Do-It-All Entryways

selke mudroom--dog food
The areas just inside front and back entries are the most popular spots for clutter. Keep the mess at bay with these easy storage ideas.

Anywhere Entry: Space-Smart Solution

Without a designated entry space, a back or front door can quickly turn into a jumbled pileup of coats, bags, sports gear, and shoes. Remedy the situation with a simple, fit-anywhere bookcase. A slim unit such as this one can fit right inside a door or at the end of an entry hall. Outfitted with a few extras and easy modification, this bookcase becomes an entryway wonder.

Anywhere Entry: Great Divide

Shallow drawers in the bottom section of the bookcase are perfect for controlling clutter. Subdivide a drawer to keep office supplies organized for on-the-go needs -- all you need is a collection of colorful boxes in a variety of shapes and sizes.

Anywhere Entry: Shoe Drop-Off

Drop shoes at the door to help keep your home clean. If you designate a spot, the rule is more likely to be remembered and followed. For a thrifty storage solution, place a metal cooling rack on a large plastic tray for wet shoes to drip-dry.

Anywhere Entry: Message Board

Create an instant message center to suit your grab-and-go lifestyle. Coat one side of the bookcase with high-gloss paint and leave messages with dry-erase markers. Attach a magnetic bulletin board below for a practical color pop that allows you to post photos and reminders.

Even the smallest of entryways can be organized. Here's how to pack in storage for your on-the-go and out-the-door needs.

Small Entryway Solutions

Maximize every inch of a small entryway with these clever ideas.

Back Door: Grab & Go

Turn an unused corner into a cozy catchall to combine your laundry area with entryway functionality. Easy-to-install hooks keep coats and bags off the floor. Attractive containers store small items within reach.

Back Door: Shoe Storage

A roll-out bench gives provides a place to take off shoes, which then can be placed right into the cubbies below the seat. Carpet tiles such as these are ideal for an entryway. If one of the tiles is permanently stained, it can easily be replaced with a new tile.

Back Door: Bucket Brigade

Round up a collection of buckets to store small items. If the buckets are metal, use magnetic letters to allocate what goes where. As seasons change, you can easily relabel the buckets to store must-have items.

Back Door: Tech Refresh

Never again forget your cell phone. Add a charging station to your entryway and it will be right there to grab as you walk out the door. A unit such as this one can charge several devices at once and also keeps cords neatly tucked away.

Back Door: Squeaky Clean

The key to organization is finding creative ways to keep everything in its place. Making use of unused space can help achieve that goal. Slip essential cleaning supplies into door-mount organizers. This collection is housed in a high cabinet, out of reach of children and pets.

Front Door: Stylish Storage

Can't sprawl out? Sprawl up. Vertical open shelving lets you display some items while hiding others. A comfy perch for putting on shoes isn't all this space has to offer; deep drawers offer perfect places for stowing accessories out of sight.

Front Door: Roll Out

Wire baskets on sliding tracks are perfect for tucking extra shoes and small items. The basket pulls right out, making all the contents visible. Retrofit existing cubbies and cabinets with this functionality by installing do-it-yourself track hardware.

Front Door: Basket Solution

Use lidded baskets to store infrequently used items. For those items you use every day, try a bowl-like basket, an all-in-one place to throw your keys, sunglasses -- and during winter -- gloves and scarves.

Front Door: Photo Frame Labels

Be in the storage know and clearly label all boxes and bins stashed in your entryway, so you can easily track down what you're on the hunt for. Small photo frames were glued to these baskets and labels were inserted into the frame opening.

Front Door: Stylish Storage

Modular cubes stack vertically and let you display some belongings while hiding others. On the opposite side of the door, a textural look and a comfy perch for putting on shoes aren't all the ottoman has to offer -- the lid lifts off to reveal a place for jackets or sweaters, and the whole piece tucks nicely below a table with drawer and tabletop space for everyday necessities. Bought unfinished, the table was stained to match the modular cubes.

Front Door: Keys at Hand

Embellished with wallpaper and hooks, this shadow box keeps keys in an accessible and highly visible place.

Front Door: Out-the-Door Necessities

Pretty baubles needn't be hidden away -- keep them handy on a silver tray and in a fancy cup for last-minute accessorizing on the way out the door.

Front Door: Change & Notes

Ladle up a personalized look. Use enamelware plates and platters as charming alternatives to typical magnetic boards or tackboards. Grab a day's supply of parking change from a matching ladle.

Back Door: Big Welcome

Keep clutter under control with a two-room catchall area. The bench in the main entrance is set up to give the homeowners a place to take off shoes, organize items as they head out the door, and greet visitors as they come and go. The second room is where they keep all the family's items.

Back Door: Kids' Zone

Any family with young children understands how much space kids need to corral all of their stuff. This room is designed to do just that. Large buckets and bins keep all of the sporting equipment in one spot. Recessed cubbies with bins hold smaller items such as scarves, gloves, and schoolwork. A clothesline running the length of the room saves the day when it's raining outside.

Back Door: Shoe Spot

Shoes are often a major factor in entryway clutter. This bench provides a clever solution to this problem. Tile inserts offer a durable, waterproof surface for muddy and wet shoes to rest.

Back Door: Get Hooked

Easy-to-install hooks give the homeowners a spot to hang coats and bags. Using hooks is a good choice because they're inexpensive, don't take up a lot of space, and keep items off the floor.

Mudroom: Organization Domination

According to Lori Leistico, organization expert and designer for KraftMaid, the key to conquering clutter is to give everything a place. The most common problem she sees is finding spots for mail, financial records, electronic gadgets, shoes, recycling, and kids' stuff. Leistico conquered these trouble areas by organizing this mudroom into zones.

Mudroom: Planet Saver

The first zone is the window seat area. Window seats provide ideal spots for pulling on shoes and gathering items on the way out the door. The bench is accentuated with beaded board. Deep drawers below the seat keep paper recycling organized and out of sight.

Mudroom: Hang Time

A second bench has open space underneath for storing shoes and tall items. Baskets are attractive storage solutions and fit nicely on the shelf above the bench. Shallow drawers below the seat function like trays. The homeowners can see what's inside without having to dig around.

Mudroom: On Display

Pegs along the room provide spaces for hanging jackets, bags, and dog supplies. Shelves above these pegs offer out-of-the-way storage for collectibles.

Mudroom: Eye-Catcher

Opposite the back door, the hutchlike cabinetry grouping creates the second zone. The "hutch" serves double duty as the room's focal point and as a drop spot for mail. There are display areas for the homeowners' dish collection. Bags and daily mail can rest on the open spot, and drawers hold everything from party supplies to lightbulbs.

Mudroom: Neat & Tidy

The bottom section of the "hutch" has drawers specifically for each item the homeowners need to store. A shallow drawer at the top is perfect for storing flat items such as napkins and place mats. The door to the right hides three pullout drawers. These drawers are just large enough to store wine bottles.

Mudroom: Great Divide

Large drawers are designated for seasonal items. Dividers keep paper plates, cups, and napkins organized and ready to go for the next backyard party. Items in these drawers can be switched out by season or occasion.

Mudroom: Doggie Duty

Keep your pets organized with designated spots for their supplies. Here pullout bins are a great alternative to unattractive pet-food bags.

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