We don’t have a mudroom (yet?), and so when the kids come in, their shoes, boots, and jackets make a mess of the floor by the back door and small laundry room. We usually go in and out by the garage door, because it’s easier for me to herd them to and from the car that way.
I’ve been trying to think of a good mudroom-like solution for the area just by the entry door. I have a mini split up above, and a narrow shelving unit below it. A small storage bench, where my kids can put their shoes on and off, and a place to store boots and other regular but not everyday gear, seems like a good idea.
With all that in mind, I hope you can appreciate how and why this Husky storage bench caught my attention.
Previously, I had considered going with two vented Ikea cabinets, and lining its top and sides with wood butcherblock material, similar to a display that used to have at my local store.
But, how well would the particle board construction hold up when used as a bench?
This Husky storage bench looks a little sturdier, and it’s said to have a 400 pound weight capacity. They say it’s a two-seat sitting space, but it looks more spacious than that suggests.
I’m not convinced that my kids will sit on this to put theirs shoes on or take them off, at least not on a daily basis, it seems like a good place for snow boot removal, and things like that. Coupled with some hooks above, and maybe a backing to protect the wall, and it might help in reducing clutter and dirt at the bottleneck that is our rear entryway. Maybe.
The Husky storage bench has 2 sliding doors, and 1 removable shelf.
Sliding doors are a good way to save on space. I toyed with the idea of making something like this from 80/20 aluminum rails (which I admittedly love and probably over-use), but my DIY version called for open shelves on the bottom. I wouldn’t want hinged doors, but sliding doors seem like an acceptable way to provide some covered storage for shoes and what-not. And if wet stuff is put away, which is probably a no-no, it can be left open to dry out.
The unit measures 48″ wide x 20″ tall x 18″ deep.
The removable shelf has a weight capacity of up to 50 lbs, and the bottom shelf panel can support up to 150 lbs. Total weight capacity, including the 400 lbs top weight capacity, is 600 lbs.
There are adjustable feet, which are necessary for my garage floor.
Husky says that the unit can withstand extreme temperatures, high humidity, and everyday wear and tear to last for years.
They also mention that it provides a nice place to rest after working in the garage or a place to shot and take your shoes off in the mudroom.
I’m increasingly liking the idea of this Husky bench. The full-height section can be used for boots, and the other section for shoes.
I had been putting off my DIY project because I’ve been wanting to tie in an upper hook and back component with a bottom bench component, and my mind’s been changing about what I want or need. But a bottom section like this seems nearly perfect, and will give me some time to customize the top.
I find myself wondering if the metal construction is sturdy enough, but similar construction is often sturdy enough for tool boxes and mobile workbenches. I sit on those from time to time, and without any stability issues. So a small unit like this should be plenty sturdy.
Price: $215.20 plus $24.99 delivery (at least for my zip), or free “ship to store.”
Buy Now(via Home Depot)
User reviews on Home Depot’s website seem to be pretty positive.
What do you think – yay or nay for being a shoe and boot catch-all?
The price has me on the fence, but maybe it’ll go on sale as part of a deal of the day or Fall storage sale.
I wouldn’t want doors at all if I were storing boots and shoes in it. Too much hassle to put the shoes away each time – but then again, that depends if you’re storing all the shoes in it, all of the time. I.e. if you also have room to kick a pair of shoes to the side when you’re going in and out of the door and this is more for shoes/boots that aren’t being used everyday, then I like it a lot.
Koko the Talking Ape
If it were me, I would look at open shelves, maybe that semi-commercial wire shelving made by Metro, Global, Uline, etc. Super sturdy and flexible. The wire shelves allow air and light to enter. You can also add casters, etc. They sell a few solid shelf options for the top, or you can just cut a piece of plywood to fit on top of a wire shelf. Maybe the kids could help decorate the top! Cover their artwork with a few coats of clear poly.
It might be fun to think about adding interior lights to whatever option you choose. LEDs are very flexible and cheap. Battery power would probably do.
If your kids are anything like the kids I know, they like having their own designated spaces. So maybe each kid could get his own plastic bin on a shelf to throw their shoes into.
I have a small wire shelving thing in the space now, but am really looking for a bench-type setup.
