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Best Back Door Organization Tips

Entryway organizers surround the back door of a home

Chances are that the rear entrance of your home is the door used most by family. That means it probably handles the majority of the comings and goings throughout the day. A high traffic entrance like this can quickly succumb to chaos and mess if you don't keep on top of it. The more family members you have, the faster it happens. Piles of shoes, boots, jackets, backpacks, purses, face masks, and sometimes even laundry often get left in piles near a home's rear entrance. But you can do something about it. Fix the problem once and for all with an easy home remodeling project using these back door organization tips. Get the lowdown on various entryway organizers and choose the best one for your family.

Entryway Organizers

No ifs, ands, buts about it. Everyone needs entryway organization. And the back door is the biggest drop zone in the home. Without it, the area is prone to accumulation from all the jackets, hats, gloves, bags, umbrellas, etc. being shed upon entering the indoors.

There are all sorts of entryway organizers. A closet is the most traditional type of back door organizer. But it's not always the best way to get the job done, especially if you have children. Consider all the options when choosing your entryway organizers. That way, you're sure to get the best one for your situation.


Every back door accumulates its share of coats, jackets, sweaters, gloves, and hats. Don't rely on hangers alone to handle these storage needs. In fact, children will rarely use a hanger. If you want to get your kids to hang up their coats, use hooks. Hooks are a very practical way to organize because they take up very little room. You can include a row of them along the back door, on a side panel of your closet, on a cleat attached to drywall, or any small nook with 5-inches of space.

Coat closet with hooks in addition to hanging rods
This coat closet maximizes total storage with a combination of multi-tiered hanging, shelves for footwear, pull-out baskets for gloves, hats, and mittens, plus the use of hooks in all the odd corners.

Mud Room Lockers and Cubbies

Mud room cubbies have it all. They provide hooks for hanging plus cabinets and/or shelves for other storage including shoes. Many are designed with some sort of basket for storing the little stuff like gloves and masks. Seating is integrated so that you can sit down and put on your shoes. What more could you want in a back door organizer? But best of all, mud room lockers and cubbies fit into the same space as a closet. They can easily replace your back door coat closet and are a good idea for families that prefer hooks over hangers and value the comfort of being able to sit while putting on footwear.

Mudroom lockers and cubbies with jackets and backpacks in them
These mud room cubbies offer individual compartments for each family member like a locker. Each "locker" includes three double hooks, a shelf with a basket, a lower shelf for shoes, and a cabinet. Everyone's "stuff" stays organized and separate. And each person also gets their own private drawer. The drawers are a good place to keep keys, small electronics, your COVID vaccination card, and other papers you might need when leaving the home.

Footwear Organizers

One of the main obstacles to entryway organization are piles of shoes and boots left by the back door. The way to combat this is with a shoe organizer. Many people include these in their closets but what good do they do if you always take off your shoes when entering the house? The organizer needs to go where the problem occurs. There are many different shoe organizers on the market. But one thing they all have in common is that they are based on a system of shelves. Even the pull-out racks are designed to slip into a section of shelves. That's because shelves are the best way to organize footwear. Build your shelves around or under a mud room cubby, inside a cupboard, or try a bank of open shelving near the door or inside a closet to corral all the shoes.

Open shelves organize shoes near the back entrance of home
These open shelves were built across from the home's back door to organize all the boots and shoes for a family of four. Notice how the shelves are tilted to make it easy to see the shoes. Shoe fences prevent the footwear from sliding off the slanted shelves.

Mask Storage

Mask storage is a relatively new issue. The COVID-19 pandemic brought a whole category of additional clutter to our entryway storage problems. You want your mask handy when you go out, but no one wants to wear it at home. So, it ends up by the back door. One little mask doesn't create much of a problem. But when you have a whole family of mask wearers dumping theirs at the entrance, some sort of organization is needed. And nobody wants to share a mask, so separation is critical. There are a couple of ways you can deal with organizing your masks. Baskets are a good solution if you have a bank of shelves already in place to accept the basket. The other way to go is with hooks. Use a small hook to dangle the mask by the ear loops. That way they are organized but still visible so you're less likely to forget to grab one when you leave.

Face masks dangling from hooks near the door of a home
These masks are organized on a three-prong, rotating hook. Just turn the hook to the one you need and you're in business. This type of hook is designed to mount under a cabinet or shelf.

Backpacks and Purses

Backpacks are key contributors to back door mess. The more people in your family, chances are the bigger the pile of backpacks left by the entrance. The best way to organize backpacks is either to hang them on a hook or tuck them away into a mud room cubby. The same goes for purses. The only difference is that with backpacks you must make sure your hooks are sturdy enough to hold up to 50 pounds. Purses can get using hooks with a lower weight rating.

A backpack and purse hung from hooks mounted to wall of home
This backpack and purse are hanging from hooks. Notice the difference in size between the hooks used on the backpack versus the purse. This is due to the weight of the items inside. The hooks are mounted to a cleat secured to the home's studs for extra strength.

Laundry Organization

Laundry spaces in newer homes are often located next to the back door of the home. This is especially common in homes with an attached garage. The location can be convenient, but also creates the potential for even more clutter surrounding your rear entryway. Nothing is worse than coming home after a long, hard day at work only to stumble over a pile of dirty, stinky laundry left by the back door. Or to open the door and have to make your way through a maze of hanging pantyhose and other drip-dry laundry hung in front of your face. The solution is cabinets, shelves, and a retractable drying rack that doesn't require much space and disappears after use. Make sure that you have enough of them surrounding your laundry equipment so that everything remains picked up and always put away. Improve your laundry situation by combining the laundry storage with mud room cubbies. That way, you'll have extra storage as well as a convenient spot to set down your laundry basket on wash day. Include a sink next to your back door laundry so that children with dirty hands, adults who enjoy gardening, etc. have a place to wash their hands before entering the home and touching anything.

Combination space for mudroom and laundry with storage next to the back door.
This laundry and mud room is a combination space leading to the back door of the home and an attached garage.

Use these back door organization tips to come up with an effective entryway storage plan for your home. Don't forget to include plenty of hooks as well as storage for shoes and boots. You'll need a place for jackets, backpacks, and purses. Mudroom cubbies often work better than a traditional closet for these items, especially if your household includes children. If your laundry is located near the back door, you will need extra cabinets and shelves for wash day items. And don't forget about face masks. Use hooks or baskets to organize these small items, making sure each family member has their own. Remember that entryway organizers come in all shapes and sizes. As long as you plan ahead and take inventory of your needs before you purchase, success is pretty much guaranteed. Why not banish that back door mess for good? And if think you'd like assistance, the professional storage designers at Closet Works are always ready to help. Schedule an appointment today!