How to Organize a Small Foyer Closet

A tiny closet near the front door can quickly turn into a big mess. Find out how to take control of the clutter and organize your small foyer closet.

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The foyer closet is the workhorse of closets, often storing a variety of items that don’t have a home anywhere else in the house. Its multi-purpose nature makes it difficult to organize, especially if yours is on the small side. Ready to turn the jumbled mess into something that supports your busy life? Try these smart solutions from expert organizers to help you clean out and organize a small entryway closet.

Inventory the Closet

Empty everything out. Then assess what needs to be relocated, what should be thrown out or donated, and what can stay. With small closets especially, it’s essential to only keep things that you really need and should be stored in that space.

Curate Carefully

It sounds counterintuitive, but gather other items throughout your home that should logically be stored here, i.e. things you need right before you walk out the door. Is the dog’s leash always cluttering up the kitchen counter? Do your kids need a spot to put their backpacks?

Easy-access items in general are good candidates. “The foyer closet was designed for storage of outerwear,” professional organizer Donna Smallin Kuper says. “However, it can also be the ideal place for storing other items, such as an upright vacuum cleaner, since it can be tucked away in there, but still readily accessible.”

Use Every Inch

Now it’s time to maximize your foyer closet space. According to Aby Garvey of Simplify101, look for previously unused space that can be transformed into a storage opportunity. “If you have empty space above the closet shelf, add a shelf-riser or an additional shelf and use it to store out-of-season items,” Garvey says. “If you aren’t using the inside of the closet door, get an over-the-door shoe organizer to stash items you need as you head out of the house, such as hats, mittens and gloves in the winter, and sunglasses, sunscreen and bug spray in the summer.” A slim umbrella stand, a wall-mount broom holder — get creative to uncover all opportunities.

Organize By Family Member

Give everyone dedicated personal space for their gloves, hats, house keys, wallet or whatever they need to get out to door daily. This is an especially good move if you have kids and would rather not hear, “Where’s my beanie?” for the hundredth time. Try an over-the-door shoe organizer or hanging shelves, or attach these wall-mount wire baskets to the inside of the closet door or wall and label by name.

Mount Hooks

Hooks are especially great for small closets because they can fit virtually anywhere, adding valuable and versatile storage, Smallin Kuper says. Hang them on the back of the door to hold purses and reusable grocery bags; on the side wall to hold narrow items such as scarves or an umbrella; or low in back so kids can hang their coats without struggling with hangers. Break out the drill, or go the easy adhesive hook route.

Create a Shoe Spot

The foyer closet makes a natural spot for shoes. Garvey likes utilizing the floor space for this purpose, using a catchall basket, tiered shoe rack or labeled pull-out bins. If you prefer keeping the floor clear of clutter, try adding a ready-made shoe shelf or building your own shoe shelf. Some people reserve the foyer closet for snowy or muddy boots, in which case a decorative boot tray or a DIY boot tray option works.

Erica Young
Erica Young is a freelance writer and content creator, specializing in home and lifestyle pieces. She loves writing about home decor, organization, relationships, and pop culture. She holds a bachelor's degree in Journalism and Mass Communication from Arizona State University, the Walter Cronkite School of Journalism and Mass Communication.