Maybe a unified bench and then I can make plywood cubbies painted with bathroom/kitchen water-resistant finish.
Their stuff typically comes into the house – lunchboxes, backpack, so there’s really more of a need for just jacket storage. I’m hesitant about cubbies rather than a hook, because nothing will ever dry. This would be right under the mini-split, and so there wouldn’t be much airflow. I guess it’s only a concern when it rains or snows, and even then I can hang things up inside like I’ve been doing.
Koko the Talking Ape
You can make a bench with wire shelving using the stock posts and shelves. If necessary, cut the posts to the right size with an angle grinder or that cool Milwaukee cutoff tool coming out. Then add a top, as I mentioned.
They also make a hanger rail, just a horizontal truss about 1 1/2″ wide. If you make a bench with the rear posts tall, a few of those would provide a place to hang little coats.
They also make cantilever shelves:
and hanger tubes to mount underneath them:
so you kind of have a free-standing wardrobe.
There are also bins that slide into supports:
that might be good for boots, etc.
I am not really a wire-shelving fanboi, but it is a very versatile system. I nearly built a desk/bookshelf with it, but an IKEA Ivar setup was cheaper. But the Ivar system is nowhere near as versatile, or sturdy.
Yeah, the cubbies wouldn’t do for wet stuff. Jackets definitely need to hang.
I’ll take a closer look. Metro stuff isn’t cheap. The pricing doesn’t seem too bad, but if I’m to do any modification, my inclination shifts to 80/20 aluminum, since it’s so much easier for me to work with.
Did you know Ikea has a similar system, Komplement, that is designed to fill out the insides of their Pax wardrobes? But I’m it could be used with your own hardware, and the selection is a bit different than Metro’s.
BTW, I like the Ivar system, but it does have its limitations.
My first reaction was “where’s the ventilation”. A damp shoe or boot is a great breeding ground for mold and fungus.
based off the size not much good for any use over priced shoe cabinet
I agree with Koko about the airing/drying out, kids accessibility and doorless ease of use. And parental observation. Closed doors make it hard for a parent to know what was placed back or not too. Especially on an early morning school day.
We’ve tried everything over the years and actually sitting on it isn’t high up on a kid’s mind. Just access and convenience. Nothing is higher on their probability of use scale.
Hmm, maybe everyday shoes can simply be in front of the unit. The problem is more with boots and things that aren’t worn daily. They end up moved, and moved again, and hidden under something, and then when needed, it takes me 10 minutes.
My main need is for a “sit down and take your shoes off without touching the walls, or dumping your stuff right behind the door and in the hallway” spot.
Perfect idea….that is a great solution. Open shelves? Looking at dirty ,smelly sneakers,boots ? No…i have to assume your house is as beautiful as your making your garage.
I’d add a cushion ” pleather” or easy care top…that Husky frame is a beast I’m sure. I have the Husky 8 ft work bench and it’s ridiculously strong…
Neatly out of site , yes…open mess ,hell no…..shelves above and coat racks
Sounds like a good and cheap way to solve your mud room issue. Nice
Man cave coffee table.
Gardener’ Supply (www.gardeners.com) sells a plastic boot tray for $25 that is 46 1/2″ x 15 1/2″. Sounds like it might fit to protect the bottom of the cabinet and keep water from running out on the floor.
build your own basic bench maybe. We happen to have an alcove in the walkway to our garage door it’s by the laundry room. So I did bench it off but left the bottom open – and there are as you describe coat hooks up above with another shelf above that yet.
I’d think you could be under 200 for a decent bench – but then again time into work.
If I got that I’d probably want to take the sliding doors off.
I had purchased the Husky adjustable height workbench thinking that the hardwood block top would be similar to heft and quality of the Gladiator workbench already in my garage but that was not the case. Although the top of the Husky looked the same on the website in practice it gets scratched and gouged quite easily. I can’t say for sure if the top of this Husky storage bench is the same as the Husky workbench I bought but you may wish to check the top in person prior to purchase.
