Inexpensive entryway organization ideas needed

Hey Y'all!
I'm a single mom of 4, currently renting. So I'm constantly looking for cheap ways to stay organized, that are only temporary. Our apartment's front door opens to the living room, with no designated entryway. I've wrangled a cheap bookcase from a friend, and want to create something similar to the awesome command centers I've seen all over this site. I just can't decide what would be best, or even where to start. To the right of the door, or the left, along the wall? Cover the bookcase with contact paper? Create a gallery wall around the bookcase with artwork? I don't plan on storing bookbags/shoes/jackets here, just a "drop-zone" for our mail/paper clutter, keys, electronics, and my purse. I'd also like to incorporate a cork and dry-erase board to keep us on schedule. Y'all never fail to blow me away with your ideas, so, naturally, I'm asking for your help :) It would be greatly appreciated! Forgive my lengthy paragraph, and I hope the grainy potato pics are sufficient.
Thanks So Much!!!
-April :)
q inexpensive entry way organization , foyer, home decor, home decor dilemma, organizing
q inexpensive entry way organization , foyer, home decor, home decor dilemma, organizing
  12 answers
  • Ranger Ranger on Apr 24, 2016
    If you could get a taller book base and situate it to the side of your door that has the living quarters behind it. It means anyone coming in has a moment to compose and, also, those on the other side of the bookcase have a moment to compose. These were once know as 'room dividers' and serve their purpose very well. Also, a few trunks or ottomans - or even home decorated boxes - would be a useful way of throwing surplus items in for a quick, clean up.

  • Pri4759878 Pri4759878 on Apr 24, 2016
    Put that bookshelf on top of a thrift store dresser. That will double your storage. Paint it your favorite colors. Be sure to anchor the bookcase so it isn't top heavy.

  • Jacalyn Jacalyn on Apr 24, 2016
    If you have 4 kids, you likely have stuff. I would paint the bookcase and find some cheap baskets for storage/clutter. Each child could have a cubby.

  • Darla Darla on Apr 24, 2016
    Get a tall bookcase or put the small one on top of another piece of furniture, and put it to one side of the door. You can put the plain back to the door if you want to hide storage, or the front toward the door if you want to display things. You can paint the same color as your walls, add molding and coat hooks on the back (if that side's toward the door), use decorative baskets or boxes for your kids' stuff, etc.

  • Lana Lana on Apr 24, 2016
    I like your ideas a lot! If the bookcase has laminate on it then, yes, wall paper would be best, but you can still paint it. I also like where you have it as long as it is not in your walk space, which it looks like it is not. Since you want it for electronics, you have an outlet right there. The wall collage with the cork board would look great! I think you have all the ideas you need! :)

  • Candeelyn Candeelyn on Apr 24, 2016
    Use a larger bookcase, dresser, armoire.. You can have spot for your purse. Basket for mail to go in. Something to set keys in - tray, basket. And use sides to hang cork and dry erase board.. Won't have to put holes in the wall plus you can take it with you. Can paint or wallpaper to your taste..

  • Marie Alesi Caruana Marie Alesi Caruana on Apr 24, 2016
    Great suggestions--please be sure to post when you're done--we would all love to see what you've created.

  • Cheryl Markus Reynolds Cheryl Markus Reynolds on Apr 24, 2016
    First, put it wherever it's most convenient to come in and drop things and grab things going out the door. You could add hooks to one side for keys and a hook or two on the other side for purses. Repurpose picture frames to hang above it. Replace the glass in one with cork board. Put a grid behind the glass in another and make a wipe off calendar. Put decorative paper or fabric behind the glass for a dry erase board. You could use the same fabric on the cork board to coordinate everything. Cover some boxes with fabric or wallpaper and use them in the bookcase for storage. (Can you tell I'm big on repurposing things?) Would love to see what you decide on doing with it.

  • Goldrushgal Goldrushgal on Apr 24, 2016
    You could turn the bookcase on it's side and find a couple of narrow doors, the Restore Shop is a good source, for each side, then add a shelf between and a message board. I bought my doors for $5.00. They where originally a pair of bi-fold doors I separated. Either put baskets or boxes in the bookcase for storage. I did something similar in my front entry. On the doors I added hooks for keys a little shelf for sunglasses and things and on the lower half added large hooks for scarves on one side and a basket with a handle hanging from the other side from the hook for gloves. In the summer I change and put faux flowers in the basket.

  • Kathy Bitzan Kathy Bitzan on Apr 24, 2016
    I would do a small dresser that has some character so you can have shallow baskets on top for the keys and what not and still have drawers for storage. Hang your dry erase board above for scheduling.

  • Vic C. Vic C. on Apr 24, 2016
    The bookcase that you currently have do not have the height as the divider between your entrance hallway, thus I recommend that you buy another inexpensive taller version, like this on Amazon:, put it on the right (of the above pic), back facing the hallway, front facing the living area, and put the existing bookcase side-by-side with the new one. If the back finishing is not so presentable, then ya, wrap it with wrapping paper, or velvet material, hang a small chalkboard for writing, like this, and hang one "Over the Door Shoe Organizer" behind your door for your mail/paper clutter, keys, electronics, and purse. like this: Good luck on your project! Vic

  • Pam McDaniel Pam McDaniel on Apr 24, 2016
    you could make two coat rack with a drawer front or door or just a piece of wood & hooks ( or drawer knobs or door knobs )for all the kids coats + one for back packs, purses etc Paint your existing bookcase & the coat racks the same color sheme& place racks 0n either side . Place a large message center with a place that holds item,in the center for messages, cander, keys etc. use bottom shelf of bookcase as place for shoes, with baskets or dividers.