Create a Good First Impression: Organize Your Front Entry

I have a lot of drop-in surprise visitors at my house, and I mean a lot. One time last month we had people unexpectedly stop by our house four different times in one day. It was like a sit-com.

And honestly, I love it when people stop by.

My kitchen table can look messy when people stop by. We use it, and it shows. I always give myself a mental high-five if the breakfast dishes are washed and the counters are clear. I cringe a little if part of my home is really trashed, but I use it as motivation to clean things up more before the next guest comes.

The most important rule when someone comes to your house, whether the visit is a surprise or not, is that you never apologize for your mess.

Apologizing sends the message, “I’m embarrassed, and I wish you hadn’t come.” A little bit of a mess will help people feel more comfortable when you don’t let it bother you. Besides, you don’t know how their house looks, and you wouldn’t want to make them feel bad.

All this brings me to the point that most guests will not see your whole house. If anything, they will notice the front entry, so it helps me to feel more confident when the front of our house looks orderly.

My favorite way to add order and style to a front entry is to place hooks on the wall. This little detail works no matter where I live. I prefer the hooks to be about 3.5 feet up from the floor, about kid-height. You want to leave a few hooks open for guests. (Don’t hang all of your coats and bags, most should go in the closet.) Hooks always give a feeling of organization.

My recent find at a consignment antique store is this old handmade cabinet. I was excited to have a place to put the pottery I made, and the lower cabinet contains media, puzzles, and games. I put my collection of pottery mostly on the upper shelves because I want to keep the first shelf open for guests to put their stuff and handbags on it. I can count on this space staying organized so it looks nice when people drop by.

What are some ways you can streamline your front entry to be more orderly and clutter-free?

clear the clutter

About Rachel

I write about practical tips that will help you simplify at home. Connect with me on Pinterest and Twitter.

Comments

  1. We are dark and dingy in our entrance, it’s about 1.5 m x 1m so not really an entrance. But tidy, nonetheless !
    Tasmanian Minimalist´s last post…True Giving..It’s Not About The Show Bag Surely ???

  2. Catherine says:

    After 7 years of thinking about it I have finally commissionned a nice big cupboard for my entrance (we are hopeless DIYers). I cannot believe the difference it makes! Obv kicking myself about not doing it earlier. Also put in a row of hooks as you suggest. My husband was afraid it would look like a school corridor, which made me want to do it even more as I think it is really cute. Now each of our 3 kid has a hook and they enjoy keeping everything tidy. I don’t think I’ve posted before, but I read you regularly. Thanks for all your great posts.

  3. Love that cabinet! And I like the encouargement to not apologize for how messy our homes are. :-)

    We have a mudroom and it is dark. I tused to be much darker before we installed a door with a window in it. One way to streamline our front entry is to make sure we only have the outer gear for that season! Of course, I have some other ideas.

  4. Our entrance has a box of shoes in it. And a rug. Hardwood floor = mega echoes, hence the rug. It would be nice to have somewhere for guests to put their stuff. As it normally goes, they dump on a chair in the lounge room or stuff ends up on the kitchen table (this isn’t so great because if I am *expecting* the guests… I am probably feeding them, so I don’t really want to be fighting through bags of stuff!

    I would really like a hall table.
    Harriet Archer´s last post…Midway…

  5. No one comes to our front entry. Our back door is the main entrance where we have our washer and dryer. Lovely. ;) I’m working on getting my husband to tackle a locker type built in on one side of the entry so we can at least have that much organization. Maybe one day.
    Southern Gal´s last post…Thank you!

  6. Oh, I’d give anything to have a front entry. Unfortunately our front door opens right up into our living room, our home was built in the 80′s. I’ll admit, I’m a perfectionist and in the past when my doorbell rang unexpectedly and the living room was completely out of sorts I’m guilty of just flat out not answering the door, especially if it was a neighbor. I’ve worked at getting over that. I heard something recently that has literally changed my life: If you’re here to see me, come on over. If you’re here to see my house then make an appointment! Wow! Words to live by.

