Introduction: Mudroom Jacket and Boot Organizer

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The two of us have a lot of coats/jackets/hoodies. We are outdoorsy people, and living in New England with 4 seasons, need the outerwear and footwear to deal with all of that. There is always a lot going on at our home, so it can be a challenge to keep a bit of order amongst all the chaos.

We have a new home in the works, so starting from scratch can be an exciting(and daunting!) project. Analyzing what has and hasn't worked in the past provides a good starting point for the design process. Our new Mudroom serves several purposes(entryway for guests through the side door, entryway for us through the back door/and also garage, laundry facilities, bathroom and pet-washing station).

I wanted two zones for coats and boots: A nice one for Guests upon entry into the side door, with Arts and Crafts style built-ins/bench, and another, more utilitarian His and Hers one for us. When we work outside, or in the wood shop, etc. we will mostly come in through the back door of the mudroom, so I wanted an easy, efficient and ample space to put our hard-working(dirty!) jackets and boots away.

We love the convenience of hooks for hanging up our jackets(who doesn't?!) though they have their limitations: mainly they take up a lot of linear space, but they also often encourage doubling or even tripling up of jackets on one hook. I theorized that utilizing linear space in two axes, specifically x and z axis, could solve that problem. I came up with the design of a W-bracket, with hooks spaced every 5" or so, along all of the surfaces. Not wanting to cantilever out too much, I ended up with 14 hooks, or 7 for each or us. Not bad!

We definitely don't have as many boots as jackets(phew!), but they are big and hefty, and wet/dirty/mucky. First and foremost I wanted a solution where they would be kept off the floor. That not only gets messy, but we have a Roomba(Rhonda), so the boots just get in the way of her doing a proper vacuuming. Rhonda needs a clearance of about 5", so I had to factor that into the design. I came up with a combo of baskets and slatted shelves, plus some hooks for our indoor shoes to change into from our outdoor shoes.

(I added an extra bit of utility with a small shelf for His coffee cup/doggie leash to hang out while he laces up his boots for his morning hike with Mona.)

Please read on to find out how easy this project actually is, and I hope this inspires you to incorporate some of the space-saving details into your home. And if you can think of ways to improve upon this design.. do share so in the comments!!

~ Cynthia

Step 1: Supplies: Materials and Tools

Wood. I used walnut. It was remainder from our stairway build, I think. Regardless, you can use what species you'd like.. a mahogany/sapele would also be nice. Basically, nominally 1 x 4's, or actual, .75" x 3.5" if you want to purchase at a general lumber outfit. I had (2) 8 footers at my disposal. There was damage off and on, so I had enough good stuff to create the brackets for the jackets and the boot baskets/shelves.

Baskets. I purchased 4 at Lowe's. Good price, for the quality. I didn't use the canvas liners, but if you value those it is a great deal! ( )

Hooks. I purchased from Amazon(metal magician), but also have a Blacksmith who created the screw hooks for the baskets to hang from. Those can probably be sourced easily enough online, as well.

Screws/fasteners/glue/wood filler. I used GRIP RITE PRIME Guard T25 Star Drive Construction Screws 2 1/2" to connect the walnut bracket pieces and to connect them into the wall studs. The iron hooks came with their own pan head screws. I used panel nails to attach the slats into the brackets, and Titebond 3 glue to add some extra security to everything.

Drill/Driver. Pre-drilling all holes is a necessity.

Clamps. Great for stabilizing during construction and sanding.

Tape measure/pencil. No explanation necessary. : )

Sandpaper. I like to use 150 and 220 grit.

Step 2: The Jacket Bracket

1. The finished coat hook bracket

2. (1) 32" piece for the back, (2) 16" pieces for the ends, and (1) 15.5" piece for the middle. ( I later cut 3" off this middle piece for aesthetics and stability in consideration to type of joint.)

3. Pre-drill all holes

4. Finished W bracket. Sand thoroughly, rounding off all corners and edges.

5. I pre-drilled the two sets of holes that will go into the wall studs, 16" OC.

6. In positioning and drilling the holes for the hooks; utilizing the face of one as guidance for the hole of the opposing hook on other side.

Step 3: Finishing Touches on Jacket Bracket

1. I like Renaissance wax polish. Quick and easy. I used a cloth and bristle brush for crevices and clean-up.

2. I made a mixture of dark brown paint and wood filler to create my "ebony" plugs.

3. Filled screw holes

Step 4: The Boot Baskets and Shelves

1. Up-close image of metal baskets I used.

2. Finished bracket installed into studs

3. Tools and materials used for boot bracket. (1) 46.25" (for back piece) (3) 12.25" (for middle pieces)(2) 13" (for end pieces)

4. Clamping pieces together to aid in drilling holes to ensure flush edges.

5. A middle piece clamped, fastened with glue and with grip rite screws.

6. Slats and screw hooks for shelves. I think these walnuts slats were leftovers from cutoffs. They were perfect. I cut the lengths to 12.25"

Step 5: Basket Liners

I didn't want to use the canvas liners that came with the baskets. Too fussy, would obscure the contents, and having to unsnap eight snaps per liner to launder... ?... no thanks. I wanted something fur-like, absorbent, simple.

1. I had leftover fuzzy fabric in a tan color, enough for all four, and shade fabric as a heavy-duty backing. All cut to size of bottom of baskets, plus 1/2" seam allowance.

2. Right-sides pinned together.

3. Sewn and turned right-side out.

Step 6: Installing Into Studs

We have photographs with yardstick references of all the stud skeletons before the blueboard/plaster was put on, so we know exactly where to anchor things in.

I double-tested at the bottom of the wall, where the baseboards will later go in, just to make sure I had the stud placement exact.

I screwed one of the four holes in of each bracket, 16" OC, then put on the level, and finished up the remaining 3 screws for each unit.

Step 7: The Finished Product

I am super-stoked with this design: good-looking, and efficient. Time will tell of its efficacy and endurance. I'll put some lightweight walnuts slats on top of the jacket bracket, as a shelf for a few hats. I'll wait until more scraps and/or cut-offs find their way into the scrap bin.

: )

~ Cynthia

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