If you don’t live in a city apartment – it’s likely you’ve got a house with a mudroom.
And I would define “mudroom” as being the first open space you enter as you come in – probably via the garage. It often has hooks for hanging coats and gear.
But it can be so much more with some thoughtful planning.
Following are some tips and questions to ask yourself if you’re trying to organize your mudroom:
1) Define your storage needs. How many people are going to need storage space within this space? Will each one have his/her own “locker” space?
2) Define which coats and outerwear are for casual, everyday wear and which are more formal. Store formal coats in the front coat closet if space in the mudroom is tight.
3) Some closed storage is essential if you’re trying to maintain some semblance of order. Consider an armoire or built-ins that can have open and closed options that are designed to accommodate your specific family needs.
4) Determine how you want to keep all the hats, gloves and scarves accessible yet organized. Pullout baskets are often the best solution because they allow air circulation in case items are damp.
5) Hooks. It’s not a mudroom without hooks. Inside lockers, divided into sections, along the wall (and above the heating vent), plan on space for hooks.
6) Incorporate seating for taking off and putting on shoes. Design it so there are a couple of shelves underneath for convenient shoe storage.
7) Mirrors add a nice touch and allow for a quick last look on the way out the door.
8) If this becomes the home for the recycle center, make sure it’s organized, easy and not completely open.
9) Consider a laundry basket/tilt hamper for items you know need to make it to the washing machine.
10) If you’re building new space or remodeling, incorporating a heating vent in this space will help dry wet mittens and coats.
11) If you’re really doggin’ it, have a “hose down” area to clean off the family pet after a rainy day walk.
Mudrooms are often referred to as “drop zones” for good reason. If yours deserves this title make sure you incorporate lots of hooks for backpacks, jackets and gear. Find a space for seating so you can sit down when taking your shoes on and off and have accessible spaces to store those shoes – like shelving beneath your bench.