Winter can be a challenge, especially if you have a small mudroom; all those extra boots and coats can quickly become a disaster zone. With some clever thinking, a few seasonal mudroom ideas and the willingness to reorganize, your mudroom won't just survive winter; it'll become a much more useful space because of it.
Toughen Your Mudroom Storage
Winter means lots of extra layers, plus hats, gloves and similar items you don't use at other times of year. Rather than just throwing them on the couch once you walk in, arrange a few metal bins (away from walkable floor space) to store these seasonal things right where you need them. Even better, designate one bin for each member of the family so there's no crazy rush in the morning to locate that missing mitten.
No space for bins? Nail a few small hooks to the wall and hang oversized tote bags to create a more charming storage section for the same items. Pick different colors for each member of the family, and voila: simple storage that doesn't cost an arm and a leg. Even a plastic, over-the-door shoe organizer can work to store small items if that's all the room you can spare.
Organize Your Wall Space
Even if you have a great closet in your mudroom, here's something to consider: It's better to hang wet winter jackets in an open space so they can "breathe" and dry more quickly. This can mean open cubbies or extra hooks on the walls to the side of your entrance. Make sure these hooks are spaced out enough to allow for good air circulation between each garment.
Keep in mind hooks should be placed at a convenient height for each member of the family. That means higher hooks for adults and lower hooks for children. This makes it easier to identify which item belongs to whom, and allows for better use of the space at the same time. This Old House suggests building this idea out to kids' school supplies in general.
If you're thinking of redecorating the mudroom, consider adding a storage bench, too. It's a great way to hide dry boots and storage bins out of sight so things are cleaner and more organized when taking off even more clothing after an inclement day.
Keep the Winter Outside
No matter how careful you are, winter tracks a lot of snow, mud and water inside. You can't completely prevent it, but there are things you can do to minimize the mess and keep things clean. Your first line of defense? The other side of the door. A rough mat placed right outside can help catch most of the mud and snow before it reaches the tile or hardwood. As long as the area is at least partially covered and protected from the elements, make this mat the first thing you step on when you open the door to get inside.
Next in line for great mudroom ideas are boot or mud trays. These are exactly what they sound like: big trays (usually made of wood or plastic) you can place on the floor or inside closets to hold your shoes. They are ideal options to capture salty snow, which can leave spot stains that damage your floors and create a wet disaster in the entryway. Can't find these at your local home organization store? Don't worry; just buy large plastic trays or small wood planks instead.
The key to an organized winter mudroom is storage, storage and more storage. Whether you choose to make that storage visible or go for hidden compartments, having a place for everything will keep the area clear and welcoming all winter long.
This article was brought to you by Colgate-Palmolive Company, the makers of Murphy® Oil Soap. The views and opinions expressed by the author do not reflect the position of the Colgate-Palmolive Company.