2 Small Space, Back-to-School Entryways

Back to School-ready entryway

When a new school year starts, the air is ripe with possibilities. It’s also ripe with papers, backpacks, school supplies, permission slips, lunch boxes, tennis shoes, and sports equipment. And it seems like no matter how many times you say, “Hang up your coat” or “Put away your backpack,” your entryway or mudroom will indefinitely become a drop zone for whatever comes in the door. Which is why it’s so important to put some thought into this space, so when school starts, you’re ready to tackle the busy days without having to worry about your home will take a beating.

Built-in cubbies (like our Owen Entryway Cabinets and Beadboard Entryway Cabinets) are a great way to trick your space out with drawers and hooks and cabinets, but what if you only have one small wall?

6 Feet of Wall Space

If you have just one sliver of wall to dedicate to a family drop spot, this is our favorite way to keep everything organized, while still looking pretty.

We started with our Lonny Storage bench which has three drawers for shoes, leashes, toys, arts and crafts, or sports equipment. This is a great place to keep anything that maybe you don’t need every day, but you want to keep handy.

3 small, burlap message boards

Next, we added 3 small, burlap message boards over the Lonny Storage Bench. Message boards are a huge help when it comes to keeping papers organized, but when they get too overcrowded with notes from school, drawings, and birthday party invitations, it can get cluttered and ultimately lead to less organization than more! That’s why we chose to use 3 separate boards instead of 1 large board. Each family member gets their own board, and only paper that applies to that person gets pinned there.

Label bulletin boards using a scrap of ribbon and T pins

To label each board, we used scraps of brown ribbon and T pins to create letters for each person’s initial. This also assigns them a hook and a cubby, so everyone knows where their things belong!

With a storage bench, 3 bulletin boards, and 3 hooks, everything that comes in the door can go in its proper home rather than landing all over the house! And all you really need is a 6 foot bit of wall!

Back to school entryway in a small space

3 Feet of Wall Space

But maybe even 6 feet of wall space seems like a a lot for your small home? Above, we have a little back door drop spot that can fit into almost any room. Using a shelf, desktop organizer, bulletin boards, a large basket, and a little ottoman, we can fit a mini-mudroom into even the smallest of homes!

Desktop organizer for all those little things that come in the door

First we hung a 3ft. long cafe shelf to give us a surface space. Then, we used one of our large Desktop Organizers to lend some much needed storage space. This organizer can help you sort mail with it’s paper slots, store all of your pens and paper, not to mention keep things like cords, first aid kits, or household tools handy.

Burlap message board divided into sections using washi tape

Above our desktop organizer, we hung another Burlap Message board in our medium size, and like in our first entryway, we divided the message board with washi tape so each person in the family could have their own space. Using colorful tape to divide up the board is a simple 2-minute project that can keep your bulletin board from looking cluttered!

Underneath our shelf, we added a large basket to catch things like shoes, toys, and sports equipment, and a small cube ottoman that is easy to pull out for tying shoes on your way out the door.

Tip: If you would rather fit some hooks into this space, simply screw some hooks into the underside of the shelf as a place to hang rain jackets, book bags, and sweaters!

Find more storage and organization ideas on How to Decorate, or browse more entryways in our Photo Gallery.

How to Decorate Team

We enjoy spending days interacting with How to Decorate readers. From answering Design Dilemmas to writing How To articles and working with guest designers, our passion is to provide informative and accurate resources to help people solve their design problems.


  1. Reply

    Stephanie Harden

    October 3, 2015

    I would like to purchase a seat cushion for my entry way cabinet and have not been able to find one in the dimensions that I need, which are, 58″ long X 15″ wide,. Can you help me ? Please please please.

    Thank you so much
    Stephanie Harden

    • Reply

      Caroline @ How to Decorate

      November 5, 2015

      Hi Stephanie,
      Unfortunately we aren’t able to make cushions in custom sizes at this moment. We would suggest finding a local seamstress who can sew something for you!
      Best of luck.