Do you have a designated space to put your shoes, bags and jacket when you walk in the door of your home? What about when it’s pouring rain and you’ve got muddy kids in tow? Even if you live in an apartment or only have a narrow hallway to work with, it’s possible to create an effective “mudroom” where you can unload your family’s clutter.
A mudroom can help prevent mess from entering the house, serve as additional storage space and create a tranquil transition from your busy work day into your home.
Here are ten tips for creating an efficient, organized, and well-decorated mudroom.
1) Pick a Strategic Location
If you’re short on extra space, a mudroom doesn’t necessarily have to be a single room; an adjacent pantry, laundry room, or a closet for cleaning supplies could be transformed into a mudroom. Think creatively about what areas of your home you could use for this purpose.
2) Take Stock of Your Family’s Activities
How will your family utilize the mudroom? Make a list of the various objects that are likely to make their way to the space during different times of the year. Does your family ski? Do your kids bike to school? Do you need a place for your gardening supplies? If so, you’ll need ample storage for the equipment.
3) Make Smart Storage Choices
You don’t need to invest in custom, built-in storage for your mudroom; cubbies, hanging hooks, and wall-mounted shelves can help you corral your family’s belongings. When designing the space, be sure to consider the effect of the weather on your storage needs: will there be wet rain jackets, muddy boots, and a bunch of soggy umbrellas to store?
- Ventilated wire shelves will help wet clothing dry quickly.
- Add pegs to keep wet jackets, hats, purses, and umbrellas out of the way.
- A laundry basket to collect everyone’s wet clothing will help prevent mess from creeping into the house.
- Keep towels and extra clean clothes to dry off in the mudroom.
4) Don’t Forget All Those Shoes
Cubbies to organize everyone’s shoes are a must. Think about the various types of footwear that the cubbies will need to store (soccer cleats, sneakers, snow boots). For each family member, try to keep a pair of clean, dry shoes nearby. Do your kids often bring over friends after school or practice? Remember to keep in mind visitor when designing your mudroom.
5) Divvy Up the Space
Consider getting locker-like storage units for each member of the family. To help keep things organized, you can also personalize each family member’s storage area by labeling each section by name. This will be especially helpful if one family member (not to name names) tends to be messier than others. Color coding personalized storage areas can be a fun way to add style the mudroom, too.
6) Height-Appropriate Hooks
Regardless of how much room you have, it’s always a good idea to utilize wall space. By placing shelving and pegs at the appropriate height for each family member’s reach, you’ll increase the likelihood that coats will be placed where they belong. Don’t forget to adjust the hooks as the kids grow.
7) Invest in a Bench
A bench serves as a comfortable and practical spot for putting on and taking off shoes before dirt from outside is dragged indoors. Many benches also provide storage, too. If you have a big family, make sure the bench can seat a few people. If the bench has a cushioned seat, choose a darker fabric to disguise any dirt that it might pick up.
8) Durable Flooring
To ensure that your mudroom can withstand years of muddy boots and rainy jackets, choose practical flooring, such as stone, concrete, tile, or brick, or another material that’s durable, moisture-proof and easy to clean. Select rugs that won’t skid and that you can throw into the wash. Fiber mats can add to the décor while also collecting dirt before it makes its way into the house.
9) Decorate with a Purpose
A mudroom could potentially be a visitor’s first impression of your home, so you’ll want the space to be organized and to express your style.
- Adding a wall color is an easy and cost-effective way to spruce up the mudroom. Be sure to choose paint that’s mildew resistant, moisture proof and easy to clean.
- A mirror can add to the décor and make a smaller space look bigger; it’s also a practical addition if you want to get one last look before you head out the door.
- Is your kids’ art work taking over your refrigerator door? Get a bulletin board to showcase your kids’ art projects. A bulletin board can also serve as a communication hub for important family reminders.
10) Don’t Forget the Pets
If pets are an important part of the family, make sure there’s room for your furry friends in the mudroom. Hooks and pegs can help you store leashes and a basket is a good place to keep toys from taking over the living room.
Is there an area in your home that would make a good mudroom? What will you do with all the newfound space in your home once the clutter is contained to this designated area?