Mudrooms are an essential transition area in many homes. It’s the place where your family pulls things together as they head out the door each day—and where they dump everything as they walk back in.
It’s easy to let a mudroom get cluttered and dirty, but when you organize your mudroom, you help everyone save time getting out the door and you’ll limit those urgent searches for that missing shoe, hat or glove. Turning your mudroom into a functional, attractive space isn’t difficult with the right storage and organization. And the transformation doesn’t have to break the bank.
Set Up Your Mudroom for Success
If you’re moving into a new home, you have a blank slate for making your mudroom the space it should be. Even if you’ve been in your home for years, there are plenty of ways to make the most of your mudroom.
Forget the lush carpet or shiny wood floors and choose something durable like stone, brick or ceramic tile. If you are on a budget, vinyl is a durable choice and offers many options for color and design to match your home. Remember the soles of shoes may be wet; so select a textured flooring to prevent accidents.
Functionality is the most important aspect of setting up a mudroom, but that doesn’t mean there’s no room for a pleasing décor. Your mudroom is still part of your home and it deserves to look just as great as any other room. A fresh coat of paint, accent pieces that are functional and attractive and other decorative touches can make your mudroom a more pleasant space. Who knows—those decorative touches may even cause the kids to think twice about making the mudroom a big mess.
Once you have the design down, organize your mudroom based on how your family will use the space. If you have children, create shelves and storage areas with easy access. As you design, keep in mind storage solutions like hooks for hanging, bins for toys and sporting goods, shelves for shoes, supplies and more. Add a bench to your mudroom to motivate everyone to take their shoes off before tracking dirt into the house.
Tips to Help You Organize Your Mudroom
Install Lockers or Cabinets
Enclosed storage is invaluable in a mudroom. From backpacks and coats to shoes and athletic gear, a storage area with doors keeps things organized and out of sight.
The Case for Baskets
Baskets, bins and boxes are perfect for helping you organize your mudroom. You can designate bins for specific items or assign each member of your family their own basket.
Keep Umbrellas Conveniently Located
Any decent-sized cylinder can serve as an umbrella keeper. There are plenty of suitable containers at most decorating stores, so get creative and make it your own. You can also use this handy container for baseball bats and similar stick-like items.
Install Hat Storage
Wall storage ideas are often overlooked. Use that open space for a shelf, hooks or another setup for handy hat storage. Hats are notorious for being left behind as your kids rush out the door, so keep them where they will be the easiest to access.
Create a Message Center
Since most of your family will pass through your mudroom at least once a day, a prominent message center for notes, calendars and reminders is a great addition.
Make the Most of Your Doors
When you organize your mudroom, include utilizing the doors. Over-the-door storage options like shoe racks, fabric cubbies and other options helps you extend your storage space. If you have an exterior and interior door for your mudroom, be sure to use both of them.
Hang a Mirror
It can be handy to have a mirror in your mudroom for last-minute checks before you walk out the door or to fix windblown hair after you come inside. Plus, it adds a nice decorative touch.
Even if you’re not moving into a new place or remodeling, protecting your walls where they’re most vulnerable makes sense. Install some durable wainscotting on the lower third of your mudroom walls and prevent all those dings and scratches you get with plain sheetrock.
Cubbies Aren’t Just for School
Even with plenty of cabinets, shelves and other storage areas, you can always use more. Install cubbies in your open wall space, behind doors or any other place you can. Sure, they will inevitably collect clutter but it’s better than having those items just laying all over the place.
Tips to Transform Your Cluttered Mudroom
If the weather’s good, haul everything outside and begin organizing from there. Be objective and sort through everything so that you can part with all the stuff you never use. If you have things that shouldn’t have been in your mudroom in the first place, put them where they belong. Take advantage of the empty space and wipe everything down.
Now that you have a clean mudroom, it’s time to add ways to keep it that way.
Even if you have durable flooring in the mudroom, place a mat inside and outside your entry door to catch dirt. Use a mat outside you can rinse off and place a washable one indoors.
Create an indoor drip tray for wet shoes, snow-crusted boots and umbrellas. You can purchase one or make your own with a metal rack and plastic catch basin to keep your mudroom dry. Add a boot scraper outside next to the door in snowy or muddy areas to keep as much dirt outside as possible.
Consider installing shelving from floor to ceiling to get even more use out of your mudroom. Inexpensive shelving like wire racks makes it easy to rotate your family’s seasonal gear. Store out-of-season items up high and in-season items down low.
Set aside a spot for pet food storage, leashes and toys. The mudroom also makes a good place to keep your pets’ food and water bowls.
To help keep each family member organized, assign a personal area or dedicate a bin to each person. These cabinets, cubbies and shelves can hold all their stuff.
Since your mudroom will be taking the brunt of all that dirt and mud from outside, be sure to keep it clean and dry. Check it periodically for mold and mildew and clean it.
Organize Your Mudroom and Get Everyone On Board
Now that you’ve overhauled your mudroom and turned it into a functional space, you have to make sure everyone is on board to keep it clean and uncluttered. Nobody said you have to do it all yourself. Unless you want to go through this cleaning and organizing ritual over and over, lay down some ground rules and do some delegating.
All those cubbies and shelves and organization will be for nothing unless your family uses them. Set some house rules for taking off shoes, hanging up wet clothes, putting things where they belong and other behaviors that promote staying organized. Use your message area for reminders and follow up frequently. Do these things enough and you may create some habits that will help you keep things clean and uncluttered.
Whether you use a weekly cleaning calendar or a list of chores, make sure the mudroom makes the list. Make it clear that this space is for everyone, so everyone is responsible for keeping it in shape.
For help getting your mudroom, or any other room, in shape, let The Maids help out. We’ve got the know-how and the experience to clean your home top to bottom.