Make Your Home More Welcoming – Challenge #2

by Kimba on October 21, 2009

in Sanctuary at Home

Clean up your entryway.

I’m not talking about making a beautiful wreath to hang on your front door. That’s for your guests…and for yourself, if you’re a wreath-loving fool like me.

I’m talking about getting rid of the clutter and mess that’s going on in the entrance that your family uses. For me, that’s the door from our garage.

We’re lucky that we have a little mudroom area between the garage and the kitchen. The problem is that it becomes a dumping ground for shoes, book bags, grocery bags, library books, stray dogs and pizza boxes. It makes me cringe every time I walk into it.

Actual, un-retouched photo. I’m so embarrassed.

We have big plans for a wall unit with a bench and hooks and shelves. Plans, but no funds. In the meantime, I’ve done nothing with it.

Today, I’m going to clean it up. I’m going to find places for all of the clutter that has made it’s permanent home in our entry way. I’m not usually one to show you the “before” without the “after” pictures, but we’re in this together. This is what I’m doing today too.

What if you don’t have a mudroom? I know most people don’t. So how does your family get into your house? What can you do to make it more welcoming? Does it need picked up? Can you add a little table with a bowl where you can drop your keys on the way into the house?

Do you have room for a little chair where you can stop to take off your shoes?

How about a hook on the wall for a coat?

Need a little inspiration?
Key Catcher @ The DIY Show Off
Informal entry way checklist @ Pure Style Home
Solution for lack of an entryway @ Apartment Therapy
DIY coat rack @ My Backyard Eden

You can browse all of our challenges and join in any time. Just click here to see the whole series.

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1 The DIY Show Off October 21, 2009 at 5:37 am

Great post, Kimba. My family enters through the door in our kitchen most times and that's exactly what our floor looks like. Shoes everywhere. (You're not alone!) I'm trying to train my family to use the mudroom entryway where there is everything available for staying organized. I'm going to have to add a candy dish for rewards & incentives. ๐Ÿ™‚

Thanks for the shout out!


2 Queen B. October 21, 2009 at 6:17 am


3 Karen October 21, 2009 at 6:17 am

I try to not have the front door area look like that. Sometimes it does, mostly it is the laundry room door, I have a wire cubey thing in there for shoes, coats should be hung and backpacks there at night. It is looking better, I cleaned the closet in there:)

4 Sarah Mae October 21, 2009 at 6:18 am

Oh, you should be so ashamed of that mud room – it is ATROCIOUS!

Silly lovely girl.

If only my "embarrassed" was as nice as yours. ๐Ÿ™‚

Glad to see you're still around…

5 northern cottage October 21, 2009 at 6:29 am

This is what is on my TO DO list for today as well – update/organize the entry IN THE GARAGE before you step into the house (big plans to do all this after I get done with work!) I hope to be complete enough to do a post tonight/tomorrow!! Here is my little tiny area as you step from the garage into the kitchen:

6 Jen@Balancing Beauty and Bedlam October 21, 2009 at 6:31 am

Girl, you're embarrassed of that entryway? I just took a pic of my hot spot two days ago for an upcoming post and then you'll really feel embarrassed….for me. This is one topic that we haven't solved. Five children-basketball shoes, football cleats, regular shoes and no garage, plus we don't want them bringing their muddy ones upstairs…ugh. It's a dilemma and the baskets I provided isn't cutting it. I am in process and will let you know when it's solved. ๐Ÿ™‚

7 Maman Tattoo October 21, 2009 at 6:35 am

Oh, I actually bought a rack holding shoes this summer. Now some part are borken, so it's now standing in a weird angle. I'm still trying to figure if it's better then no rack… Because there's still mess anyway…

8 Still Learning October 21, 2009 at 6:51 am

I could not agree with you more about the entry way. Recently I broke my foot and the house got ahem a little out of order and the entry way took the brunt of it. It was a disaster area and the hubby and the kids would get frustrated just walking in the door because of the disorder. Happily we are back to normal and now everyone walks in smiling….. Gread advice, I love a welcoming and tidy entry way. It sets the tone.


9 the undomesticated wife October 21, 2009 at 7:21 am

We either come in through the front door (if we park in front of the house) or the back door (if we park in the driveway). We never come in through the garage since we never park in the garage. But since it's just two of us adults, we're good about putting keys/wallets in the proper places and shoes in the closet. I loathe having shoes laying around!!

