5 entryway organizing mistakes making your home less inviting
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5 entryway organizing mistakes making your home less inviting

Jul 19, 2023

The entryway is the first thing you and any visitors will see upon arrival to your home, so it’s important that it feels like a welcoming space

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An organized entryway is key for the smooth running of a home. Not only will it facilitate an easy morning getting out the door, but a clutter-less, organized space will also promote a calm, relaxed feeling as you return home every day.

But as we all know, our entryways are also the very first thing any guest to our homes will see, so it often has a (if not, the most) pivotal role in making sure that friends and family members feel welcomed and comfortable. Because of this, organizing your entryway with their needs in mind is just as important as considering your own requirements.

So when it comes to the organization of this space, what sort of things should be avoided in order to create an atmosphere guests love walking into?

According to the experts, there are a couple of entryway organizing mistakes that could be making your home less enticing to your friends and family – here’s how to rectify them.

An entryway organizing mistake that will not only make the space more difficult for you and your guests to use but will also prevent guests from being able to relax, is having too much clutter – be it too many shoes, to mountains of coats.

'Sure, the entryway is a convenient place to put things when you come in the house – but it’s really important that it doesn’t get so overloaded with stuff that you and your guests can’t move around, or might not even be able to open the door,' professional organizer Jean Prominski, of Seattle Sparklewarns.

'If you don’t have the space, store fewer things in this area, and rotate through things more often.'

And, if you have a lot of surface clutter accumulating in your entryway, Artem suggests, 'consider trays, bowls, or decorative boxes to neatly contain items like keys or mail and guest items. This way, functionality and aesthetics can coexist.' To keep a tidy entryway that is easier to maintain, try doing some entryway decluttering little and often.

Jean Prominski is a certified professional organizer, and specializes in helping clients declutter and organize their homes in the greater Seattle area. She is a member of the National Association of Productivity & Organizing Professionals (NAPO), and particularly enjoys helping those who might find organization difficult, such as those with ADHD, empty nesters, and widowers.

It can be tempting to place lots of big furniture pieces in your entryway, in order to store all of your essential belongings. But interior designer Artem Kropovinsky, founder at Arsight, argues that, 'the entrance is the first impression of a home – using oversized furniture not only congests the space, but also can make it seem unwelcoming.'

This could occur for multiple reasons, Stephanie Greenberg, creative director at Jane's Addiction Organization, explains. ‘Overcrowding the space with too many furniture pieces could create the illusion of a smaller space – and can make it more difficult for family and guests to easily move around.' Not only will oversized (and lots of) furniture make it harder for you and your loved ones to use the space, but it’ll also be trickier for them to know where to actually put their belongings as they walk through the door.

Instead, Artem suggests, 'opt for sleek, compact designs that fit the scale of the space. A delicate console table or a slim bench can still offer utility for guests without overwhelming the area.'

Artem Kropovinsky is an interior design expert with a decade of experience in the sector. He is the founder of Arsight, a New York City-based design firm specializing in residential and commercial interior design. Known for his award-winning work, Artem's projects range from new construction and extensive residential renovations, to restaurants and retail stores.

It might seem unlikely, but Jean Prominski, explains that this entryway organizing mistake is more common than you think. 'One mistake people often make in their entryway is leaving a big pile of trash or recycling by the door to take outside.

'I know some people who live in apartments or condos may have to walk farther to go to the dumpster, and so it makes sense to let a few things accumulate so you can take everything all at once,' she says. 'But when too much trash and recycling get piled up by the door, this is not inviting for guests.'

And it’s hardly surprising – even if trash or recycling is organized in a box or bag by your front door, it’s bound to be an unappealing look (and perhaps, smell) for guests.

So when you’re expecting company, be sure to take all of your trash and/or recycling out beforehand, or try investing in an entryway system that hides it away entirely – such as an ottoman-style bench, at Anthropologie.

Alternatively, if you live in an apartment where the refuse is much further away, try storing your trash outside, but close to your front door, in a different kind of bin – there are plenty of outdoor trash cans available on Amazon.

While organizing your entryway in a way that allows you to store all of your necessary items is vital, if you want the space to be as inviting to guests as possible, it’s also important to make sure there is an available spot to put their coats, shoes, and keys, too. And according to Jean, this is an organizing mistake that is often overlooked.

'If you have guests coming over, make sure to make room for them to put their coat away, either in the closet or on a coat rack or hooks,' she insists. 'If you want your entryway to be welcoming, make sure there is enough room for all of their belongings. If closets and drawers are overflowing, your guests aren’t going to want to put things away.'

To optimize your entry so as to create room for your guests' belongings, Jean suggests, 'If you have a built-in closet, I recommend putting a light in the closet, so it’s easier for guests to see things.

'And if you don’t have a closet, you can hang guests’ everyday jackets on heavy-duty hooks on the wall outside the closet, if you have space and prefer to have the convenience of not opening the closet every time they need something.'

An important part of organizing any space is considering the practical needs you'll have in this space. And in an entryway, if you expect to welcome older visitors or young children, it’s a mistake to not arrange a place for everyone to sit.

'One common organizing mistake is to not plan out the space – decide what the entryway will be used for,' Stephanie says. 'And more often than not, benches are essential so that people can sit down and take off their shoes comfortably.'

In fact, failing to organize your entryway to include a place to sit will not only make the space less inviting for guests, but it could also make it less of a useful space for you in the future. Importantly, providing seating in your hallway means you don’t need to trek into your living area to put on dirty shoes – meaning this trick will help to keep the rest of your home clean and tidy, too.

You can often buy slimline benches that should suit even the smallest of entryways, but often a small stool is a better option than nothing.

As mentioned, one of the biggest organizing mistakes you can make in your entryway – if you’re hoping to create a warm atmosphere for guests – is housing mountains of clutter within the space.

As such, controlling excess belongings in your entryway is vital, and there are a few simple ways to get items in this space in order. Firstly, doing an initial declutter of your entry is the most important first step. Many of us often have items in our entryways that we don't even use that regularly – but that are taking up a prime storage spot.

Another important move is ensuring you have the right entryway storage solutions for everything you *do* need to store in your entryway, such as coats, shoes and bags.

If you don’t have built-in storage closets, this may include installing hooks on walls or doors, buying a console table with shoe storage and/or drawer or cabinet space, or investing in a storage bench that you can both sit on and stow away shoes or other essentials within.

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Amy Hunt is a freelance lifestyle writer and editor primarily covering homes and interiors, wellness, travel and careers. She was previously Lifestyle Editor at woman&home, commissioning and editing the homes, books and features sections of the website,

In 2019, she won the AOP Digital Journalist of the Year Award, for her work on womanandhome.com. Having worked in the industry for over eight years, she has contributed to a range of publications including Ideal Home, Livingetc, T3,Goodto, Woman, Woman’s Own, and Red magazine.

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