Closet Turned into Mudroom for Cheap!

Okay, so I struggled for a bit whether to blog about this little DIY closet makeover.  I really loved the project and I think it came out great, but it was just SO impossible to photograph.  This closet is at the end of a narrow hallway with no natural light, and there's no way to photograph the whole thing in a single picture.  So please forgive me for the poor photos - they aren't to the standard I like to try to keep for the blog but the project and message were just too good not to share.  | This post contains affiliate links |

Closet into Mudroom for less than $30!

When we moved into our home we quickly realized we needed a "drop zone" by the back door.  It was really the only door we used and we needed a place to put all our stuff as we came and went.  Thankfully there was an under-utilized pantry here and while we can always use more storage, for us it was more important have a mudroom/drop zone.  After surfing Pinterest we decided to turn it into a mini mudroom complete with beadboard, a shelf, hooks, a built-in bench with metal baskets underneath for shoes, mail organizer - the works.  And so within weeks of moving in we took the door off the pantry and it became our temporary drop zone while we planned... and there it stayed for three years (yikes).  

Embarrassing, right?

Embarrassing, right?

You see, our dream mini mudroom would have cost big bucks and we kept sidelining it for other, more important things (furnace fixes, putting in a vegetable garden, repairing the driveway..).  And then we got a puppy.  And then we had a baby.  And then spending big bucks on a teeny mudroom was just absurd.  And the closet stayed the way it was, and just looked ugly and cluttered.  

Then we realized:  it's great to dream big for make-overs and remodels but what's more important is to assess what's realistic now.  Realistically we couldn't afford now what we wanted to do originally but we still needed a mudroom - so the design got cut to the very basics.  We needed a shelf, hooks, and mail/key organizer; the beadboard, bench, baskets, and accessories would have to wait.  

The first step was removing the Closet Maid shelving system. To do this, I used a flat head screwdriver and needle nose pliers to pull out the pins and drywall anchors that held the shelves and supports in place. We saved all the shelves and supports in case we want to add more shelving to another closet down the road. We were left with a ton of holes to fill, but some drywall patch and light sanding filled the holes in fine. 

Empty closet, mid-remodel.  Soon to be a mudroom!

Afterwards I repainted the walls of the closet with some white ceiling paint we had in the basement. My goal was to use as much materials as we had already and I didn't want to buy a new can of paint just to do this little area. The ceiling paint covered great and it only needed one coat. 

Then I marked the studs with painters tape and cut a 1x12 (given to us by my father-in-law who had scrap boards in his basement) down to the length of the back of the closet, attaching it into the studs with long screws.  

Leveling the board for the coat hooks in the closet

I cut the angled side supports down and cut another board to make the top shelf (all cuts were made with just a chopsaw).  Everything was glued, screwed, and nailed into place so it was nice and sturdy.  Then I patched all the screw holes and lightly sanded before painting the shelf with trim paint, which we already had on-hand.

Building the shelf for the mudroom in the closet

Once the paint was dry, I added the hardware - the only items we actually had to buy for this project!  The four coat hooks were from Lowes and cost about $4 each, the two accessory hooks were also from Lowes and were less than $1.50 each, and the mail/key organizer was from Amazon and cost about $10.  All-in-all since we reused paint and wood we already had we spent around $30 for everything!  Someday I'd still like to add a bench, baskets, and cover the textured walls with beadboard but in the meantime we have a functional, simple, efficient mudroom which is what we really needed from the beginning.  I'm kicking myself for living with the messy old closet for so long when doing a simplified mudroom was so achievable this whole time! 

Ta-da! 

Ta-da! 

The coatrack and mail/key organizer.

The coatrack and mail/key organizer.

The small accessory hooks on the opposite wall for hats and leashes.

The small accessory hooks on the opposite wall for hats and leashes.

Totally unstyled, real-life photo right here.  Definitely not magazine-worthy, but perfect and functional for our family.

Totally unstyled, real-life photo right here.  Definitely not magazine-worthy, but perfect and functional for our family.

Lesson learned:  sometimes settling for less is best. 

Product Links:  
|  Coat Hooks  |  Accessory Hooks  |  Mail + Key Organizer  |

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