The type of space your mudroom occupies will determine your possibilities. Here are some common types of layouts and considerations.
If you have one wall, you'll need to think creatively about designing an organizational system that incorporates a lot of needs. It's like a puzzle. You'll need to add up how many people will use the space, what they typically carry in and out, how much space you have, and how many things should be displayed vs. hidden behind doors or in baskets. "At our house, I have a carpet runner and two rows of hooks,” says professional organizer Ruthann Betz-Essinger. "The top hooks include a shelf for my husband to empty his pockets, and the bottom row is the perfect height for kids to hang backpacks."
If you want to include a bit more structure, maybe a piece of furniture, a bench or a wall unit, consider the traffic around the wall. Is it in a hallway or a large room? Are there doorways near it, or windows, and how deep is the space? For a narrow passage, you may be limited to a shallow unit that won't block passersby. In a larger space, you might be able to incorporate a hefty bank of shelving and cabinetry with partitions for each person.
With a well-thought out system inside, a closet can be a good spot to corral all the shoes, jackets, umbrellas, dog leashes and backpacks that get shuffled about.
Small decorative touches make a big impact here once you incorporate shelving, hooks and easily accessible storage.
Toss in a bin for shoes, and hang clear vinyl pockets on the door for organizing small necessities like gloves, scarves, sunglasses, shopping totes, water bottles, maybe even mail and office supplies.
The key is to pick a closet near the door you enter and make it attractive enough that you’ll actually use it as you intended, advises Betz-Essinger.
If you have an entire room, consider yourself lucky. You won't necessarily need to maximize efficiency here, you're only limited by the amount of functions you want to fit into the space.
Look around the room and consider your basic needs. Can you incorporate places for everyday necessities as well as a spot for laundry, household gadgets and supplies? If you have lots of space, can you designate areas for family calendars and bills, pet care and supplies, or maybe even crafts and hobbies like floral arranging, sewing or gift wrapping?
"I like to have a place for everything to go behind closed doors so surfaces can be easily cleaned and larger projects can be done without first finding a place to put the items that you have been storing on the counter or floor to make room," advises designer Eric Schnell of Alan Mascord Design Associates Inc.
Whether petite or cavernous, utility rooms are where the hard work gets done. Often outfitted with a washer and dryer, maybe even a sink, this is a space that can take advantage of storage, with loads of shelving, cabinetry and countertops to take into account.
In addition to personal items that you'll need to grab on your way out the door, this room is home to all sorts of household goods and supplies, so you'll want to consider the best ways to incorporate a variety of functions and needs.
Active families may find they're also able to store soccer balls, skateboards, or even a bike or other sports equipment.
Prioritize your daily needs and make the most of the space you have when room is tight
Prioritize your daily needs and make the most of the space you have when room is tight.
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