Maximum Mudroom

Ty shows you how to get down, dirty, and organized in the entryway

For many people, the entryway to their home – be it a standalone room or just a walkway – is a space for dumping shoes, jackets and clothes (often when they’re dirty, thus the name “mudroom”) as well as groceries and just about anything else you can think of. It’s also the first and last thing your guests usually see when they stop by for a visit.

As you’re envisioning your front foyer/mudroom right now, ask yourself: is it a total disaster or a welcoming atmosphere? And if it’s the former, how do you turn it into the latter? Read on for a few suggestions.

Start at square one

Create a blank slate. Clear out the entire space. That means carpets, benches, shoes, umbrellas, everything. Now decide which of those items you can throw away, which you can salvage and give a makeover, and which can be handed down or donated.

Get organized

If you don’t have a separate, dedicated room near your front or back door, place a freestanding unit in the space. It can be multiple pieces that serve as storage, a coat rack, and seating for putting on your kicks before leaving. The pic below shows how you can use old crates and still give off the mudroom vibe even without a built-in unit. Add subtle touches like vintage photos on clips to make the space feel more homey and not thrown together.

Who let the dogs out?

Your pooch is basically one of the kids and deserves to be spoiled! The mudroom really lives up to its name when you have a four-legged friend, especially when it’s raining outside. Keep a container or basket that stores leashes, balls and outdoor toys so your pup can access them easily and pick one to play with. If you have the space and are feeling ambitious, install a dog-washing station to take care of those muddy paws!

Enter at your own risk

A stack of mail piling up here, a sweater tossed over there – before you know it, your mudroom can become a minefield! Escape the mess with a few tips:

  1. Replace loose and flimsy hangers with a sturdy wooden set that can hold everything from the heaviest winter coats to the lightest spring jackets.
  2. Designate some nice china for keys, loose change, and wallets.
  3. Keep a dedicated spot for a paper shredder or recycling bin so you don’t have to bother bringing junk mail into the house and creating more clutter.
  4. Give the kids their own “stall” that has space for their school supplies and a schedule posted to keep them (and yourself) on track.

So even though “mudroom” is a pretty non-glamorous name, you can easily turn yours into something that’s both fashionable and functional.

Give it a try!

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