Determine Your Storage Needs
If you want the most efficient and well-organized mudroom possible, think about the items being stored. The size of each item is a big consideration, since large, medium and small items all require different types of storage solutions. Also consider the weight of items, says professional organizer Martha Clouse, owner of Organized for Life.
"I don't think the mudroom is the space for larger, really heavy items, because you don't want those items falling on anyone," says Clouse. "If you're not using something at least once a week, I'd rather see you store the large sports equipment and bikes in the garage."
But if you use your bike daily or your mudroom is your only storage option, here are suggestions and tips on how to best store all the items on your list.
A mudroom doesn't have to be located at the back or front of a home. An old side entry was converted into this welcoming mudroom with both open and closed storage solutions by TerraCotta Properties. Photography by Jeff Herr
Hooks and Benches
This accessible, family-friendly mudroom by Pierce Lamb Architects features plenty of hooks for caps and a handy built-in bench. Upper storage cabinets and beadboard paneling add character to the space. Photography by Kathy Tarantola
Athletes in the family can quickly grab gear or change uniforms in this streamlined mudroom by LDa Architecture & Interiors. Large drawers under the built-in bench store items away and help the space maintain a clean look. Photography by Kathy Tarantola
This smart mudroom by Ron Brenner Architects is located in a hall between the kitchen and garage. The mudroom cabinetry was crafted into a divider wall that disguises the laundry room on the other side. Photography by Phillip Mueller
Consider the needs of your pets. This pet-friendly mudroom by TerraCotta Properties includes a pullout lower drawer that offers customized space for food and water bowls. Photography by Jeff Herr
Pantry + Mudroom Combo
If you love to cook, try including pantry storage with your mudroom. This handy storage system from EasyClosets offers storage for mudroom essentials along with open shelves for dry pastas, extra mugs and cookbooks.
This user-friendly unit combines all the essentials of good mudroom storage: open shelves, closed cabinets, hooks for hanging coats or pet leashes, and a storage bench. An open niche under the lower cabinets can be used for shoes or pet bowls. Photo courtesy of ClosetMaid
Warm and Inviting
Small details can add style to a mudroom. A roomy mudroom in this Cape Cod-style home designed by Ron Brenner Architects features rich walnut storage solutions and serves as the family entry, ideally located off the kitchen and adjacent powder room. Photography by Phillip Mueller
Location, Location, Location
The right location makes all the difference for a mudroom. This user-friendly space for an active family of four is located between a side entry carport and an open-plan kitchen. Design by TerraCotta Properties; photography by Jeff Herr
A Place for Everything
Created to be an integrated feature of a full kitchen remodel, this smart mudroom/laundry room combination offers a series of hidden storage solutions for an active family. Storage for pet food and accessories was also included. Design by TerraCotta Properties; photography by Jeff Herr
When your mudroom is open to an adjacent space, take design cues from existing decor. Hanging, open and closed storage for this mudroom are all located inside a single stylish unit. Photo courtesy of EasyClosets
Formal to Functional
A sleek new mudroom and storage area is a key component of the more-welcoming formal entry in this renovated Boston townhouse designed by LDa Architecture & Interiors. The mudroom details complement the home's rich finishes.Photography by Peter Vanderwarker
Sometimes a simple niche creates just the storage you need. Architect Ron Brenner added a window to this upgraded mudroom that sits between the garage and main living area of this Arts & Crafts home. Photography by Phillip Mueller
Bulky items like bikes, snow gear and other sports equipment can take up lots of space in your mudroom if not stored properly.
Here are helpful storage solutions that allow you to store larger items the right way:
- Use a horizontal and vertical bike rack that mounts to your mudroom wall to keep the bikes from taking up floor space. A ceiling-mounted bike pulley or a floor-mounted vertical bike rack are two other options to consider.
- A tall cabinet can be a good solution for storing a large vacuum, broom or carpet steamer.
- Heavy-duty hooks allow bulky coats to dry and keep them off the floor.
