12 Life-changing Entryway Solutions: New Mudroom Storage!

What do you do when you want an entryway or mudroom bench or cubbies for storage but don’t think you have the space? We figured out how to create a mudroom out of seemingly nothing, and the storage we now have is incredible (and includes our favorite woven mudroom baskets)!


My neighbor asked me, when I mentioned we were working on creating mudroom storage,

“What’s a mudroom?”

I refrained from answering what I really wanted to, which was to respond with all my Jess excitement, “WHAT’S A MUDROOM?” (then do a high jump into the air combined with my high-kick-toe-touch) “ONLY THE MOST INCREDIBLE ROOM I CAN IMAGINE RIGHT NOW!”

(I’m pretty excited about this.)

woven storage mudroom baskets in cubbies

similar baskets

If you, dear reader, don’t need to Google “what is a mudroom,” please proceed with reading. You’re already in the know.


MUDROOM STORAGE

Quick Backstory of the Space We Used

The mudroom. We’re slightly obsessed with it. Who wouldn’t love a space that makes daily life easier?

I think I love it even more considering that this space wasn’t even supposed to be a mudroom.

Instead, it was apparently intended to be A LAUNDRY ROOM THAT WOULD KILL ME SLOWLY.

(In case you missed it, here’s what the space used to look like.)

I’d mentioned how the original laundry room reminded me of a coffin. (Not that I’ve been in a lot of coffins, but it’s what I imagined one might feel like.)

But then things started looking up! We actually ripped out the old laundry room and moved it! We were confident we wanted a mudroom with storage there.

mudroom storage shelf with basket, plant, shelves above and small cubbies with keys and wallet

baskets / similar tray / similar pot / plant / wallet

Next, we went through the process of testing out how we used this space in different phases, which basically just makes for a more brilliant mudroom.

(I’d recommend reading this post if you haven’t already! It will give you specific strategies!)


MUDROOM STORAGE

Old Laundry-Room-Turned-Mudroom Storage

Some have dreams about beating up a bully, or being chased by giant monkeys, or winning the lottery.

Those dream examples concern triumph over evil, danger and fear, and fantasy wishes fulfilled.

My mudroom dreams include all of the above.

I have dreams about rooms like this:

messy laundry room before

(laundry room designed in 1980s)

messy laundry room showing washer and dryer

…transforming into rooms like this:

mudroom storage bench with woven storage baskets in mudroom cubbies

hooks & rail / hat / similar baskets

I KNOW! That mudroom bench with shoe storage! Those hooks! Those mudroom baskets! How did this all happen?!

I’ll give you the quick tour. It’s a small mudroom. (But it’s powerful. It works so hard for us!)

And yes, we know it’s white. But we live in Southern California, so we don’t deal as much with “mud” as we do with…(drumroll)…SAND! Beachy, crunchy, millions-of-tiny-grains-that-get-everywhere sand. (But no one would know what we were talking about if we said we created a Sandroom, would they?) So that’s how we can totally get away with a white mudroom! Shazam!

(See our 7 strategies on choosing interior paint colors!)


SMALL MUDROOM STORAGE & ORGANIZATION TOUR:

The Left Wall

I’ll call this first one “the left wall” because I’ll assume you are IN my home taking this tour, and we’d be looking at it from our hallway.

(As opposed to the other entry which is from the garage. If I had you over to my house and we were looking at this from the garage…well, it’s probably because we had just gone out to coffee and were coming back that way, so that would work too. But for now we’ll just call them “left” and “right” from how you’d see them from the main house interior.)

small mudroom bench with mudroom cubbies and IKEA mudroom baskets for storage

hooks & rail / hat / similar baskets

On this left wall, going roughly from bottom to top, we added

  1. Shoe shelves
  2. A built in mudroom bench with shoe storage and an upholstered cushion
  3. Mudroom cubbies on each side of the mudroom bench
  4. Mudroom baskets in the cubbies
  5. Hooks on a horizontal plank wall
  6. Crown molding (and baseboards)

DIY MUDROOM STORAGE

#1: Mudroom Bench Shoe Shelves

You know, I did debate whether to do full extension pull-out drawers or not, and in the end we decided to go with simple shelves for this part of the mudroom storage.

