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How to Create an Efficient Entryway

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Organizing an entryway that is both functional and at least someone nice to look at poses an ongoing challenge for me. Does it for you, too?

With a door that seems to always be opening and closing with people coming and going, I find it is helpful to keep some commonly used items within reach right by the door we are always using. This way, you are making even this space an efficient part of your home.

It does vary some by the season since there are different things that are needed depending on the season. In the summer, I generally have a few more things within reach. For this reason, I will share those things here.

I find these basic things to be essential when it comes to creating an efficient entryway:


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  • A basket for little kids’ shoes. I can speak from personal experience, there is nothing that is more annoying than needing to get out the door and not being able to find a shoe for one of the little boys. I find it is so good to keep a basket or bin with 2 pairs of shoes per little kid (5 and under for me), and to keep it OUT of their reach. This is one of the ways that their older buddy can help. The older buddies are in charge of getting their little buddy’s shoes out and then put them back AWAY when we get home. For more on how the buddy system works in our home, you can read How to Make the Buddy System Work in Your Family.


  • A basket for sunscreen. I have skin cancer, so I am known as the sunscreen nazi. I have had more than 50 spots removed over the past 13 years, and this is a gene that I can pass on to my kids so I have to be vigilant with the sunscreen, not to mention that all my kids are fair-skinned! I like having a few different varieties for different purposes, but this is something that I keep right by the door. 


  • Hats. In keeping with the same sun protection theme, I keep hats for at least the little boys, if not for the older kids, too, right by the door. This way it is again easy to grab them on the way out.
  • Bug spray. Again, outdoor fun means some annoyances to deal with. Bugs are one of them. Keeping bug spray by the door helps!
  • Coats. Most of you probably have this one, but I couldn’t leave it off the list. I am blessed to have a boot bench with hooks right by my door, which is also where I hang the hats and my small diaper bag, which is next!
  • If you have littles, having a small and handy diaper bag with the basics packed and always at the ready is key. This would be something that would tide you over for an hour or two…a couple of diapers and changing pad, wipes, an outfit, change of underwear or clothes for newly potty trained kids, a basic first aid kit..this is what I keep in mine. I can always toss something else in at the last minute, but having this ready and STOCKED all the time by the door is essential!


  • Baby wipes. Mine are tucked into my boot bench, but keeping some baby wipes right by the door for dirty hands if they need to come in the house is such a smart idea that I came up with, if I do say so myself!

Making your entryway work for you will save you time and stress, at least if you scramble around to look for a shoe or a coat at the last minute like I do.

This is what I keep by my door, but assess what you are always struggling to hunt down at the last minute, and for sure add that into your own list of entryway items. After all, being efficient is a great stress buster!


This post is based on a chapter in Ruth Soukup’s book, 31 Days to a Clutter Free Life. Grab a copy and join in, or, grab a copy and work through it at your own pace in your own time.

Either way, you will have a clutter free life by the time you work through all 31 days!

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