How to Build an Entryway or Mudroom Storage Wall System

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The right customized wall storage near a busy entryway is your best defense against clutter that can infiltrate every other room in the house. Using prefabricated storage “towers” and shoe organizers available at many home centers, set up your wall storage with a place for all the different items that come through the door, from shoes and winter clothing to packages and sporting goods. Position different sections within the wall storage system to serve exactly the people who most use the space, so that children can easily reach their gloves and jackets, and adults know right where their keys and scarves can be found.

Things You'll Need

  • Measuring tape
  • Pencil
  • 2 storage towers with shelves and hardware
  • 2 six-section shoe organizers with dividers and hardware
  • Stud finder
  • Single-sided pull saw
  • Pry bar
  • Standard and Phillips-head screwdrivers
  • Hammer
  • Power drill/driver
  • 1/8-inch, 3/32-inch and 1/16-inch bits
  • #10 x 1-inch flathead wood screws
  • 1 sheet 3/4-inch MDF
  • Circular saw
  • Router
  • Edge router bit
  • Gloss enamel paint
  • Paintbrush
  • 4-foot carpenter’s level
  • Wood shims
  • 30-pound wall anchors
  • Hook rail

Preparation

  • Assemble your storage towers and shoe organizers per manufacturer’s instructions, then measure the finished assemblies.

  • Measure and mark the wall with the location of the storage system. Calculate the overall width by combining the widths of the two shelf towers and the two shoe organizers that will form the base of the bench.

  • Locate the studs along the wall with a stud finder and mark the center of each in the area where the storage system will be installed.

  • Cut the baseboard molding at the outside edges of the storage system with a single-sided pull saw. Pry out the cut portion of the baseboard molding with a pry bar, so that the shelving units fit flush against the wall.

Assembly

  • Screw the two shoe organizers together side by side. Drill two 1/8-inch pilot holes at opposite top and bottom corners through the inside of one organizer, and on the other corners through the inside of the other organizer. Screw the boxes together by driving #10 x 1-inch flathead wood screws through the holes.

  • Measure and cut a piece of 3/4-inch medium-density fiberboard (MDF) with a circular saw. The board should fit exactly over the top of the two attached shoe organizers. Rout the front and side edges of the MDF with a router equipped with an edge router bit, to give the edges a decorative profile.

  • Paint the MDF board gloss enamel white to match white organizers and shelves, or black if you’ve chosen wood-veneer organizers and towers.

  • Position the MDF on top of the shoe organizers and drill 1/8-inch pilot holes up through the underside of each organizer’s top. Drill four holes in each organizer. Screw the MDF seat to the top of the organizers by driving #10 x 1-inch flathead wood screws up through the tops, into the underside of the MDF. Slide the cubby dividers into the slots in the organizers to complete the bench.

Installation

  • Place the bench into position against the wall, making sure that the front faces away from the wall. Check for level using a 4-foot carpenter’s level and shim under the bench as necessary to level it.

  • Position a shelf tower on either side of the shoe organizer bench. Check the towers for level and plumb, adjusting the leveling feet as necessary.

  • Position the L-brackets at the top and bottom of the towers, and mark the mounting holes on the wall and inside surfaces of each tower. Drill ¼-inch pilot holes at the wall marks, and 1/16 pilot holes at the marks on the tower side panels.

  • Screw the L-brackets in place to the wall and towers, using the supplied screws. Use a 30-pound wall anchor if the bracket is not on top of a stud.

  • Mark the center point on the wall between the inside edges of the shelf towers, at the top. Use a carpenter’s level to draw a reference line level with the top of the towers.

  • Measure and mark the center of the hook rail. Position the hook rail on the wall with the top following the level line, and the center at the center mark. Mark the screw locations on the wall through the mounting holes in the rail.

  • Drill 3/32-inch pilot holes for the screws or larger pilot holes for wall anchors, as needed. Screw the hook rail in place with the supplied screws.

  • Install the shelves in the towers according to what you’re storing and how you want the shelves configured. Use the supplied shelf hangers. Add bins or boxes—and a seat pad for the bench—as desired, to complete the storage system.

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References

  • “Same Place, More Space: 50 Projects to Maximize Every Room in the House”; Karl Champley and Karen Kelly
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