(I know. The Drawer Lady choosing shelves instead of drawers. I don’t know how it happened either, but it happened. Sometimes that’s best.)

➥ TIP FOR MUDROOM BENCH SHOE STORAGE:

What’s nice about shelves instead of drawers for shoes (down low) is that they’re smooth & easy:

  1. SMOOTH: When you’re sitting on the white mudroom bench wanting to pull out your shoes, or put your shoes away, you’re not having to shift yourself or your legs over to the side to open a full wide drawer—you just pull them out of the shelf, or put them into the shelf.
  2. EASY: When you have adults plus children all coming in and out, it’s so much faster having the open shelving for shoes. Everyone can pull theirs out or put theirs back—without having to open a bunch of drawers into other people’s legs coming and going.
mudroom bench dimensions with cushion, shoe shelves, cubbies with woven storage entryway baskets

hooks & rail / hat / similar baskets

DIY MUDROOM STORAGE

#2: Built-In Mudroom Bench

We settled on the perfect mudroom bench size for our room after our favorite testing process.

The interior foam cushion, funnily enough, is the same foam we used on our window seat in our first house. It survived in our storage unit all those years we lived in New Zealand, and then made it to this house.

Matt just cut it down to fit our new white mudroom bench, and voilĂ !

Our mudroom bench dimensions are 53″ wide x 21″ deep. For us, we liked our mudroom bench height at 22″ (including the mudroom bench cushion). But we absolutely recommend doing this step before making final decisions on your own mudroom bench dimensions!

➥ TIP FOR LAZY SEWING:

Consider the safety pin, my friend. Even temporarily. Maybe you don’t have to sew anything for now!

Those of you with eagle eyes may notice it is not actually a finished mudroom bench cushion.

My amazing seamstress capabilities are limited, and I’ve learned from experience that sewing a zippered bench seat cushion is beyond my rules of “easy and pain-free sewing only.” (I insist on it being zippered because hello, it’s a mudroom and it WILL get dirty.)

I wasn’t sure if I wanted this fabric or not, so to test it out, I did my little “wrap it like a present and safety pin it underneath” move. Kind of like another “phase” of trying something out. Our white mudroom bench looked great with this fabric (it’s a linen blend).

I was all ready to bring it to a local upholsterer to sew for me when COVID hit the world and all shops closed.

So that’s why it’s still just “tucked in” with my trusted safety pins for now.

mudroom bench with woven storage entryway baskets in IKEA mudroom cubbies

hooks & rail / similar baskets

DIY MUDROOM STORAGE

#3 & #4: Mudroom Cubbies & Mudroom Baskets

We have eight of these mudroom cubbies. We sized them precisely for the space.

They’re the perfect size for these eight mudroom baskets I want to stare at all day. (I don’t know what it is…the weave? That’s all I can guess. There’s just something about these woven storage baskets that makes me want to stop and gawk goofily with hearts coming out of my eyes.)

The perfect mudroom baskets can be hard to find, so we have a suggestion when planning your storage baskets for shelves:

Ensure that your mudroom cubbies are planned in conjunction with the mudroom baskets you like best, so that everything is a perfect fit!

woven mudroom baskets in white mudroom cubbies storage from Ikea

similar baskets

If you’re looking for baskets for mudroom cubbies, we can highly recommend this look! We found our particular mudroom baskets at IKEA, but if you don’t have easy access to that store, these are incredibly similar and will be delivered to your doorstep!

DIY MUDROOM STORAGE

#5: Mudroom Hooks + Plank Wall

I really didn’t want standard hooks. Possibly because I’d seen 27 thousand different pictures of mudrooms with standard-style hooks. You know the kind.

Not that there’s anything wrong with those mudroom hooks, but I was just really feelin’ the need for something unique here on this wall.

