Thursday, October 25, 2012

36 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.


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.


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.


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.


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.


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}


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 décor, 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!"


  1. the soft grays and pinks are adorable, what a great way to reuse existing furniture!

  2. This is probably one of my favorite reader features of all time!!!

  3. I'm amazed at all the function in such a small space.

  4. This is such a great idea! I love the Martha Strewart caddies. Thanks for sharing!

  5. I just love seeing when I get emails from your blog... and I always excitedly rush to open them and see what sort of pretty yet functional goodness you've sent to brighten my day. And this post does not disappoint! My entryway is something I started to work on a while back but still really needs some more love... thanks for the inspiration!! <3 - Katie

  6. If you could let us know where you got some of the items like the boxes and magazine holders, that would be great. Everything is so cute and functional!!

    1. Sure thing Stephanie!
      The top Martha Stewart caddies you can find here:
      The magazine folders are from IKEA (and much more budget friendly than a lot of options I've seen) -
      The box I used for my Coupons & Receipts was actually a gift card box I switched the labels on. It's from the Australian store, Kikki-K (they ship internationally) -
      The Pink Storages boxes I've had for 6+ years now, so I'm not sure where I originally got them. I think IKEA, butI don't think they're available anymore :(
      Hope this helps! xx

    2. Serena, would you mind including a link for the Martha Stewart caddies

    3. Sure thing!
      If you’re in the US, you can get them through Staples:
      If you’re in Australia you can get them at Officeworks:
      Serena x

    4. I knew I recognised the small box... it is indeed from Kikki-K. I think the black calendar is as well? I wasnt sure if you were Aussie or American- I recognised the Kikki K products but the use of 'coupons' threw me!

      It all looks lovely!

  7. Very cute! I've been thinking a lot about these spaces in my own house this month. Love your tips!

  8. You totally knocked this makeover out of the park, girl! Love the his and hers entryway. We need to organize ours so we are prepared when we walk out the door. Half the time we are running back inside because we forgot, coupon + chargers + notes + etc. Fantastic styling, lovely!! Even Soda was included, so great!

  9. This is fabulous! Love love love! Definitely need a point like this instead of using my dressing table. Thankyou so much =)

  10. Thanks so much for the lovely comments everyone. I can't recommend an entry way makeover enough - we're loving it! :)

  11. Gorgeous entry! Boy do I wish I even had an entryway large enough to turn around in, LOL! Your style is fabulous & it's so functional too - awesome!

  12. Love it. We are fortunate enough to have a huge entrance...its where all the coats and shoes are. We have a bench and lots of outdoor stuff in there. Would love to get it so organized. With 4 busy children, things don't always land up where I intended them too - like coats on a hook! :)

  13. Such a great makeover for your entry! I would love to come home to that everyday!

  14. Loving the addition of the legs! Great makeover - thanks for the inspiration!

  15. I love the legs on the Expedit as well, would you mind sharing where you found them? Are they made specifically for the piece? Thank you for sharing your lovely entry!

    1. Not at all! They are from IKEA. They're not specifically for the Expedit, but can be used safely for it. You can find them here:
      Thanks for the lovely comment!

  16. Your entry has inspired me to de-clutter my kitchen counter/entry/ current dumping ground for phones, keys, wallets, mail.... I tried to enter the link for the Martha Stewart desk caddies with the drawers, but it didn't work for me. Would you mind posting a link to them or letting me know where you got them. Thanks!!

    1. Hi there! Not a problem :)
      If you’re in the US, you can get them through Staples:
      If you’re in Australia you can get them at Officeworks:

  17. WOW! Just fabulous. Looks so pleasing to the eye. So many great functions too. I love how it secretly charges electronics

  18. Hey there, You've done a great job. I will definitely digg it and personally recommend to my friends. I'm confident they will be benefited
    from this website.
    Here is my web site ; vuelos a bangkok

  19. Hi I am so delighted I found your blog,
    I really found you by error, while I was searching on Bing for something else, Anyways I am here now and would
    just like to say kudos for a incredible post and
    a all round entertaining blog (I also love the theme/design), I don't have time to look over it all at the moment but I have bookmarked it and also added in your RSS feeds, so when I have time I will be back to read a great deal more, Please do keep up the superb job.
    Feel free to visit my blog : cars and coffee toys for tots

  20. Great gοοds from yοu, man.
    Ι have undeгstand уour ѕtuff pгeviοuѕ to and you're just too great. I really like what you have acquired here, really like what you'rе ѕaying and the way іn which yоu saу it.
    You make it еnteгtaining anԁ yοu still take сare
    of to κеeρ it sеnѕible. I сan not wait tо read much more fгom
    уou. Thіs is really а great

    my blog pοst ::
    Have a look at my web site buy silk n sensepil

  21. Ηеya! І realize thiѕ is sοгt of off-topic but I hаd to ask.
    Dоeѕ running a well-еstablished website ѕuch as уourѕ гequiге a largе
    amount of ωoгk? I am complеtely new to opеrating a blog but I do writе in my jοurnal everydaу.

    I'd like to start a blog so I can easily share my own experience and feelings online. Please let me know if you have any kind of recommendations or tips for brand new aspiring bloggers. Thankyou!
    Also visit my webpage ... Watch Doctor Who Season 7 Episode 0

  22. I do not even know how I ended up here, but I thought this post was great.

    I do not know who you are but certainly you're going to a famous blogger if you aren't already ;) Cheers!
    Here is my homepage : forex online training

  23. With havin so much written content do you ever run into
    any issues of plagorism or copyright infringement? My blog has a lot of unique content I've either authored myself or outsourced but it seems a lot of it is popping it up all over the web without my authorization. Do you know any methods to help protect against content from being ripped off? I'd
    certainly appreciate it.
    My website ; live forex charts

  24. Spot on with this write-up, I truly believe this web site needs much
    more attention. I'll probably be back again to read through more, thanks for the information!
    My website Carpet Care

  25. Hey! Do you know if they make any plugins to help with Search Engine Optimization?
    I'm trying to get my blog to rank for some targeted keywords but I'm not seeing very good
    success. If you know of any please share. Appreciate it!
    My homepage :: binary options Strategies

  26. Hello to all, for the reason that I am genuinely eager of reading
    this web site's post to be updated regularly. It contains pleasant information.
    Stop by my blog post ; forex chart

  27. Terrific artіcle! This is the kind of іnformation
    thаt arе supposed tο be sharеd around the internеt.
    Shame on Goоgle for not positioning thіs post higher!
    Come on over and discuss with my sitе . Thаnκs =)Watch Downton Abbey Season 3 Episode 0
    My site :: Watch Downton Abbey Season 3 Episode 0

  28. My partner and I stumbled over here from a different website and thought I might as well check things
    out. I like what I see so i am just following you.
    Look forward to looking at your web page for a second time.
    Here is my site : work at home businesses

  29. I have геad so mаny posts about the bloggеr loverѕ but
    thiѕ piece of writіng iѕ іn fact a pleasant pоst, keеp
    it up.the Big Bang theory Season 6 Episode 12
    Also visit my site ; Watch The Big Bang Theory Season 6 Episode 12


Thank you so much for taking a moment to join in on the conversation! I read and appreciate each and every comment, however, I will remove any comment that I believe to be inappropriate, malicious, or spam-like. I would love for this comment section to be used as a place to engage in purposeful dialogue, I only ask that everyone remains constructive and considerate.

All comments will be moderated and may take a moment to appear.