How to Create a Functional Mudroom

I don’t know about you, but I have two entrances into my home… they are called, the formal entryway and the mudroom.  You might guess which one of those two places needs the most help when it comes to organizing and keeping things tidy and clutter-free.  Yep!  It is the mudroom.

Most of us tend to have a formal entryway with a chandelier, a small table for decoration and maybe a coat rack.  But for the most part, we keep that space clean and tidy for occasional company and peace of mind.  But, the “mudroom” is usually a different story!  We tend to use this space multiple times a day and for multiple reasons.  So, this entrance is a crucial area to organize and keep functional.


The mudroom is also seasonal, unlike the formal entryway of a home.  It needs transition from book bags and papers during the school year to winter coats, hats, scarves and gloves in the winter then wet bathing suits and towels in the summer!  So, keeping true function, organization and storage is vital to the clutter that gets dropped off going in and out of the house.

So, do you need to make some decisions about what items should be in your mudroom, adjoining closet or storage area?  Here are a few tips for keeping this “dumping ground” a room that contributes to a smoothly function space, rather than an unwelcome deterrent:

  1. Sort through your mudroom and take those things that don’t really belong there  to their proper spaces.
  2. Wash rugs… or replace them. Appearance really does matter when it comes to motivation.
  3. Keep shoes in one place… a recommend a shoe rack over a basket. Shoes in a basket tend to get battered and dirty more quickly. Get a stacking shoe rack and assign one to shelves per person. Shoes that are worn less often can be stored in a bedroom.
  4. To help with coats, backpacks, bags and umbrellas, install hooks or cubbies for each family member.  It is a great idea to label these areas with everyone’s name.  And, remember to encourage everyone to keep their belongings in their spaces.
  5. Lastly, if there is space, place a bench or chair in your mudroom’s entryway so family members can easily put on their shoes. This also makes a great landing pad for those thing that need to leave the house when you do, like store returns.  You can also use this space for more storage by placing baskets under the bench. Just remember to have a purpose for the baskets so they don’t become a dumping ground for clutter!

There you go!  You did it!  As you look at your organized mudroom, observe how your space is used and work to stay true to the function you designed for each part of the room. Now your mud-room is less of a dud-room!

Kathy Jenkins is the President of Come To Order, a residential professional organizing company in Richmond, VA.  As a Certified Professional Organizer®, Certified Family Manager® Coach, Love & Logic® Parenting Facilitator/Coach and Student Organizer, Kathy especially enjoys working with kids and their families to help them learn good organizational skills that will benefit them for a lifetime.  To learn more about Love & Logic Parenting, follow Kathy on G+.

photo credit: …love Maegan via photopin cc

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