Make a mudroom

Associa Living | Make a MudroomBy Lisa Martin

The point of a mudroom is simple: to make keeping your house clean and your upkeep simple.

Besides muddy boots and wet jackets, many mudrooms play host to all manner of sporting equipment, school stuff, cleaning supplies, and other miscellaneous must-haves for the home.

Don’t have the square footage—or a fat bank account— needed to design the mudroom of your dreams? The following tricks, tips, and tactics can help you create an attractive, yet streamlined space.

Build on the Basics

Mudrooms tend to do double duty as laundry central and a storage hub, but say your washer and dryer sit in your garage or behind a pair of closet doors. You can still fashion a functional mudroom out of some nook or forgotten corner, preferably one that’s close to your back door. (As its name implies, mudrooms were originally conceived as a place to sit and pull off muddy boots before traipsing through the house.)

Scour your home for an empty niche or alcove and let the retrofitting begin.

Ree Drummond, a.k.a. The Pioneer Woman, annexed a workout room in order to have enough square footage to accommodate the needs of her family of six.

“We took out the tiny/short closet that was in the old bedroom and replaced it with these open cubbyhole-style shelves,” she explains. “We kept it simple: no doors, no molding, no drawers.”

Hidden space beneath a staircase or an unused closet might fit the bill as well.

Your mudroom needn’t hide from sight, either, as Washington State homeowner Meg Padgett and her husband, Josh, discovered during a recent remodel.

“We love open-concept living, but like many older homes ours has lots of closed off spaces,” she explains. “To create a more open feel and give us visibility to the backyard we opened our mudroom to the kitchen and separated it from our breakfast nook with a half wall.”

Vertical horizons

Once you’ve appropriated an area in your home for the task, keep an eye out for ways to maximize its full potential.

“When all of your laundry supplies are haphazardly stored, you can spend too much time trying to find something, even causing more of a mess along the way,” says Laura Dellutri, known in cyberspace as the Healthy Housekeeper. “Keeping everything organized and within easy reach can open up time for doing more activities you enjoy like spending time with family and friends.”

Here’s what Dellutri and other experts recommend:

  • Organize your space so you can easily grab the detergent, liquid softener, or dryer sheets while your arms are full.
  • A hanging rack near the washer is a great idea, so that as you remove clothing, you can immediately hang items specified for air-drying without slowing down the process.
  • Install cubbies, bookshelves, or pegboards for unobstructed access to everything from backpacks and dog leashes to mittens and ball caps.
  • Put out a wastebasket so everyone knows precisely where the trash belongs!

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