I wasn’t sure how these particular hooks would work, since they’re shaped a bit differently than regular hooks, but we determined during our testing process that they worked well.

We also liked that they came with larger hook and smaller hook options to vary it up. They slide horizontally along the bar so you can have them closer together or further apart, depending on what you need to hang from them.

➥ TIP FOR THESE MUDROOM HOOK RAILS:

We found that large items (like my large gardening hat below or big jackets in winter) might need a little extra horizontal space from the other items on hooks. Items with long, thin straps like purses or beach bags work great on the smaller hooks.

mudroom plank wall with hat on black mudroom hooks with rod

hooks & rail / hat

I had a nostalgic reason for incorporating the plank wall.

I’m not usually into the “plank wall look” added in huge rooms (unless they’re original—that’s awesome!), probably because it just sniffs of something being “off.” It just looks SO good when it’s obviously original-slash-natural for it to be there. Normally I wouldn’t DREAM of adding a plank wall in our 1980s house. I’d think it just wouldn’t “fit” anywhere.

However, here it fits. For us.

The reason I wanted the plank wall here was because there was a certain cafe near our last place in New Zealand, and it was a cool old house-turned-cafe. It had beautiful original old wood plank walls (painted white) that I remember just admiring so much and having happy memories in that spot.

We couldn’t recreate the walls exactly as they were in that cafe, but I wanted to bring the feel I remember into our home. (And this is a small enough space that it doesn’t look out of place to me.) To us, it looks perfect and brings back that happy, fresh look and NZ cafe culture memories we know so well.

➥ TIP FOR “SPECIAL” FEATURES:

If having a certain special feature or decorative element really delights you and brings joy for some reason—even if it’s “unnecessary”—try to make it happen if you can! Stick to your guns!

White DIY mudroom storage entryway bench with cushion and storage baskets in mudroom cubbies, with wall hooks

hooks & rail / hat / similar baskets

Not that I sit in here and drink my coffee, but I DO pass through it while carrying my coffee in and out…set my coffee down on the drop space constantly…take long drinks of my coffee in here while waiting for little people to get their shoes on…watch little people take long drinks OF my coffee.

Don’t worry, I’m not hitting my kids up with loads of caffeine there because I drink a Swiss water processed decaf coffee. (I know, I know…that may sound woo woo fancypants, but it’s honestly just what works best for this body o’mine.)

So yes, even though this mudroom is not an actual cafe, it gets used a lot like one sometimes, now that I think about it!


DIY MUDROOM STORAGE

#6: Crown & Baseboard Molding

We added crown molding all around the top edge, as well as baseboards along the bottom of the built in shoe shelves, to really give this space that finishing touch. Having a built in mudroom bench is so much nicer than a freestanding one, we think, whenever possible!

Sometimes, that built-in look is all you need to finish it off.


SMALL MUDROOM STORAGE & ORGANIZATION TOUR:

The Right Wall

Remember this wall used to look like this (plus two massive oak cabinet doors that swung outwards into the room)?

That was NOT the kind of mudroom storage we were going for.

messy shelves showing items

First we

  • removed the old cabinet doors
  • removed the old shelving
  • lived with it that way for awhile to see what the heck we wanted to put in this area
  • removed the horizontal railings holding up the shelving
mudroom storage with bench for kids with shoe shelves, drawers, mudroom shelves and cubbies

baskets / pulls / similar tray / similar pot / plant / wallet / water shoes / girls sandals

Then, on this right wall, from bottom to top, we added

  1. Kid-sized shoe shelves + a kid-sized, small mudroom bench seat
  2. Four creatively-sized mudroom drawers (more on that later)
  3. A large, open drop space
  4. A section of “mini” mudroom cubbies and storage shelves for more mudroom storage
  5. More mudroom baskets on the storage shelves

Now it’s all opened up—and jam-packed full of function for us!

