how to declutter a small entryway

photo-34 Manderley’s entryway is very small, so small in fact that the bottom step of the stairway leading to the loft had to be cut away to allow the door to fully swing open. I think it’s her quirkiness that makes me love Manderley so much. After spending many weekends there, I soon discovered the entry had some issues that needed to be dealt with or we would all lose our minds, or our shoes.  I have to remind you that we are a family of five and not the neatest or most organized people you would ever meet. Manderley is quaint and  cozy but lacks closet space  and a huge  mudroom which I have come to love here at Big Red Kitchen.


At Manderley, shoes quickly line up by the door where water, dust, or mud pools unpleasantly requiring constant sweeping and mopping.  Laptops, phones, and iPads are plugged in the outlet by the door which is not very secure or very attractive.   Books, keys, wallets, purses, and mail  find their way to the stairs, floor, or kitchen table. So here is what we did…

Now that’s better, isn’t it?


We placed slender baskets on the stairs to catch keys, wallets, and other small items.


Deep baskets atop a bench holds our laptops, phones, iPads, books, gloves, hats, and scarves.  I ran a power strip with surge protector behind the curtain into the basket to make this a charging depot. I also did not want to place a floor lamp or any lamp on this end of the couch since it would disrupt the view from the front door, therefore this little clamp-on light from Ikea works great. When not in use I roll it up and place it back in the basket.


The bench is a Home Goods find and has a bottom shelf to hold shoes which leaves enough space below to nudge other shoes.   The rug and baskets are also Home Goods lucky strikes.  The peg coat rack with top shelf left by the previous owners, holds our jackets, hats, and umbrellas.  I wanted  this Ikea large floor mirror for drama and to brighten this part of the room since there is no window on the front door.  When sitting opposite the mirror the view of the fireplace and the dining room’s French doors, which streams the setting sun, is stunning.

Once Manderley becomes our permanent residence this summer, I will have to find ways to manage the daily mail, school books and backpacks, and lunch boxes.  We desperately want to live a Simple and Relaxed lifestyle, and to do that everything will have to have an assigned place, or our tiny, cozy cottage will look like a cluttered, disorganized hoarder’s shed.  This is a challenge indeed!  But I think I am up for it.  Sort of.

What are some of your entryway problem-solvers?  All ideas, pinterest links, or other links welcome! I could use all the help I can get.


  1. jenn in GA
    Posted May 27, 2014 at 11:26 AM | Permalink

    seems to me like you’re off to a great start! i think, though, that time will leave you needing a bookshelf by the front door with more cubbies for storage than those baskets allow. something with more cubbies could hold backpacks too. it could be slender and tall so that the mirror could still be used to infuse the area with reflected light. something like this:

    i also think that velcro straps could be used to hang backpacks along the staircase, or the backpacks may have to live in the kids’ bedroom(s).

    perhaps watching some tiny homes videos would inspire you!

    • Robin Sue
      Posted May 27, 2014 at 8:03 PM | Permalink

      Jenn, I think you are right that I will need more cubbie type storage for back packs. I like the ones you suggested. Also hooks are good good idea for the kids rooms or stairs. This lead me to think of hooks on the back of their doors for coats and such. Thanks for the ideas! This really helps me think!!

  2. Posted May 27, 2014 at 1:38 PM | Permalink

    comment try

  3. Posted May 27, 2014 at 1:40 PM | Permalink

    Comment attempt

  4. Posted May 28, 2014 at 9:31 AM | Permalink

    Thanks Robin Sue – For some reason this has happened with several folks who have their own website.

  5. Posted August 20, 2014 at 5:03 PM | Permalink

    I love how well the slender baskets fit with the stairs but a question that comes up is what do you do when guests come over? Everything is so out in the open. This may not be the best idea but how about replacing the small table with a small drawer. You can divide the inside of the drawer box so each family member has their assigned slot to put their more important valuables, like keys, while keeping them hidden. What do you think?

    • Robin Sue
      Posted August 26, 2014 at 11:31 PM | Permalink

      The openness will start to get messy looking like you said and I will have to find something to keep our papers neat and hidden. Good idea!

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