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The Best Organizing Tips

A Mudroom Gets Made Over

Beth Ann Kempf’s 200-year-old house has no downstairs closets, so her entry hall has to work overtime. Real Simple reclaimed the spot to improve the family’s overall exit strategy. Here’s how. 

Three-drawer shoe cabinet holding several pairs of shoes
Bjorn Wallander
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After: Scattered Shoes Get a Smart Filing System

Permanent Residence for Every Pair
In Beth Ann’s perfect world, the kids would take their shoes from the entry to their bedrooms each evening. In reality, sneakers and cleats live by the door; easy-access cabinets with drop-down doors house and hide them. Each family member has a cabinet, which keeps the peace. “No one crosses over into another’s shoe territory,” says Beth Ann. Steel cabinets can be wiped down with all-purpose cleaner. And at six inches deep when closed, they allow pathways to stay clear.

To buy: Three-drawer shoe cabinets, $119 each, containerstore.com.

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