Organizing Winter Gear – Without a Mudroom

posted by Andrea | 11/9/2011

Even though our farmhouse has SO many features we absolutely wanted and needed in a house; the one thing it doesn’t have is a mudroom… or any type of front closet or back closet.

We have tons of storage in all the bedrooms and upstairs, just not by the back door or front door — which becomes somewhat of a problem during the winter months when we have a bunch of coats, hats, gloves, scarves, and boots to corral.

Last fall, I showed you how we organized our VERY SMALL entryway in in our old house, but believe it or not, we actually have less of an entryway now!

{our old entryway}

So I had to get creative! 

I knew I wanted some sort of closed storage… but without any type of closet, we were out of luck. I also knew that I didn’t want to try and make room for all our winter gear in our bedroom closet.

So, I was ecstatic when I found this armoire on Craigslist for $20 and painted it/distressed it to work with our living room decor {I’ll show you before and after pictures of the cabinet later this week.}


Then I simply installed a clothes rod on top and a couple shelves on the bottom to hold our winter gear.

Our coats go up top and then we each have separate shoe boxes for hats, gloves, scarves, etc. Not super fancy, but it was quick, cheap, and it looks great. You can’t even tell that this pretty cabinet hides all our “stuff”.

I also have a boot tray with a few more hooks by our back door for wet boots and gear — it’s right over top of a heat register so everything dries really quickly!

So that’s our make-shift mudroom… for now.

I do have ideas of transforming our laundry room {which is right off our back entrance} into a mudroom. But that would require re-doing the plumbing and a decent amount of demolition, so for now, our little armoire will just have to be “good enough”!

It’s not perfect, and I’m sure as we have more children, we will NEED a bigger space, but it was one thing we were willing to deal with since we simply loved everything else about our house.

What about you…

Do you have a nice big mudroom, a small back closet, or nothing at all {like us}?

Do you have any creative storage ideas for winter gear?


Filed under: OrganizingClothesStorage

Leave a comment


  1. L.L.


    can u post instructions on how u added the clothes rod and shelves and how to attach them? I need to make some shelves but don’t know how to attach them and also a clothes rod. can u please post step-by-step photos?


    Andrea Reply:

    Our armoire came with the shelves installed already and the instructions for installing the closet rod were right on the closet rod package 🙂 At this point, I’m not planning a step-by-step post for this, but I’m certain that any employee of any hardware store could help you out.


  2. Ann


    When you re-do your laundry room, add full-size lockers. They can be painted and names can be added. They look cute too!


  3. Karen @ Abundance on a Dime


    I can totally relate to your situation 🙂 We have an 8 x 8 room right at the back door, which we could have turned into a mudroom, but I really wanted my office on the main floor of the house and so that won out over the mudroom! We have a fairly small front entranceway, so it’s definitely a challenge! The previous owners (who were here for 48 yrs!!) tore out the banister on our front stairs and built this terrible, boxy, useless closet by the front door, which we tore down. We’ve been doing a version of your Shaker-peg shelves on the walls, but we’re redoing the whole area very soon (either before Christmas or right after) and are planning a built-in shelf/cubby system – I’ll definitely be sharing it on my blog when it’s done 🙂


  4. Debbie D


    My hubby added wire shelving to the space under our stairs making an awkward space into a completely functional space. We have been using it for 15 years now and it works!! The wire shelving works great for air circulation and allows any dirt to fall to the floor for easy cleaning.

    Take a peek:


  5. sarah


    I dream of having a mud room to corral all the mud, dirty sports stuff and snow gear in the messy months, oh wait that is all year bar a couple weeks 😉 Love your idea! If I had the space I’d do something like that. We have a closet under some stairs by the front door and a small built in that my hubby built by the back door. If it was just the 2 of us it would be more than enough but for 4 of us, the kids constant changing sizes its OK but a lot of maintenance. I did purchase an extra shower rod and hung it in the back of the closet for additional storage of sizes and out of season gear and use a shoe organizer on the inside of the door for gloves and hats, sunglasses and all those smallish odds and ends which helps a lot.


  6. Sue


    I love your solution.. !!!!.. I never find these great deals you find on craigs list ! we have a hall closet with horrible doors on it.. they slide and constantly fall off the hinges ! will have to replace them soon !
    I also have all the kids stuff on hooks on the wall in the family room.. Back packs from school and coats and jackets go up as soon as we come in the door.

    Sue in NJ


  7. AlexisAnne@CleanSmartSimpleStyle


    We don’t have a mudroom (but oh how I wish we did!), but we do have a small front closet and a nice long hallway that leads into our house- so I rely on hooks and baskets in the hallway for most of our stuff.
    I have some pictures of the closet and entryway here:


  8. Suzanne


    We live in a warmer climate, so we don’t need storage for wet items, like boots. I’ve found that with a “jacket tree” (What’s the real name?), we can hang jackets for various conditions, and scarves. I’ve also put a basket by our garage door inside to deposit shoes that are most used to go in and out quickly. I love your idea! So inexpensive and it looks tidy in your living room!