    I’d also read some time back to make the area outside of your door nice as well, front porch (which we have, walkway, etc.) Not only is it welcoming and inviting to your guests, it’s welcoming to you and your family each time you come home and walk through that door!

    • If you’re here to see me, come on over. If you’re here to see my house then make an appointment!
      WOW! I love these words and might use it near my entrance too. Thank you!

      • YES YES YES!!! That is a perfect sentiment! I may put a sign up! But seriously, I really hope that my mess puts people at ease. That’s the best I can hope for. I’m trying. We just made some space for 2 hooks for my 2 kids by moving the water cooler. It was right by our main back door entry, and the only sensible spot for their backpacks and jackets. Why it took 5 years for us to figure that out, I don’t know.

        Rachel, I’ve really gotten a lot out of this weekly clutter series. It’s manageable, gives me good ideas, and helps me to not be too hard on myself. Thank you!
        Catherine´s last post…Vacation–Canadian Rockies gluten, dairy and soy free!

    • You’re so right about a tidy front porch. If only I could get my kids to feel the same way. Our is always littered with scooters, bikes, and helmets. At least people know this is a family home, we live in it, and as the post said, we make no apologies!”

  7. Beautiful cabinet!

    Our entryway is a somewhat large room that also functions as our office. So the first thing people see is our desk. Talk about motivation to keep it as uncluttered as possible! It has a large hutch with cabinets and cubbies and I’d like to get some pretty baskets so our paperwork and such isn’t out in the open.

    The biggest problem with our house is no downstairs closet. We have a coat tree but the kids have a hard time using it so we probably should hang some hooks at their level. Due to this lack of closet our vacuum lives in our dining room. Not all that attractive but it’s not as bad as it could be, we’ve long since come to terms with our house being more functional than attractive, and our house is beautiful inspite of the imperfections. This is life, after all, not a magazine. :)

  8. Love the post! I just put up some hooks this week. I put them one on each stud, and I found some cool ones at Ikea that fold into an unobtrusive rectangle. Since I rent, and my entrance is also the beginning of my kitchen and the hallway outside the bathroom, I appreciate the versatility. I even put one next to the dog bowl and sewed a loop onto a towel. Now I can wipe up around his water bowl in no time!

  9. First, let me tell you that the hutch is absolutely BEAUTIFUL! What a great find!! I’m loving the fact that I get to see your new home take shape!

    Also, I want to thank you for reminding me NOT to apologize for my home’s condition when guests arive unexpectantly. I’ve ALWAYS done that. I didn’t even think that it may make the person uncomfortable about their own home. It was an AHA moment for sure!

  10. lovely entryway! i really like the idea of having the beautifully old cabinet there & esp. that you allow room for guests to put their things on it. my main problem w/ guests (other than i want my house to look perfect, too) is that our main entrance is into our kitchen which isn’t overly large & doesn’t have very much wall space due to several doors, windows, & of course, cabinets. guests often end up putting their purses, etc. on the kitchen counter which annoys me, because “kitchen counters are to be used, not cluttered” right? ;) any creative suggestions for a convenient “drop” place for guests belongings?

    • MozzarElla Bella says:

      Maybe a coat tree, Joanna? That’s what we’re considering, since our “coat closet” is impractically far from entry and hence used more as a “garage” for the vacuum cleaner.
      It is hard to create space for things like coats, purses, etc. when wall space is limited, but a coat tree might be a handy place to hang purses, as well.

      • thanks for the suggestion, MozzarElla Bella! that’s a possibility. i don’t think i have room in my kitchen (entryway), but i could have it in an adjoining room which wouldn’t be super inconvenient. i’ll keep the coat tree in mind =)

    • I don’t think of guests’ belongings as clutter, but if it’s not obvious to guests where they should place their things, then you should offer to take their coat and bag for them. You can let them know you’re putting their stuff in the coat closet or in the living room, and they’ll probably do that the next time.

