While a foyer welcomes guests to your home, it’s probably a mudroom that greets you at the end of the day. Does yours make you happy you’re home – or remind you that you’ve got laundry to do and nowhere to store your shoes?
Creating a welcoming mudroom isn’t difficult. It just takes a little planning and a few easy tools. Here are five easy steps for creating an organized space:
1. Identify the tasks your mudroom needs to tackle. Is this the place to store shoes? Coats? Backpacks? Does the mudroom also contain your laundry setup? What about sports gear or summer supplies, such as a pool bag, backyard toys and sunscreen? Determine what you need your mudroom to do and you’ve completed the first step in designing it properly.
2. Assess your current storage. A lot of mudrooms – especially if they double duty as laundry rooms – already have cabinets. Is the storage adequate? If not, is it possible to add more cabinets or open shelves? If you have wall and floor space, you might consider a freestanding bookshelf or cabinet. Having a piece of furniture will make the space feel more like a room than just a pass-through. And if you are working with open shelves, consider decorative storage tools, such as baskets or boxes. Simply putting your dryer sheets inside a nice box will give the room a finished look.
3. Consider seating. A place to sit is a smart addition if you have the space. A bench with storage can serve double duty – a place to put on or take off your shoes and a place to stash them at the end of the day. A bench is also helpful for storing things like gloves and hats, as well as cleaning supplies.
4. Use wall space. If your cabinet space is limited, utilize hooks to organize bags and jackets. You might also consider hanging a bulletin or white board in the mudroom, using this area as a command central for the family’s weekly activities.
5. Create zones. Finally, keep your mudroom organized by giving each member of the family his or her own “zone.” Whether it’s a cabinet, basket, cubbie or drawer, provide space for shoes, backpacks, clothes and equipment. If there’s a mess, it will be easy enough to see who isn’t doing their job.