Organize Your Life | Getting Our the Front Door...

I don't know about you, but we used to get out the door pretty easily. seems like it takes forever. ...and don't even get started on Kindergarten...that was a whole new game change when it came to organizing our front door space. Here's the thing -- it has to be super organized, but that doesn't mean it has to be colors that don't fit the rest of your home's scheme or bright plastic bins to contain everything. You don't need labels or tags or the typical organizational tools. You just need a little creativity, a little patience (or money) and a lot of organization.

This is our front door.  It all looks very calm and innocent, but wait until you see what lies beneath...

Before diving into the organizational structure, let's take a look at the actual furniture pieces first.  I use 2 types of wood that complement the wood flooring (the photo makes the colors look off, but I promise the floor is the same tone as the sewing desk :)  So there is a blond wood tone in the floor, the sewing desk (right), the cork and one shoe basket (not pictured).  There is a deep walnut wood seen on the mirror, hook rack, coat rack, clock, cork board frame, message center (behind coat rack) and shoe basket (under sewing table).  To the left of the arrangement is another landing table with walnut tones.

Now moving on to the real nitty gritty....THIS is what is underneath that calm exterior...

Here is how our front door works. There are levels of organization. The actual door is priority #1.

Our front door is magnetic (thank you previous owner!). I've never had a magnetic front door before, but it is fabulous. I use simple strong IKEA magnets the same color as the door to hold papers that absolutely MUST go out the door when we walk out. Typically it is papers that need to be turned into school (they are so amazingly strict even for just blows my mind...but anyhoo -- no use going off on a tangent now...) The other must for our front door is pretty standard. We must have a dead bolt. Now, many folks have a dead bolt to keep bad people OUT. We simply need a deadbolt to keep our baby IN. He is always trying to get out the front door and that dead bolt is a lifesaver - literally.

The second level is right inside the door to the left. The essentials for our family include:

#1 Mirror -- Who wants to go outside with lipstick on their teeth or hair sticking up??
#2 Key Storage -- You aren't going anywhere without them! We use 2 hooks that are attached to the mirror.
#3 Wallet Storage -- Again, you aren't going many places without it. This is also part of the mirror.
#4 Backpacks -- Homework in the backpacks, snack in the side pocket, kid height so they can hang them themselves.
#5 Kid Coats -- Separate from adult coats on strong hooks. All within a foot of the door because of the...
#6 Wipeable Floor -- A must. Our kids (and we!) track in tons of dirt and mud. A wood, laminate or tile floor is a must right inside the door.

The third level of organization is to the right of the door. These items are essential, but not as dire of consequence if forgotten like tier 1 & 2.

#1 Clock -- Timing is not a strong suit of mine, so clocks are everywhere in our house.  One near the door is essential.
#2 Message Center -- This is hidden behind the coat rack, but it is one of those little message racks from the 50's.  I keep a checkbook, a pen and a Sharpie in it.  That is more, no less.
#3  Bulletin Board -- For essential bills and such that need attention right now.
#4  In and Out Box -- Letters, cards, bills, etc, etc.  I try to keep this empty.
#5 Coat Rack -- Adults Only, 1-2 coats, purses and an umbrella.
#6 Catchalls -- My catchalls at the moments include a little Haeger planter and a silver bowl.  They catch all :)
#7 Shoe Basket(s) -- We have 2 baskets of shoes by the door.  One is under the sewing table, one is to the right.  I try to keep adult shoes in one, kid shoes in the other, but it doesn't always work out quite that fact, I often find my clean girl shoes mixed into the dirty boy pile, complete with Cheerios...

Are you still with me??  Hang on tight, we are almost finished!

The fourth level is to the left of the door.  There is a little coat closet across from the door, and then a landing table in front of it.  The stuff stored here is a lot less essential, but nice to have near the door.

#1 Library Book Box -- See that dark brown box under the table?  That was supposed to be for the laundry chute, but the moment my husband brought that puppy home from the store, it snuck right under that table and has been holding library books ever since.  It is the same shape and color as the shoe box under the sewing table, so I couldn't let it was just too perfect!  Anyway, the box is almost always full of library books, half to read, half to go back...and our fines have gone down (slightly) since I put this basket so close to the front door.
#2 Open Space -- This is a difficult one.  I always seem to be adding furniture because surfaces can't stay clear.  However, it is essential to have spaces that are clear of everything -- especially by the front door.  A place to drop a bag, set a book, lay down a heavy present, etc. etc.  Big.  Open.  Clear.  Space.
#3 Coupons and Books that I am reading or refer to often in the racks.
#4 Letter Rack on top (more cute than anything, but open storage in case...again OPEN, not full of stuff)
#5 Guest Book Frame and Matte
#6 I have chapstick in that drawer...another essential :)

The fifth level is even further away from the front door and includes the SHOE DRESSER with extra shoes, hats and scarves.  Also important to have close to the front door is a bunch of bowling pins stuck upside down in a frame you have been meaning to upholster...

um yeah...that is our home....complete organization and then crazy toys everywhere with half finished projects...IT WORKS!!

Now it is your do you keep your front door organized?  How do you make sure you have everything you need?  What are your tips and tricks for making it look like a habitable home instead of the inside of an office supply cabinet??  Share share share!


jess said…
yes. yes. yes. isn't getting out he door such a chore? i loooooove no-coat weather b/c it subtracts 10 minutes from the routine!

we have a pocket shoe holder thingy in our coat closet that holds our hats/scarves/gloves/a pair of my dad's slippers for when he comes over. :-)

we also have a shoe basket--best thing i ever did.

there's also an in-box for mail in our entry closet so when The Man gets home from work & brings inthe mail, he puts it into the closet instead of on the kitchen table where i'm working to prepare dinner!
Amy Renea said…
Jess...I am SOOOOOO SO with you on the mail...drives me NUTS when mail is all over the house...drives me BATTY when mail like stuff is set on the kitchen counter!
Sharon Thoms said…
Hi your so right. It is absolutely imperative to have by the door organized or goodness knows how much longer it would take to get out the front door each day. I loved your tutorial and your pics. I have an organizing blog at and having a morning routine with a by the door launch pad as I call it is one of the things I most often preach.
Anonymous said…
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I LOVE your guest book on the wall - swoon! And your keeping it real shoe with the Cheerio is hilarious - I had a dinosaur in my purse last week, so I can totally relate! GREAT job!
Jessica Kielman said…
Ours is a hot mess most of the time. I try to keep it ultra organized, but I seem to be the only one.