I was so thrilled to receive this letter from a reader. I can’t help it, I just love tackling clutter! Read on to check out some of the ideas I offered to help tackle this readers cluttered entryway.
Dear Space for Living,
Help! I long for an uncluttered entry way. We moved into our new home about 6 months ago and our entryway has turned into a total dumping ground.
The entryway includes the space next to the front door and one wall of our living room. I need space for storing shoes and mail when we first come inside the house. I also need a functional workspace and place to handle paperwork and paper clutter.
Any tips to make sense of this madness?
Thanks for submitting your pictures E.B.! You definitely have a tight space. You mentioned you want to unclutter the space. In addition to reducing the actual number of things along this wall, the first goal is to get things off of the ground. We can do that by going vertical and getting different storage that fit your needs better.
Especially in a small space it is important to have open floor space. It helps to visually make the space seem larger and less cluttered.
Step 1 Divide and Conquer
First up is shoes. Sort your shoes into two different piles. One pile will be your everyday shoes which will go back on the shoe rack. Make another pile for seasonal and special occasion shoes which will have to find another home. Since you have such a small space you have to limit the amount of shoes that are stored on your rack to only your every day shoes.
Step 2 Go Vertical
Instead of lining the shoe racks along the wall, try stacking one on top of the other. I only know this works because I actually have these same shoe racks stacked in my own entry closet (IKEA, right?). If you are worried about them toppling, you can use small nails to hold them together. This provides a much needed visual break along the wall.
Step 3 Containerize, with a Purpose!
The top shelf of the shoe rack can be used as a landing spot. It seems like it is already serving that purpose for drop and go items but let’s get containers and consciously decide what needs to be there.
As you sort through the pile of items by your shoe racks be aware of why it was left there. Are they things to do? Do they have a home elsewhere but you were just too tired to put them away? Do you need to keep them in your entry permanently? The answers to these questions will determine what your containers will hold to avoid everything being tossed in.
A large basket would be perfect as a holding spot for errands. Stash everything you need for errands (to return, to take with you to work the next day) in your errand basket until you need it.
Before you head out to buy new containers, grab baskets and/or trays from around your home. In your picture I see a tray basket on that small bookshelf in your workspace. That basket would be perfect for this area. Decide if it will it be an inbox for mail, or maybe a space to hold your keys and sunglasses. It can even be a place to empty your purse? Keeping these items contained will help cut down on visual clutter (and prevent frantic last minute searches for your sunglasses and keys).
You can also add 2 small baskets to the second shelf on the shoe rack if you have room. These would act as a type of drawer for any other miscellaneous supplies you need in the entry.
Step 4 Keep Going Up
Swap out those magazine racks with two hooks for your backpack and other everyday bag. Don’t worry, we can incorporate the magazine racks into the workspace.
As I was checking out your pictures I started sketching a few of my ideas. I decided it would make more sense if I just went ahead and shared my drawing. So here it is, my own hand-drawn sketch, I’m so high tech. Don’t laugh too hard. Technically I did have one semester of art class in 7th grade, but besides that, my art skills are all self-taught. Haha.
- Ikea basket (They have a variety of types in this 12in cube size). $14.99
- Two Byholm baskets make drawer-type storage for other launch pad supplies. $6.99 each
- Ikea hooks $4.99 each
- West Elm tray $22.00
- Two Ikea shoe racks (already owned)
- You would have to measure to see if they fit. It is hard to see where the window actually starts. It looks like there would still be room for a small tray on top.
I hope that helps give you some ideas for a clutter-free entryway! Next time I’ll share some great options for that workspace of yours! And be sure to share your after pics!
Do you have an organizing challenge for Space for Living? Submit your pictures or questions and we’ll give you your very own hand drawn sketch to get you started too. =)