Tips for Keeping Your Mudroom Less Muddy

With a small budget and creative re-purposing you can have an organized  mudroom.

The very name of the room is an indicator that it may not be the tidiest space in your home, but a mudroom doesn't have to be total mess. Not every home has a mudroom -- a multi-purpose entryway that can be in the back or front of the house. If you're fortunate enough to have a transitional room where guests and family members can kick off their boots and hang up their coats, then you know how quickly the space can become a smelly, disorganized pile of wet shoes, backpacks and forgotten packages. With a surprisingly small budget and some creative re-purposing you can have a mudroom that's organized and easy to keep clean.

Hang it Up

Some mudrooms are equipped with a closet for stowing items out of sight. If yours isn't or it's too small to meet your family's needs, install two rows of chair rails on an open wall, one low enough for children to reach and the other at adult height, and screw in wooden pegs all around the rails. You've just created several yards of hanging space for leashes, jackets, brooms, umbrellas, grocery bags and whatever else is cluttering up the floor in your mudroom. The more items you can get off the floor the easier it is to keep the space clean.

 The more items you can get off the floor the easier it is to keep the space clean.

Instant Cubbies

There's a reason why almost every grammar school provides cubbies for young students to store their gear -- and not just because they're adorable. Cubicle storage is practical and functional. Purchase plastic storage crates in different colors from the discount store and stack them on top of each other to build an instant wall of storage. Stay organized by assigning each family member a certain color. Where are my mittens? Check in your blue cube! Keep safety in mind and secure the crates to the wall if you stack them more than two or three high.

How Dry I Am

For best function a mudroom needs a small stool or bench for changing footwear, but what do you do with those wet, muddy boots after taking them off? Place a kitchen cooling rack in an aluminum roasting pan and you've got the perfect place to let wet or snow-packed shoes and boots drain. Use free-standing paper towel holders for drying boots upside down. An accordion-style wooden wine rack makes the perfect drying rack for small items such as hats and mittens. And last but not least, keep a stack of old towels in the mudroom for cleaning up big messes or drying rain-soaked kids.

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