Interior Storage

These 14 Ideas Are the Next Best Thing to a Mudroom

Not every home has—or needs—a full mudroom, but everyone needs a place to handle the comings and goings of today’s busy families and all their gear. If you’re wondering how to create the convenience of a mudroom without having a dedicated room for the purpose, you’re in luck. These 14 photos offer great ideas for mudroom alternatives that suit a range of budgets and space limitations.

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Convert a Cabinet

No mudroom? No problem! Take a page from Young House Love, and add hooks and partitions to a large cabinet. You can convert an existing built-in cabinet or purchase one that fits the bill. The best part is, you can hide everything behind closed doors when company is coming.

Related: 23 Insanely Clever Ways to Beat Clutter

Closet It Away

If that small closet near your entryway is mostly a catchall for junk, give it new life and purpose as a mini mudroom. All it takes is a row of hooks, a built-in or freestanding bench, and shelves to hold storage baskets or boxes.

Related: 30 Ways to Get Organized for $5 or Less

Carve Out the Kitchen

Do you have a big kitchen but no mudroom? Add a row of extra cabinets, along with a built-in bench with cubbies or drawers for shoes, and you’ll have the perfect spot to stow sporting gear, jackets and umbrellas, briefcases and backpacks, and all the other necessities you and your family grab on the way out the door.

Related: 8 Brilliant Ways to Get More Space—Without Moving

Think Small

A “mudroom” can be as small and simple as a pillow-topped bench with cubbies, a few wall hooks, and a prominent chalkboard for quick reminders and notes. If you’re handy with tools, you can even build the bench yourself.

Related: 18 Inviting Entryways We Love

Reclaim a Closet

Transform a mundane coat closet into a recessed sitting area with storage, as did the blogger at The House of Smiths. With a cushioned, pillow-topped bench, drawers or cubbies, hooks, and overhead shelves with baskets or boxes, this cozy spot is not only great for pulling on or taking off boots, but it’s also a nice place to retreat to when you just want to sit and think.

Related: 15 Sneaky Tricks to Double Your Storage Space

Save Some Space

Limited space is often a problem when converting an entryway closet into a mudroom. Installing a hinged bench over the cubbies makes the most of tight space. Just pull up the hinged bench and drop your boots into their designated spot, no stooping or other contortions required.

Related: 10 Closet Cures That Cost Less Than $100

Hit the Lockers

If you’ve got a big family, you probably have an equally big mess in your entryway. Corral everything by converting one or two tall bookcases into a wall of “lockers.” You’ll just need to add doors and attach a few fun locker-like touches, such as numbers and nameplates. Assign a locker to each family member, and let the organization begin!

Related: 14 New IKEA Hacks to Try in 2018

Kick Your Shoes Off

Especially if you are a no-shoes-indoors household, you really need a spot near the door to hold footwear. If you have limited space but still want to control shoe traffic, a sturdy and attractive rack may be all you need.

Related: 11 Things to Keep by the Front Door

Plant a Tree

A hall tree, that is. Whether you buy a hall tree or make one yourself, this space-efficient mudroom stand-in has everything you need: a bench perched atop open cubbies, a tall back with hooks, and a shelf or two for hats, umbrellas, and other wet-weather necessities.

Related: 17 Design Inspirations for Mudrooms and Entryways

Give a Hutch a Makeover

If you have an old two-piece hutch that you no longer need, give the upper portion new life as an entryway organizer. Treat it to a fresh coat of paint, mount it securely to the wall, add a few large hooks, and voilà! You’ve got the perfect drop zone organizer.

Related: 21 Ways to Fake More Space Around the House

Take the Stairs

Believe it or not, your mudroom alternative can be as tiny as a stairway landing. A sturdy floor mat to hold wet shoes, a few hooks for hats and coats, and perhaps an umbrella stand (if you have the room) are all you need for a functional solution that doesn’t take up space.

Related: 21 Clever Tricks to Make Your Home Look Bigger and Brighter

Approach the Bench

A storage bench—also called a monks bench—is the perfect piece of furniture for a small entryway. The hinged seat of this high-backed bench tilts up to reveal storage underneath, great for stashing rain gear, backpacks, sporting equipment, and all the other clutter that tends to languish in the foyer. You’ll find many styles of storage bench available for sale, but if you are handy with tools, it’s not too tough to make one yourself.

Related: 12 Doable Designs for a DIY Bench

Make It Yourself

If you’ve always wanted to make your own piece of furniture but thought it would be too difficult, take heart. Try your hand at a super-simple foyer bench; it’s a wonderful way to learn how to work with wood and handle power tools. Plus, aside from supreme bragging rights, you’ll end up with a practical and pretty spot for tugging rain boots on and off.

Related: 11 Best Buys to Make Your Small Home Feel Big

Dress Up a Dresser

Don’t send that old dresser to Goodwill. Instead, turn it into a fantastic entryway organizer. Some disassembly is required: You’ll need to remove the top, add a bench support in the middle, and remove some of the drawers, but it’s not a difficult project, even for a beginning do-it-yourselfer.

Related: 10 Lazy Tricks for a Clutter-Free Home

Make Do Mudrooms

You don’t need to have a lot of room to have a mudroom.