Mudrooms provide organization and storage space for busy families

Mudrooms are quickly becoming an essential addition, providing organization and storage solutions for busy families.

They can be created in even the smallest spaces and help bring order to the most used entry of your home.

When Nadine Melind started house hunting, a mudroom was on her must-have list.

"For various reasons, in terms of the weather, the dog, dirt, mud, bugs, and everything else, we wanted to have a separate entryway where we could come in, take off our shoes, have the dogs feet wiped down and drop our book bags and other things in a separate space,” says Melind.

A mudroom was missing from the home she fell in love with, so Melind decided to add one.

"I really love that it has a big closet,” says Melind. “We've built in some shelves for organizing and a place to put mops, brooms, the dog food, and hats and all those kinds of things."

Mudrooms are often located just off kitchens or near garages. They offer the perfect place to easily transition in and out of the house.

Professional organizers, like Becky Gaynor, say a mudroom is a great space to store your on-the-go supplies, like coats, bags and shoes. But, she warns to not let it become a chaotic catchall.

"The number one thing is limiting how much is kept in there and then define boundaries,” says Gaynor. “Really let each family member know what you expect to keep in that area, but pare it down. Really, really pare it down."

When organizing your mudroom, Gaynor says you should assess your inventory and give each family member a dedicated space, but don't make things too complicated.

“Don't stress yourself out and over-organize,” says Gaynor. “We want these systems easy to maintain and easy to access and use for everybody."

Mudrooms not only increase the value of your home, but they can also extend the life of your flooring in other areas of the house and help you save on heating costs.

"What many people don't realize when it comes to installing a mud room is it can actually make your home more energy efficient,” says Angie Hicks, founder of Angie’s List. “By adding an energy efficient door on the inside on your mud room you can actually block that cold air from ever entering your home, saving you dollars on your energy bills."

If you don't have a defined entryway or mudroom, professional organizers say you should consider purchasing a shoe organizer to utilize vertical space and install hooks to hang coats and backpacks near the front door.

Content

Many modern homes have a mudroom, an area located near the entryway intended as a place to take off outdoor items before entering the house. Originally intended for those in cold climates to dispose of heavy winter gear, these areas can be helpful in any climate as help keep the rest of the house clean and provide storage space for coats, backpacks, and shoes. Adding a mudroom to your home can help make your life simpler and can even increase the value of your home. Here are some advantages of adding a mudroom to your home and a few reasons you might want to create a well-organized entry.

Angie's List: The value of a mudroom

· Keep dirt outside. A mudroom's primary intention is to keep outside dirt, mud and debris out of the main areas of your home. In the winter, keeping snow, ice and salt off of your floor can be challenging. A mudroom helps keep everything contained. By taking off your shoes in the mudroom, you can ensure all the dirt, slush and mud stays well away from your carpets and hardwood floors. This can save you the hassle of cleaning, but it can also save you money. By not tracking dirt throughout the house, your carpets and flooring will last years longer than they would constantly exposed to dirt and grime.

· Organize your on-the-go supplies. Mudrooms also provide an area to organize your on-the-go supplies, such as coats, shoes, bags, keys, sunglasses, scarves and gloves. We all know how hectic the morning can be when everyone in the house is running around trying to find all the supplies they need in the morning. Some mudrooms have cubbies for each family member to place all of their essential items. Others just have coat, shoe racks, and baskets for organization.

· Increase the value of your home. Adding mudroom to your entryway can increase the value of your home when it comes time to sell. A well-designed entryway looks inviting and welcoming to prospective buyers. Also, buyers are on the lookout for organization and storage space, so a well-organized entry can really draw a buyer in. Furthermore, mudrooms can also help extend the life of your flooring, meaning you won't have to shell out big bucks in replacement costs.

· Save on heating costs. Mudrooms can also save you on heating costs. By blocking cold air from entering the main area of your home, a mudroom can actually cut your heating costs. When building a mudroom, it's important to keep a few things in mind. If you can, place an energy-friendly door on the inside of your mudroom to help keep the outside air locked away from the rest of your house. Additionally, since a mudroom acts as a transitional space from inside to outside, it doesn't need to be heated like the rest of your house.

Angie's List: How to upgrade your entryway

· Blend form with function. Entries need to blend functionality with beauty. You need your entry to be able to handle all the clutter, but still look great. If you have a mudroom, you can focus more on creating a beautiful entryway - and leave the function to the mudroom. If not, you still have a few options to keep your entry in check. Place a console table or bench along the wall to act as a catch-all for clutter. Consider installing coat hooks on top of the bench to hang coats, backpacks and hats. Create a space beneath for shoes, such as a shoe tray or cubbies. If you're short on space, look for an all-purpose coat tree.

· Think about flooring. Flooring is perhaps the most essential part of your entry. For this high-traffic area, choose something durable that can withstand the daily grind of dirt and moisture. Dark slate or tile is a great option that provides an easy-to-clean surface. You will also need to invest in a quality rug to contain mud and rain. Look for a dark-colored indoor-outdoor rug that can stand up to the mess.

· Play with lighting. To create the perfect entry, you also need to invest in quality lighting. If you have a tall ceiling, hang a pendant light or chandelier to give it a fresh look. Extra-tall ceilings may also require the use of a table lamp to provide adequate light at night. A table lamp also provides an extra layer of light that adds a homey feel to an entry. Set it to a timer to ensure you come home to a well-lit space.
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