  11. I have never thought about not apologizing for our mess. I will have to stop that. Our entry way is so small; it’s actually part of our living room. I wish we had a better way to give our house a proper foyer. I like the ideas of the hooks, maybe even if it’s only a few behind the door.

    • Our entry is really our living room too. We just designate that space to being the entry way, even if it’s not a separate room.

  12. Well, I am following your clear the clutter series. As an artist (jewelery designer) and a messy one at that, I do end up a lot with my beads, wire and all other stuff strewn across the table when I am done. And I have no energy or enthusiasm left to clear it. Are there any quick fix tips that you have?? Err.. apart from “stop being lazy” :)

  13. I resolve to immediately ditch my habit of apologizing for the appearance of my home! I want my guests to think I value keeping a clean home (even if appearances indicate otherwise) but I never meant to send the message that I wish the guests hadn’t come in the first place!

    Also, the hook idea is brilliant :)

  14. Love this post! My home is usually always pretty clean, but if someone comes unexpectedly they will see us playing in the living room with toys all over the place. I have 1 friend in particular who always invites us over for playdates and always apologizing for everything. The mess, the laundry, the toys, their families magazines. At first I would try to make her feel reassured that it was ok, we weren’t judging. But her house is a mess every time we go, now it’s just annoying her apologizing for the mess that her family always lives in. Because of her I never appoligize, even more I don’t explain things if something’s strange. We live here, if it’s not perfect all the time, that’s ok too. And to your question- we use our mudroom for all of our shoes and coats, but maybe we could add some hooks to the entryway for guests? I think that would look really nice. Thanks for sharing!
    Jen @ a place 2 call home´s last post…A room with many uses

  15. Beautiful cabinet! A house should look lived in, in my opinion. A squeaky clean and tidy house often reveals more to me than a house that permits real life to be seen.

  16. I love the part about never apologizing for any mess. I can see where that would make someone feel…guilty. Never thought of that.
    Tracy Selle´s last post…Seasons

  17. These Monday posts are so refreshing.

  18. Love the cabinet – the dark wood is really pretty with your white walls. I have just a tiny place between my front door and the closet where I have hooks for my coat, purse, etc. So much easier than that extra step of getting them in the closet!
    carla´s last post…New Year’s Update

  19. That’s amazing! I think we’ve had unexpected guests maybe 4 times in the last 4 MONTHS!

    We have a small townhouse-no entryway, the door opens straight into the living room. I try to keep the downstairs picked up, because that’s what people see. It’s rare for people to go upstairs to the bedrooms, so those get a little messier!
    Jessica @ Quirky Bookworm´s last post…WHERE to Get Rid of Books

  20. I would struggle with not apologizing when my house is a BIG mess (more often than I like), because I don’t want them to think I don’t care. But I also see the point about not making them feel guilty. I’ll have to think about that one. And maybe I should keep my house clean enough that I don’t have to worry about it. That would be good!

    I installed some hooks in our small “entryway” a little over a year ago and I just LOVE them! It makes it so easy for the kids to hang up their own coats. I also have a bin underneath for gloves, hats, etc.
    Elizabeth@ReadySetSimplify´s last post…Menu Plan for the Week 2/5 – 2/11 And want to hang out on Facebook?

  21. Your cabinet is gorgeous. Our entry is too small for such a piece, but we are blessed with a hall closet.

    We have a storage ottoman in our living room that is good for stashing those little toys. We also have a basket beneath a table to catch book overflow.

    Also, messy and dirty are two different things. I place more importance on making sure things are not dirty; the evidence of life being lived (books, toys, photos, homework, dinner in the process of being cooked) is not offensive, it is welcoming.
    Jeannine´s last post…God Is My Treasure

  22. Totally agree with you that a bit of mess makes people feel more comfortable in your house – I know that I like that in other people’s houses – just need to remember the same thing goes for my own! It’s a home, not a photo shoot. And you’re right, the more attention you draw to a mess, or the more you apologize, the more awkward it becomes for everyone – don’t apologize, there’s a whole lot of ‘living’ going on in here!