I just saw workshopaddict video about a dewalt bench https://www.homedepot.com/p/DEWALT-20-in-H-x-50-in-W-x-18-in-D-Garage-Bench-with-Wire-Grid-Storage-Shelf-DXSTFB048/304354743 that is a similar size. Seems more beefy. And costs about half as much. It is also open so it would dry better and be easier to clean (you could drag it outside and just hose it all off)
That thing looks really nice. Makes me wish I had a place to put one.
Good find Mattd. That Dewalt bench looks pretty sweet. Now if I could just finagle a vets discount.
I agree with @Nathan. That’s what we did too.
Personally, I wouldn’t like a Husky logo in my living space. Garage, great. But not the house. Maybe it’s removable.
We had a wooden bench built with coat/hat hooks up above and open space below that has two of these metal boot trays:
As others have noted, lots of mudrooms get benches bought or field-fabricated then installed. It was one of the most popular requested built-ins that we did. We did box-seats, open cubbies under a bench (some to accommodate trays or plastic /wicker bins or more elaborate constructions with wainscoting or ones with upper shelves and coat hooks too.
You can make or buy. I see that HD offers some choices:
The Husky stuff looks great and would probably hold up under reasonable adult use, but for kids, I’d suspect it’d get beat up and get dented and dinged and eventually the doors wouldn’t work, if they’d even put stuff inside it to begin with.
Closed-in benches really aren’t great for storing footwear, even dry boots/shoes stink and putting multiple pairs in an enclosed space can be overpowering when you release the stench by opening a door.
I’d say something like plastic shelving is the best option for storing/stacking footwear, since it won’t rust like metal baker racks. Maybe get one of those plastic catch-all boot mats or something similar for taking off muddy/wet footwear and letting it dry for the next use.
My experience is you really need a dedicated mudroom or similar space right inside the door, preferably with a tile floor, heavy-duty mats/rugs, and a way to transition from outdoor/wet/dirty shoes to indoor/dry/clean shoes/slippers/whatever to get people, whether adults or children, to consistently get them to actually remove their footwear when entering.
Either that, or just tile the whole house to make cleanup easier when walking around the place with dirty boots/shoes.
Your post made me think about a hanging shoe rack of some sort. Here’s a random one I found on Amazon, though it could be any other material or shape, so just the concept and not necessarily over the door. https://www.amazon.com/Organize-Over-Door-Pair-Hanging/dp/B002F92P4S
Here’s another one for kids shoes. https://www.amazon.com/LUCKSTAR-Children-Shoe-Rack-Organizer/dp/B06X1CXTN7/
Maybe something that works as a dedicated area for each child’s coat, gloves, backpack, etc. Many kids do well if they have a very specific place for each thing, then you reward them when they use it. Praise, treats, special trips, etc.
If you label the places for each kid’s shoes, using colorful labels/pictures for each child’s shoes, or even two smaller racks one for each, they might be more inclined to use them. Then they can see if anything’s missing, and so can you. So, say your kids like superheroes, or any other character, or have an interest in rocks., certain music, Whatever their favorite things are in other words. It’s a lot of work, but so is looking for kid’s stuff, being late, etc.
I made a small folding bench/step for my grandson and he likes to hang out on it because it’s his with his name on the underside. He’ll outgrow it for sitting, but still something that’s his. This was my first thought when I read your post, then Koko made the same point.
I have mixed feelings about the doors on the Husky bench, too. The Dewalt bench looked sturdy and appropriate but DW yellow is not a color of most furniture. If in black it might be ok.
Well, I meant just to mention a shoe rack but it turned into a whole riff on making a space kids will use. If they are in pre-school, you could ask the teachers there what they think. They are the experts on getting kids to put things away,
That’s what I ended up having to do with my house. Installed tile, hardwood and laminate flooring for the whole house. Removed all carpeting. Wallpapered the laundry room/mud room for the purpose of wall stains. That was one of the first things the wife made me do when we bought the house. What I did was build a book case out of 1×10 for the entire wall. 3 shelves at 12″ in between each one for shoes and a cross bar for jackets and another 16″ shelf at the top. Between myself, the wife and our 2 boys it works well for us. It beats having to look for something that they could hide in a bench with sliding shelves underneath it. Especially when it has a nice ripe smell that’ll put you on your back.