, utilitarian piece of furniture can turn a tight corner into a functional entryway.  The combination of drawers and basket-filled cubbies in this lovely cabinet give this entry a neat, orderly appearance (not to mention tons of hidden storage).  Plus, I love the eye patch!  {Source}


An organized entry should be comfortable and uncluttered.  To achieve this, it’s useful to examine the scale of the furniture.  Unless you are blessed with a spacious foyer or other form of grand entrance, look for pieces with a narrow footprint.  A good guideline is no more than 18 inches in depth when choosing console tables, bookcases, and other freestanding furniture pieces for an entryway.  Look for pieces that are functional yet unobtrusive. 

Here is an excellent example of a streamlined entryway.  The storage benches were actually created by cutting a coffee table in half down the center and refinishing it.  Clever!  {Source}


When outfitting your entry, look for storage solutions that are versatile.  Choose pieces that offer a variety of different types of storage: shelves, drawers, closed cabinets, cubbies, etc.  Also look for ways to expand the existing storage by adding hooks, pegs, baskets or bins.

In addition to providing versatile storage, look for pieces that can serve more than one function such as a bench with storage underneath or inside.    

Here we see a coffee table being used as a storage bench.  Simply add cushions for comfortable seating and a big, shallow basket for hidden storage.  Suddenly you've got a lot of storage in a small amount of space.  {Source}


While form and function are key to an organized entry, style should play a role as well.  Paint the walls a warm, welcoming color.  Tie the color and décor of your entryway to surrounding rooms so that it feels like a natural extension of the space.  Choose storage containers that complement your home’s décor.  Set the tone for your entire home in your entryway.    

From the paint technique on the wall to the skillful mix of patterned fabrics, this entry shows off the homeowner's style.  From the aptly named blog Honey We're Home.


Let visitors see who you are the moment they walk through the door.  Display family photos or other personally meaningful items that invite guests to come on in and get acquainted.  Images and items that remind you of the people and places you love the moment you walk in the door will help to make your home inviting to you and interesting to others.    

What this charming entry lacks in storage, it makes up for in personality (not to mention style). {Source}

Whatever the size, shape or layout of your entryway, you can have an organized entry that reflects your personality and welcomes all who enter.  

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