  23. Love your cabinet. Wow!! It is so nice and you have put it to good use already.

    We have a nice sized foyer. It is the first room you step into and then you see the stairs going to the 2nd level. To me, those steps when in need of a thorough vacuuming, make the whole house feel dirty. But when clean, I am happy. Even when the rest of the place could stand a little picking up.

    We had “expected” quests for the Super Bowl game yesterday. Guess what I did first before they arrived and after cleaning the guest bathroom. Yep, I vacuumed the stairs. :D

    We don’t get much unexpected company but when they show up unannounced, it is what it is. Clean or messy.
    Donna´s last post…***** Valentine’s Day Jewelry Special ***** 10 Days/Half Off/Free Shipping

  24. We’ve lived in our house for 21 years and I am blessed to have an entry closet. However, for the last 20 1/2 years it has been full of National Geographics, Boy Scout banners, musical instruments … you get the idea. Right before Thanksgiving (because special guests were coming!) I took everything out, purchased nice hangers at The Container Store, and allowed it to live the life it was intended. I cannot tell you how freeing it has been to me to have that small space function as it should.
    Now to figure out what to do with the National Geographics, Boy Scout banners, etc. (My Boy Scouts are grown men now.)

  25. Audrey Sheppard says:

    Nobody uses our front door. Our back door entry is tiny, with barely enough room to get in. It is usually neat though, but there’s nothing much for them to see until they get to the kitchen. Our kitchen is frequently messy. I wish people would come to the front door, but the way our house is oriented, it will never happen. I remember one time, we were having a party and I put a note on the back door asking people to come to the front door. Unfortunately, it rained that day, so nobody wanted to come to the front door, so they knocked at the back door anyway (it’s under the carport).

  26. I do keep my front entry nice and tidy…of course we normally come in through the garage so there isn’t much of a chance to dirty the foyer. :) I do love the part where you said not to apologize for the mess. I do that ALL THE TIME, even if it’s not that messy. why do i do that!? i love when people drop by, i never thought about the fact that i could be sending the message that i don’t want them there. i’m going to break myself of that habit. thanks!
    Lindsey@ Piecefully Home´s last post…fears

  27. Wow…that cabinet is beautiful! You’re a lucky gal with that find :)

  28. My house is pretty small, and doesn’t have any kind of entry, foyer or mudroom. I’d kill for a hall closet. The backdoor is our main entry and is right next to the stairs to the basement. I use the stairway as our closet. Last summer we gave this area a new look and hung more hooks for coats and bags, an inbox for mail, etc. My boyfriend even managed to make a shoe holder from the small bit of of overhang between the foundation wall and the stairs. It’s still small, but way more useful.
    Candi @ min hus´s last post…Simple Moments

  29. Kelly Simmons says:

    Hi there. The rule at our house is “never more than 15 minutes away from ready for company.” To me, this means that I don’t run around cleaning in a panic if I know someone is coming over, and I feel that the clutter level is low enough that I don’t panic if someone does drop in. It does require some effort to keep up with it, especially being vigilant to clear away clutter frequently. But we really think the peace of mind is worth it. It works for us, and it does help that my hubby is really onboard with it. He cleans more than I do!

    • I love this idea – “15 minutes away from ready for company.” We try to do a quick pick-up every morning before leaving for work, and most nights as well. I call it a “4-minute-pick-up.” Sometimes even set a timer – amazing what a difference even that little amount of time can make – once we just start it.

  30. I find it very interesting that this was your subject at this time. We just began work on ‘warming-up’ our stark white entry. We have painted it a warmer shade, “skinny latte”, and now the crown molding that was practically invisible with everything being white is really nice. My husband is cleaning and staining a sofa table that was once his grandfather’s. It is going to be beautiful AND functional. The addition of a rug on the white marble and some colorful accessories are the making of a warm, welcoming entry.

