Modern and Manageable Mudrooms
After a long day at work or school, the last thing you want to have to deal with when you get home is a dysfunctional doorway.
From tripping over shoes and backpacks to having no place to drop your keys or set down shopping bags with your dinner, there’s no problem that a few “mudroom” components can’t fix. And the best part is that mudrooms don’t have to be tucked away in some back room – which is a good thing for those of us with only one way in and out!
Whether you have an enormous entryway, dainty doorway or even a narrow hallway leading into your house or apartment, here are some easy ways to make the transition from the outside world into your internal sanctum more harmonious.
Nix Needless Messes
First things first: the main purpose of a mudroom is to contain the mud! Even if you don’t have a dedicated mudroom, you can dedicate a place for the mud and keep it out of the rest of your house.
Begin building your base of operations with a good door mat and a rule that everyone takes off their shoes when they enter your place. This keeps all shoes by the door so there’s no scrambling to find them when you’re running late, and it also keeps you from investing hours in vacuuming and mopping that are much better spent doing something else.
Fortunately, size doesn’t matter when it comes to setting up a place specifically designed to aid you on your way out the door or help you transition back into the home at the end of the day.
Even if you just have a narrow hallway when you walk through the door, you still have options: when you can’t spread out, spread up!
Installing a decorative rack on the wall near the door solves many foyer foibles in one fell swoop. With a rack similar to this one, you have somewhere to hang:
If you find you still need more storage space, hang a small basket from one of the hooks on the end to use for dropping your mail or other things you want to keep like takeout menus or magazine inserts or whatever!
Baskets are the unsung heroes of chic storage. With baskets like these, not only do they completely contain whatever you put in them, but their sensible square shape makes them perfect for stacking or inserting into other storage or furniture units.
A multifunctional furniture option for keeping your mudroom manageable is a low bookcase “bench” with open shelving units where you can store your baskets. If you select a bookcase that is low enough to serve as a bench, you now have a place to sit and take off your shoes before you toss them into their designated basket.
And the baskets need not serve exclusively as shoe storage. You can divvy them up among family members to use however each person chooses. Some ideas include baskets intended to contain:
- Homework assignments and school projects
- Book bags (thereby getting them off the floor and out of sight)
- Your dog’s chew toys
- Your stand-by purses
- Winter hats or mittens
- Scarves or shawls
- Extension cords or other household items that you always need but never have a place to store!
The possibilities are endless and anything goes as long as it meets a need.
And on the subject of storage that serves a purpose, a good rule of thumb for maintaining your mudroom is this: if it doesn’t need to be there, it needs to go.
One of the quickest routes to a mudroom fail is clutter. The point of a mudroom is:
- A tool to facilitate efficiency when you’re trying to get out the door
- To ease your arrival home
- Streamlined storage whether you’re home or away
So, if it’s jammed full of superfluous stuff, the entire endeavor is moot. Put another one of those baskets to good use as a trash can or receptacle for your junk mail that you can add to the recycling bin at the end of the week.
From here, enact a weekly “walk through” of your mudroom to pick up papers and remove bits and pieces that just don’t belong, and you’ll be well on your way to having a functional storage space that will work for you and your family.