10 Julie October 21, 2009 at 7:28 am

Oh I SO did this yesterday thanks to your post about making your family feel welcome. My laundry room is my entry and that sure can be a problem! Take a look at what you inspired me to do ๐Ÿ™‚

11 Class 242 October 21, 2009 at 7:32 am

Our house doesn't have an attached garage, so we're inconsistent about which door we use. The back door is in the kitchen, so I have counter space that I can almost never use, because it's piled high with diaper bags, preschool artwork, keys, etc. Our washer and dryer are right there by the door, so I have to wade through the piles of shoes to wash our clothes. It's a little better when we use the front door, but not much. My little one likes to use flip flops as teether toys, so I've gotten better about picking those up, but everything else is still a mess. I'm going to try and start keeping it tidy and see if anyone notices. ๐Ÿ™‚

12 Trish D October 21, 2009 at 7:47 am

Entryways are tough! Ours is a wide-ish hallway, just big enough to attract piles ๐Ÿ™‚ My current solution: a teak bench (purchased for a song online), an oversized metal planter that the shoes get chucked into (bought from Michael's with a coupon), and a shelf with coat hooks (Hobby Lobby). Eclectic, but it works for us – and I know all those pieces will find homes elsewhere when I eventually do something nicer…

13 Gina @ The Shabby Chic Cottage October 21, 2009 at 7:55 am

Between you and the Nester, ya'll are shaming me into finally getting my laundry/mudroom organized. It drives me crazy, it needs a lighter paint color and I'm just gonna have to do something about it!

14 { L } October 21, 2009 at 7:57 am

Wow, what a fun little space to work with! I need a room like that with 3 boys and snowy/muddy winters.
Thanks for those excellent inspiration links too!

15 Heidi October 21, 2009 at 7:58 am

Man, oh man is a mud room ever on the top of our list for the next house we live in! Our entry is a huge sore spot in our house! But, it's the front door! Yikes! We do have hooks on the wall because we have no coat closet (can you see my on going frustration with this rental?) but it would be great to have some sort of bench/cubes/ to catch all the shoes that gather…

16 Jessica October 21, 2009 at 8:01 am

Very fitting for me right now. I am in the middle of redoing our entry way, which is te back door through the carport. it used to look like yours and then i got a cheap sewing table, and redid it. Bought a 3$ little fish to hold our keys, baskets from michaels to go on our shelves, and coat hooks-actually from a broken coat rack i got at TJ mAxx for 3$ -that i will unscrew and screw to the wall. my hallway reveal should be next week sometime! so far i have spent about 45$ but we also do have shevles already built!
good luck!!

17 Shilo October 21, 2009 at 8:10 am

I just want to say…it doesn't look THAT bad! ๐Ÿ™‚ At least you have a few cute shoes in the mix! ๐Ÿ™‚ But I definitely get what you are saying. Our porch is our mudroom and it gets out of control sometimes…

18 Shilo October 21, 2009 at 8:10 am

I just want to say…it doesn't look THAT bad! ๐Ÿ™‚ At least you have a few cute shoes in the mix! ๐Ÿ™‚ But I definitely get what you are saying. Our porch is our mudroom and it gets out of control sometimes…

19 Amanda October 21, 2009 at 8:16 am

what a great spot-there is so much you could do there! I actually used one of those cheap 2 shelf book cases from Target and then bought some baskets from Marshall's and thats where all the shoes go. Then I bought some wall hooks & put above the shelf for dog leash, back packs, etc..

20 Shannon October 21, 2009 at 8:42 am

I love this post. I actually took a picture a few weeks ago of the clutter on the floor near our staircase. Because everyone comes in the front door, and just drops their stuff next to the staircase. Which is 2 feet from the closet! My solution was to build a coat rack, and I was of course going to blog about it… However, I havent done it yet. Thanks for the reminder! I wish I had a mudroom!

21 Kara@ Creations by Kara October 21, 2009 at 9:10 am

We have a mudroom/laundry room just off our garage that is in serious need of organization. I swear I barely get it clean and I turn around and it's a mess again. Sigh.

22 2sisters October 21, 2009 at 9:17 am

Thanks for the inspiration and the the honesty!

