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Sharon Harris, Agreed, agreed, agreed. Mudrooms, yes...back doors, yes, but no open cubbies in the front entry !!!!

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Veronica Duff
The idea of open storage is that it's more ergonomic, one less step to put away and take things out. The key is having a combination of hidden and open storage. Open for daily use items for all members of family, and closed storage for things that rotate through seasons or aren't used daily. Besides, seeing coats is a sign of a lived in house. Not sure why everyone wants everything to look staged and perfect and untouched all the time. Give me a nice cozy place with evidence of a family any day.
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I think it's a bit strong to make a blanket statement like it's always wrong to have cubbies or hooks in your main entryway. It really depends on the way the house is laid out and what works for your family.

Our house has two side-by-side glass entry doors on the long covered porch that lead into what we call our den/home office. I have no idea what they were thinking when they designed two identical doors in one room next to each other, but we only use one of them and have considered taking out the extra door and closing off the other opening. Since the porch is right off the parking area at the end of our driveway, this is the main entrance into the house. There is also another entrance much further down on the front side of the house that was meant to be the main doorway but we have never used it, only opened it maybe once in three years -- it's just not accessible to the driveway at all. The main coat closet is near the unused door but not accessible to it unless you go through the dining room and around to the other side of the wall that faces you when you come in there, off the living room. In short, not planned well at all. We do switch jackets and coats out and store them in the closet in the off-seasons, though.

Therefore, the den/home office area is basically our mudroom. My first plan was to hang hooks on one wall for coats, etc, but then my husband's office was discarding a perfectly good commercial coat rack that uses hangers, so I said sure, let's take it. At this point I want to go back to my original idea because what I am finding is that nobody in our family likes to take the time to hang up coats on the hangers. It is a little hard when you come in with hands full of stuff to stop and grab a hanger, but the coats end up draped over chairs all over the house -- very frustrating! I know, the problem is not so much with the system as with the people using it (3 adult children plus us), but I figure if there are hooks it's much easier to hang things up quickly and will probably be a better system. I would love for each of us to have a designated hook area of our own or even a cubby system, and I think if it works well and looks neat it doesn't matter if it's in the main entry of the house. Anyone coming in here knows us anyway and wouldn't care what it looks like.

Major snow this weekend here in upstate NY, so I also need to do something soon to deal with shoe and boot clutter as well as gloves, scarves, etc -- it's a constant mess with that too! So I appreciate articles like these that give me more ideas as to how to make this space neat. I'm planning to rip out the whole room and reorganize it in many different ways (home office area as well as coat hook area).

I should add that we also have a third doorway off the porch that leads to the washer/dryer area but the space is so tiny there that you could never use that for a mudroom at all. So that would not be a solution to the problem.

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