Drop-Zone Ideas to Inspire Your Entryway Makeover

entryway bench storage space near window
Photo: Marty Baldwin

The areas just inside front and back entries can be magnets for clutter. To keep the mess at bay, you'll need storage strategies that go beyond stashing shoes and coats in a closet. Get inspired to rework your own drop-zone with these clever entryway ideas.

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All-in-One Area: Defined Drop-Zone

Entryway with hangers and baskets
Laura Moss Photography Corp

This family-friendly mudroom is as hardworking as it is stylish. A built-in bench provides a perch for putting on shoes with open storage cubbies below for footwear, water bottles, and pet accessories. Pretty baskets (each assigned to a different family member) keep miscellaneous items on an upper shelf.

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All-in-One Area: Command Center

Board filled with important documents
Laura Moss

A large bulletin board is a smart drop-zone idea for a command center to help keep track of daily mail, important papers, and the family calendar. Kids' artwork is proudly pinned up to add a personal touch. Wall-mounted file folders organize incoming and outgoing mail in an easy-to-access spot.

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All-in-One Area: Pet Gear

Toys stored in wicker basket
Laura Moss Photography Corp

Your entryway is a prime spot for storing pet gear. Here, a basket neatly corrals dog toys and balls to keep them from being strewn all over the house. The basket slides back into an open cubby to keep it out of the way after playtime is over.

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All-in-One Area: Hydration Station

Water bottles in plastic and wicker baskets
Laura Moss Photography Corp

Another wicker basket in this storage-friendly entryway stashes water bottles to grab on the way out the door. Acrylic containers keep the bottles standing tall to prevent spills. Glazed tiles cover the mudroom floor (even beneath open cubbies), making cleaning up wet or muddy messes easy.

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DIY Built-Ins: Storage Solution

Entryway with bench and shelves
Marty Baldwin

Solve all your storage needs with a one-wall mudroom solution. A combination of open and closed storage efficiently handles shoes, essential papers, keys, accessories, and other on-the-go items. You can create this built-in look yourself by mounting cabinets and a cubby unit on a wall and adding trim along the top.

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DIY Built-Ins: Message Center

Cork board with cards and notes
Marty Baldwin

Post your weekly agenda in the entryway to remind family members of upcoming events. These cork tiles form a simple, attractive bulletin board solution tucked between the board-and-batten wall treatment. Apply self-adhesive strips to the back of the cork squares for easy installation and removal.

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DIY Built-Ins: Seating and Storage

Wooden bench with shoe storage
Marty Baldwin

This DIY storage bench is a clever drop-zone idea for a seating area to change shoes, as well as a spot to store a few extra pairs. Two levels of shelves in the bench base double the storage capacity. The seat cushion is covered in outdoor fabric for extra durability and stain resistance.

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DIY Built-Ins: Open Organization

White shelving with key hook
Marty Baldwin

This hanging unit's open cubbies and vertical shelf dividers provide ideal spots for organizing mail, schoolwork, and other items you typically need when walking out the door. Use magazine files, slim baskets, or binders to keep loose papers contained. Keep everyday items like keys, wallets, and sunglasses on hooks or open shelves.

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Efficient Entryway: Catchall Space

entryway bench storage space near window
Marty Baldwin

You can create a mini mudroom with a stretch of wall in your entryway. This DIY built-in unit combines several types of customized storage to fit the entire family's needs. Above the bench, hooks are hung at various heights to accommodate a variety of items (and keep them within reach for everyone).

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Efficient Entryway: Basket Upgrade

small wicker storage container with crochet objects
Marty Baldwin

Use baskets to organize items like water bottles, pet supplies, and hats and mittens in your entryway. First, cut an MDF panel to fit inside the basket to create a DIY divider for sorting contents. Then, clip a label outside, identifying what's inside (even if the basket is stashed on an upper shelf).

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Efficient Entryway: Utilize Baskets

wall mounted strorage shelving
Marty Baldwin

Small baskets are a perfect drop-zone idea for catching wallets, keys, and other daily items in the entryway. Mount them with their bases against the wall to form a small open cubby. To prompt everyone to get out the door on time, consider hanging a clock or placing one on a shelf in a clearly visible spot in the entryway.

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Efficient Entryway: Label System

upper entry way storage shelving and boxes
Marty Baldwin

Your entryway will stay tidier when storage containers are clearly labeled because everyone knows where items should go. Use stackable, lidded boxes to store extra gear with convenience and style. Label one box for each family member to keep important documents and other small items sorted and separated.