23 Carolyn @ My Backyard Eden October 21, 2009 at 9:39 am

Hi Kimba,
Great post! Have you noticed how shoes seem to multiply??

Thanks for the link up today!


24 Astrid October 21, 2009 at 9:53 am

I'm really struggling with this too. We don't own lots of shoes and yet there isn't enough space for them. plus our jackets seem to multiply too. I've got very little space so I'm anxious to see what others have done. The mess is driving me batty!

25 Amanda @ Serenity Now October 21, 2009 at 10:37 am

No mudroom here. ๐Ÿ™ Just a front door that opens directly to our staircase…it's literally right in your face as you come in the door. I use one of the stairs to "store" items I need to take up with me…not exactly the best way to greet a guest. :s

26 Steph October 21, 2009 at 12:20 pm

I love the photo with the shoes. It's real life – you're a hopping family!

27 Jennifer Juniper October 21, 2009 at 12:22 pm

Ok, I did #1 and everyone seemed very pleased, and by coincidence I did #2 last week because I was so sick of my messy doorway making the Big Guy grumpy every time he walked in the door.

Keep 'em comin', the big guy won't know what hit him!

Totally unrelated…I have that exact rug in my house. Creepy.

28 Lynn from For Love or Funny October 21, 2009 at 12:51 pm

HI Kimba,
In desperation, I resorted to some sturdy (and cheap) white plastic shelving from the hardware store. It doesn't look that bad and it gets everything up off the floor for about $20. I'm looking forward to see what you come up with. ๐Ÿ™‚

29 Miss Mustard Seed October 21, 2009 at 1:38 pm

Yep…we have a pile of backpacks, diaper bags, coats and the like in our home office. I, too, am waiting for built-ins. We just need a new table saw and we're off to the races. I can't wait!

30 Traci October 21, 2009 at 1:50 pm

Your entry way is in way better shape than mine. Mine has more shoes, more coats… and I don't even have a REAL entry way. The door leads right into the kitchen. It's dreadful.

Thanks for motivating me!

31 The Garcia Family October 21, 2009 at 5:25 pm

What a coinkydink that you are talking about this- I just redid my family's "mudroom". Really, we had no mudroom, because our garage door opens up to the bedroom hallway at the back of our house. So I turned a barely used coat closet into a mini-mudroom. I painted and hung wallpaper on the inside to make it pretty, hung a hook for each family member for bags and coats, upholstered a wood board and turned it into a bench for putting on/taking off shoes, and placed a large basket in the closet under the bench for shoe storage. Finally, I took off that silly door so the mini-mudroom is an open room. It actually looks like I gained square footage with the door off. This project has worked out so well for how my family lives!

32 northern cottage October 22, 2009 at 4:48 am

Ok – you inspired me again (Kimba made me do it!) Created a mudroom where none existed before. Not fantastic but usable & functional & cute enough for me!

Thanks girlie!

33 Those Magic Slippers Will Take You Home October 22, 2009 at 10:38 am

I'm late on reading all your posts, was out of town the whole weekend and haven't had time to get through all these! so now not only do i have to do Challenge number 1 today i also need to spice up our entry way! maybe with a new runner(rug) or a nice smelling candle or air freshener that has a fall scent to it, like pumpkin spice or soemthign! So it dones't smell like normal house.

Thanks for the Ideas!

34 Suzann @ The Olive Cottage October 23, 2009 at 7:36 am

LOVE this post. My biggest question is why oh why does my family insist on walking in and dumping? Makes me insane.

35 foggogs October 26, 2009 at 10:37 am

just painted a new 15$ table I found at an antique shop this weekend. I am going to put it by my front door . you have inspired me!

36 Handy Andy October 27, 2009 at 4:52 am

A mudroom! Iโ€™ve been enlightened. I never knew such things existed. In our house the wellies get left at the back door, and the kids always forget to put their's away. We always have the delight of a wellie half full of rain water the next time we use them!

37 Angel March 24, 2010 at 10:02 pm

Oh I have the perfect recommendation! Knockoff wood blog has the plans to build your own entry way storage bench system (inspired by pottery barn) for as simple as $50. MDF, trim and paint. If I had a mudroom like yours, I would so build one of these!
.-= Angel ยดs last blog ..Another Piece of the Entertainment Center Puzzle…….. =-.

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