Mudrooms are today's contemporary “family door” as we seldom use the front door. Most of the time we enter the house from the driveway, and that's not just family members but also neighbors and good friends. They'll your lead and use the same door you use, a side door through the garage, or a back door.
It makes me wonder at times, why we spend so much money on fancy front doors that rarely get opened … but let's get back to what it takes to organize your entryway or mudroom so you can find the things you need when you leave your home.
Let's start by listing all the things your family takes with them as they leave their house. Then we'll look at how we can organize these items near the door. From there it's important to have a home for everything, and once family members learn where things go (takes about 6 weeks to build new habits), the mad morning rush should go more smoothly.
What's Hanging Out in Your Mudroom?
Many parents use a mudroom to manage kiddy clutter and more important, make it easier for everyone to get out of the house smoothly in the morning. So let's start listing what our kids are likely to leave in your mudroom and from there, it should be relatively easy for you to add what adult family members need to keep in the mudroom (outerwear, briefcase, purse, umbrella and … don't forget the car keys).
- School stuff – for most children starts with a backpack but there's lots that might not fit into the backpack like lunch boxes, artwork that's too big to fit inside the backpack or extra clothing like a gym back.
- Musical instruments – get tricky when running for the school bus in the morning. Keeping them by the door is perfect for kids who can't remember to bring their instruments for band or orchestra practice.
|When your child is constantly forgetting their instrument (losing sports equipment or other items …), there might be a bigger problem as we learned with my son in 5th grade. He loved his trombone teacher but had a conflict with the band teacher who was teasing him, and we didn't discover the problem until the end of the year.|
- Sports equipment – often goes to school, for older children on sports teams and younger children when you're in a carpool and responsible for picking the kids up. Some of this gear like my son's hockey bag is really bulky (and you'll be tempted to hide it in the garage) but remember out of sight, often means out of mind, so if they need to take it to school you really want it right there in front of them.
- Clothing – varies depending on where you live, and the season of the year. If you live in the northeast, there will be coats, boots, hats, mittens, etc. In warmer climates and summer time, clothing will change to swimsuits, towels and related stuff.
- Paper, paper and more paper – is one of the biggest challenges for every family and more so when there are children bringing home all sorts of paperwork from school and other activities. What's important is getting every family member to put their papers away as soon as they come into the house, and Kathleen Cowley shared some great ideas in Creating a Home Command Center for Your Family, for getting your kids to put things on the calendar and file their paperwork according to the action that needs to happen.
Organizing What's in Your Mudroom
Once you list everything you already have in the mudroom, or see that keeping more items in the mudroom will cut down on last minute panic attacks, it's time to find a home for everything in your mudroom. Go through your list and don't be surprised if you're missing a logical home for many things, as that's the purpose of this article.
Once you know what items don't have an existing hook, shelf or drawer, you'll be ready to search for additional storage and/or organizing products to help you organize your mudroom. We've collected lots of mudroom organizing ideas on Pinterest (or you might already have your own organizing board, and now you can justify adding a few items to your mudroom).
- Hooks for hanging things – from jackets, hats, backpacks and don't forget the car keys.
- Flat surfaces – are helpful for putting things down while taking off a jacket or storing things used infrequently.
- Baskets and drawers – help hide all the little things (hats, mittens, etc) and stop them from falling on the floor.
- Seat or bench – is nice for kids to sit on while taking off outerwear, and seniors like them too.
- Water proof rug or boot tray (see below) – saves you some cleaning time.
- Bulletin board, calendar and place for papers – where family members can leave notes for each other (see Creating a Family Command Center).
Hope you like our ideas for organizing your mudroom or even space in your garage if that's where family members enter your home. It's not important where the space is, just that you own have a place where family members learn to put things away … making it easier to find them again.