Back Door Storage Secrets

Get it together. Your mudroom doesn't have to be a mess. Organize everyday clutter with style.
Amy Bickers Mercer

Ignore the dirty name. Your mudroom can be the tidiest spot in the house. The essential elements for a clean backdoor scene come together in Merrie and Peter McGrath's North Carolina home.

Built-in Bins
Store bulky sports equipment, gardening gear, and winter wear in deep drawers. This storage unit features two rows of four drawers each. Labels on several keep contents organized. Metal mesh insets enhance airflow in drawers that house athletic gear.

Hang-ups
You can never have too many hooks in a household with children. Hang up backpacks, coats, ball caps, and more. Having a row of hooks by the back door will keep the clutter off the floor. If you have young children, place the hooks at their eye level. This will help teach kids to pick up their stuff. You can double your number of hooks by hanging two rows--one at kid height, the other at adult height.

In-and-Out Slots
Guess which slot is Mom's. The one filled with the most stuff, of course. We call it "mommy homework," that pile of papers that must be signed and returned to school each week. Keep track of papers and mail in easily accessible slots. Assign a slot to each family member. To locate a similar piece, search the Web for organizational products.
With a mudroom this marvelous, household traffic never has a chance to pile up.

"Back Door Storage Secrets" is from the March 2006 issue of Southern Living.