We live in a 1960's brick ranch with split floor plan which can be challenging. Imagine a long rectangle split down the middle, living spaces on one side of stairs leading down to an unfinished basement, bedrooms on the other. The entrance we use is our "side door" that leads directly into a narrow galley style kitchen from the carport. Naturally everything, purses, book bags, keys, coats, laptops, end up on the kitchen counter. We are constantly looking for keys, cell phones, homework assignments.
My previous solutions of hooks on the backs of doors, folders in cabinets, the idea of actually walking it into a bedroom, have been ignored by my family. My dreams of a mud room are just that, dreams. We just don't have the space.
Then I moved my husbands great grandmother's glass pie cabinet into the living room and presto, a corner. A mud corner.
Before, a corner of sorts between the bathroom and our bedroom on one end of the hallway. Now, a handy dandy area that we need to be a tad bit more organized.
I started with an Expedit Shelving Unit in black ($39.99). I love the cubbie style and that it's super sturdy. Then I added two Nasum Baskets ($14.99 each) for our "shoe boxes". I installed two hook racks ($1.99 each) that I picked up a few years back. Then for a little fun added a framed Malma Mirror ($2.99). All from Ikea for a grand total of $76.94 not including tax.
The kids have always kicked off their shoes as soon as they come in the door (if they don't do it in the car). Now they have shoe boxes. The twins have one and Jack has the other. This kids are GREAT at putting their shoes in there and now in the mornings, we know exactly where we can find their school shoes. I have a place to hang my purse, my keys and a shelf for my laptop and tote bag. Stephen uses his side for his brief case and laptop. Of course during Christmas, it got hijacked with poinsettias, pine cones, and soft fuzzy throws.
All in all, it is working perfectly and although I still dream of a mud room, a mud corner is a great start.