(And now I want jam. Anyone else? Big spoonful of jam? I’m having flashbacks to Joey eating jam out of the jar…”Maybe if they met me in person…”)


DIY MUDROOM STORAGE

#7 & #8: Kids Shoe Shelves + Kids Mudroom Bench

I’m seriously proud of this small mudroom bench and shoe shelves for the kids! They might have been my cutest idea of the whole enchilada. (You can always tell I’m hungry again when I start throwing in food words.)

We had this funky little area where the wall pops back for the air ducts in the wall behind the photo, and I was staring at it one day trying to figure out what creative solution could be had. Someone suggested more mudroom shoe storage, but they weren’t deep enough for adult shoes.

You may see where this is going. A vision came to my mind of kids’ shoe shelves with a short, small mudroom bench finishing out the top—where they could get their shoes on and off without having to sit on the floor.

(One eagle-eyed friend asked about the “empty wall space” between the kids bench and the drawers above, wondering if we just wasted that space by not doing anything with it. Nope, there is actually a huge air duct right there that is essential and so that wall cannot be cut into.)

mudroom storage bench for kids, mudroom shoe shelf with drawers

pulls / similar tray / water shoes / girls sandals

At the time, I had just finished reading a book written by a mother with grown children. She talked about how important she felt it was to have kid-sized things in your home for your children (as everything else in their world seems to be adult-sized), and so it was a natural “Yes!” for me.

Those mudroom shoe shelves get used by my daughters EVERY SINGLE DAY. It may even be the #1 used spot in this entire space! The girls sit on this small mudroom bench every time they come in or go out. It’s been such a fun (and incredibly useful) thing to have! We’d highly recommend—if you have kids or grandkids and a little space—including a kid-sized, small mudroom bench in your plans.

➥ TIP FOR KID-SIZED SPACES:

If you have young children, try to find ways to incorporate elements that are at their level. Especially in areas they’ll use everyday for years. Don’t go overboard, but even simple things like this white mudroom bench can have a huge impact. It has more potential to make their lives—and yours—a little easier.

Other simple ideas are hanging artwork at their level, or lowering hooks so they can reach what they need themselves. It doesn’t have to be anything expensive, just thoughtful.

You may notice throughout our home (as we reveal more moving forward) that I really enjoy finding ways to create kid-sized spaces here and there, when appropriate. (And when I can foresee it making everyone’s lives a bit smoother!) I’m not into giving kids the run of the house, but I like to show they’ve been considered where it makes sense.

I remember being a kid and feeling like everything was so gigantic and towering over me. Our girls LOVE having small spaces that are sized down to them. Matt and I feel like creating those spots is just one little way to show them that they’re important—that we’re taking them into consideration as we work on this house and our family spaces.


DIY MUDROOM STORAGE

#9: The Mudroom Storage Drawers

I don’t know what we’d do without these mudroom storage drawers. I kinda wish we’d had a way to put in eight more of them. (Not eighteen, because I don’t want to own that much stuff.)

We had to get creative here again because the wall to the right is actually angled back. (So those two right-side drawers are not full rectangles, but more like triangles. See our video for a thrilling demonstration.) But it would be wasted space otherwise, so we decided to use every inch!

white mudroom storage drawers with black labeled pulls

pulls

And we really do use every inch. When I do a post about how we organized the mudroom, I’ll show you what we keep in these. We use these EVERY SINGLE DAY too.

I could probably write a book on how you should keep your main areas and main storage spots for your “every single day!” uses and items. It makes life SO much easier!

(And that’s probably one of my goals of organizing and designing the house, if I’m being honest: making life easier! Life is hard enough; why have your house make it harder if you have the power to change it?)


