Before and After: Entry Way

I was so excited to work with my latest client!  She has a beautiful home, full of detail and charm, and a lot of great space.  She and her husband are raising 4 kids in the home (from kindergartner to teenager) and so the the house has to work for all different types of people and their stuff! My client feels strongly that she’s got plenty of potential in her home for the right kind of storage; she just hasn’t been able to figure out the best way to get a handle on it and move past where they are now.  I’m working with her on a few projects which should help her get to a new level in her home, for sure!

The first project we tackled was her entry way.  In some ways, it was the best place to start because it is just symbolic of how we hope people (family or guests) feel when they come into our homes. This space had lots of potential for better order: it is roomy and already has some organizing tools already in the space,. It  really is just in need of a critical eye, some dedicated time and a disciplined purging.

The house really doesn’t have a traditional coat closet, so this space needed to function that way, in addition to being an entry way.  What the space needed to accommodate :

  • Storage for a certain supply of shoes for all the kids.

  • Hats/Gloves/Scarves

  • Coats and jackets (some can go to bedrooms, but 2-3 coats per family member can stay in the space)

  • Backpacks

  • Activity bags (dance classes, etc.)

We started by dealing with the shoes.  Pretty much, all the kids shoes (and some of the parents’ shoes) were in this space, except for a few pairs that family members have with them on vacation right now.   But part of the problem with this space is that, as kids outgrew shoes, they kind of just stayed in the space.  For the younger kids, these would end up being “hand me down” shoes at some point, but, without managing the flow of those shoes, the next kid might not even know they have “new” shoes available when the time came.   We created 5 groups of shoes:

  • Keep in this space

  • Keep, but move to bedroom

  • Keep, but move to designated “hand me down” box in the child’s room

  • Donate

  • Trash (for really worn out shoes that just have no life left in them).

All in all, 40 pairs of shoes left in the Donate or Trash category, 8 pairs to the hand me down category, and several pairs went to go live in the bedrooms.

With the existing shelving in the space, we were able to label a shelf for each child, and they can now manage their own space and supply for shoes.

Also in this half of the entry way was the stash of hats, gloves, scarves, and various accessories that just landed there. They live in a few baskets, all mixed together, so that everyone digs through to find what they want in the morning. Our goal here was to remove what wasn’t worth keeping, identify a collection for each child and adult, and provide dedicated space for each person, and everyone can manage their own winter accessories.  We kept a lot of the items, but got rid of things that weren’t in good shape any more, scarves that are too thin, gloves without mates, etc.  With some new bins from Target and some initials on each one, now everyone knows where their stuff goes, and the bins have room that can either accommodate more items, or not look to messy if things in the bins aren’t kept totally neat.

Shoe Side, Before:

shoes before


shoes after

Next, we moved to the coats and the backpacks.  School ended a couple of weeks ago, so the backpacks needed a good clean out, and, for the summer, at least, could go back to the kids’ rooms.  The activity bags all got cleaned out and were labeled for the child and the activity, for easier identification. Coats were a blend of Keep, Return to Bedroom Closet, and Donate.   We then designated spaces among the pre-existing hooks for each child to have 3 double hooks. This can accommodate a few coats, an activity bag, and a backpack for each child.  Each of the parents have 2 double hooks, and there are 3 more open for guests.

Coat Side, before:

coats before


coats after

There’s a little more work to do in the space, including adding some artwork over the shoe area (going to find some of her favorite artwork the kids have made and frame them!) but my client is excited about the order the entryway now has, and would be proud to have any guests walk through that door to her home!



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