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Anywhere Entry: Space-Smart Drop-Zone Idea

entryway coat hanger cubby pink chair
Marty Baldwin

A back or front door can quickly turn into a jumbled pile of coats, bags, sports gear, and shoes without a designated mudroom space. Remedy the situation with a simple, fit-anywhere bookcase. A slim unit such as this can fit right inside a door or at the end of an entry hall; just be sure to anchor it to the wall once you've finalized its position. Outfitted with a few extras and easy modifications, this bookcase becomes a hardworking entryway organizer.

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Anywhere Entry: Divide Drawers

entryway storage drawers blue green divers
Marty Baldwin

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. For simple drawer dividers, all you need is a collection of colorful boxes in a variety of shapes and sizes.

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Anywhere Entry: Shoe Drop-Off

entryway shelving storage shoe slideout
Marty Baldwin

Drop shoes at the door to help keep your home's floors clean. The rule will likely be remembered and followed if you designate a drop-off spot. For an economical storage solution, place a metal cooling rack on a large plastic tray for wet shoes to drip dry.

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Anywhere Entry: Message Board

diy entryway marker board key hanger coat rack
Marty Baldwin

Instantly create a message center to suit your grab-and-go lifestyle. Coat one side of the bookcase with high-gloss paint and leave messages with dry-erase markers. Attach a magnetic bulletin board below for a practical color pop that allows you to post photos and reminders.

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Small Entryway Solutions

A small entryway can still provide plenty of functional storage space. With a few smart strategies, you can meet your whole family's storage needs. Maximize every inch of a small entryway with these clever ideas.

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Back Door: Grab and Go Drop-Zone Idea

entryway storage laundry area diy labeling
Adam Albright

Add entryway functionality to your laundry area by turning an unused corner into a cozy catchall. Easy-to-install hooks keep coats and bags off the floor. Attractive containers store small items within reach.

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Back Door: Shoe Storage

entryway bench shoe compartments
Adam Albright

A roll-out bench provides a place to sit and take off shoes, which can then be placed right into the cubbies below the seat. To protect your entryway floors, consider lining them with carpet tiles. If one of the tiles gets stained, it can easily be replaced with a new tile.

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Back Door: Handy Buckets

diy storage bucket labels hats gloves scarves
Adam Albright

Round up a collection of buckets to store small items. If the buckets are metal, use magnetic letters as labels to allocate what goes where. As seasons change, you can easily relabel the buckets to store must-have items.

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Back Door: Squeaky Clean

door mount organizers cleaning storage
Adam Albright

The key to organization is finding creative ways to keep everything in its place. Making use of unused space can help achieve that goal. For easy access when entryway messes happen, slip essential cleaning supplies into door-mount organizers. This collection is housed in a high cabinet, out of reach of children and pets.

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Front Door: Stylish Storage


If your entryway is short on space, spread up instead of out. Vertical open shelving efficiently uses floor-to-ceiling space and allows you to keep frequently used items in plain sight. This storage solution also offers a comfy perch for putting on shoes and deep drawers for stowing accessories.

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Front Door: Sliding Storage

drawer basket entryway shoe storage
William N. Hopkins

Wire baskets on sliding tracks are perfect for stashing extra shoes and small items. The basket easily slides out, making all the contents visible. Retrofit existing cubbies and cabinets with this functionality by installing do-it-yourself track hardware.

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Front Door: Basket Solution

entryway shelving organization assorted bags basket
William N. Hopkins

Use lidded baskets to store infrequently used items. For items you use every day, try a bowl-like basket with an open top. This provides an all-in-one place to throw your keys, sunglasses, or accessories like gloves and scarves.

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Front Door: Photo Frame Labels

entryway basket storage green scarves bin
William N. Hopkins

Label all boxes and bins stashed in your entryway. This makes it easy for you (and other family members) to track down what you're on the hunt for. These DIY labels are small photo frames with labels inserted into the frame opening.

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Mudroom: Hang Time

entryway storage gray bench above coat rack
Michael Partenio

A built-in bench has open space underneath for storing shoes and tall items. Baskets are attractive storage solutions that fit nicely on the shelf above the bench. Shallow drawers below the seat function like trays and make it convenient to see what's inside without digging around.

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Mudroom: Recycling Center

entryway bench drawer storage compartment
Michael Partenio

The window seat area forms one zone in this entry space. It provides an ideal spot for pulling on shoes and gathering items on the way out the door. Deep drawers below the seat keep paper recycling organized and out of sight.

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Mudroom: On Display

entry way hanging rack striped bag home decor shelf
Michael Partenio

Pegs along the walls provide spaces for hanging jackets, bags, and dog supplies. To keep each family member's stuff sorted, consider assigning a set of hooks to each person. Above, shelves offer out-of-the-way storage for collectibles.

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