  31. Ah! You are so right. I need to stop apologizing about a little mess, it never occurred to me that it might make other people feel bad!

    Our front door opens right on to the living room, which we genuinely tend to *live* in, so it’s always the messiest. I need to make more of an effort to keep it to a bit of homely untidiness, rather than an explosion of life, though! It’s too much!
    Annie´s last post…Lucky Donut Morning

  32. I’m loving your Monday organizational posts! Thanks for the encouragement! I used your Crai*gslist tips to sell a dresser last week!

  33. After a really awful day, it was such a delight to read your words and be inspired by your bright organised photos :) I’m just about to do a quick pick up & I’ll pay good attention to the entrance so it’s lovely when my hubby gets back or maybe I have a surprise visitor. Fiona,x

  34. Great post. I really like the suggestion about not apologizing for the mess.

  35. Love the suggestion about not apologizing. I’m struggling with our entryway. When you walk in the house, you see the stairs in front of you. The only place to put something is on the left – and there is a vent on the floor, so it would have to be narrow shelves that aren’t very deep. Totally rules out a nice bench.

  36. What a fantastic cabinet! I struggle with my front entrance (we live in a very old farmhouse) because there isn’t really anywhere to put such a cabinet and it is the area my big dog sleeps in. I have recently cleaned out the closet and added some hooks, but it’s still missing something – I’m working on it. I agree (and totally understand) about the kitchen table and ours always seems to be a disaster, but it’s always being used for something.
    I am going to remember to not apologize for the mess. I have friends with immaculate houses who do that to me and it drives me nuts!
    Diane´s last post…Weekly Challenge #1

  37. That’s a beautiful cabinet, Rachel. I like natural woods, too! I just have to ask — were you feeling a wee bit nostalgic for the archways you took out? I normally like archways, but that was too much. This is a better touch :)

    I thought about putting up hooks near our entryway, but we come in through the garage mostly. I have a small table with a few items displayed near the front entrance and two different bare natural dark brown wreaths — that get decorated during holidays on occasion.

    But no, I don’t apologize for any mess folks may encounter — especially if they drop by unannounced — maybe they want to see
    things in the raw.

  38. Wow!! I LOVE that cabinet! I love the idea of a whole home decorated with consignment finds. It’s such a great system where everyone wins.

    Like other posters, my entryway is a tiny little wall next to my front door before it opens into the larger living area. Hooks and a small table are definitely on my to do list. It makes me feel a bit better that my front room is usually tidy enough that I don’t feel embarrassed to open my door. Before I simplified, that was definitely not the case. Now, a little mess doesn’t bother me because there is visually less to look at so it automatically looks cleaner than before.
    Jennie´s last post…A Day in the Life

  39. So, as I tripped on one of about six pair of shoes hanging out in front of the door, I thought, I really need to do something about this, but alas, the shoes sit.

    Good advice on not apoligizing. I tend to do that, but you are right, I don’t want people to think I’m not happy to see them!

  40. Will chime in with others on loving the cabinet. And posing a question:

    Anyone have great ideas for what to do with a split-entry entry? I could put hooks on one wall, but am afraid that might make an already-tight space look cluttered and cramped. Right now, we have a landing spot at the top of the stairs. It’s OK, but I’m wondering if there are better ideas.

    Love your idea of keeping space clear on the cabinet for guest’s things.
    Rita@thissortaoldlife.com´s last post…Bathroom Remodel Update

  41. I think Julia Child said the same about cooking- never apologize for your cooking, either. Good words!
    Katherine´s last post…The Battle of Laundry

  42. Julia Child did say that about cooking–she said that it only made guests feel uncomfortable too!

    Your entry is certainly elegant–lovely cabinet. It certainly was a great find.

