Where To Hang Your Keys In a Tiny House

KeysFor nearly three years we have written about every aspect of building a tiny house ranging from heating and cooling a tiny house to welding on scissor jacks to clearing land on which to live. But since January 2013 we have been living full time in our tiny house and the focus of our tiny life has changed. No longer are we dreaming, preparing, and building. We are now living and loving. And with that comes a number of things you simply don’t think about when weighing the options between an electric composting toilet and a lovable loo!

Being conscious of what comes into your home is a big step in keeping clutter (and your overall home) under control. In the broader sense we practice the ‘One In, One Out’ method. Basically if we bring something in to the house something has to go out. Now that doesn’t necessarily pertain to items of mail or a refrigerator magnet or event a wooden puzzle for our daughter. It means things like a pair of shoes or a new piece of cookware. But the topic today is more about the little items in life; mail, keys, scarves, etc. So being conscious of what comes involves a rather straightforward formula – the less dirt, clutter, useless paper and items that come in, the less time you need to spend cleaning and organizing. It’s easy to allow a lot of stuff to make it in under the radar that we don’t really think about. But before long we can find ourselves in a tiny episode of Hoarders or worse!

The average tiny house has a front entry that is more than likely set back a few feet from the front wall of the house. This is useful for having time to unlock the door in the rain or set your umbrella without dripping in your house. It is not helpful though for setting down a pair of keys, dropping the newspaper or your mail, or hanging a beloved hat or scarf. For that you really need to identify a spot and create what is known in the design world as a landing strip.

This strip is part of a larger, healthier, more practical, filter for your front door. The filter also contains a doormat, and perhaps a coat hanger or two.

The mat keeps the excess dirt out (although most tiny housers practice a NO SHOES policy). The hanger (or hooks even) provide a place to hang your coat, bag, dog leash, etc. It keeps the grime and water in one place and not all over your house. The landing strip is where you can lay things down, sort the mail, park your keys, and drop your change.

In our home we have struggled for a couple of months with this place. I like to hang my keys by the door but at eye level. Fine for me but not for a 5′ tall wife. I like to put shoes right next to the front door. Fine for me but not great for a 22-month old daughter that is learning the art of hide and watch others seek! And while we don’t get much mail the stuff we do get I like to put next to my side of the bed to be read later. Good for me but probably not the best for the person in the house who actually does the budget (read: pays the bills), responds to invites, writes the thank you cards and notes, etc. But we have cured this by working together and identifying our own landing strip.

What about your house? Do you have a landing strip? Do you filter your home at the front door? Tell us your tips and techniques!

TODAYS CHALLENGE: Create your own basic home landing strip

5 Keys to the Landing Strip

  • doormat
  • coat hooks
  • side table (or even a small shelf)
  • waste basket (or recycling bin)
  • mirror

GOAL: Create a space that is functional on a small scale that you want to use each time you come home to sort through the stuff you’re carrying in your bags, pockets and hands upon arrival, so you stay ahead of the mail, bills and items coming in to your home and also, have an easier time getting out the door next time!


  1. richard sparks says

    Not in a tiny house (yet)~ but think your suggestions are applicable for everyone these days of clutter and collections. And. For me, dreaming of a tiny house some day~ may as well get in the mindset of letting go. Posting this under my husband’s name~leaving that up to google or whoever.

  2. AKCook says

    Reading this, I guess I do. Shoes under the kitchen bar counter; mail, wallet, keys on top; dog leash on door knob; coat, pants go on a chair typically – never where they belong. Some day I’ll build a box for all this. Maybe when I build my tiny house.

  3. says

    I have a totally glamorous lucite peacock hook by my front door, it’s two prongs are big enough to hold coats and dog leashes. My closet is right next to the door so my shoes go in there. And I keep my keys in the ignition 😉

      • says

        I limit myself to three pairs of shoes, a pair of nude heels, a pair of black heels and cowboy boots. Those pretty much go with anything when one pair wear out I replace it with the same type.

        I don’t have anyplace else to store them the shelf in the closet works fine and I’m not really fussy about having a pair on the floor.

  4. Robert Bolam says

    I have a small shelf with coat hooks underneath on the wall behind where the door swings open at about 5.5 feet up. catches everything but shoes. the shelf keeps the doorknob from hitting the wall too.

  5. Peggy says

    At the door we have a small bench with three larger cubes below (you could use baskets if bench was open below). Inside each cube put an old baking pan. Just above the larger cubes, but still below the bench seat, are three shelves only 5″ high. I put outside shoes or boots in the larger cubes (one for each person). The baking pan, with its lip, collects the snow or wet without damaging the bench wood or flooring. Then on each 5″ shelf, inside shoes/slippers are stored.

    Above the bench are 3 sets of double hooks for coats, hats, scarves, etc. The car keys are hung on the wall beside the door. My husband always want to open the mail…although he would not have a clue how to pay a bill. I would find mail all over the place.

    I installed an IKEA hanging bar beside the kitchen. After mail is opened, he put the contents back into the envelope and clips it to the bar. Also any cheques we may have received. To clip the documents to the bar, I use clothes pegs. They hold tight and can hold several documents with one peg. This way I can readily see, how much mail there is an if anything needs to be handled immediately. I then can remove mail to my desk area when ready to deal with it.

  6. Peggy says

    Just noticed you want to store 9 pairs of shoes. I use shoe boxes. Above coat hooks install one or two shelves (depends on ceiling height). Put extra shoes in these boxes. I took a picture of each pair of shoes and taped the picture to the outside of the box. Now I can readily see what shoes are where… this is good for shoes and boots not used often… because I have to get step stool to reach them… Also don’t stack boxes on each other. Too difficult to retrieve. Put a shelf in between. ps children’s shoes and women sandals get two or more pair in each box.

    As a project with kids, we covered the shoe boxes with fabric to complement the colours of the home. Glue gun is required. Or you could paint the OUTSIDE of the boxes.

  7. says

    I definitely want to think about these details designing our next house. It is much needed in our current house. I’m trying to think about even less obvious things, too, like where do I put gifts until they are given? (Even if it is just a week, I don’t want it laying around.) Or where do I put things that are borrowed and need to be returned, my kid’s outgrown clothes that are going to their cousins, things people forgot at my house? I want to plan some sort of parking place for these things! (It’s not practical for us to just hop in the car and take them immediately to where they are going.)

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