10 Steps to Making your Mudroom Perfect
During the months when the world is wet and muddy, you may begin to wish that you had a mudroom. This is a room in the house (or even just a section of a room) that serves as a connection between the messy outside world and the wonderful clean coziness of your home. The mudroom is a place where everyone who comes into the home can wipe their feet, drop off their muddy shoes, store their wet umbrellas, remove their soaked hats and jackets and generally leave the dirt so that the rest of the house doesn’t get wet and muddy.
Does this sound like something that your home needs? Here are ten steps to take to make a perfect mudroom in your home:
1. Find the best space for your mudroom. The mudroom should be a room that is accessible from the outside. The goal is to leave the mess here so you shouldn’t have to go through another room to get to it since this defeats the purpose of keeping the house clean. You may choose an entire room for your mudroom (like a garage, an Arizona room or a closed-in porch). Alternatively, you may select to make just a portion of the room the mudroom (such as the tiled entryway of the foyer or kitchen, right by the door).
2. Make sure that the floor is easy to clean up. The ideal mudroom has floors that are easy to clean with a simple mop up. This area is going to get really dirty. It will probably need to be cleaned daily during the muddiest months of the year. You don’t want to have to get down on your hands and knees and scrub every time that you need to clean it so make sure that the floor is right for a mudroom. Concrete, tile and linoleum are top easy-to-clean choices for a mudroom. Carpet is clearly a poor choice. If the area that you’ve selected for your mudroom doesn’t have easy-to-clean flooring then it’s worth it to replace it when making your mudroom.
3. Add a place to wipe your feet when you first walk in the door. Although the floor should be easy to clean, you still don’t want to encourage your family members to allow it to get as filthy as possible. Instead you should make sure that you’ve added a durable rug to the area right inside of the door so that feet can be wiped as soon as the mudroom is entered. This rug should be easy-to-wash. It should be a dark color so it doesn’t have to be washed as often. You may want to have a second rug to throw down when the first is in the laundry.
4. Create a space for shoes. Despite the fact that you’re asking your family members to wipe their feet when they come in, it’s important that the mudroom also be the place where shoes can be removed. The wettest and muddiest shoes should always be removed here and never trekked through the rest of the house. Many families find that the most convenient way to get everyone to remember this is to make it a rule that all shoes be stored in the mudroom and left there whenever you come in from outside. You’ll need to create an organized storage area for everyone’s shoes. The only rule here is that it must be something that you can easily clean out because those stinky shoes can make a room dirty fast.
5. Make a wet space. This is a part of the mudroom that is designed to hold items that are wet so that they can air out and dry off without becoming musty. Typically it includes a coat rack, a hat rack and an umbrella rack. Some people also include a towel warmer here. Rained on clothes go here during the winter months and wet swimsuits can go here when it’s warmer out.
6. Hang up lots of hooks for people to hang their stuff on. The wet space is great for items that are actually wet. However, it doesn’t need to be large since very few items will be wet at one time. You will, however, need additional space for hanging up items that aren’t wet but are designed for cold weather. Coats, hats and scarves can be organized neatly on these hooks so you have them ready when it’s time to go outside and you have a place to put them when you get back.
7. Create a bin for outdoor toys. If you have children or pets in the house then you probably have some toys that are used primarily outdoors but still get brought inside. If the toys are used outside when it’s wet and muddy out then this can make your house wet and muddy. If you have a toy bin in your mudroom then you avoid this problem. The bin should be plastic so that it’s easy to clean as needed.
8. Decide if you need a childproof gate between the mudroom and the adjoining room. If you have a mudroom that is only a portion of the room then you may want to use a room divider as a similar alternative. The reason for this is to prevent young children and / or pets from entering the rest of the house before they’ve had all of their wet and dirty items taken off of them.
9. Decide if you want to add a doggie door. The mudroom can be a great place for your doggie door if your home needs one. It allows your pet to go in and out of the house, creating a space for most of the mud to fall off before the animal gets into the rest of the house. A good, long rug right in front of the doggie door will help keep that dirt in the mudroom.
10. Decorate your mudroom. All of these other steps are about making the mudroom functional. However, this is still a space in your home and it shouldn’t just be about function but also about form. Take the time to add some decorations to your mudroom to make it a place where you smile when you enter it despite the fact that it’s often dirty!