Right inside our back door (which used to be our entrance until the lock got hard to get your key in/out) is our furnace & laundry room. Our washer space is full with our stackable washer/dryer, our dryer space is full with our upright freezer. Since there's no "room" per se, it's just out in what should be a small hallway, there is no extra space for a bench/table, etc.
When bil replaced our furnace 3 years ago, he had to cut a hole in the wall, which he never re-covered. So, I had bought a sheet of pegboard at Home Depot (it fit perfectly), and made a "door" (so it can still be serviced) with the pegboard, hinges and a hook/eye latch. I bought pegboard hooks. Each child has a hook for their coats and one for their bookbags. They also hang any seasonally needed items there (hats, gloves, scarves, etc) and their umbrellas, it works perfectly, and takes up no more space than just a piece of sheetrock would have:)