Corral Clutter with a Mudroom

(Family Features) Positioned near the busiest door, mudrooms are quickly becoming a must-have in many family homes. These organizational dynamos are the perfect place to catch muddy boots, backpacks, sports equipment and dirty paws before they make it all the way into the main living area.

Luxurious mudrooms in high-end homes boast custom cabinetry, full bathrooms, laundry facilities, showers for pets and direct pantry access. Attached home offices for moms are also becoming common.

Regardless of whether your new mudroom is an actual room or just a small space near the front door, the organizational basics are the same:

Corral Clutter: The most important item in any mudroom is storage for shoes, pet supplies, backpacks and sporting equipment. If built-in storage isn't in your budget, put up sturdy shelving with a bin or basket for each family member.

Get Hooked: Securely anchor a row of strong hooks along the wall for coats, hats, scarves or beach bags.

Mud Happens: Mudrooms are meant to handle dirt so nix the carpet and lay down tile or hardwood floors. Pick a pretty rug to catch dirt in its tracks.

Shoe Space: Place a wooden bench or sturdy coffee table near the door so everyone has a place to sit while taking shoes on and off. Slide a few baskets or bins underneath to store backpacks, shoes and sports gear.

Take Command: Create a family command center by adding a small cabinet or desk with a corkboard above. It's the perfect spot to stash keys, charge cell phones, open mail, sort school papers and post the family calendar.