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Smart Entryway Storage Hacks to Simplify Your Morning Routine

by Melissa Thompson

It’s so easy (and so unfair) how quickly your entryway can go from clean to chaos — and that chaos makes trying to get out the door brutal. Think of all that time wasted hunting for your keys and umbrella, or digging through a pile of coats in a desperate bid to find your buried purse. Five minutes spent riffling through your endless piles of stuff each morning becomes 35 minutes a week, or more than 30 hours a year!

Breathe easy. You’re not alone. And you can reclaim that crucial morning time.

“Most everyone that I’ve worked with has basically the same kinds of problems,” says professional organizer Yve

Corralling your clutter can feel overwhelming, but with the right mindset and a few clever hacks, your entryway can be what helps you get out of the house on time — not what slows you down. Here, we’ve rounded up seven entryway storage solutions for common problems.

Personalize Buckets

How do those hats and gloves end up all over the entryway? Half the time, it happens when someone tosses them aside while searching for their own stuff. That’s why separating each person’s storage space is so ingenious.

“Susie has her own basket, Tommy has his own basket,” says Irish. Assigning space and responsibility to each individual family member saves you — and your kids — time digging through other people’s belongings.

You don’t need a huge closet to do this — even little baskets in an inexpensive Ikea shelving unit can do the trick.

Irish recommends pairing a storage system with training to make personalized buckets work: “Teach your children to return items to their basket when they come home,” she says. “You want to make sure that happens and they get into the habit.”

Get Your Purses In Order

Digging through a forest of coats to find the right purse for your outfit is a hassle. It’s also not great to shove your bags onto a cluttered closet shelf or (ugh) pile them on the floor — a practice some believe is bad luck. There’s a feng shui saying, “A purse on the floor is money out the door.” So hang your bags from the closet rod using S-hooks instead.

Lacking a closet? If your walls are less than five feet apart, you can install a tension rod between them. Or choose a decorative wall shelf with hooks.

No matter how you hang them, do a purse purge first to avoid creating a handbag jungle. Keep that oversized bag you only pull out for special occasions tucked out of the way.

Charge Your Electronics

While you might charge your primary smartphone overnight by your bedside, creating a charging station in your entryway can save valuable time, especially if you have a work phone or use the kids’ tablets for car rides. When they’re always charging in the same spot, you won’t waste time in the morning hunting down chargers.

Assemble tech storage using assigned baskets with neatly-organized cords, or go big with a built-in. At organization blog “A Bowl Full of Lemons,” a cabinet with plugs inside was installed in the mudroom to serve as a neat home for laptops, tablets, and smartphones, which all charge up inside.

Create an Information Station

Papers can be pernicious devils, accumulating in ugly piles, blocking surfaces, and creating stress. Cut off the problem at its head with an information station, starting with a customized paper organizer on the wall.

“We had an extreme amount of clutter,” says Aniko Levai, the blogger behind “Place of My Taste.” As part of a grand entryway remodel, she created a wall organizer to keep papers and small items out of the way.

The process is simple enough for even the newest DIYer. Levai created the organizer by combining painted wood, fabric, a few small hooks, and a $15 wall magazine rack from Ikea.

But not all paper needs to be saved, and mail-sorting procrastination is the stuff cluttered entryways are made of. Setting up your recycling center near your entryway — in the closet or a free corner — can turn paper sorting into a quick, easy to-do task every time you walk in the door.

If you have the space, add a shredder into the mix or add a whiteboard for reminders.

Provide Ample Shoe Storage

Step into any big box home store and you’ll find two dozen shoe storage options, from stackable organizers to hanging canvas cubbies. The perfect option for you is a matter of taste and space, but let’s be serious: However many shoe cubbies you think your family should need, the truth is probably three times that amount. That’s why we’re partial to this clever solution from Sara Davis, who transformed an old wooden mail sorter — found at a local antique shop — into a gorgeous, 45-slot shoe cubby.

While antique mail sorters may not be available everywhere, you can create your own by converting a bookshelf or cabinet, bundling cut PVC piping into handmade cubbies, or buying a large shoe cubby. Davis’ solution is perfect for her long, thin mudroom, which is 17 feet long, but only five feet wide.

“It’s hard to miss, so it’s a great reminder for the kids to take off their shoes,” Davis says.

Assign Lockers

Industrial-style decor is in — take advantage of the trend in your entryway by installing lockers. (Yes, we mean the aluminum models your kids use at school.)

While not ideal for a super-small entryway, lockers can instantly triple your storage space if you have the room, as each one has hooks on three surfaces, as well as shelving. Even better, install short tension rods and use S-hooks for even more hanging storage.

And they provide plenty of room for creative decoration. You can paint them to match a variety of decor.

