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by Cristin Bisbee Priest

As a mother of two young children, Cristin understands the desire for a home to be functional, yet beautiful. Blending the two disciplines of home organization and interior design resonated with her and thus Simplified Bee® was born. She believes that surrounding yourself with lovely, organized spaces reduces stress, makes you happier, and inspires healthier living.

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  • Photo Credit: California Closets
  • In our home, the entry serves many functions. It offers the first glimpse into our home and is where we welcome guests. It's also a drop zone for such things as coats, purses, keys, backpacks, and mail. It's not a large space, so it takes some planning to achieve the function and organization we desire, while still reflecting our home's style.

    If you find that your entry isn't living up to its full potential, here are six simple tips to getting it stylishly organized:
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    1. Shoes

    Removing shoes and storing them in the entry helps reduce the amount of dirt and mud tracked into the house. To keep shoes orderly, place a shoe organizer in the floor of your entry closet. If there's no closet, consider housing shoes in woven baskets that can be tucked under a bench, entry console, or an attractive shoe rack (love the custom one above). To ensure the entry isn't overflowing with shoes, in our house we have a rule: Each person can keep two pairs of shoes at the entry. All shoes that are less frequently worn need to stay in bedroom closets.

  • 2. Coats, Hats, Mittens, and More

    If you don't have an entry closet, consider wall hooks or a free standing coat rack to hang jackets, sweaters, and hats. For small children, hang hooks at their level so they get in the habit of hanging up their own coat. In the case that your entry closet is small, rotate jackets and sweaters and store off season coats.

    Baskets and bins are great for corralling mittens, scarves, and some hats. Like coats, these items can be stored away seasonally. To keep mittens with their pair, consider using rubber bands or clothespins.

  • 3. Keys

    Having a designated spot for keys is always a good idea and can save precious time while trying to get out the door. In the entry, keys can be stored on hooks, placed in a decorative bowl on a nearby surface, or tucked in a console drawer.
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    4. Mail

    Set up a mail station for all incoming and outgoing mail in your entry. Some options could be wall mounted bins, a decorative tray placed on a table, or a specific mail drawer. The wall mounted cabinet above does it all -- not only is it a place to store mail, but there's room for sunglasses, cell phones, and much more.

  • 5. Mirror

    Adding a mirror to your entry helps brighten the space and is especially a great idea if there are no windows. I also like to take a quick peek in the mirror to put on lip gloss just before heading out.

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    6. Color Code, Label, or Number

    You can further streamline your entry by labeling, color coding, or numbering baskets, bins, and hooks for each member of the family. Give young ones their own and they might be more likely to put things away. (One can dream!)

  • What stylish and clever tricks have you employed to keep your entry organized?

    - Cristin
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