DIY MUDROOM STORAGE

#10: Entryway Drop Spot

Every mudroom needs one of these, I believe. Who DOESN’T need to set down or “drop” something when they’re going out or coming in?

mudroom storage drawers with shelf and basket

plant / similar pot / similar tray / drawer pulls

If you’re not sure you need one, let me give some recent examples of what needed to be set down in this space while getting ready to leave and/or while we took off our shoes when coming home (yes, we are a shoe-free home!):

  • Hot and cold beverages (a.k.a. Matt’s tea and Jess’s iced coffee)
  • Bags of groceries
  • Water bottles
  • Items to return to a store
  • Snacks
  • Random miscellaneous items that we weren’t sure of where to put them yet

Really, it’s just THE spot to set things down for a moment while you’re getting your own shoes on, grabbing your purse or wallet, helping kids get their shoes and jackets together, or just taking a moment to think through whether you have everything you need before you leave.

See more details and tips on creating your own entryway drop spot HERE.

mudroom storage cubbies and storage shelves with drawers

pulls / similar tray / similar pot / plant / wallet / baskets

While going through our testing phases for this mudroom, I found that if we didn’t have a designated drop spot, stuff gets dropped everywhere else—and then it’s in your way.

Example: Before putting their shoes on, the kids toss a toy onto the big mudroom bench so you can’t sit to get your shoes on. Or you set your coffee down on the edge of the mudroom cubbies (in front of the baskets) “just for a moment,” but the chances of it getting knocked over go up exponentially.

Basically, not having a drop space in your mudroom or entryway is just a recipe for disaster. Especially when you have multiple people living in your house, using it at the same time. So check out this post with more tips on creating an awesome “Drop Zone!”


DIY MUDROOM STORAGE

#11 & #12: The “Mini” Mudroom Cubbies + Storage Shelves

We had this upper space available for more mudroom storage, but we didn’t want to do ALL mudroom baskets, so we came up with this design:

2 larger shelves

+

8 what I call “mini” mudroom cubbies

mudroom cubbies and shelves with baskets

wallet / sunglasses / baskets

For the cubbies, I realized it was imperative to have a way to store lots of “little” things that were used daily (or multiple times a day!) in the mudroom cubbies…and that could be grabbed easily, such as

Items that didn’t need to be as easily grabbed could fit into these smaller mudroom baskets. We purposefully did a different design than the larger baskets on the other side of the mudroom.

mudroom cubbies with storage shelves and counter

baskets / plant / similar pot / similar tray / wallet / sunglasses

➥ TIP FOR ODD-SHAPED SPACES:

Work with them if you can! Don’t always try to hide them. Embrace the kooky parts of your house and see if you can’t use them to your advantage—ESPECIALLY in a small house or room where you want to use every inch!

You can see that weird angle in the wall to the right, which makes the rightmost cubbies more of a triangle shape. When designing this, I did wonder if that would be weird—but nope! Turns out these mudroom cubbies are still super functional and useful.

We’ve gotten so used to it that don’t even notice them being a different shape anymore.

(See, sometimes you might have a funky room with some weird spots, but you can make lemonade of those lemons! Look at the kid-sized mudroom shoe shelves and bench we fit in! Look at our four extra mudroom drawers! They’ve each become a precious storage space!)

mudroom baskets in cubbies

similar baskets

MUDROOM VIDEO TOUR:

*Th *This post includes affiliate links to help support our site, which are provided at no extra cost to our readers.

Want to see exactly how we organized our mudroom?

  • what we’re storing behind those mudroom baskets and drawers
  • why we did mudroom cubbies
  • how we figured out what to include in our mudroom
  • how we figured out what NOT to include

Or see what this room originally looked like!

While this post may be a long one, we’re sharing SUPERQUICK help in this post: “Drop Zone Tips: What’s Your Home Entry & Exit Strategy?”

âžś Our complete list of every single home project is viewable HERE.

*This post includes affiliate links to help support our site, which are provided at no extra cost to our readers.

This Post Has 4 Comments

  1. Mortgage Broker in Lane Cove

    Thank you for sharing this blog about mudroom storage. Very much appreciated.

  2. Christie

    Also how did you actually build the bench? Would love a tutorial for what you have. thx!

  3. Christie

    Amazing ideas and advice – thank you! I have two little ones so I’m loving the idea of a small bench for them. What height and depth would you recommend for that? thanks!

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