Ask the Freak ~ Organizing the Entryway

I received this email in response to my Command Center post:

I have the same dilemma that you recently posted about. My house opens right into my kitchen. I always have shoes and my purse and my work bag laying on the floor in the kitchen when I get home. We also have a dishwasher in the entrance corner that has a counter space which I think would be a great place for a starting place but… I can’t figure out what/how to deal with it.
My husband tells me that I like to organize but don’t use the organization… I told him it is because I haven’t found the right way to organize it yet.
I’m at a loss. Excuse the mess but we just ate breakfast and haven’t cleaned for the day!!!
The plastic bag hanging on the door is stuff to return to the store.
There is a small set of hooks to hang the jackets as you can see. I would leave the jacket on the porch if it wasn’t 20 degrees out side right now… I’m in Maine.
Mail gets thrown on the counter above the dishwasher, I have been pretty good about throwing out the junk stuff right away but I can’t seem to do something with the rest. I have a binder to organize stuff but haven’t figured out how to use it yet!!!
I’m a high school math teacher and I am extremely organized there but just can’t seem to get it together at home.
I need HELP…. Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated.!!!!!!

Here are the pictures of her entryway:

Instantly when I look at these pictures I can see a few changes this reader, I’m going to call her Elle, can make to allow her front door entry space to function a little more efficiently. The problem here is none of the things on her dishwasher or on her floor have homes (designated spaces) so we definitely need solutions here that create homes for all of these things.

First I definitely think she has room for a bench by the door there, something with some storage underneath to help her get her stuff up and off the floor so no one is tripping over shoes and bags. Ideally it would be big enough to house not only the shoes but also an I’m Outta Here Shelf for her returns and things. Elle didn’t say what her budget was but I tried to keep all my suggestions reasonable.

So let’s get started with one of my favorite bench options:

The bench lifts up for shoe storage and the little cupboard would be perfect for things that need to be returned or even her purse/bag. The drawer could be used for sunglasses, cellphones, wallets, etc.

I would love to see this shelf below hanging above the bench for the coats. I would then add some nice baskets in the cubbies to hold things like hats, suntan lotion and other things that are handy to keep by the door for easy access.

Two of these (below) side by side might also work and then they could also be wheeled over for additional seating around the table if needed.

Now as for over Elle’s dishwasher, she has some valuable space there on the walls not being utilized. I would definitely suggest implementing some of the ideas I mentioned in my Command Center post to try and corral the mail a little bit and get it off the counter. I think it’s important to try and keep our counters as clutter free as possible in order to avoid paper getting buried in piles, not to mention the visual distraction those piles provide.

My friend Amber uses an inexpensive pot lid holder as a mail sorter which works great. I blogged about it here.

For a clever do it yourself project I found this oh so adorable organizer on the Martha Stewart site. If you are handy (which I’m totally not) instructions on how to make it are here.

I hope you find that helpful Elle. Happy Organizing!


Filed under: Ask the Freak, Containerizing, Organizing Solutions


18 Responses to Ask the Freak ~ Organizing the Entryway

  1. 2
    Jenny says

    I’d do a stand up armoire where the coat hooks are that you could hang the jackets and have room leftover for storing items.(preferably one with a couple of drawers on the bottom) You could put wicker baskets on top of the armoire for some odds n’ ends.

  2. 3
    Jessica says

    When I saw her pictures, my mind began organizing!

    I think your suggestions are great!

  3. 4
    Susanne says

    Those are great ideas. Love the little storage benches that roll so she could use them as extra seats at the table if needed. Having teenagers who frequently bring stray teenage friends home for supper, that is a great idea!

  4. 5
    Laura says

    Yes I do like the idea of an armoire as well and had meant to mention that but when I was doing my research I couldn’t find one that I thought would work.

    Definitely another option although you just would have to be careful it wouldn’t block the wonderful light coming from the window.

  5. 6
    Jenny says

    As the window is quite large, I don’t believe it would affect the amount of light coming into the room. All depends on the size of an armoire and the placement(it could be scooted over a bit.)
    Another option are the storage bench/coat racks. Not a lot of hanging spaces for jackets though.

  6. 7
    Jenny says

    Can you tell I’m bored though!!LOL
    See Laura, you’re rubbing off on all of us.
    Have a great day!!

  7. 8
    Laura says

    Hey Jenny, I love that you included a link! I like those too and I definitely think that would work nicely as well. Can’t wait to find out which one is my reader’s favorite, there are just so many options :)

  8. 9
    Mikki says

    what great ideas!!! I just love coming here and seeing your gift at work!

    I would love to know what are some of your favorite organizing catalogs that you get in the mail are…

  9. 10
    Tina says

    Great suggestions! I LOVE the first bench with the shelf hanging up above it. That would work well near our front door which opens right into our living room.

    Thanks for the ideas! :)

  10. 11
    christy p says

    I recently came across your blog, and I LOVE IT. Where did you find the red and white mail sorters? (the 2nd pic) I think that would work perfectly for me. Thanks!

  11. 12
    Michelle says

    oh love the bench and the shelf above.oh you’re good..have a great day..

  12. 14
    Maria says

    Thank you! I also have an entryway in the kitchen and have been looking for ways to organize this space. The Telephone Bench/Storage Cabinet
    is perfect – do you know of one that comes in a another finish other then white?

  13. 15
    Melanie says

    LOVE LOVE LOVE the suggestions! Particularly the Martha Stewart idea.

  14. 16
    Liz says

    I am wondering if you have a final pic of what was done with the space? I also have a small kitchen area…and a radiator and cover right by the door and have yet to find a solution to contain the mess. Up for a challenge?


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