I had the strangest one-sided conversation with my husband. It went something like this.
Hubby: “So when is this mudbath thing happening?”
Mud bath. OMG. Napa Valley. He’s taking me to a day spa.
Hubby: “You know, with the hooks and the bags?”
Oh. The mudroom. Snap back to reality mama.
He’s referring to the mountain of shoes, bags and coats lying everywhere. The tiny narrow space with no place to sit or store anything.
Does this mess sound familiar?
First, let’s clear the air on what a mudroom actually is, and avoid false hopes for muddy romance in the future.
The mudroom is just another word for an entryway. It’s the transitional space dedicated to helping get the family up, out and ready to go each day. Mudrooms also prevent outdoor snow and dirt from traveling inside.
They’ve become so popular that many newly built houses offer attractive ready-made solutions.
Only problem is, not everyone’s at the stage of buying a new home.
So, unless you’re married to a carpenter who can build you a mudroom from scratch yesterday, where do you begin?
Aside from envy-worthy idea books, there’s just not a whole lot out there to get your mudroom mojo going.
With no blueprint to follow, my family’s mudroom was made-over by some demolition, thrifting, IKEA and trial and error. In that order.
It’s your turn to deal head-on with your entryway clutter.
Let’s save you some precious time. Here’s a simple guide to jumpstart your good intentions into action.
Put on your sneakers mama, we’re taking a walk. Your new mudroom awaits.
Planning your Mudroom Makeover
Simple plans go a long way when creating a user-friendly and efficient mudroom.
Think about how your mudroom can meet your personal needs and solve your biggest problem.
Here are a list of common priorities to prime your mind.
What’s Your Greatest Need?
- Corralling clutter
- Organizing the family
- Storage solutions for outerwear, hobbies and gardening
- Designated spot for shoes, school bags, pet supplies and outdoor accessories
Can you pinpoint your greatest problem? Let’s keep walking.
To prevent your hardworking mudroom from getting lazy, decluttering is a must.
Creating an efficient, clutter-free mudroom from the beginning will only make your life easier.
Consider these points as part of your plan:
- Identify stuff used regularly. Think keys, coats, footwear, purses, school bags, laptop bags and other accessories like hats and scarves for each member of your family (pets included). All other out of season things can be stored away elsewhere.
- Designate space for everything. Aim to create zones in your mudroom to hold your regular use items. If possible, create a designated zone for each family member to put their stuff. Make it easy to see and simple enough to use that everyone in your household can follow.
- Use a combination of storage options. Most mudrooms serve as both a drop zone and grab and go area. You will need storage that can conceal loose items, yet be accessible enough for your kids.
Almost done with planning. But first, the biggest decision yet.
Let’s take a short water break to think this one through.
Custom-Build or Freestanding
Deciding whether to create a custom built-in storage unit or buy freestanding pieces will set the course for what’s to come in completing your mudroom.
Here are some pros and cons for each.
If you’ve weighed out your options and know which one works best for your family, let’s move on.
Time to tighten your sneakers. We’re power-walking through what every mudroom should have.
This list is by no means exhaustive, but will get you started with the absolute must-haves.
Think about the way you would use your mudroom. Most of the time it’s set-up for a quick entry and exit.
Hooks allow you to do just that. By hanging your keys, coats, sweaters and hats, you’ll get out the door faster than if these were placed on hangers or stored in a box.
Double hooks do double-duty allowing you to hang clothes and hats neatly on each one.
If you’ve got children, consider hanging a row of hooks at their level or getting a portable coat stand to promote independence.
A bench just makes life easier, especially if you live in a home with kids or older folks (or tired mommies).
Having a place to sit for the daily task of putting on and taking off footwear saves time and a lot of energy.
Benches come in all different styles, shapes and functions. Built-in storage is a bonus for large families. Where simple farm-house style ones can add charm to an otherwise boring space.
When it comes to storage, there’s no shortage of options. Ranging from cubbies, to drawers to bright-colored containers or woven baskets.
The bottom line is, your choice in storage should serve the purpose of getting you and your family more organized. Even if it means sacrificing style over function.
Experts consider ceramic tile to be the most practical, affordable flooring option for mudrooms. They’re easy to clean, durable and low maintenance.
The best part? The tiles can easily be installed as your next DIY weekend project.
Choice of size, shape and color is a cinch when sourcing from specialty sites like Build Direct.
Make your mudroom work harder so you don’t have to.
By having a command center to manage family life at your entryway, you’ll be the most organized mom ever.
Typical “do-it-all” centers consist of:
- A family calendar including weekly menu.
- A family shopping list (including groceries).
- Inboxes for each family member.
- A system for mail and messages.
A utility sink is definitely nice to have, but it should come last in your mudroom makeover.
Having a sink is great for things like:
- Watering indoor plants.
- Cleaning up mud from shoes, paint from brushes and other small messes.
- Quick washing of dirt from clothes, kids and pets.
Finally, there’s no sense putting work into any part of your home unless the result is something you’ll love coming home to.
That includes the mudroom.
Let your personality shine and add touches of color and comfort to your new space.
By doing so, you’ll reflect your own unique style and values and even brighten your mood.
Well mama, that was quite the stroll. Take off your shoes, we are done for the day.
We’ve not only burned a few calories together, but we’ve made some serious headway on turning your good intentions into realistic action.
With this guide as your blueprint, there’s not much that can get in your way. Time to make your mudroom dreams come true.
Give the boot (literally) to clutter at the door and in no time you and your family will be stepping into a room you love.
The mudroom is only the beginning my friend. The rest of your oasis called home awaits.
What’s been your greatest mudroom or entryway challenge? Let’s connect – leave a comment below.