Establish Weather-Safe Storage

Your entryway is always one of the first victims of nasty weather. Is it a rainy autumn? Say hello to a puddle of dirty leaves. Winter? Snow boots can leave the entire room soaking and soiled.

Weather-safe storage solutions can be the key difference between an unorganized mess and a pristine entryway. The biggest culprit is shoes. While a mat can go a long way toward preserving the cleanliness of your entrance, you’ll need to develop a plan for storing boots — without them dripping everywhere.

Try this DIY solution: Line the bottom of a chest with a mud tray, and then fill the tray with a layer of river rocks. The rocks allow the water to drain away from the soggy boots so they’ll be ready to use the next morning — and the whole process is hidden away inside the chest.

By: Jamie Wiebe,

101 Things To Do In Memphis #99: The Cotton Museum

by Melissa Thompson

When you visit the Cotton Museum, you're treading on the legendary floor of the Memphis Cotton Exchange where cotton traders once stood at the center of the global cotton economy. Once, only the elite members of the Cotton Exchange were allowed to enter.  Today, this historic space is open to the public and is devoted to sharing the story of cotton – the crop that created empires, transformed American culture and changed the history of a nation and the world.

The museum was founded in 2006 to preserve the history of this worldwide market place and to tell the epic story of the famed cash crop and its profound influence on the city of Memphis and, in fact, America's history and culture at large. Since opening its doors, the Cotton Museum has attracted nearly 100,000 visitors from across the country and around the world. Their mission is to share the story of the cotton and the influences of the people that were gathered here around the industry not only with a growing international audience, but with Memphis area residents- especially the city's youth.

It's been said that downtown Memphis is the place where the Mississippi Delta begins. And whether you are a tourist, Memphis native, or elementary school student, the Cotton Museum is a great place to start an exploration of the Delta's history and our dynamic urban culture. Our Museum tells the story of how Memphis came to be. Engaging exhibits help visitors understand our city's place in time and explain how the art, history and music that is so important to our culture evolved from the confluence of people that were originally gathered here around the cotton industry.

At the historic Cotton Museum in downtown Memphis they’re re-discovering the American South and telling the dynamic story of the plant that built the Bluff City. Learn all about how the fabric of our lives influenced the cultural fabric of the Mid-South.


Purchase tickets in the Gift shop or in advance:
Adult: $10.00
Seniors: $9.00
Students: $9.00
Military: $8.00
Kids 6-12: $7.00
Children under 6: free


The Cotton Museum At The Memphis Cotton Exchange
65 Union Avenue • Memphis, Tennessee 38103
Phone 901.531.7826 | Fax 901.531.7827


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Remember to Get Your Annual Credit Report

by Melissa Thompson

You are probably aware that Federal law entitles you to a free copy of your credit report annually by each of the three credit bureaus: TransUnion, Experian, and Equifax. By regularly looking at each of these reports, you can determine if there are any errors on them and be aware of your credit worthiness.

Instead of ordering all three at the same time, experts recommend that you stagger them throughout the year. This will let you look at your credit at three different times during the year instead of only once a year.


An easy way to make this happen on a timely basis is to set a recurring appointment on your digital calendar whether it is on your phone, your email program or a contact manager. Make the appointment to order a free credit report from a recurring event to take place every four months. You’ll order one report from each of three companies once a year.

You can record that date and the bureau you ordered the last report in the appointment’s note section so that you’ll have a history and won’t try to order the same report twice in one year.

This isn’t just for people who are trying to clean-up their credit. This procedure allows you to monitor your credit to be sure that your report is accurate. You might even discover that someone is illegally using your good credit.


Recurring Appt.png

By: Pete Doty
Pete Doty & Company, Inc. -Metro Brokers

6121 W. Everett Hill Circle

by Melissa Thompson

Welcome home to 6121 W. Everett Hill Circle, located in the desirable town of Arlington, TN! This majestic residence is positioned on a .30 acre fenced lot, featuring desirable upgrades...custom touches, crown molding, gleaming hardwood floors, new carpet, granite countertops, updated fixtures, cherry cabinets and more! This home offers an unmistakable sense of elegance that is sure to please! Entertain loved ones in the spectacular great room featuring a breathtaking floor to ceiling brick fireplace, polished hardwood flooring, a vaulted ceiling, crown molding, cooling ceiling fan, loft overlook, access to the backyard, and loads of living space. Style and utility are masterfully fused together in the gourmet kitchen with durable tile flooring, lustrous granite countertops, cherry cabinets, tile backsplash and updated lighting. In addition, this kitchen offers a full complement of appliances, sunny breakfast area, island, and bar seating. Retreat to the main level master suite and relax in complete splendor with gorgeous wood floors, a cooling ceiling fan, vaulted ceiling, and crown molding. The spa-inspired master bathroom boasts an elongated dual sink vanity, tile floor, whirlpool tub, and a divine walk-in shower. Two additional bedrooms are upstairs and feature new plush carpeting, cooling ceiling fans, closets, large windows, and share a full bathroom. The bonus room makes for an ideal media room, rec room or an additional bedroom offering updated lighting with ceiling fan, large closet, and soft neutral carpeting. The large backyard is a true retreat! Wood fence, large trees, two tier deck with a hot tub offer plenty of space to relax or entertain family and friends. Melissa Thompson has distinguished herself as a leader in the Memphis TN real estate market. Melissa assists buyers looking for Memphis real estate for sale and aggressively markets Memphis TN homes for sale. Melissa brings with her a keen eye for the details of buying or selling a Memphis TN home and seemingly boundless determination and energy, which is why her clients benefit from her unique brand of real estate service. Rooted in Tradition, Focused on the Future –Melissa Thompson will help make the most of your Memphis TN real estate experience. Give her a call today, 901-756-8900, and discover the difference she can make during your family’s next move.

