Finding a Place for Your Mudroom
Depending on where your mudroom is located — near the front door, the back or adjacent to your living quarters — you may have distinctly different needs. As you think about the layout of your house, take a look around and come up with a plan that works for you. Just remember to find a place that's convenient. "It’s going to take a lot more effort if it isn't near the main door," says professional organizer Ruthann Betz-Essinger. "The simpler it is to put things away, the better off you'll be."
Here are some ideas to keep in mind for each location.
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By the Front Entry
If your mudroom is near the front entry, it will be accessible to many of your houseguests as well.
Think about the style of your house and the surrounding rooms: Are they traditional or sleek and contemporary? You’ll want to outfit a mudroom near the entry in a similar style. Think of it as the spot where you and your guests will drop coats, umbrellas and bags. You'll want it to be an attractive and organized space, one that you don't mind showing off a bit, so you may want to invest in shelving or cabinetry, pretty bins, an upholstered cushion and pieces that wear well.
Near the Kitchen or Back Door
"The best place for a mudroom is near whichever door you usually enter," says interior designer Traci Zeller.
A mudroom off a kitchen or back door often becomes the de facto family entrance. For gardeners and kids, it's likely to be a space that truly gets muddy.
Whether you're changing out of muddy shoes, bringing in a basket of cuttings from the garden, or dropping lunch boxes and backpacks here, an organized family spot in a heavily trafficked area — one that you'll pass through regularly throughout a day — makes a lot of sense.
If you include a small sink and a washer and dryer — maybe even a desk or a spot for bills and family calendars — it can become an efficient planning zone for daily housekeeping.
In the Garage
On rainy days, who doesn't want to park in a garage and unload bags and gear without getting even a tiny bit wet? A mudroom off the garage can be the perfect landing spot for shopping bags, backpacks, hats, sports gear and shoes, and there's less need to match the style of your mudroom to that of your interiors.
For this space you should invest in a top-of-the-line organizing system built to withstand lots of wear and tear, or you should install industrial metal shelving and supplement with eclectic garage sale finds.
Beside the Utility Room
"Ideally I like a mudroom located near a laundry room so that dirty clothes can be dumped directly into the wash, or wet coats, hats and mittens can be thrown into the dryer," says interior designer Molly Quinn. "But even if it isn't adjacent to the laundry, it’s very practical to have a sink in a mudroom or in an adjacent bathroom to wash hands after coming in from outside."
A designated utility room in the back or off to the side of a house may be closed off when not in use and can include an iron and ironing board, a rod for hanging clothes, laundry sorters, and even items like sports and hobby equipment.