Jennifer Grey of the Old Painted Cottage placed an early 1900s child's armoire near the front door to serve as storage and added old brass doorknobs to a vintage piece of wood with original paint to hold bags and hats. "For my entry, you literally spill directly into the living room the second you walk through the front door," she says. "So I created a sort of mock entry mudroom with carefully planned placement of furniture and objects." Photo courtesy of The Old Painted Cottage
Just because a mudroom is new doesn’t mean it can’t feel familiar and homey. A retro-styled sink and faucet plus a towel bar make this space both functional and pretty. Vintage accessories like the painted stool were brought in to add texture and patina. Photo courtesy of Houseplans.co; photography by Bob Greenspan
Mudrooms often have lots of hard surfaces such as cabinetry. Soften the space by bringing in accessories that provide texture, warmth and interest, such as a wicker umbrella stand. Photo courtesy of Ballard Designs
For a light and airy space that also serves as a secondary dressing room for guests using the pool, all the pretty vintage and antique accessories are on display, while doors and drawers hide supplies and appliances. Decorative touches lend the patina of age to the traditional space. The washer and dryer are housed in compartments with doors so that they too can be hidden when not in use. Photo courtesy of Houseplans.co; photography by Bob Greenspan
Must-Have Boot Trays
Whether you choose to wear shoes inside the house or not, you may want to store boots here, "especially if you don't want them clogging up your bedroom closets," says professional organizer Ruthann Betz-Essinger. Photo courtesy of Ballard Designs
Nostalgic Picnic Baskets
Stacked picnic baskets move into the mudroom, storing out-of-season gear out of the way but within easy reach. Ginny Snook Scott of California Closets recommends planning both horizontally and vertically. "You'll find a lot of storage space by going up as high as possible," she says. Photo courtesy of California Closets
Consider using baskets for the things you'll store in the mudroom. "When you're looking at all these beautiful photos of mudrooms," says professional organizer Ruthann Betz-Essinger, "when you see a basket, there could be all manner of clutter inside. But who cares?" Photo courtesy of Ballard Designs
Upcycled Iron Wall Unit
Create a sculptural wall unit by adding hooks to a metal grid for storage of hats, bags and jackets. The easier your mudroom is to use and the more interesting it is to look at, the more likely you are to enjoy it and have it work for you. Photo courtesy of Ballard Designs
Medium-sized items like bags, boots and shoes need their own home. "I think some people like the idea of storing their shoes in a basket, but I don't think that's a great way to store shoes in a mudroom," says designer Lisa Benbow, owner of Garnish Home Decor. "Shoes in a basket can get lost because they don't stay in pairs. Instead, use a cubby system."
Here are other tips on how to efficiently store your medium-sized mudroom items:
- Light- and medium-weight bags can be stored on hooks.
- Cubbies can be a handy storage tool for heavy book bags.
- Boot trays keep wet or dirty boots and shoes in a designated spot and off the floor.
- Boots and shoes can also be stored in open space under a bench.
Use Exterior Paint
While console tables and chests can span countless colors, styles and eras, most potting benches are made from pine and sold unfinished. Personalize a standard-issue potting bench quickly and easily with two coats of bold exterior or porch and deck paint. Since exterior paints are made to withstand the elements, they're perfect for high-traffic rooms that often get wet.
Level Your Flooring
If an outdoor area is uneven, it's smart to consider a cement platform. To create one, you'll need to first build a concrete mold from four 2x4s, cut to size and attached together with wood screws. Next mix concrete in a tub or 5-gallon bucket using a drill and concrete-mixing attachment. Pour the concrete into the form, leveling along the top of the 2x4 with a trowel. Allow at least 24 hours to cure before removing the form with a crowbar.
Incorporate an Outside Sink
Since potting benches are open on all four sides, they can be easily turned into washing stations with the addition of sinks and faucets. The first thing to consider is the countertop surface. If the existing top is wood, it's important to properly seal it to avoid rotting from water. When changing out an existing top for something custom, use solid surfaces such as natural or engineered stone or stainless steel. These stand up to water more effectively than wood.
Make Sure the Pipes Work
To equip your command center for running water, you'll first need to install a P-trap. This can negatively or positively affect the look of your command center, depending on what style and finish of P-trap is used. While stainless steel, polished nickel or satin brass add designer flair, they can also cost upwards of $250.
Don't Forget About the Dog
Mudroom command centers are ideal for serving double duty as dog-washing stations, depending on the size and depth of the sink chosen. The command center of this Atlanta home is used for washing the family cocker spaniel, Lucy, and includes clear treat jars, baskets for grooming tools, and concealed storage for brushes and shampoo.
Hang a Few Hooks
A mudroom command center is certain to be the last thing a homeowner sees before leaving the house each morning and the first thing seen upon returning each evening. Eliminate the tendency to misplace purses, jackets, hats and keys by using wood screws to install hooks along the sides. Important items will always be easy to find.
Ideally you want to store small items like hats, gloves and scarves in some kind of container or basket so they don't get lost, suggests Clouse.
"Acrylic containers come in all different shapes and sizes and I think they're attractive," says Benbow. "If you store all of your items in the same color it becomes a statement."
Here are other great ways to store the small items on your mudroom list:
- Make sure to organize small items (like gloves) by category so everyone knows where to look as they head out the door.
- Pullout baskets and drawers with dividers are great storage options for small items like scarves or sunglasses.
- Store small toys by theme in labeled bins.
- Wall-mounted file pockets can be an ideal way to sort and store daily mail.