Tailored Living (Burnaby, Coquitlam, Maple Ridge, Pitt Meadows, BC)

Your Home, Tailored to the Way You Live

Home Entryway Efficiency Tips – Part 1

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EntryWay-5A home’s entryway serves as more than just a portal that ferries residents and guests from the exterior to the interior of the house. It also serves as a crucial storage area, particularly for those items needed to make the transition from indoors to outdoors, and vice versa. Since the entryway is not considered a “living area” (although there are exceptions to this, as you’ll learn in our next post), usually only a very small percentage of square footage is dedicated to any one entrance in the home. This makes sense. After all, most people would rather have a bigger living room rather than sacrifice floor space for a part of the home that gets relatively little use by comparison. However, it does present some interesting challenges, particularly if there are more than a couple of people living in the home at once.

The items that are most commonly stored in the entry way of most Canadian homes are coats. Being a winter country, that means coats for every season from lightweight spring jackets to bulky winter parkas. (Add rain coats to that here in the Lower Mainland.) Now multiply all those coats by the number of residents, and you might have ten or more coats in your entryway closet at any given time.

Footwear is another type of apparel that Canadians typically store in the entryway. Whether inside a closet or in a corner near the door, shoes and boots can take up a lot of space. It doesn’t take long, especially if you have children in the home, for shoes to take over the entire space.

Finally, there are all the little things that get dropped off (whether purposefully or otherwise) in this space. That commonly includes car keys, the daily mail, notes from your kids’ school, school backpacks, parking passes and even pocket change.

* Store only what is absolutely necessary in this area.  If you’re not careful, this area can quickly become a catch-all for just about any and everything. Keys and mail are appropriate things to drop off in this part of the house. Unless you have ample room, consider storing items like toys and sports equipment in another part of the home (like the garage).

* Use closet space only for coats that are in-season or currently being worn by family members. There is no point in stuffing the entryway closet so full that you can’t get things in and out without making a mess. In the spring and summer time, move bulky winter coats into another location in the home: either another closet or into a storage bin. This will free up a lot more closet space. When winter comes, take out the spring and summer stuff and store it and then bring out the parkas. The same idea can be applied to footwear. Boots can be stored elsewhere in non-winter months to free up space.


A bench like this provides a place to sit down as well as storage in the spacious drawers underneath

* Employ practical storage containers and devices. If space permits, a storage bench is an excellent addition to an entryway. Not only is it ideal for storing things like outdoor toys, boots, skates and other things, it serves as a place for people to sit down when putting on or taking off shoes. Cubbies are also great for storing items in the entryway, and they come in all kinds of sizes. Better yet, let us make custom cubbies that are perfectly designed just for your family. Shelving and hooks or pegs can be added directly to walls for hanging items.

* Take advantage of vertical space. We say this a lot at Tailored Living, because it is something that everyone can do, no matter how big or small their home, room or space. The upper half of entryway walls rarely get used, and they’re ideal for vertical shelving or cubbies.


Designate a “cubby” or even a small shelf or drawer in your entryway for each family member

* Train your family members to do their part. This is always the hardest part of creating an efficient system for any space in your home, not just the entryway. However, it’s the best way to keep this area from getting over-cluttered. Get family members in the habit of taking things to their own rooms rather than simply dropping them at the front door. If space permits, give each family member a designated cubby into which they can put anything they want. However, once that cubby is full they must remove items to another location. This is a great idea particularly for kids. It gives them a sense of control over what kinds of things they want to store in the entryway (rather than mom or dad dictating it), and it teaches them to prioritize what things are important to have at the front door and what things are better taken to their rooms.

What have you found that works for your home and family? Got any other entryway storage ideas? Leave us a comment here with your tips and hints:

Next Time: Part 2 – The Non-Entryway


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