How many times have you visited someone’s home only to be greeted by an entrance hall that looks more like a London self-storage facility? Even worse, is that what your entrance hall looks like? For some reason, our entryways tend to be magnets of clutter rather than open and welcoming spaces. It should not be that way. The entrance to your home gives people their first impressions of who you are. Presenting them with a neat, organised, and welcoming space gets things off to a good start.

Whether you call your entryway a hall, foyer or just ‘the front entrance’, here arefive tips for organising the space:

1. Storage for Shoes

Seeing an unkempt pile of shoes near the door is as unattractive as can be. Worse yet, it is not safe. Leaving shoes stacked in a pile is a good way to create a natural tripping hazard that could lead to an unfortunate accident. We recommend you use a small shelf or shoe rack to keep shoes neat and organised. You can purchase wall hanging shoe racks or shoe sleeves that are easy to install and use. A bonus is that these do not take up valuable floor space.

2. Install Coat Hooks

Coats are a lot like shoes inasmuch as they multiply if you do not pay attention to them. Some people like to use a coat rack near the door, and that’s fine, but mounting coat hooks on the wall frees up floor space and eliminates yet another tripping hazard. There are some very nice, modern-looking coat hooks and pegsyou can find in your DIY store. If you are creative, you could easily make them yourself. All you need is a 2 x 4 and some dowelling.

3. Install Key Hooks

As long as you are putting up coat hooks to keep track of your jackets and coats, put up some smaller hooks for your keys. With a key hook right near the door, you will always know where your keys are whenever you are ready to leave the house. Here is one important tip: mount your key hook far enough away from the front door to be out of reach. This will prevent a burglar from breaking the front window (if you have one) and reaching in to grab the keys.

4. Include a Small Table

Including a small table in the entryway gives you an excellent place to put things such as outgoing mail and any small objects you need to remember to take with you when you go out. However, do not make the table too large, or you will be back to the London self-storage look. A beautiful, circular coffee table with a small lamp works well.

5. Remove the Clutter

Our first four tips talked about things you could add to your entrance hall to make it more organised. Our last tip involves removing things. For the safest, most organised and most attractive entryway, remove the clutter. Get rid of those potted plants, fake trees, oversized furniture pieces, and anything else that takes up space without purpose. Once you are free of the clutter, the space may look too big and imposing. You can compensate by adding a few pieces of attractive art to the walls. This will cut down on the perception of size without reintroducing clutter to the space.

Your entryway says a lot about you and your home, make it look like a welcoming and friendly space that invites your guests to come in. If that’s how they perceive it, you will perceive it the same way.