I’ve just reorganized my entryway in an effort to spruce things up for fall – and to find a way to banish the baskets overflowing with shoes right by the front door. I only recently moved in, and up until now, I’d been using the handy closet in the hall to store the Christmas tree, some gardening supplies, cycling gear and the contents of what would be my ‘man drawer’.
This didn’t make any sense, but finding homes for things had felt never-ending after unpacking every last moving box. But what I’ve realized is, to organize an entryway, you ideally need some closed storage.
It was a bit of a home-organizing jigsaw puzzle (now where do I put my gardening stuff?) but creating an entryway closet dedicated to shoes and coats in my small entryway has made a huge difference, and my winter coats and boots all have plenty of space.
How I hide shoes in my entryway
With the help of some entryway storage solutions, I’ve made my entryway much more spacious, practical and welcoming.
Making a mini ‘cloakroom’
As H&G’s Solved section editor, I see lots of beautiful entryways – and clever solutions for keeping them organized – every single day. And I think it’s a key space that deserves some proper attention. As you’ll have no doubt heard people say many times before, the entryway sets the tone for the rest of your home and needs to make a good first impression, for you and your guests.
It’s the trunk of the tree with all of the rooms branching off it, and because it’s such a transitional space we tend not to devote as much time mood boarding our entryway compared to the kitchen.
I recently moved into a new apartment after living in a studio that didn’t really have an entryway at all. And I wanted to avoid ending up with a space cluttered with coats, bags, and shoes and planned to create a space that greets me as I come home and frees up some space in my closet.
While we all want our homes to be both practical and pretty, I err on the side of practical, especially when it comes to storage ideas. Home organizing should mean you know where your things are, rather than making your house look perfect.
Without spending much money, I’ve created a simple solution that ensures the only shoes you can see are the ones belonging to guests, which, yes, they have definitely been asked to take off.
Too many shoes in the entryway is a common problem – it’s hard enough when you live alone – and finding good shoe storage ideas that keep them hidden is a simple way to maintain a nice-smelling entryway.
When I first moved in, I used two storage baskets for everyday trainers, boots and running shoes, and kept the rest in the closet, where I totally forgot about them. As I mentioned, there was a closet down the hall which I used for some bulky items I hadn’t found a home for.
As I slowly got the apartment more organized and created space in my bedroom closet for all my seasonal decorations, I managed to clear out the closet in the hall entirely so that I could make it into a mini ‘cloakroom’. It seemed the perfect use of the space because of its location down the hall towards the living room, so I bought an inexpensive, narrow shoe rack that I built myself, and some coat hooks, at Wayfair, that I’ve screwed onto the inside of the closet door to use the vertical space efficiently.
Luckily, there was a shelf in the closet already, but it was positioned too high up where it would have got in the way of the coats. When I tried to move it down, it no longer fit, so I got a family member to cut it down for me, and now I’ve got plenty of space for shoes, and they are all hidden away.
Anything I wear less goes in my bedroom closet, and if I’m honest, I should either try to revive some of them by washing my sneakers and brightening them up with some white vinegar and hydrogen peroxide, or just get rid of them. The ‘what if I need them’ mentality can be really hard to shake off sometimes.
Bamboo Shoe Rack, $46.99 at Target
I purchased a narrow 3-tier shoe rack like this one from Target which slots neatly into the bottom of the closet, using space that would probably have otherwise gone to waste.
It felt like there were a million and one things to sort out and organize after moving house, and I’ve only just made the cloakroom space about two months after moving in, but it’s good timing ahead of the colder seasons, and will mean when people come over, there’s somewhere for them to hang their winter coats and put their shoes. Having just moved from London to Sheffield, I think I’ll be glad to have a dedicated space for coats ahead over the colder winter up here.
Often when people come over, there’s a pile up by the front door as everyone puts on their shoes to leave, so I’m hoping that having the entryway closet will make the hallway more practical and stop too many people lingering right by the front door where there isn’t much space.
In the summer, I’ll vacuum pack my winter coats away and the cupboard can be used for storing other things.
How do you store kids’ shoes in the entryway?
There are a lot of options, but using color and labels will make it clear which shoes belong to who and encourage kids to put shoes back. So you could use cubbie storage with colorful baskets for each child’s shoes, or try a storage bench where they can store their shoes away out of sight. If there’s enough space, dedicate an area of the entryway just to kids’ shoes – shoe racks are great for this as they take up little floor space.
Creating the ‘cloakroom’ closet also meant I dug out my hiking boots from deep in the bedroom closet, and the very next day I ended up heading out on a walk to the peak district for the first time in years. Maybe there’s something to be said for organizing for the life you want and to make it easier for you to engage in hobbies by having what you need readily available.