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DIY Projects

Entry Way Makeover (Small Space Storage!)

A while ago, I wrote a post about the cubby system that we put up by our front door.  It was all about how even though the cubbies, hooks, basket and bench looked great, once my kids coats, snowpants, boots, scarves and backpacks were hung up, it looked more cluttered and messy than anything else.  We don’t have a mud room and our hall closet is tiny, and everyone (family AND guests) enters through this door.

And when they do, they were greeted by a mass of outdoor clothing and school supplies.  It made our already small entry look more crowded and really stressed me out.

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So this weekend, I took matters in hand, and after discussing it with a friend, decided on using cabinets somehow.

I Googled lots of different options, but decided on buying 2 off-the-shelf pantry cabinets.  I chose pantries instead of wardrobes, because they’re almost half as narrow.  The ones we chose are 13″ deep, and I wouldn’t want ones that were any deeper than that; they would just take up too much valuable floor space.

Take a look at the difference:


SOOO much tidier!  Our mess is hidden behind doors, and even if the backpacks are hanging open and the boots are askew, nobody can see them :-).

We’re calling them lockers – each child gets half of a cabinet for their own items, and it ends up being about the same amount of space as a school or gym locker provides.

Here’s how we modified the cabinets:

  • We only used one of the provided shelves for each cabinet.  We kept the lowest one.  Boots go underneath and backpacks, extra shoes, hats or mitts can go on top of it.
  • We didn’t put the included backing on.
  • We secured the cabinets to the wall (through the studs) with L-brackets.  This way there’s no chance of them falling on the kids, and the cabinets themselves have the added structural integrity that the extra shelves and backing would have provided otherwise.
  • We salvaged the hooks from our old setup and put them on the wall near the top of the inside of each cabinet.  These aren’t pretty, and one day I’ll paint them and make them look much better, but they do the job for now.
  • We kept one row of hooks to put on the wall outside of the cabinets.  These are for when guests come over.


I love how much more streamlined and minimalist it looks.  No more being greeted with layers of wet snowpants and assorted boots!  It’s far more inviting now!

Below you’ll find a video tour of our new entry way cabinets!

Do you have a mud room?  If not, how do you keep control of the front door clutter?


Article written by:

Megan is a WAHM to 3 (and then some) kids, who spends the majority of her time working as an Administrative Assistant, blogging and washing dishes. She loves to write about her adventures in parenting, running a home daycare, adoption and whatever else strikes her fancy!


  1. MJ

    You did a great job reorganizing your entryway. I’m looking for a simple storage solution for our garage because that is the entryway we use most often. I can see a closet with shelves working perfectly because although it’s the garage, I still like it neat.

  2. rochkirstin

    Yes, we also have cabinets like this at home. My mom recently just bought one to organize all the bags that we don’t use day to day. Another storage area is for clothes we don’t normally wear and for our shoe collection.
    Go check out rochkirstin’s latest post! Review of Café Travel (Taft Avenue, Manila)My Profile

  3. Cara (@StylishGeek)

    That’s a wonderful way of covering up the clutter look Megan. The only caveat I feel personally is the cover-up of the beautiful wainscoat wall. I also favor white furniture. But overall that is a workable look you created indeed!

  4. Sage

    Nicely done!

    I live in a small European city centre flat, so it’s essential to keep everything tidy, or else it feels even smaller. We’re currently hunting for a larger flat or a house, and a decent entryway/mudroom is on my must have list. It’s cold most of the year, so coats are pretty much a year-round thing, and we don’t wear shoes in the house, so keeping the entryway picked-up is an ongoing battle.
    Go check out Sage’s latest post! Eleven nights aboard Norwegian Epic… epically big, epically bad!My Profile

  5. Vera Sweeney

    It is amazing how much stuff the kid have when they come in the door from school. I love how everything is back behind the doors instead of our in the open. Especially right now with the winter gear right now that they have to carry around.
    Go check out Vera Sweeney’s latest post! CRAZY DEAL! Two Years Of HGTV For Just $14.99!!!!My Profile

  6. Chris

    What a smart idea, I love your being organize. This is amazing makeover small space storage, I like your new cabinet and it’s really look good now than before.

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