Storage Again, determine what type of storage is needed based upon who uses the room and how they use it. Kids need quick and easy access. The afterschool blitz can be managed with child-height coat hooks and open cubbies, bins or baskets for books and backpacks. Color-coding storage areas for each member of the family will keep things in order. "Adults bearing cell phones, purses and briefcases need a 'staging area' — a shelf that's out of a youngster's reach — to drop off small things," says designer Molly Korb, of MK Designs in Newcastle, California. Clothing can require a range of seasonal storage solutions. Bulky winter gear takes up lots more room than summer clothes, a factor to remember when estimating wall space. Wooden Shaker pegs and coat hooks are convenient in areas with limited floor space, but they aren't good for long-term storage; garments will stretch out of shape. Another caution comes from Jean Chene, of California Closets, who notes some drawbacks to wire shelving. "Small items may fall through them, and the grid pattern may leave impressions on soft clothes," she says. A lightweight, clear-plastic liner on the tray or shelf bottom solves both problems. Without a place of their own, shoes tend to end up everywhere. Designate a waterproof area for them. A drip tray/scraper topped by a removable grate can be invaluable; Mats, Inc., based in Stoughton, Massachusetts, makes a range of aluminum grids (about $32 per square foot for the Ultra Scrape style) that can be set in a level bed or a recessed pan. Barbara Schmit, of Room by Room in Northbrook, Illinois, has another tip for footwear. "In tight spaces, pegs on the wall can be placed close enough to hold boots upside down while they dry," she explains. Organizing Accessories.
These are the inexpensive, extra touches that can really help the area work to its fullest potential. Specialized bins and hangers for sports gear ($25 to $50) collect oddly shaped equipment like racquets and mitts. Keep pet leashes from tangling by stringing them from ordinary cup hooks. Hung on the wall, cork- or chalkboards can help organize information. A mudroom is a logical spot for a key rack and, stationed by the door, a newspaper recycling center ($10 and up) keeps papers, scissors and twine in one convenient place.
Ask TOH users about Mudrooms

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