Have you ever wanted to unlock your door with a fingerprint? Control the indoor and outdoor lights with your phone? You can do those things and more with a smart home. We show you how to get a home with connected technology and remote-operated devices that are designed to improve and simplify your life. We sift through the many options, including smart appliances, new apps, and smartphone and tablet innovation, and only bring you those that can make your life better. We give you tips and tricks for navigating the new home technologies and help you with buying decisions.See More
The areas just inside front and back entries are the most popular spots for clutter. Keep the mess at bay with these easy storage ideas.
Without a designated entry space, a back or front door can quickly turn into a jumbled pileup of coats, bags, sports gear, and shoes. Remedy the situation with a simple, fit-anywhere bookcase. A slim unit such as this one can fit right inside a door or at the end of an entry hall. Outfitted with a few extras and easy modification, this bookcase becomes an entryway wonder.
Shallow drawers in the bottom section of the bookcase are perfect for controlling clutter. Subdivide a drawer to keep office supplies organized for on-the-go needs -- all you need is a collection of colorful boxes in a variety of shapes and sizes.
Drop shoes at the door to help keep your home clean. If you designate a spot, the rule is more likely to be remembered and followed. For a thrifty storage solution, place a metal cooling rack on a large plastic tray for wet shoes to drip-dry.
Maximize every inch of a small entryway with these clever ideas.
Turn an unused corner into a cozy catchall to combine your laundry area with entryway functionality. Easy-to-install hooks keep coats and bags off the floor. Attractive containers store small items within reach.
A roll-out bench gives provides a place to take off shoes, which then can be placed right into the cubbies below the seat. Carpet tiles such as these are ideal for an entryway. If one of the tiles is permanently stained, it can easily be replaced with a new tile.
Round up a collection of buckets to store small items. If the buckets are metal, use magnetic letters to allocate what goes where. As seasons change, you can easily relabel the buckets to store must-have items.
Never again forget your cell phone. Add a charging station to your entryway and it will be right there to grab as you walk out the door. A unit such as this one can charge several devices at once and also keeps cords neatly tucked away.
The key to organization is finding creative ways to keep everything in its place. Making use of unused space can help achieve that goal. Slip essential cleaning supplies into door-mount organizers. This collection is housed in a high cabinet, out of reach of children and pets.
Can't sprawl out? Sprawl up. Vertical open shelving lets you display some items while hiding others. A comfy perch for putting on shoes isn't all this space has to offer; deep drawers offer perfect places for stowing accessories out of sight.
Wire baskets on sliding tracks are perfect for tucking extra shoes and small items. The basket pulls right out, making all the contents visible. Retrofit existing cubbies and cabinets with this functionality by installing do-it-yourself track hardware.
Use lidded baskets to store infrequently used items. For those items you use every day, try a bowl-like basket, an all-in-one place to throw your keys, sunglasses -- and during winter -- gloves and scarves.
Be in the storage know and clearly label all boxes and bins stashed in your entryway, so you can easily track down what you're on the hunt for. Small photo frames were glued to these baskets and labels were inserted into the frame opening.
Modular cubes stack vertically and let you display some belongings while hiding others. On the opposite side of the door, a textural look and a comfy perch for putting on shoes aren't all the ottoman has to offer -- the lid lifts off to reveal a place for jackets or sweaters, and the whole piece tucks nicely below a table with drawer and tabletop space for everyday necessities. Bought unfinished, the table was stained to match the modular cubes.
Embellished with wallpaper and hooks, this shadow box keeps keys in an accessible and highly visible place.
Pretty baubles needn't be hidden away -- keep them handy on a silver tray and in a fancy cup for last-minute accessorizing on the way out the door.
Ladle up a personalized look. Use enamelware plates and platters as charming alternatives to typical magnetic boards or tackboards. Grab a day's supply of parking change from a matching ladle.
Keep clutter under control with a two-room catchall area. The bench in the main entrance is set up to give the homeowners a place to take off shoes, organize items as they head out the door, and greet visitors as they come and go. The second room is where they keep all the family's items.
Any family with young children understands how much space kids need to corral all of their stuff. This room is designed to do just that. Large buckets and bins keep all of the sporting equipment in one spot. Recessed cubbies with bins hold smaller items such as scarves, gloves, and schoolwork. A clothesline running the length of the room saves the day when it's raining outside.
Shoes are often a major factor in entryway clutter. This bench provides a clever solution to this problem. Tile inserts offer a durable, waterproof surface for muddy and wet shoes to rest.
Easy-to-install hooks give the homeowners a spot to hang coats and bags. Using hooks is a good choice because they're inexpensive, don't take up a lot of space, and keep items off the floor.
According to Lori Leistico, organization expert and designer for KraftMaid, the key to conquering clutter is to give everything a place. The most common problem she sees is finding spots for mail, financial records, electronic gadgets, shoes, recycling, and kids' stuff. Leistico conquered these trouble areas by organizing this mudroom into zones.
The first zone is the window seat area. Window seats provide ideal spots for pulling on shoes and gathering items on the way out the door. The bench is accentuated with beaded board. Deep drawers below the seat keep paper recycling organized and out of sight.
A second bench has open space underneath for storing shoes and tall items. Baskets are attractive storage solutions and fit nicely on the shelf above the bench. Shallow drawers below the seat function like trays. The homeowners can see what's inside without having to dig around.
Pegs along the room provide spaces for hanging jackets, bags, and dog supplies. Shelves above these pegs offer out-of-the-way storage for collectibles.
Opposite the back door, the hutchlike cabinetry grouping creates the second zone. The "hutch" serves double duty as the room's focal point and as a drop spot for mail. There are display areas for the homeowners' dish collection. Bags and daily mail can rest on the open spot, and drawers hold everything from party supplies to lightbulbs.
The bottom section of the "hutch" has drawers specifically for each item the homeowners need to store. A shallow drawer at the top is perfect for storing flat items such as napkins and place mats. The door to the right hides three pullout drawers. These drawers are just large enough to store wine bottles.
Large drawers are designated for seasonal items. Dividers keep paper plates, cups, and napkins organized and ready to go for the next backyard party. Items in these drawers can be switched out by season or occasion.
Keep your pets organized with designated spots for their supplies. Here pullout bins are a great alternative to unattractive pet-food bags.