UHeart Organizing: A Bright + Organized Entry

Although my friend, Serena of Pretty Fluffy, typically chats about organizing for pets {she is the biggest pet lover I know}, she also uses her organizing skills all over her home!  I am gaga over her newly organized entry, it is just so darn pretty!

 


The entryway is every home's mission control. It needs to multi-task every day, offering a stylish greeting to guests, an organized dumping ground for keys, phones and everyday items, and that last chance 'have I got everything' moment before you walk out the door.

Surprisingly for such an important area of our homes, it's the last thing we think to style and organize. Case in point? Me.


This was our entryway. An old hall table with very little storage which led to purses, magazines, shoes, mail and who knows what else dumped in a ultra-messy way. Not exactly what I wanted to be greeted with when I walked through the door.

I had done a half-hearted attempt of organizing the chaos with a bowl for our mail and keys, but as you can see no-one really bought into that theory. What this space needed, was a complete overhaul.


Without a big budget to complete this task, I first set about seeing what I could use already in my home to transform my entry space.

My first 'aha' moment came when I noticed our old Expedit sitting sadly in our study. Filled with broken boxes, old books and dated files it's been on my list for a while to clean out and repurpose.  Bingo!

With the addition of some new legs, I had found my entryway skeleton. Now she just needed some dressing up.


HIS + HERS ENTRY STATION 

My first dressing task was establishing a streamlined, organized place for everyday items such as keys, phones, wallets and mail.

I found these Martha Stewart desk caddies and knew the drawers would be perfect for keys, phones and wallets, with the top making a perfect 'His and Hers' mail box. To add a splash of colour and to avoid confusion, I printed up a simple chevron pattern in grey which I affixed with double sided tape to my husband's tray, and then mine in pink. I customized the back of the trays, drilling a small hole in each - big enough to pass through a charge cord so our phones could charge up at the entryway station.

With my purse popped just below, and a mirror stationed above for last minute touch-ups, I've got a go-to area whenever I'm getting ready to walk out the door.


INSPIRATION STATION 

Moving on, I needed a way to display invitations, cards, our monthly calendar and weekly notes that often got lost in the clutter. While my husband and I often use our phones for keeping track of meetings and work schedules, we always use a monthly calender to make sure we're both aware of birthdays, upcoming travel and big events to keep an eye on.

By adding a new lick of paint to an old pin board I'm able to display our calender along with our favourite cards, invitations and the like. Organized and inspirational, our entry pin board now starts my day with a smile.


DAILY CHALKBOARD 

While the monthly calender keeps us organized on a large scale, I needed something for little reminders such as 'Don't forget to pick up the dry cleaning before 5pm!" For this task I repurposed an old photo frame, by removing the glass and replacing with a small sheet of wood paneling painted with chalkboard paint. Whenever we have to share a daily reminder we just pop it on the chalkboard.
We also now like using it to write little messages to each other - a great way to share a bit of happiness with each other during our busy weeks.


LAPTOP + MAGAZINE STATION 

The next step was a place for our larger items - namely our work laptops and reading materials. I really wanted something versatile, yet inexpensive. A six pack of DIY magazine holders did the trick!
With a designated spot for magazines and papers, it really clears the clutter from the entryway surfaces. Plus, by affixing a cable clip to the side wall, I had a ready made laptop docking station hidden away with no messy cords.


PET STATION 

Of course, what would an entryway in my home be without some pet friendly elements. A cute hook attached to the inspiration board keeps the dog's leash in easy reach.  A basket of flip-flops and slippers ensures that whether we're racing out the door for a walk, or getting ready to stay in and snuggle up on the coach, our feet are happy!

Last but not least is a dog bowl positioned in the perfect place so I never forget to keep my pooch topped up with fresh water. {To make your own DIY dog bowl like the one pictured see my tutorial here}


SHOPPING STATION 

The final thing I needed on my list, was a place to pop those pesky receipts, coupons, junk mail and little bits and bobs that had become quite good at overtaking the entry.

Rescuing these used pink boxes from storage, a bit of a clean up - including new labels and ribbon handles - had them good as new.

To do my bit for the planet, I designated one box for 'Recycling' - a place to put junk mail and used envelopes, instead of throwing them in the trash. The second made the perfect home for our environmentally friendly shopping bags, and a spot to keep items that needed to be returned or exchanged at the store. Never again would I go to the shops only to discover I'd forgotten them!

The final piece was a small filing system for our coupons and receipts - a handy system to keep track of our spending and saving with no mess or fuss.


So there you have it - my Bright + Organized Entry Before and After. I have to say I'm loving my new entry space. It makes saying 'Hello' and 'Goodbye' to my home effortless and efficient. But before I leave you, I want to share my top 5 top tips for organizing and styling your entryway:
  1. Plan for your needs. Before you change anything start making notes of what your entryway is missing. Just as every family is different, every entryway is different. Mine was for a young couple and their fluffy dog. Yours may be for a family of five, or a couple with a new baby, or a single girl with roommates. You may not need a laptop station or spot for the dog leash - what you may need is an area for the kids' school bags and homework; a place to store the diaper bag; or a space to discard your fabulous heels.
  2. Take a note of where the clutter is coming from. I had BIG problems with the mail, keys, and electronics in our entryway - as well as the issue of shoes discarded throughout our home. By dedicating organized areas for these items in your entryway, you make it easy to stay on top of the clutter monster.
  3. Try to keep purses sitting on shelving rather than hanging. A purse maker once told me hanging a handbag by its straps can stretch the handle causing it to wear out sooner. The same goes for coats. Hang them on a hanger on the back of a door rather than hooks, to ensure they keep their shape.
  4. Add a bit of luxury to your entryway. Because of its need to be functional and efficient, this can be easily forgotten. But remember your entryway is the first thing you will see when you come home every day. I added a decorative mirror that I had been lusting after for 7 years - no joke! A small posy of flowers {fresh or fake}, a scented candle or a comfy pair of soft slippers to slide into to the end of the day can make all the difference when you walk in the door.
  5. Make your entryway reflect you and your family! My entryway has its fair share of the colour pink and dog related elements - it's pure me. Your entryway needs to be all about you. When planning your entryway, put up your children's artwork, work to your favourite colours and let the space make a statement about who lives there - you!

Now over to you! What tips do you have for a stylish and organized entryway? What would your dream entryway be?


"I am Serena Faber Nelson, a television producer, writer and fluffy dog owner.  Obsessed with home d├ęcor, fashion, lifestyle and dogs – I set about creating Pretty Fluffy as a go-to guide for the modern pet owner.   Featuring a range of stylish products, celebrity pooches, DIY projects and handy hints, Pretty Fluffy is a daily stop for smiles and inspiration, giving readers the tools they need to enjoy full and happy lives with their furry friends. 

My greatest loves include fresh peonies, Dirty Dancing (Nobody puts Baby in a corner), Banoffe Pie, spending waaay too much time on Pinterest, and hugging random dogs at the park.  I currently live in Sydney, Australia with my husband, Andy, and her 11 year old Border Collie, Soda. As a long time fan, I am super excited to be joining the IHeart Organizing Team!"

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