1609 Farkleberry Drive

by Melissa Thompson

Welcome home to 1609 Farkleberry Drive, a charming all on one level, 3 bedroom, 2 bathroom home located in the Lee Line Farms Subdivision in Cordova. This home features neutral colors, a spacious Great Room with vaulted ceiling and cooling ceiling fan, cozy gas fireplace with built-in TV niche, wonderful Dining Room, terrific eat-in Kitchen with lots of cabinet and counter space and a full complement of appliances. The luxury Master Suite boasts a whirlpool tub and separate shower. A Laundry Room, 2 Car garage, arched doorways, and fenced backyard complete this not to be missed home!

Melissa Thompson has distinguished herself as a leader in the Memphis TN real estate market. Melissa assists buyers looking for Memphis real estate for sale and aggressively markets Memphis TN homes for sale.

Melissa brings with her a keen eye for the details of buying or selling a Memphis TN home and seemingly boundless determination and energy, which is why her clients benefit from her unique brand of real estate service. Rooted in Tradition, Focused on the Future –Melissa Thompson will help make the most of your Memphis TN real estate experience. Give her a call today, 901-756-8900, and discover the difference she can make during your family’s next move.

101 Things To Do In Memphis #98: Jerry’s Snow Cones

by Melissa Thompson

Nothing helps beat the heat on a sweltering day like a good old-fashioned frozen treat. Sure, you find just that at any chain ice-cream eateries around town, but you won’t find quite the same funky charm as you do at Jerry's Snow Cones, one of Memphis’ best kept secrets!

This old Sinclair gas station turned snow cone stand has been drawing major crowns for years.  The loudly colored bubble-gum pink, bright yellow and green building surely catches the eye of anyone who passes. You couldn’t miss the polka dotted polar bear and soft serve cone with circular mirrors atop Jerry’s if you tried.

Jerrys menu is quite extensive. There are 70+ snow cone flavors on the menu and two delicious ways to order – regular or supreme. Making your order “supreme” adds a soft serve ice cream swirled up the middle of your snow cone. Let your imaginations run wild with flavors such as Wedding Cake (a best seller), Legit, Spider Man, John Deere and Ninja Turtle. 

Looking for something to pair with your snow cone? Jerry's has a full menu including burgers hot off the griddle and freshly made. Tamales, sandwiches, nachos, milkshakes, and malts, plus many other items round out the menu. It is no surprise that Jerry's is at the top of many Memphians list of favorite places.

Visit for more info or call 901.767.2659

Located at 1657 Wells Station Rd., Memphis.
Open Year Round, Winter hours Monday-Saturday, 11 am – 7 pm. Closed Sundays.
Cash only.

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The Most Appealing Aspects of Homeownership

by Melissa Thompson

The Most Appealing Aspects of Homeownership | Keeping Current Matters

The National Association of Realtors (NAR) just released their first issue of the Housing Opportunities & Market Experience Survey (HOME). In the report, NAR revealed what Americans believe to be the most appealing aspects of homeownership.

Here is a graph showing the results:

The Most Appealing Aspects of Homeownership | Keeping Current Matters

It is interesting to see that the two most appealing aspects had nothing to do with money, but instead, addressed the non-financial benefits of homeownership.


101 Things To Do In Memphis #97: Memphis Rock 'n' Soul Museum

by Melissa Thompson

The Memphis Rock ‘n’ Soul Museum’s exhibition about the birth of rock and soul music, created by the Smithsonian Institution, tells the story of musical pioneers who, for the love of music, overcame racial and socio-economic barriers to create the music that shook the entire world.

