How To Repurpose A Bookshelf For Added Entryway Storage

Entryways can be one of the spots in most homes that require a lot of easy and quick-to-access storage. This can mean everything from providing a tidy spot for stashing boots and shoes to hanging systems perfect for coats, jackets, scarves, and bags that otherwise wind up in a jumble on the floor. While many people are blessed with spacious foyers to greet guests, others find themselves dealing with tinier spaces and must maximize whatever features they put near the door. While console tables, standing coat racks, and low storage benches are popular options for this space, you may be overlooking one particular piece of furniture that can be adapted perfectly for entryway storage and organization — a bookshelf!  

With many shelves or compartments perfect for storing all manner of things, bookshelf units can be outfitted as the perfect compact entryway piece of furniture that functions even more efficiently than many other pieces designed for this space. Even better, you may already have an unused bookshelf lingering in your home that would be a great way to reorganize your entryway for little to no cost. It can be modified with just a few new additions. Because they come in a wide variety of sizes, finishes, and styles, it's easy to find bookshelves that fit your decor scheme perfectly, including classic wooden units or sleek metal shelves.

Making a bookshelf into entryway storage

Bookshelves are incredibly versatile, with perfect depth for holding baskets or bins filled with shoes, winter accessories, umbrellas, and pet leashes. Opt for traditional woven baskets or canvas bins that can hold essentials. Many shelving units have smaller cubbies like IKEA's popular KALLAX units, perfect for organizing shoes inside. Turn one on its side for a low bench. A bookshelf is also great for holding totes and purses upright on a shelf to see what you have, and it is handy if you lack wardrobe or closet space elsewhere. You can purchase slotted purse organizers or plastic dividers for the shelves that will help keep them from falling over. 

Low-slung bookshelves are great for floor-level storage like shoes and boots, while taller units can function as a coat rack if you add some screw-in hooks or wood pegs along the shelves or sides. You can also remove some shelves to make spots for hooks inside the unit. This combination of basket and bin storage and hooks can be an excellent solution for keeping your entryway clean and organized or any small transitional space that gets a lot of traffic. The compactness can make a small entryway feel bigger, but it also works well if you're dealing with a makeshift entryway, like a hallway, near the front door that is not necessarily a separate space.

Using bookshelves to define entry spaces

You can actually use a low or tall bookshelf to create a dedicated entryway in more open spaces. Place a hip-height shelf unit to create an entry zone that allows you to stash items in the unit and use the top for decorative items, a charging station, or a bowl with keys. Or use a tall shelf to divide the room or distinguish the spaces with added hooks on the side for coats. 

In larger entrance spaces, turn a wider bookshelf on its side and add hooks inside each recess, making a cute set of cubbies for little ones' coats and backpacks. You can also turn narrow IKEA shelves into stylish mudroom lockers by changing the layout of the shelves and adding some hooks. Transform a bookshelf into a small desk by adding a panel of wood attached with hinges that will fold down when needed to sort mail or use your laptop.