Tips on Organizing Mudrooms
Part 4: Finding order
Make your clutter-free mudroom a reality with these storage solutions.
STORAGE WALL - For mudrooms in new homes, consider designing the room with a "wall" of kitchen or garage style cabinets. You might put in one for each member of the family to house their jackets, sports equipment, and other supplies. Fit the inside with a combination of shelves, cubbyholes, hooks, and hanging space for jackets and coats.
PULL OUT PANTRY - One or two of the handy floor to ceiling pull-out pantry units for kitchens (about 12" wide) can be used to store boots and shoes.
RECYCLE CENTER - A cupboard originally designed to house pull-out recycling tubs can be installed in a mud room to store your recycled items -- or you might want to use it instead for pet food, potting soil, baseballs, or piles of mittens and hats. You choose!
WE LOVE HOOKS - Hooks, if not overloaded, are wonderful for hanging quickly-needed backpacks, jackets, and scarves. When you have room, put up at least two hooks per person. These can go on the inside of a closet door, on the side of a cabinet, or directly on the wall (see TIP below). Put up two rows of hooks if some of your family members are small children -- one row at their eye level and one row at yours.
HOOK TIP - To avoid putting lots of holes in the wall when putting up hooks, just install a row of hooks onto a long painted (or stained) 1x4 or decorative board, then attach that board to the wall studs in 3 or more places (depending on the length of the boards). Or, look for ready-made strip hooks in bedding shops and home centers.
SAFETY TIP - Hooks stick out into the room, so for safety reasons don't place hooks too close to a passage area where they might catch on clothing, on kids arms, or snag packages as you walk by.
ORGANIZERS - Sometimes closet organizing products such as shoe and purse pockets and over-the-door organizers can be very useful to contain closet clutter. But use them however you like... the purse pocket organizer, for example, can be used for boots, rolled up scarves, or ski gloves, while an over-the-door shoe organizer can hold sunglasses, batteries, socks, mittens, or extra keys.
COAT TREES - Coat trees always seem like a good idea, but they can become top heavy with piles of coats which will only add to a cluttered look. If you like the look of a coat tree then try using it only for guest coats and it won't get buried!
HOOKS IN CUPBOARDS - Even narrow rooms may have room for a convenient 10" deep built-in cupboard (at least 60" high) with doors that open to reveal a line of wall mounted coat hooks. Allow enough cupboard room to place shoes and boots on the floor inside too.
BASKET STORAGE - Lots of people like to use open shelves with baskets for storage, but woven baskets can often catch threads on knitted garments. Use one of the fabric-lined baskets to store these items. Finding baskets that fit well into the size of your open shelves is key to making this type of storage look neat. And be sure to buy enough so they look almost like fitted "drawers".
KEYS - Designate a hook, tray, basket, or drawer for keys. Drop them there when you come home and pick them up when you leave.
THE HEAT GOES ON - When building a new house, consider installing a small heating vent in the mudroom area to help dry wet coats, boots, and mittens.
MIRROR, MIRROR - Putting up a mirror near each entry door can be a convenience. Place a comb or brush in the drawer below it, just in case.
BUY vs. MAKE - You can buy all sorts of expensive special bins, tubs, and organizers to hold things -- but you can also use plain old shoe boxes, cans, gift boxes, trays, Tupperware, or anything else you have in the house to divide and organize items.
~ Glenna Morton
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