Like most homes, yours probably does not have a mudroom — but it could probably use one. Strictly speaking, mudrooms are found in snowy, damp northern climates and are used as a spot to shed heavy outdoor clothing. But if you think of mudrooms as a cross between a utility room and a walk-in closet, they belong in any climate. They're a place to stow outerwear, boots, sports gear and anything else you need when you go outside. In short, mudrooms bring order to the most used entry to your home. You can create a good mudroom even in a tight space — a well-designed corner inside a doorway will work fine. Mikki Lesowitz, owner of Divine Order, an organizing company in Los Angeles, says the design of the area is dictated by who uses it. "A mudroom for a couple would be used very differently than one for a family with kids," she says. This influences not only what kind of storage is incorporated into the area but also its size (Must it be large enough for a wheelchair? A gaggle of kids?) and detailing (adults generally don't need coat hooks 40 inches off the floor). The location of your mudroom will determine how it is finished. By the back door, where mostly family members trek in from the yard, take a simple, utilitarian approach: Tough plastic storage bins and modular shelving will do. If it's off the kitchen, consider using components of the same cabinetry and counters. This will make the mudroom appear to be part of the kitchen and make both spaces seem larger. Inside the front door, something a little more formal is called for; it needs to put on a welcoming face for company as well as stand up to soccer cleats. Top-quality decorative hardware and freestanding furniture, such as a coat rack, console table or hall tree, can add a touch of elegance without skimping on function. No matter if your mudroom is dressed up or down, there are five elements common to every room. Here are some hints on how to bring order to your entryway.