When I posted the other rooms at the rental renovation, including the shared entry into the apartment / basement, I mentioned that we still had a bit of organizing to do! We never really had a place to properly store our stuff (unless you count the floor). Today I’m going to show off our newly updated entry and lots of DIY mudroom organization tips if you wanted to replicate the look yourself!
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I’ve done a few mudroom/entry projects over the years, and have a few ideas about the things that need to be included. We live in Northern Ontario Canada, so definitely get our share of four-season weather. (Although let’s be honest, winter is like half the year).
So what exactly does that mean?
Must-Haves for Mudroom Organization
- A place to hang/hook coats
- A place for wet boots/shoes
- Storage for winter mittens, tuques, etc.
- A place to sit down and tie your shoes
For the “mudroom” at the rental renovation, I knew I wanted storage solutions that would accommodate all four seasons without having to change things around. We’re also planning on renting out the basement apartment when we’re not here (like a weekend Airbnb), so our DIY mudroom organization also needed to be flexible for that.
Ready to see what we came up with?
The first area we needed to address was the landing zone at the base of the stairs.
While we completed the bulk of the renovations, this area served as a drop-zone for our no-longer-needed construction material. We cut a piece of carpet to fit the landing perfectly, and that helped cut down on some of the dust and debris from the outdoors.
Custom-Built Mudroom Bench
After living with a bunch of stuff along the back wall, I realized we didn’t need the full area to be open. I decided that it would be the perfect spot for a designated mudroom seating bench, and picked up some cedar boards at the Home Depot. Since we brought our mitre saw back to the main house, I cut everything to size there and brought the pieces here to be assembled.
Yes, my little helpers love building things, ha! I used my Kreg Jig to create three bench supports, each measuring 13.5″ high, by 15″ deep. I determined the size so that the mudroom bench would fit below the outlet AND so that it would be tall enough to hold the red storage bin I had.
Once everything was measured and almost assembled, I brought all my pieces outside to stain them. I did one coat of Ipswich Pine, followed by a second coat (a few days later) of 50% Ipswich Pine and 50% Early American. (We stained a few things in the basement over the last few months, and I kept forgetting to write down the stain combo I used – this was my favourite!).
I also did one clear coat outside, then brought everything back in to be assembled. (Well, I would bring them in each time so that they wouldn’t warp outside…). Then, I simply flipped everything upside down, screwed the top pieces into the bases, and flipped them back over. A few more coats of clear sealer – and they were good to go!
Mudroom Bench Storage Components
I put my red bin in the first hole, and this will be the perfect place to store winter gear! We kept the two centre sections “open”, but you’ll see below that we still use them when we’re here. I could have made an extra support bracket to have 5 evenly spaced holes, but we only needed the three.
While the carpet does a good job of catching the wet/sandy shoe debris, you NEED a proper place to store your wet winter boots. Luckily, the boot trays seemed to be 14″ wide, which was the same as my red bin. I chose an extra long one so we can store lots of boots.
(I thought about putting a smaller boot tray underneath the bench itself, but depending on how tall your winter boots are, you may need extra height).
When we stay here, we usually bring a cooler for our food, and also need to store our car seat (the other one stays in the car). Luckily, the mudroom bench fits them both nicely AND I just realized that it’s also a handy place to store your grocery bags as you bring them in.
Wondering where we store our coats?
If you remembered from a few weeks ago, the rest of the basement entry (beyond the mudroom bench) is a hallway that leads to the shared laundry (the open door) and the actual basement apartment.
And of course, when you enter the living/dining space in the basement apartment – there is nowhere to store any coats or shoes. (I was thinking of doing a mini entry there, but put a computer desk instead, ha!).
Mudroom/Entry Coat Hooks + Shelf
Never fear, we had plenty of wall space on the opposite wall so I just made my own storage hook zone! This is actually our second entry/coat storage system (the first one was our entrance mirror and shelf here), and this time I added a LOT more hooks and did two heights.
I also built this section using cedar from the Home Depot, but this time I ventured into the “nice” wood aisle. I stained them just the same, and again used my Kreg Jig to create hidden pocket holes on the top section with the shelf (exactly like our photo ledge here).
We screwed the boards into the studs, then I installed my first hooks to hide the holes.
I then added another hook in-between each stud, so they’re roughly 8″ apart from one another. We’re not storing anything on the top shelf currently, but I think it would be a great place for a plant, a photo, keys, or anything really!
Actually, I was thinking of putting a cute welcome sign or something (maybe with instructions for our future short-term vacationers) – so please let me know if you have any suggestions!
We have a little bump out (that goes to the open-under-stair-storage-hole), so I just made sure that the shelf was narrower than that. Speaking of the “hole”, that’s where we now have the big stuff (aka the double-stroller and bicycle).
And, while we don’t have any coats on the hooks yet (oh please let it stay warm as long as possible!), I put mine and Zachary’s sweaters up to show the different heights. The Husband says he’s worried that all the hooks on the bottom rail mean that each child gets one (and we’ll have a bunch of extra kids apparently). But I know that once winter kicks in, they’ll be used for snow pants, too, and not just coats.
Shop This Post at the Home Depot
- Measuring Tape
- Mitre Saw
- Kreg Jig and drill
- Screws, sanding blocks, electric sander
- Stain in Ipswich Pine + Early American
- Paint brushes, clear coat, rags, etc.
* I knew I didn’t want a double-hook since we have the shelf and have to be mindful to fit the coats on.
Do you need to add some entry or mudroom organization to your home/rental space? As much as I hate it, I know winter is going to be here sooner than later, and I would have gone crazy if we didn’t have a place to hang our coats or put our boots.
But my favourite part is probably the mudroom bench – it’s a great space to sit down and put on your shoes :)
(OH, and while I would love to have a mirror down here, we actually can’t put one up in this entry area as it’s against code).