Moving from outdoors to your homey interior is easier when a dedicated utility room buffers the transition. Not every home is properly equipped with an entryway designed to absorb the impact of outdoor conditions, so make the most of your mudroom.
Limiting the amount of the outside world getting tracked through your home is job number one – especially in Michigan and Pennsylvania winters when weather is at its worst. Snow, ice, and rain bring boots, parkas and other gear out of storage every year, posing challenges for families bracing for winter.
As you set the stage for mudroom success, let your lifestyle guide you to the most sensible solutions for keeping your utility room in order. Consider each family member’s needs, so you can outfit entryways with custom features that address them.
Boots and Shoes
Mudrooms are aptly named for their ability to deflect dirt and other slop from outside. The only way to keep snowy, slushy residue out of your home is to account for shedding footwear in the mudroom. Boot trays and mats minimize filth where shoes are taken off, allowing water to pool and evaporate before it gets spread around.
Successful mudroom organization also includes storage for shoes and boots, so back-up footwear is always available for family members on-the-go. Built-in racks and hanging shoe bins provide great solutions for mudroom closets, as well as custom shoe holders designed for walk-ins.
In addition to supplemental shoe storage, built-in box-like storage cubbies accommodate gloves, mittens, scarves, hats and other winter weather sundries. Lower levels can be earmarked for shoes, while eye-level is reserved for other cold-weather gear. Modular styles allow for expansion as needs change, furnishing flexibility for growing families.
Creative cubbies are repurposed from eclectic sources, including commercial storage units and those originally used in kitchens or industrial applications. Cubbies are about functionality, so don’t be afraid to express your eclectic style with mudroom features. Design your mudroom with your family’s lifestyle in mind, using open storage solutions rather than cabinets with doors. Backpacks, sports equipment, and cleaning supplies are all at home in mudroom cubbies.
When space is limited, try squeezing double-duty out of your mudroom’s features. Storage benches, for example, are outstanding for kids who get used to stowing gloves and hats in fold-open seating storage vessels. Giving them their own benches for putting-on boots and getting bundled-up keeps kids in-line with the program, contributing to year-round mudroom organization.
Mudrooms also double as utility rooms for some families, so cleaning supplies and laundry facilities are close at hand. To maximize use of shared spaces, install hangar bars high-up in utility closets, providing places to hang off-season coats. To keep mudrooms clean, address small messes before they become big ones, encouraging kids to offload dirty clothing before they come-in to the house.
Use the Whole Wall
Mudrooms serve adults and kids, so use available space to accommodate a variety of needs. Coat hooks at adult heights don’t work for kids, so include a lower-level option kids can reach on their own.
Squeeze additional storage out of vertical spaces, building shelves, cubbies, and other stowage solutions ceiling-high. Leave lower units open, installing doors on upper cabinets to account for off-season storage needs.
With a little creativity, you can keep your winter gear organized and keep the snow and slush contained to one space. What tips do you have for keeping organized in the winter?