Whether the front door, the back door, or the attached garage is your usual route into your home, an unimpeded, tidy, and well-organized entrance or exit is the ultimate (and often elusive!) goal.

Organized-entry-1It’s easy for the entry point of your home to become a scene of uncontrolled chaos. And I don’t know about you, but I get a little annoyed when I’m tripping over things as soon as I open the door. A drop-off or pick-up point is a great idea but give it some structure to avoid this scenario.

Organized-entry-2In a small footprint, you can create a place for all the bits and bobs that you collect or need at the door. The key here is a couple of solid pieces—a bench and a wall shelf—that work hard containing the potential mess. Our furnishings came from Whittier Wood Products, but you could get a similar look for less with two of IKEA’s Kallax single shelf units turned on their sides or search entry storage options on Amazon.

Organized-entry-9Inject a little comfort on the bench as well as some eye-pleasing pattern with a plaid cushion and a mix of playful pillows. The cubbies below the bench hold ample baskets, bins, and boxes for keeping clutter at bay.

Organized-entry-10With a cushy perch available for donning or removing shoes, footwear is more likely to end up neatly stowed rather than kicked off and skidding around (or worse, tracking through the house). Provide trays for muddy boots and athletic shoes or baskets for loafers, flip-flops, and sneakers. A durable indoor-outdoor rug adds softness under foot.

Organized-entry-4You can do what the professional organizers suggest when planning a space, i.e. make a list of everything you need to contain, but let’s face it—you’re tripping over this stuff every day, you already know what you need to accommodate. Happily, hooks and cubbies along with the top of the shelf unit give you ample space to stash your gear neatly and visibly so you don’t waste time searching for things like scarves, pet leashes, or hats once they’re put away.

Organized-entry-5You can keep up with home administration tasks here, too, with a stationery box organized to file incoming mail or receipts and hold stamps, envelopes, and supplies for writing notes (you know, for those “oops, I forgot” excuses and forms for school). Drop off library books or purchases to be returned here, too, so they don’t languish forgotten as you head out the door.


Since this is the spot where your pets come and go, plan for their needs as well. Stash grooming needs in a tub or tin and hang leashes on a hook. If this is a feeding station, keep water and food bowls nearby and pet food in a bin (preferably in its original packaging) within one of the cubbies. Tuck a container of treats on a shelf to reward good behavior on a walkabout and keep a tin of poo bags handy.

If your wall shelf doesn’t already sport a couple of rows of hooks, install them alternately along the length of the piece. They’re ideal for hanging outerwear, backpacks or tote bags, hats, and above all, those eager-to-hide sets of keys that never seem to be where you put them.


In a busy household, it’s not a bad idea to provide a spot for each family member to tuck reminders and action items in a visible spot. Hanging clipboards are inexpensive and low-tech ways to gather stuff that needs to be dealt with right away. Jazz up plain clipboards with spray mount-applied patterned paper and washi tape. Even the youngest members of the family can showcase treasured drawings or top marks on homework with an easy-to-open clipboard hung within reach.

We’re always keen to hear how others deal with the daily detritus that gathers at the door. Let us know what works for you.

Photography by Chris Hennessey

© Caruth Studio

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