    After reading your blog I went to look at my front entry which is the main door used in the house for everything from guests, to bringing in the wood for the woodstove. I even have my basket of eggs hanging there (on a hook even! so handy when I come in from gathering eggs). It was definitely OK looking–not elegant but clean and neat enough.

    I think the number one thing that helps keep it looking that way is never letting our dogs in or out of this door. They always go out the door in the walkout basement. Not only am I not dealing with the dirt they drag in through this door (and then into the living room–dogs do not take off their shoes at the door!) I do not have their leashes and other paraphernalia there. Also, when my children went to school backpacks were always hung on hooks at the base of the stairs going up to their rooms. I found that backpacks took up tons of space in an entry. This way I could go through their backpacks for important papers, etc but I wasn’t going all the way up to their rooms to do so. The stairway was at the back of the house off the living room and so a wall hid the stairway and their backpacks from view.

    Oh, one more thing–for the split entry–would a small hall tree fit there? My parents have a split entry and they have a hall tree that has hooks, a mirror and a seat (with storage in the seat). It looks nice, elegant, but it is small and very useful. You can find them with the kind of character and charm of Rachel’s cabinet.

  43. Great ideas! Thank you for the inspiration. My front entrance right now has some items to be donated and loads of stuff to be put away. I like the idea of the hooks, my little guy uses the doorknob to the coat closet to hang his backpack right now.
    Gabriela – Living La Vida Normal´s last post…DEAR Monday: January Wrap-up

  44. Your entrance looks great, and really welcoming. Two things I like: you have room for your guests to put their things; and you have put something of “yourself” on display, your pottery, which draws attention, provides a discussion point (“oh, is this a new one, when did you make this one?”) and encourages guests to share themselves with you too.

  45. Yes, I also never apologize! Not only for the mess, but for not having a tablecloth, for having guests clear the dishes, when a dessert fails and individual chocolate souffles turn into chocolate mousse. This is a great, and very freeing philosophy.

    We have a 2-tired system of entryway, the mudroom right off the garage gets wet boots, raincoats and big items, then our coat closet upstairs in the main part of the house gets sweaters, backpacks etc. I did install 2 Command hooks down low so my kids (preschoolers) can hang up their own backpacks.
    Jessica @ Stay at Home-ista´s last post…A Tale of Two Fireplaces, part three (accessorizing!)

  46. Gorgeous pottery! How amazing that you created those yourself :-)

    Our entry is tidy with our hall tree, but we will need hooks for the little one…especially now that he is able to do so much on his own, and with another on the way we may as well hang up more….

    LOVE your blog.

    Especially the 24″ microfibre dust mop and microfibre wet mop I bought a month ago. It changed my cleaning life. A downstairs that used to take 2hrs to vaccuum (with 3 dogs, 4 cats and 22 months old) now takes 15 mins. Maximum.

    Genius!!!

    My house floors are always tidy now :-)

    THANK YOU!!!!

  47. The new hutch is gorgeous! I’m glad to hear the encouragement to not apologize for living in our own homes. We keep our home at a level of clean that is satisfactory to us. Visitors are welcome to join us “as is.” We have been known, however, to do a “10-second tidy” as visitors are driving up our long lane.

    I had a row of hooks behind our front door, but took them out to put a displaced bookshelf from another room in their place. I’m kind of regretting that decision now. As soon as our addition is finished, I think I’ll find a new home for the bookshelf and reinstall the hooks.

    My on-going problem is figuring out what to do with shoes and boots. There is always a huge pile right inside the front door which opens into the living room. I’ve tried baskets, boot trays, constant nagging to return them to the owner’s bedroom, etc. but nothing has worked well.

    P.S. – Love the round mirror, too!

  48. That hutch! Swoon!

  49. my husband is an architect and he is very picky about the flow and beauty of entrances. He talks about a gracious entrance. I try to keep it tidy and the porch swept.