The museum offers a comprehensive Memphis music experience from the rural field hollers and sharecroppers of the 1930s, through the explosion of Sun, Stax and Hi Records and Memphis’ musical heyday in the 70s, to its global musical influence. The museum’s digital audio tour guide is packed with over 300 minutes of information, including over 100 songs, and takes visitors at their own pace through seven galleries featuring 3 audio visual programs, more than 30 instruments, 40 costumes and other musical treasures.

History of Rock 'n' Soul Museum born on April 29, 2000, the Memphis Rock ‘n’ Soul Museum, Inc. has welcomed over 200,000 visitors from all over the world, including thousands of school students who participate in the museum’s Education Program to learn about the social changes that impacted the nation and led to the development of rock ‘n’ roll.

The museum and gift shop are open daily, 10 a.m. - 7 p.m. Admission is $12 for adults, $9 for youth age 5-17. Shelby County, Tennessee residents are offered free admission any Tuesday afternoon between the hours of 2 and 7 p.m. by simply showing a photo ID with proof of residence.

Located at 191 Beale, on the corner of legendary Highway 61, “The Blues Highway,” and world famous Beale Street, at the FedExForum sports and entertainment complex.

Visit www. or call 901-205-2533 for more information.

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Obstacles to Homeownership: Perceived or Real?

by Melissa Thompson

Obstacles to Homeownership: Perceived or Real? | Keeping Current Matters

Yesterday, we discussed the belief Americans have in homeownership and their desire to partake in this piece of the American Dream. We also discussed some of the obstacles preventing them from attaining that goal. However, studies have shown that that many of the obstacles mentioned are perceived, not real.

A recent study by Fannie MaeWhat Do Consumers Know About The Mortgage Qualification Criteria?, revealed that many consumers are either unsure or misinformed regarding the minimum requirements necessary to obtain a mortgage. Let’s break down three such challenges.

Down Payment


Many renters have mentioned that the lack of an adequate down payment is preventing them from moving forward with the purchase of a home. According to the Fannie Mae report:

  • 40% of all renters don’t know what down payment is required
  • 15% think you need at least 20% down
  • An additional 4% think you need at least 10% down

The Reality

There are programs offered by Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac and FHA that require as little as 3-3.5% down. VA and USDA loans offer 0% down programs. According to the National Association of Realtors, the typical down payment for a first time buyer is 6%.

Credit Score


Many renters have mentioned that the lack of an adequate credit score is preventing them from moving forward with the purchase of a home. According to the Fannie Mae report:

  • 54% of all renters don’t know what credit score is required
  • 5% think you need at least a 740 credit score

The Reality

Many mortgages are granted to purchasers with a credit score of less than 700. According to Ellie Mae, the average credit score on a closed FHA purchase is 687 and the average credit score on all loans is 722.

Back End Debt-to-Income Ratio (DTI)


Many renters have mentioned that they carry too much debt which is preventing them from moving forward with the purchase of a home. According to the Fannie Mae report:

  • 59% of all renters don’t know what DTI is acceptable
  • 25% think you need at under 25%
  • 7% think you need under 39%

The Reality

Lenders like to see a back-end ratio that does not exceed 36%. Fannie Mae’s maximum total DTI ratio is 36% of the borrower’s stable monthly income. The maximum can be exceeded up to 45% based on credit score and other requirements.

Bottom Line

Don't let a lack of knowledge or misinformation keep your family from buying a home this year. Meet with a local real estate professional who can evaluate if your ability to buy now!


101 Things To Do In Memphis #96: South Main Trolley Night

by Melissa Thompson

The greatest street festival in Memphis is celebrated the last Friday of every month! The galleries and shops are open, there's music on the street, and always surprises. Trolley rides are free from Beale to G.E. Patterson, so get on board and join the festivities.

It’s been known by a few names, and has had a different kind of focus through the years. The South Main Trolley Night has gone by different monikers through the years: Friday Art Trolley Tour, South Main Trolley Tour and Art Trolley Night to name a few. And through the years the district has shifted from a quiet neighborhood of art galleries and apartments to today’s mix of restaurants, bars, boutiques, small businesses, apartments, condominiums, galleries, a bookstore, coffee shop and more.

South Main is a fascinating place to explore - you won't believe how much there is to do in this 1-square-mile neighborhood!  You can spend an entire day and night in South Main and not get to experience a fraction of all there is to see and do.  The Memphis Farmers Market, Railroad and Trolley Museum, National Civil Rights Museum, and Orpheum Theatre bring nearly 1 million people to South Main every year, along with events like Trolley Night and River Arts Festival.  The streets are alive with art, trolleys and historic architecture at every turn.  Enjoy serene, beautiful views and walks of the nearby Mississippi River or go nuts and dance the night away at Earnestine & Hazels and The Rumba Room. 

Trolley night is from 6-9pm and is free and open to the public. Follow Trolley Night on Facebook for details on the event every month.



Displaying blog entries 1-10 of 10