How to Organize a Small Apartment Entryway

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Small apartments can present some challenges when it comes to keeping your space organized, especially in high-traffic areas like the entryway. But you can create a functional and stylish entryway that maximizes space and minimizes clutter.

We’ll take a look at various simple entryway organization tips specifically tailored to small apartments. From clever storage solutions to space-saving furniture ideas, you’ll discover how to transform your compact entryway into a welcoming and well-organized area.

Apartment entryway with console table and storage bins

Your Entryway

Your entryway may be a narrow hallway or it may open right into the main living area. Think about the  items that tend to accumulate in this area, such as shoes, keys, mail, and outerwear.

You’ll need different strategies, depending on what you have to work with. A narrow hallway may not have room for a small bureau or chest of drawers to hold items, for example. A big open space may need exactly that – maybe even at the border between the living area and entryway.

Assessing the Space

Take a good look at your current setup and identify your specific needs and pain points. Consider the following questions:

  • What items do you need to store in the entryway (coats, shoes, keys, bags, etc.)?
  • How much space do you have to work with? Measure the dimensions of your entryway to determine the best layout and storage solutions.
  • Are there any unique architectural features or constraints you need to work around, such as narrow doorways or awkward corners?

Answering these questions will help you determine the most effective organizational strategies and ensure you make the most of your available space.

Also take note of any architectural features or constraints, like narrow walls or low ceilings, that could influence your organization approach.

Wall-Mounted Storage

In a small entryway, every square inch counts, so you may want to use vertical space as much as possible. Wall-mounted storage solutions are a great way to do this without taking up valuable floor space. Consider the following options:

Wall-Mounted Coat Racks and Hooks

Installing a sleek, modern coat rack or a series of hooks along the wall can provide a designated spot for hanging coats, bags, and other outerwear. This keeps these items off the floor and within easy reach.

Floating Shelves

Floating shelves are another excellent way to add storage without cluttering the entryway. Use them to display decor, store smaller items like keys or sunglasses, or even hold baskets or bins for additional organization.

Pegboard Systems

Pegboard systems offer customizable storage solutions that allow you to hang hooks, baskets, and other organizational accessories to suit your specific needs. This is a great option for maximizing vertical space and keeping frequently used items easily accessible.

Dual-Purpose Furniture

When space is limited, choosing furniture that serves multiple functions is key to maximizing utility in the entryway. If there’s room, consider a bench or console table with built-in storage compartments or drawers to stow away shoes, seasonal accessories, and other miscellaneous items.

Storage Benches or Ottomans

A storage bench or ottoman can provide a convenient spot to sit while putting on or removing shoes, while also offering hidden storage for items like extra shoes, seasonal accessories, or cleaning supplies.

And also gloves, scarves, and pet leashes. This dual-purpose furniture piece not only offers seating for putting on or taking off shoes but also conceals clutter within easy reach.

Console Tables with Drawers

A slim console table with built-in drawers or shelves can serve as a surface for displaying decor, holding keys or mail, and storing smaller items out of sight.

Entryway Organizers with Hooks and Shelves

All-in-one entryway organizers that combine hooks, shelves, and even a bench or storage compartments can be a space-saving solution for keeping your essentials neatly contained.

Shoe Organization System

Shoes can quickly pile up in a small entryway if they’re not properly organized. To keep them contained, consider a shoe rack, cubby storage unit, or even an over-the-door shoe organizer.

If floor space is limited, opt for a slim shoe rack that can tuck neatly against the wall or slide beneath a bench.

Over-the-Door Shoe Racks

Hanging a shoe rack over the back of your entryway door is a great way to keep shoes off the floor and easily accessible.

Vertical Shoe Racks

Slim, vertical shoe racks that can tuck into a corner or fit snugly against a wall are perfect for small spaces.

Stackable Shoe Cubbies

Stackable shoe cubbies or organizers allow you to neatly store multiple pairs of shoes in a compact footprint.

Shoe Storage Benches

As mentioned earlier, a storage bench with compartments or cubbies built-in can provide both seating and a designated spot for shoes.

Create a Command Center

Designate a specific area of your entryway as a command center for daily essentials like keys, mail, and important documents. A wall-mounted organizer or a small desk with storage will corral these items effectively.

Install a magnetic memo board or key rack to keep track of appointments, invitations, and keys. Add decorative baskets or bins to sort incoming and outgoing mail so nothing ever gets missed.

Key Hooks or Trays

Mounting a simple key hook or tray near the door ensures you always know where your keys are.

Mail Organizers

Wall-mounted mail organizers or trays can help prevent a buildup of letters, bills, and other paperwork.

Catchall Trays or Bowls

Placing a decorative tray or bowl on a console table or shelf provides a designated spot for miscellaneous items.

Incorporate Lighting and Mirrors

Proper lighting and mirrors can make a small entryway feel more open and inviting. Consider the following:

Overhead Lighting

Install a flush-mounted or semi-flush ceiling light to brighten up the space and create a welcoming atmosphere.

Wall Sconces

Placing sconces on either side of a mirror or on adjacent walls can provide additional illumination and visual interest.


Hang a large mirror on the wall to create the illusion of depth and make the entryway feel more spacious.

Add Personal Touches and Decor

While functionality matters in a small entryway, don’t forget to infuse the space with your personal style and a few decorative elements. This can help make the area feel more inviting and cohesive with the rest of your home. Some ideas include:

Wall Art or Photographs

Hang a few framed prints, paintings, or family photos to add visual interest and make the space feel more personalized.

Potted Plants or Greenery

Placing a small potted plant or a vase of fresh flowers can bring a touch of nature and life to the entryway.

Decorative Accessories

Add a stylish vase, a decorative tray, or a unique sculpture to create a visually appealing vignette.

Regular Decluttering Sessions

In a small entryway, clutter can accumulate rapidly if left unchecked. Make it a habit to conduct regular decluttering sessions to prevent the space from becoming overwhelmed with unnecessary items.

Set aside time each month to assess the items in your entryway and purge any belongings that are no longer needed or used. By maintaining this practice, you’ll make sure that your entryway remains streamlined and efficient in the long run.

Look for Hidden Spaces

In small apartments, underutilized spaces often hide untapped potential for organization. Look for opportunities to maximize storage in overlooked areas such as the back of the entry door or beneath a floating shelf. Install hooks or add baskets wherever they’ll fit and be useful.

Install an over-the-door hanging organizer with pockets to store small accessories, outgoing mail, or everyday essentials. Additionally, consider placing slim baskets or bins beneath a console table or bench to capture miscellaneous items without encroaching on walking space.

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Last Updated:

June 19, 2024