    And I guide my visitors – you can put your coat here, please sit down, would you like a cup of x, I’m going to turn off the stove – you can come with me or make yourself at home. . .

    Our coat closet and wall hooks are much too full, though. Time to go through and purge!

    I so agree with you – I NEVER apologize for the condition of my house! That apology is more about my ego, anyway.
    Margo´s last post…Homemade Cough Syrup

  50. I don’t tend to apologize for the state of our house, especially if it’s an unexpected guest, because I’ve realized that most people would not have things picture perfect if you popped in, especially with small kids in the house. But when other people do, I don’t feel uncomfortable – sometimes I think people just say that and it’s kind of like a “Does this dress make me look fat?” comment, i.e they’re seeking a bit of reassurance and acknowledging that life is crazy.

    Our entryway is hideous, mainly because we are new to town and don’t have too many people popping over, but also because we mostly use the back door to the garage to go in and out. And I’ve got to do something about that entryway planter – at least I’ve taken down the picket-fence border.

  51. My back entrance is super squishy. There is a very tall, built-in boot cabinet which is great and two sets of hooks on the wall for adult/child coats. So we’ve done what is possible to organize it but I can’t keep it looking perfectly clean. It feels like 20 minutes after vacuuming, the matts are covered again in muck – ice salt, leaves, mud from soccer (depending on the season) so I’ve just had to accept it. My front door doesn’t lead to a real entry way but rather right into the living room (with rug! How does that make sense?!). There is a coat closet right there and I did buy a sweet antique bench but then stole that for a side table in my living room :) Aaaah, well. People come to see me and obviously not a perfectly designed or decorated home.
    Kika@embracingimperfection´s last post…The Importance of Being Heard: connected parenting

  52. We really don’t use our front door. We come through the garage to a very small and tight hallway. I had my husband build a coat rack with old hooks and a shelf. Now the boys have a place to hang coats and what not. Good point in not apologizing about the mess. I find myself doing that and then feel funny when I do. Love the hutch.

  53. Beautiful Hutch! We have an entrance that basically walks into the dining room. We have a MAJOR problem with shoe management. I purchased two 15-cube organizers and stacked them. They are the right height for a nice place for a small lamp, pen holder and a place for guests to leave their keys. The 30-cubes are used to house shoes, pet brushes, garden gloves, etc. Now if I could just get my family to actually put their shoes in the cubes :p.

    • We had 4 kids at home, once upon a time, and I bought a wooden “toy” chest and painted it. It served as a place for them to store their every day shoes, plus you could sit on it to put your shoes on, or take them off. My problem became they were storing ALL their shoes, which was too many. It was easy because they just opened up and tossed in. Worked well for many years!
      Bernice @ The Stressed Mom´s last post…Moms, stress, and matters of the heart

  54. We have a hutch near our front door, too. I place a chair next to it to serve as a temporary spot for handbags or coats. Very pretty, very handy. Yours is so beautiful and unusual and handmade makes it even better! Congratulations! I am a huge hooks fan. We have ten children and only one small full-bath to share upstairs. Hooks save my life in there every day organizing everyone’s towels. It also looks good, like a cute locker room with coordinating solids and stripes. I also keep hooks for kids coats in the basement stairway and our storage room. And I don’t know how I would survive without all the hooks I have placed inside cabinets and closets!

  55. LOVE the cabinet!!!!

  56. I wish I had a real front entry space. Yours looks great. My front door feeds right into my living room :( So, that means I HAVE to keep the living in tip-top shape which is tough.
    Mel@MySunshine´s last post…February Focus: Get Ready for #2!

  57. Our entry is not large, and it is the only place for our coats and shoes/boots, so the best thing for me to do about our entry is to have a realistic attitude!

