The Affordable Organization series is dedicated to providing reasonable, real-life tips to help you become more organized. In contrast to the normal blog postings each week, these posts will include lots of pictures to supplement the writing. And if you’re tired of hearing from me, you’re in luck. Ashley will be the chief author of these posts!

Tip # 1 – The Entryway

Ah, the entryway. What a great place to start this series. This spot has been the bane of my existence throughout the past few years. Since we’ve been together, we have lived in three different houses. (We also had a three month stay in a two-bedroom, city duplex on the second floor with a toddler, an infant, a large dog, and a cat. I won’t bore you with the rest of the details, but we’re all lucky to still be here after that experience.)

The first two houses were typical, colonial style homes, which had a dedicated spot to put our belongings as we entered the house.

Then, we moved into our current home. The location is perfect, and in most ways, it’s our dream home, but it is a split-entry. These types of houses have plenty of positive attributes, but the major drawback is the lack of a dedicated entryway.

The dreaded split-level entryway.
Enough space for guests’ coats and shoes, but little else.

This drove me nuts! I spent countless hours trying to manufacture space. We tried:

  • The middle landing near the front door, but it was too small of a space.
  • Upstairs, but it was too far into the house with muddy, salty, snow-filled shoes and boots.
  • The garage, but the humid summer months turned some of our jackets into a feasting ground for mold.
  • We even looked into converting one bay of our garage into a dedicated entryway, but it would have been very costly to get it up to code.

Instead, we ended up converting the spare bedroom in the basement into a multipurpose room. Dave gathered up a few ideas, then designed and put together a beautiful built-in storage area. The bench lifts up to provide storage for shoes and boots. Each locker can hold a family member’s coats and bags. And the cabinets above provide plenty of space for hats, mittens, and any other items.

Mid-construction – storage boxes built
The finished product

Affordable organization – Price

DIY storage bench and lockers – $700 (Home Depot)
Plastic baskets in storage benches (8) – $64 (Target)
Baskets in cabinets (8) – $80 (Bed Bath and Beyond)
Paint, stain, and polyurethane – $45

Total Price – $889

Conclusion

This will almost undoubtedly be the most expensive Affordable Organization post we will have on this series. Yet, while this was certainly more than my husband was wanting to spend, it was still thousands of dollars less than the estimates we were getting for the garage remodel. We now have a totally functional space to put everything when we walk in the door. Considering this drastically reduces the chances of clutter throughout our house, it was well worth it for us.

How about you? What creative ideas have you come up with for your entryways? What Affordable Organization tips do you have to share?

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