3 Steps to Creating an Organized Entryway (Even If You Don’t Have the Space)

With a little inspiration and organization, you can create an entryway that makes coming and going a breeze.

Drop zones, mudrooms, utility rooms, entryways, “places to leave your stuff.” Whatever you choose to call them, these spaces are invaluable as a spot to kick off your shoes, drop your keys, and keep everything you’ll need for the next day right where you left it.

Sometimes these spaces can be hard to come by, especially if you live in an apartment or studio. Without organization, shoes usually end up piled in front of the door waiting to trip an unsuspecting victim, and an array of backpacks, mail, dog leashes and knickknacks can clutter your home to the point of embarrassment.

Photo from Zillow listing.

But having a dedicated, organized and stylish drop zone for all of your daily needs — and to welcome your guests — is absolutely achievable, no matter the size or design of your living space.

Try these tips to establish a functional entryway in a home of any size.

Make a little room

Since it’s generally not possible to remodel or add on to a rental apartment, you must work with what you have.

Try a narrow console table for tight hallways as a place to drop your keys or leave your outgoing mail.

If space is really tight and all you have is the wall behind your door, hang hooks for coats and bags so they stay off the floor.

Another small-space trick: Temporarily remove your coat closet’s door, and add a stool or small bench inside as a place to sit and take off your shoes — and still have room for coats.

If your apartment is inside a secure building, you may be able to leave out a basket or tray for shoes in the shared hallway.

Add functionality

A mirror can also go a long way in opening up and brightening tight areas by reflecting light and giving the illusion of more space.

Retailers like IKEA sell modern pieces that can be modified to fit narrow spaces or hung on the wall. Measure your desired entryway space, and find furniture that will make the most of the room you have.

Having dedicated spaces for accessories also will make your drop zone a functional center. A devoted bowl or hook to hang your keys, a folder to sort your mail, and a basket to keep your shoes in really makes a difference in the flow of your day.

Leave a message

Bump practicality up a notch by having a message center in your drop zone where you can pin important reminders or leave messages for family members. It’s a great way to keep everyone connected as they go in and out.

A docking station to charge all your electronics can also be useful here. Look for compact and small accessories that will fit your space, yet serve the purpose you need.

By customizing your drop zone with features you need that will fit your home, you’ll keep everything streamlined and easy to find when you need it.

Posted by Erica Sooter on Zillow

First Impressions: Designing a Tidy and Stylish Entryway

Create a welcoming, well-organized spot to greet guests and manage the clutter of everyday life.

Source: Zillow Digs

Source: Zillow Digs

First impressions are lasting impressions. That’s why creating a stylish, yet organized entryway benefits both you and your guests. Such an entryway is more than a simple doorway — it’s a transitional space from the outside world to the comfort of your home.

The entryway also offers visitors the first view of your home, so its significance is greater than its size. Your entryway should reflect your home’s style and create a single point from which all the other rooms flow.

The function

Realistically, entryways are drop zones. Car keys, purses, grocery bags and backpacks — not to mention mail, cell phones, and shoes, coats and scarves — all end up being set down in this space.

Source: Zillow Digs

Source: Zillow Digs

Is there a closet for coats, umbrellas and hats? If not, a row of hooks can make a good stand-in, as can an old-fashioned hall tree. Baskets mounted on the wall or set on the floor can hold scarves, gloves and hats. A tall canister will keep umbrellas in one spot.

The storage

A console piece with drawers can work wonders as a charging station, and hold mail, keys, garage door remotes and dog leashes for regular walks.

Source: Zillow Digs

Source: Zillow Digs

If you ask people to take off their shoes at the door, a chair or bench offers a good landing spot. One with storage space underneath is a good option. In tight spaces, you might look for a stool or an ottoman that can slide away under a console table.

For shoe storage, consider cubbies, under-bench storage or even a set of shelves. A simple metal tray will keep rain- and snow-soaked shoes from ruining the floors beneath.

The flow

Keep adjacent rooms in mind when designing your entryway. This space should set the stage for rooms that are immediately visible and establish the flow for the overall home. Color, furniture styling, lighting and artwork need not be identical, but they should be related.

Source: Zillow Digs

Source: Zillow Digs

The extras

Once you’ve taken care of the necessities, add the extras that will make your entryway truly yours.

A rug will define the space, especially if the entry is part of a larger space such as a living room. A mirror can make the space seem larger, as well as allow a last-minute visual check before heading out the door.

An entryway is also a great spot for a signature piece of furniture or art, or a series of decorative pieces.

Source: Zillow Digs

Source: Zillow Digs

Lamps will give the space a warm touch and add needed lighting. An overhead fixture can make a statement upon entry, or even serve as a different type of artwork. Plants and fresh flowers are always welcome.

When you make your entryway space uniquely yours, you’ll enjoy sharing it with all who enter.

How have you designed your entry space? We would love to see what works for you!

This article was originally published by Kerrie Kelly on Zillow Blog.