    Next best is to try to keep each family member limited to one pair of footwear there and only allow the current season’s outerwear, within reason. (See above re attitude…)
    Lori´s last post…Doing Something When I Feel Like Doing Nothing

  58. I love the part of not apologizing for the mess in the house which I really feel embarrassed about. Our problem with a front entry cabinet is we tend to drop things conveniently there and before long, the entire cabinet is full of junk and small stuff that you do not know where they should go.
    Simplemum´s last post…10 Top Questions Posed by Mums-to-be

  59. 1)Unexpected guests would just about kill me, as I am mental about social interactions.

    2) However, I still want our place to look company ready, as I am also mental about clutter.

    My question is shoes. What can I do with the shoes? They haunt me.

  60. When I read your blog yesterday it was just before I was going to go and clean the porch. It motivated me to go a bit further and I moved some coats upstairs, polished some scruffy looking shoes, went through a basket of bits waiting for new homes (mostly out of the house-I’m going to actually take them to their new homes this week) and washed the floor.
    DH noticed how nice it looked when he got in. DS dumped his stuff on the old church pew that’s in there (spot for visitors things, place to sit and put your shoes on) and left his wellies in the middle of the floor…

  61. I love the hooks on the wall idea. I was actually looking for some coat hooks to place kid height. Now that my oldest one is in school everything easily ends up on the floor blocking the entrance if there’s no easy place to put it!

  62. By the way…love the cabinet!
    Christyn@StrivingforSimple´s last post…New Coupon Codes

  63. I wondered why there weren’t more coat hooks, but then I remember you live in Texas. The piece of furniture is just lovely.

    • That’s true, we do live in Texas, but it’s also because we have a coat closet right next to it for the grown ups.

  64. I really like your bit about not apologizing. I get very nervous when folks drop by, but your words made me feel better, Rachel!

    We are bad to have things “waiting” to go out. Back to the store, to hubby’s office, to give to one of the adult kids… I have a nice hutch as well, but I am an out of sight, out of mind person, so if I were to put the stuff inside, they would never get delivered where they needed to go!
    Bernice @ The Stressed Mom´s last post…Moms, stress, and matters of the heart

  65. My favorite part about our entry is a two-foot-tall birdfeeder/birdbath in the shape of an angel holding a bowl. It’s the perfect place to keep the keys and a lovely welcome for anyone who comes in. Thanks for the great tips.
    Janine at Rustic Kitchen´s last post…So-chic mac & cheese

  66. Hi Rachel,

    Just love this post. It’s wonderful to have folks over and focus on making our guests feel welcome and relaxed and not worry so much about the state of things in our homes – - – after all, our guests are coming to visit us not inspect our homes. And as I remember cookbook author Nigella Lawson once saying (and I paraphrase)…if anyone comes into your home and complains about the state of it or the food – never invite them over again! Love that!!!

    We want to live in our homes and not try to keep them like furniture stores. It should be comfy, cozy, and welcoming. Not perfect. You want your family and friends to feel that they can sit back, take a deep breath…and yes, put their feet up on the coffee table! :-)

    So when it comes to entrances, mine isn’t perfect but it’s bright and welcoming. Yellow paint on the walls, a china cabinet filled with all the sorts of ephemera I love, flanked by two chairs with comfy pillows. Folks can sit to catch their breath, if they need, and toss their jackets to rest on a chair…then make there way into our living room to sit by the fireplace and enjoy a cup of coffee…on this rainy, cold Hill Country day. (I’m in Texas too…and we are so glad to see the rain down here!) Welcome!

    Have a great weekend.

    Love,
    Mary
    Mary´s last post…The Worn, The Tattered, and The Chipped…The Love Story Behind a Very Special Desk

  67. Visitors never use our front door; everybody uses the door that opens into our kitchen.

    I absolutely agree with what you said about never apologizing for a mess. What you think is messy, somebody else might not even notice, and if they do, oh, well.

    I figure that if somebody comes over unexpectedly, they’ll just have to take us as they find us. That could mean the place is spotless, or it could mean our grandchildren are doing painting projects all over the table while I’m baking cookies.
    Becky´s last post…Where visitors enter: cringe-worthy or clutter free?