One of a mudroom's main purposes is to help keep coats, backpacks, umbrellas and other items from being dumped all over the house. The best way to keep these things organized is to give each member of the family his or her own locker. These elongated cubbies or cabinets have the vertical space to accommodate longer coats and umbrellas, and they're a good alternative for either a mudroom or entryway if you don't have an entry closet.
Mudroom lockers come in many different styles. Classic mudroom lockers typically have a high open cubby with an elongated main compartment and a smaller upper shelf. Hooks fastened to the walls of each cubby provide a place to hang coats, umbrellas and other long items.
If you want to keep outerwear out of sight, you can choose lockers with doors that will keep these items concealed. Children are more likely to slip a coat on a hook out in the open than they are to open a door and pull out a hanger, so you may want to include both in your design and store lesser-used items behind closed doors. You can hang a message board on the inside of each door to keep reminders and notes in easy sight of each member of your household.
The typical look for lockers is a pretty wood construction with painted or stained trim. For a space with a contemporary decor you can choose a sleek design for your lockers and other cabinets. Or if you like a more casual or industrial look, you can scour thrift shops, yard sales or online ads to salvaged metal school lockers. You can paint them all the same color, or you can try a multicolor approach with a different hue on each locker door. If you prefer, you can have the lockers powder coated, a process in which a powder from synthetic material is used to coat the piece, which is then heated to fuse the powder coating into a protective layer. Assign each family member a locker and apply creative labels to help with organizing.
If your house has a mudroom-laundry room combination, you can set up your locker system so it encourages family members to put away their own clean laundry. Include a shelf in each locker for a "clean clothes" basket as well as hampers to collect dirty sports jerseys, socks and other items shed by your athletes when they come in the door after practice or a game.
See also: Mudroom Planning Ideas