Thursday, June 5, 2014

Enter this way

I got this post idea from LindaM at Zone Zero who was brave enough to share an honest picture of the main entrance to their house. We've all had that kind of dilemma where the door to outside, becomes a collection point for everything we may need to use out there. I actually have several doors like that!

But the main doorway at the front of the house, was becoming a problem. I don't have photographs of what it used to look like, but I have pictures for today. Here is the first thing you see as you enter the front door.

This was given to me by my mum, when she was going through her stuff to downsize. It's not in the best condition (scratches, chips, etc) but it meets the need perfectly. It's a skinny piece of furniture, originally intended for a hallway, but it's used instead between two doorways (on either side) to the rest of the house.

It provides a place to leave some of our shoes so they won't clog up the entry, but its main purpose is for storage. All those little drawers are filled with stuff - some we use regularly, others not so much.

The main drawer holds some car keys, the pruners, watches, boot polishing brushes, and other assorted brick-a-brac. Generally speaking, small things which are used a lot, go in the main drawer. Once its closed, the bunched together mess is gone.

The smaller drawers are handy too. It's great to just pop my gardening gloves in here. They're close to outside and not left to sit on bench tops. My gardening gloves are one of those things I don't like to leave outside, in case any critters decide it would be a nice place to explore. Underneath the gloves though, are a bunch of miscellaneous items I keep - you  know, leftover pieces from furniture you've put together, that lonely hair clip your daughter lost the partner to - odds and sods which may come in handy one day.

The shoes though...oh, the shoes!!

My husband is quite the shoe hoarder. There is only one pair of Sarah's shoes on these shelves, and the rest are David's. Its a very simple system though - all his shoes are in one place and within convenient access to the front door. The only thing we haven't got is a bench-seat to sit on, but David makes do with a coffee table in the next room to put his shoes on.

This used to be the bane of my front door existence though. A mountain of shoes would build up so high, they would inevitably spill into the doorway. Thank you mum, for the free shoe shelves! They are so organised now and a great use of vertical space.

You can also see in the above picture, this is where we park the baby pram. It's an extra wide doorway, so we can park the pram there and still use the door to the lounge room.

I made sure to leave a little space between the shelves and wall, to put the umbrella and walking sticks. The walking sticks are just straight branches which have been collected in the yard. They're used very rarely, but occasionally outside.

What really helped with messy areas in the rest of the house however, was this simple gift I received on Christmas Day, from Dave.

It's a hat and coat rack - finally freeing the backs of our dining chairs, and the arms of lounge chairs to use as proper seats instead. David used to hunt around for where he left his coat, now its just a simple matter of hanging it in the one place. I had the same thing with Sarah's blue school jacket. We'd have to hunt for where she put it - the couch, the bathroom floor, her bedroom chair. Now it just lives on the coat rack until school holidays, and I hang it back up in her wardrobe.

We fit quite a bit in this very small entry space, and the doorway is almost always left clear now. I say almost, as a certain little person has decided he likes to clear the shoe shelves on a regular basis.

If you have a problem area in your house (or used to be) please write about it on your blog and leave a comment. I'd like to see how it was addressed, or will be, because there are so many different ways to organise our stuff. Cheap, ingenious ideas are always welcome.


  1. I really like your solutions. I have problems too, but my excuse is that the house is still in transition from ongoing repair and remodeling, LOL. I do have a similar 2-shelf shoe shelf. In our house, most of the shoes are mine: muck boots, town shoes, town sandals, outdoor sneakers, outdoor sandals, emergency slip-ons, indoor winter shoes and indoor sandals. They take up a lot of room!

  2. I imagine that remodeling would be quite the mess creator, given that nothing truly has a permanent home. I painted a large living area in our old house, and all our stuff had to be dispersed among the remaining rooms. As much as w tried to be organised, there was just so much transient mess. I was glad when the painting was finished, and we could re-home everything properly.

    I imagine an entire house remodel, would be all the more challenging.

  3. We also have the remodeling issue to deal with but speaking only for myself-I'm not going to let it be my crutch anymore. We have enough unused space that we could let the overflow go there instead of by our entry-it just takes a little bit of effort.
    Chris, I love your mirrored dresser! I can't see any wear and tear in the photo at all but its got that really sweet shabby country chic look to it. And the shoe rack is something we might invest in soon too. We did see an entry piece of furniture at an estate sale that we might try to duplicate soon-I can't think of the name for it. Its a trunk with a backing and coat hooks up at the top. The trunk could hold shoes or what have you. Its about the right piece for the right spot though-the one we saw was too tall for our lower ceilings. Thanks for showing your solutions!

  4. This is another post I thought I responded to linda M. That makes two now. So sorry.

    I think I know of the piece of furniture you're referring to at the estate sale. It's Shaker in design, though could be a modern re-make. You sit on the trunk to put on your shoes and grab your coat and hat on the way out. The trunk may have even been for holding shoes, as Shakers didn't tend to own many pairs.

    Pity it was too tall for the area you were looking to fill. Hope something else turns up. :)

  5. I think thats exactly what that piece is. However it doesn't look too hard to build one around a box. I have to go to the shed to see if those boxes are good or not but I think we need something like that with the coat hooks. We have coat hooks there already but we could just build around them too. So much else to do though that its all on hold for now.

  6. The on hold is something we have to deal with a lot too! ;)

    I really want to modify one of my chicken coops, but winter is too cold, Peter too needy and I have to enroll Sarah in high school - gasp! I know I will get to my coop eventually, as you will get to your storage solutions.

  7. Sarah in highschool!? Wow.
    Prioritizing has really helped me to keep calm. Its an important part of our life to organize that area but the trunks alone without building a contraption will do the trick for now.


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