Update Your Mudroom Into an Organized and Functional Family Central
If you’re lucky enough to have a mudroom in your house, you know how valuable these flexible and functional spaces can be for a family in every season of the busy year. This multi-purpose room combines the efficiency of a bedroom closet, entryway coat closet, kid’s toy chest, and guest reception area. While your mudroom might not be your official front door, you’ll probably find yourself using it as your main entrance more often than not.Before you give your mudroom an overhaul, make a wish list of everything you’d like to store there and how you’d like it to flow with the rest of your home. The more specific you can be when envisioning how the room will be used in each season of the year, the more innovative and custom-tailored your design will be. Here are some brainstorming tips to inspire you on the path to better organization and space utilization.
Have a seat
You’ll definitely want a shallow bench area where people can sit while taking off shoes and muddy boots. Hardwood or a cushion with fabric? Balance functionality and efficiency with a design that integrates into your existing home décor. Design the bench open to the floor so guests can tuck shoes underneath.
Hang it up
Use sturdy coat hooks for hanging outerwear, backpacks, scarves, totes, and purses. Use double rows to maximize space, and remember to place several low-hanging hooks within easy reach for kids.
Store it away
Give every family member his or her own storage space, whether it’s an enclosed locker or a built-in, open cubbie. Open cubbies with slide-out baskets in polished chrome, satin nickel, or oil rubbed bronze give kids handy places to store schoolbooks, gloves, hats, and toys. Choose fabric-lined wicker baskets for a softer feel.
Hidden storage cupboards help keep a neater presentation, so if space permits, you might go with floor-to-ceiling cabinetry. Allocate one cupboard for use as a utility closet to hold brooms, snow shovels, and rakes.
Even if you’re short on space, an L-shaped floor-to-ceiling storage unit can provide a lot of room for holding necessities. Use a freestanding trunk to store heavy winter overcoats and sweaters out of season, freeing up precious bedroom closet space. The flat top can double as seating.
For the athletes
Designate heavy hooks for helmets, caps, facemasks, and goggles. Use freestanding, open receptacles to hold golf clubs, skis, tennis racquets, and umbrellas. Floor-to-ceiling, locker-style cabinets are great for storing your ski equipment and hockey gear year round.
For the four-leggeds
No more “Honey! Where’s the leash?” scrambling when it’s time to take Brutus out for his business break. Install a short row of hooks right next to the door to hold a variety of pet gear necessities, such as leashes, spare collars, and of course -- the canine rain poncho.
The mudroom provides an ideal location for Miss Kitty’s private potty. Instead of an unsightly and messy open or domed plastic litter box, opt for a custom designed, enclosed cabinet made of wicker, reclaimed wood, or MDF. No more scattered litter, and no more odors wafting through the living areas. Design it so that the top surface acts as a feeding station, keeping food and water off the floor and away from the D.O.G.
- Add a charging station for iPods or computers to keep them off the kitchen counter.
- Store recycling bins in the mudroom for easy transport.
- Place a full-length mirror next to the door for a once-over before you leave home.
- Accessorize the space with artwork, family photos, and treasured collectibles to bring a warm and personalized touch to your very functional and organized new mudroom.